Did the Beatles (or John Lennon) mean more to the children than Jesus Christ?

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Did the Beatles (or John Lennon) mean more to the children than Jesus Christ?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:11 pm

What did John Lennon mean by that?

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Re: Did the Beatles (or John Lennon) mean more to the children than Jesus Christ?

Post by uwot » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:56 pm

From the ever reliable Wikipedia:
"More popular than Jesus" (or "bigger than Jesus")[a] was a controversial remark made by the Beatles' John Lennon in 1966. During an interview, he argued that Christianity was in decline and that it may be outlived by rock music, explaining "We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first – rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." The comment drew no controversy when originally published in the United Kingdom, but angry reactions flared up in Christian communities when it was republished in the United States five months later.

The remark originates from an interview conducted by journalist Maureen Cleave, who included the statement in a March 1966 article for the London Evening Standard, which drew no public reaction at the time. When Datebook, a US teen magazine, quoted Lennon's comments five months later in August, extensive protests broke out in the Southern United States. Some radio stations stopped playing Beatles songs, their records were publicly burned, press conferences were cancelled, and threats were made. The controversy coincided with the group's US tour in August 1966, and Lennon and Brian Epstein attempted to quell the dispute at a series of press conferences. Some tour events experienced disruption and intimidation, including a picketing by the Ku Klux Klan.

Shortly after the controversy broke, Lennon reluctantly apologised for the comment, saying "if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it". He stressed that he was simply remarking on how other people viewed and popularised the band. The events contributed to the Beatles' lack of interest in public live performances, and the US tour was the last they undertook, after which they became a studio-only band.


Short answer: yes, but few people outside the "Southern United States" were upset about it.

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