Wednesday, December 8, 2010

John Lennon Was not Shot by a "Crazed Fan"

Thirty years ago today, John Lennon of the Beatles was shot by Mark David Chapman. This story was reported on our local news station tonight, CKCO, a CTV affiliate. I cannot understand why they reported that he was shot by a "crazed fan", rather than a fanatical Born Again Christian.

Wikipedia mentions that Chapman became a Christian an 1971. What is not mentioned here is the antipathy between the Christians and the Beatles.

"Chapman recalls having listened to Lennon's John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album in the weeks before the murder and stated: "I would listen to this music and I would get angry at him, for saying that he didn't believe in God... and that he didn't believe in the Beatles. This was another thing that angered me, even though this record had been done at least 10 years previously. I just wanted to scream out loud, 'Who does he think he is, saying these things about God and heaven and the Beatles?' Saying that he doesn't believe in Jesus and things like that"

"In 1966, John Lennon told reporter and friend Maureen Cleave, “[The Beatles are] more popular than Jesus now.” The American religious public was indignant with rage, burning Beatles albums, boycotting their performances, and even threatening to kill Lennon. Jesus, I’m sure, was thrilled by our zeal."

I'm sure the Christians don't like to think that this murder was committed by one of their own. Well, the Beatles' fans don't either. And the murder was more because of the Christians attitudes than because of Rock and Roll music.

1 comment:

  1. While it is true that Chapman was a 'born-again' fundamentalist Christian, he was also a very confused young man.

    Chapman's original ambition had been to become a rock guitarist but, upon being 'born again,' came to see rock music, and especially the Beatles and Lennon, as a malign influence in society.

    A deep streak of mean-spiritedness runs through much of fundamentalist Christianity: a current of stringent 'moral' behaviour prohibits dancing, gambling, any consumption of alcohol or other intoxicants, mixed bathing, listening to rock and roll music and even watching popular movies.

    And, not content with these social restrictions on their own members, many fundamentalists endeavor to impose those same restrictions on the rest of society.

    No doubt, Chapman was able to find many in his own religious circle who were appalled by things like Lennon's Imagine. Unfortunately, Chapman was also so mentally unbalanced that he saw the assassination of Lennon as the 'Christian' thing to do.