“We’re more popular than Jesus now”
On March 4th 1966, John Lennnon was interviewed by Maureen Cleave in the London Evening Standard. He had said something that would change the way their fans and people in general saw the Beatles. People of all ages loved and admired the Beautles until John Lennon’s interview. “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink I needn’t agree with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first- rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me” said John Lennon. He was, as Cleave reported, “reading intensively about religion at the time.” It was a small part of the article. No one took notice of it in Britain. Five months later, on July 29, a teen magazine of the United States, Datebook, quoted John Lennon, leaving out the context and used it as part of the front cover story. “We’re more popular than Jesus” had affected people in southern states. Radio stations in the south banned Beatles music. There were rallies of boys and girls stomping on their records and bonfires of Beatles merchandise. John got many death threats, and the KKK protested a Beatles concert in Alabama. "If I had said television is more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it, but I just happened to be talking to a friend and I used the words "Beatles" as a remote thing, not as what I think - as Beatles, as those other Beatles like other people see us. I just said "they" are having more influence on kids and things than anything else, including Jesus. But I said it in that way which is the wrong way." John had said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus meaning that Christianity and religion in general were getting so weak and unpopular that a rock 'n' roll group were more popular than it at the time. He just said it as an example to make his point that Christianity was not popular in young...
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