Paul J Singh

Was John Lennon an Atheist?

Today I watched a DVD I’ve been meaning to check out for quite some time, U.S. v. John Lennon. What a brilliant movie about a brilliant man. It left me wondering why there are no John Lennon types today, considering the parallels between the Nixon and Bush administrations. The best radical entertainers my generation has are the Dixie Chicks and Kanye West. As Gore Vidal said, “John Lennon equals love, and Nixon and Bush equal death”, so where is today’s Lennon to combat Nixon’s Bush? Vidal at his best, eh? On the flip side, Gordon Liddy was at his worst, which in his mind would mean his best.

Anyway, I’ve always wondered whether or not John Lennon was an atheist. An hour of internet searching did little to answer my question. Opinions about him are strong on both sides, and I didn’t find any interviews that definitively answer the question.

If we look to a primary source, his songs, it seems John Lennon was an atheist. Take a look at the lyrics to God and Imagine.

God is a concept,
By which we can measure,

Our pain
, I’ll say it again,
God is a concept,

By which we can measure,
Our pain,
I don’t believe in magic,
I don’t believe in I-ching,

I don’t believe in bible,

I don’t believe in tarot,
I don’t believe in Hitler,
I don’t believe in Jesus,

I don’t believe in Kennedy,

don’t believe in Buddha,
I don’t believe in mantra,

I don’t believe in Gita,
I don’t believe in yoga,
I don’t believe in kings,
I don’t believe in Elvis,
I don’t believe in Zimmerman,

I don’t believe in Beatles,

I just believe in me.

Imagine is not quite as definitive, as it points to religion rather than god. However, I think the key line is “brotherhood of man.”

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace
ou may say that I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

If anybody has any comments, opinions, or a definitive answer, please leave a comment or e-mail me at