SODOM & GOMORRAH: There is a dark rumor that John Lennon was a closet Republican late in life. We can be sure he would vehemently deny this were he alive; after all, being called a Republican is a terrible thing.
After perusing this article out of curiosity, this author was struck not so much by John Lennon’s secret Republicanism but Mr. Demar’s secret Socialism.
First, Mr. Demar, albeit sarcastically, agrees with the atheistic opposition to dogma. This is a regular occurrance with those who attempt to oppose socialism – first they recognize the socialistic argument, then they prove that the socialists are hypocrites, and finally they attempt to show that this hypocrisy means that the argument ignores a certain critical truth. Yet Mr. Demar and so many others skip that final step and become hypocrites themselves. The traditional Right is very much in favor of dogma, if by dogma we mean the accepted dictionary definition of a system of principles or tenets of a church, or something laid down by a church. Any Catholic will find themselves accepting a great deal of dogma from the Church; any Protestant will find themselves accepting the tenets of the Bible (or more usually their particular church) as a dogma. Since the writings of John Stuart Mill, dogma has been a swear word for a blind faith in something, which can only be rectified by a reasoned examination through human intellect. This naturally creates a condition of a dogmatic belief in human reason. The point here is not that John Stuart Mill, the socialists, and Mr. Demar are hypocrites, but that dogma is unavoidable. We will always accept systems of tenets from authorities; the real questions are which systems do we believe, what makes that particular system more legitimate than the others?
Second, Mr. Demar takes John Lennon’s alleged late-life “religion” as a genuine spiritual sentiment. Now we certainly are in no position to judge another person’s heart; we can only decide what constitutes a spiritual sentiment in the abstract. To believe (not necessarily to say, since what one says is not always what one believes) that there is some mystical “higher power” that orders the universe but to 1) Not figure out what it is, 2) Not try to find out what it expects from you, if anything and 3) Not act on its dogma essentially deprives it of any relevance. If a person does not do anything with the glimpse of knowledge that they have, that knowledge is not good for much.
Mr. Demar accepts this proclamation of wishy-washy mysticism as “theism”, which is essentially agnosticism. The Bible directs us to the passage about the Athenians’ worship of the “Unknown God” and how this is an incomplete faith.
Third, Mr. Demar takes all of this – John Lennon’s mysticism, his half-hearted rejection of the evolution from monkeys (though fish are apparently still on the table) and his alleged secret conversion as a genuine, material change. He says that Lennon “grew up” and that atheism and socialism are dead ends, their followers will have to do the same. His crowning achievement in this argument is Lennon’s estate. John Lennon had money. He had millions, but professed to want to abolish all money. His social position, the implication stands, contributed to his change of heart. His “early flirtation with the theory of socialism was naive.” Why? Because he lived well and had money; this eventually colored his outlook. In other words, John Lennon’s conversion was done for purely materialistic reasons. This was Karl Marx’s argument all those years ago: your outlook is determined by your class.