GUEST COLUMN: Favorite Beatle was a complex, controversial person

Bob Rinearson

I was in fifth grade when Beatlemania erupted in America. It’s hard now to describe what an experience that was. The pandemonium, the screaming girls, the change in how people began to view fashion and of course the music.

It seemed everyone had a favorite Beatle and I was no different. I found myself fascinated with John Lennon. Perhaps there was something about his being semi-abandoned by his parents that struck a chord with me. There was an aggressiveness in the songs he sang, from Help to Hey Bulldog to I am the Walrus. The lyrics he wrote were more than sappy little love songs whether they described the daily, dreary loneliness of the everyday person on the streets such as found in Good Morning, Good Morning, or the reminiscing of old haunts from In My Life.

Whenever a new song or album or book or interview came out, I was quick to latch onto it in order to see what Lennon had to say. I continued to do so even after he was gunned down outside the Dakota Hotel nearly four decades ago.

This October 9th, John Lennon would have turned seventy-eight years old. So strange considering the man helped ignite a transformation which continues to this very day in how youth see and feel about the culture around them.

The song for which he is most noted for following the break-up of the Beatles in April of 1970, is the song Imagine. Full of fervent political messages, it was released in the fall of 1971. It was well received by the general public, reaching the number three spot on Billboard Magazine’s top 100. Although it would have remained favorably regarded throughout the ages, the status of the song changed dramatically when Mark David Chapman assumed a military stance and emptied his Charter Arms .38 caliber pistol into the man known to the world as the smart Beatle.

Throughout the years the song has continued to rankle religious communities and people of faith when Lennon asked us to “Imagine there’s no heaven…no hell below us”.

Of course there was more. “Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.” Ironic when at the time of his death, his net worth was $800 million dollars. Even more remarkable considering that during his time with the Beatles he had voiced his discontent with the socialistic British tax system. And what perhaps best mirrored his harsh nature was the fact that he had excluded his first wife and son from his will.

In a recent article published in The Daily Mail, it said of John Lennon, “Even his most admiring biographers struggle to justify his cruel streak, his eagerness to sneer at anybody different, his mockery of Jews and homosexuals, his weird obsession with dwarves and deformities”. Which demands an answer of us, what of the perfect world when it’s filled with imperfect people?

But wait, there’s more, “Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill and die for, and no religion too.” For someone who loves and believes in the ideals of this American experiment, such as millions of patriotic Americans do, it’s not so hard to “imagine” that this must be the favorite lyric of such progressive notables as George Soros, California’s Attorney General Xavier Baccera, or New York’s Socialist poster girl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Lennon’s “no countries” has evolved into our current open-borders issue.

Sorry John, but not having borders or countries does not stop people from forming criminal classes. It does not make the country where undesirables freely enter any safer. Not when criminal gangs such as MS-13 brutally murders innocents, or prevent illegal border jumpers from killing and raping college coeds, then abandoning their bodies in cornfields. It drains law-abiding citizens of their resources, and places those who the corrupt use as shields at risk.

“You may say I’m a dreamer” Lennon tells us, “But I’m not the only one”

But dreaming is easy, reality isn’t.

But like many of his progressive, celebrity counterparts, it’s easy to retreat into your well-to-do estates, or fly off in private plane while lecturing the rest of us as to what we should accept, how we should live or why we should feel guilty.

But sorry John, our faith remains important. We like to see and experience the results of our hard work. And we want our borders protected.

We love our country and that’s why we voted for the person who currently sits in the Oval Office.

I will continue to listen to John Lennon songs. But Imagine is not my anthem.