The Grandchildren of Imagine – A Blast From The Past Post From August 2014

*Forgive me for being so late and doing a BFP — I’ve been having a recurring and weird problem that is probably the next step in my body’s attempt to kill me, or that might “just” be the result of my idiotically becoming dehydrated by forgetting to drink water — anyway, it took most of yesterday’s afternoon/evening.  And I woke up really late today.*

The Grandchildren of Imagine – A Blast From The Past Post From August 2014

The other day here, someone brought up “Imagine” under if everything we think we know is wrong, then…

Imagine is one of the songs which gets me talking to the supermarket loudspeakers, and not in a good way. If I’m alone in a section I might go so far as to give the speakers the double middle finger. (The others are mostly Phil Collins.)

The problem with Imagine is not that it’s lousy, kitchy, superficial art (it is) or that I tend to like songs that have a bubbly meaning on top and more layered meanings underneath (“I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell. I know, right now you can’t tell, but stick around and soon enough you’ll see another part of me.”) I also like plenty of songs that are objectively tempests of sound and percussion signifying nothing.

No. What really gets me going about Imagine is that its pretty, shiny bobbles of concepts are infantile, wrong AND pernicious. And also that it is largely the same concepts I was raised with (not by my parents, but my brother, his friends, the schools, the popular entertainment, etc.)

Take for instance that “Imagine there’s no religion…. Nothing to live or die for, a brotherhood of man.”


Where to start?


Imagine there is no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today

He is of course, fluffy and confused, and then the next verse is about nations and we have:

Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

That sort of refers to nations, but bringing religion in, gets us the idea people kill for religion.

Most people start on the Evangelical Christians get boiled out of shape by that verse – which was probably Lennon’s intent – but let’s, do, examine why eliminating religion is such a good thing “Nothing to kill or die for”. Uh…. Really?

Yeah, okay, we had “Wars of religion” that lasted for centuries. But to be fair, most of the wars of religion only got that way because the cause was co-opted by various princes, kings and countries. And I’m not even going to go into the Crusades as war of retaliation, or the West learning that the only way to stop a religion that promotes itself by cutting off heads is to have a religion that cuts off heads, which made the reformation a kettle of fun as the state seized control of the whole thing as a means to enrich itself.

Let’s go instead into the post-religious world. Whether they dressed it in religious shibboleths or not, WWI was not religious. WWII was not religious. The cold war’s “little” flareups, the millions of people who died in the camps, etc, none of it was in the name of G-d, but in the name of the state.

So for someone in the seventies (?) to be crooning about the brotherhood of man that would ensue once no one had religion is not just appallingly shallow, bordering on stupid, it’s also a crazy denial of facts that were already in evidence.

Turns out, humans being tribal, what ensues if you remove religion is not a brotherhood of man, but tribalism for other reasons. And once the higher objectives of religion and the idea that we’re all created by the same G-d and therefore brothers and sisters are removed, what ensues is not a great family, but – as in those countries for whom atheism was a state religion –humans as utilitarian work machines, humans as fertilizer, and humans as food (during the engineered famines. Look up Holodomor. It dare you.)

So, you say, no nations.

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


We’ll leave aside the fact that it can or cannot be achieved. It’s not something that has been achieved in… ever. Yes, I know some fluffy libertarians think that the nomadic tribes that roamed around without established location were “equalitarian” and had no kings and no concept of nation. This only ignores the evidence of all grave goods and the experience of anyone who’s lived in a large family.

Never mind. Let’s establish that there were no Nation States. Is this by any chance a sign there was peace? Well, no. See again under “humans are tribal.” The graves we discover from that time do not speak of peace. No matter what you heard about the nomadic past of the US, the Amerindians weren’t children of nature, living in peace. In fact, anyone who has raised kids knows better. Humans not only are tribal. Humans have a will to power, a will to either be admired or admire, to either control or be controlled. Humans seek it. We’re Odds and goats and a little different, but still. You can’t even say that in their vision humans would have to be sheep, because sheep fight intruders, too.

That impulse can be controlled but not eliminated.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

Do I have to dissect this piece of crap? It’s not even wishful thinking, it’s irrational babbling. You’d think a grown man, no matter how many interesting substances he was snorting, injecting and smoking, would have realized possessions are not the only thing people strive for. For a lot of people, power over others seems to be the driving motive.

But let’s leave that aside. HOW do you enforce the “no possessions?” Humans like things, and humans will take and hold things they like – pretty baubles, interesting stones. Humans will make things too and those they are even more attached to. “You didn’t build that” is the cry of someone who has never built anything and is jealous. Oh, yeah, jealousy. Another thing that precludes “universal peace.”

To have your state with no possessions you need to have someone making sure no one else has possessions, and that person, of course, will have possessions, because human (and we’ve seen this pattern over and over in human history.)

But beyond that, who is going to enforce “no possessions” if there are no nations.

Don’t answer. I know the nightmare answer to this. I once read a document from the Weather Underground on how they’d organize the US after taking over. It was all “soviets.” You’d belong to a soviet for each of your characteristics. Take me, for instance, I’d be in a soviet as wife, one as mother, one as Latin, one as woman, one as writer, one as…

These soviets would have representation, but not the individuals, who were supposed to help the soviet come to positions through “struggle sessions.” Those of you who have read about the Cultural Revolution are shuddering right now, and if you haven’t, do. I suggest the first hand accounts of people who escaped it.

So, none of these concepts or their children-concepts (“No patriarchy” and “PIV is rape” and a million other insane ideas that proceed from believing that religion – something that has been with man since we didn’t quite have language – is just a plot of “priests” and can easily be discarded; that nations and nation states can be abolished without just as pernicious entities appearing in their stead; that possessions are things you can just say you’re done with, and also that these three things are the only cause of violence) are so stupid that a blind child can see their asinine idiocy.

BUT and here’s the important thing, they were embraced and promulgated by the intelligentsia: those controlling your entertainment, your communications, your education. (We won’t point out their semblance to soviet propaganda probably caused that.)

It is assumed in most things that these three principles and everything that comes from them is “right” and that we deviate from them at the risk of “sin” (Not sin, sin, since we’re not supposed to believe in religion, but a secular sin that leads everyone to point and call us stupid.)

These ideas amount to a wholesale discarding of western civilization and of everything that’s been believed and written about how to integrate human nature with civilization without destroying either.

And we are up to three generations raised since these became not just fringe (they have been there since there’s been humans writing, and yep, mostly they’ve been fringe) but the core and center of our education in civics.

We’re now up to the grandchildren of Imagine, people so far gone that the precepts of their grandfathers are these nonsense assumptions; assumptions not only unproven, but proven wrong and impossible at least in this world we live in.

John C. Wright wrote a brilliant (natch) essay on the uglification of art. He approaches it from a … ah… theocentric perspective. (One of the reasons I admire John is that he doesn’t shy away from explaining how his belief works, even when this belief is obviously based on religion. He won’t be shamed by Imagine.) I’m a little different. While I am, as I’ve said, a woman of belief, the way I was raised requires I explain my beliefs and ground them without resort to my faith.

So, here’s my explanation for the uglyfication of all artistic pursuit. These are the children of Imagine. I’m not going to say that the SONG is to blame, understand (I must explain this for the wandering SJWs who read this) but rather the philosophy behind the song, a kitchy, irrational faith prevalent in progressive circles.

The belief in that nonsense and in the nonsense that derives from it makes people’s lives NATURALLY meaningless and horrible.

Look, if you’re going around believing you must eradicate possessions and religion and nations ALL the time, when these things are patently impossible, you’re going to be miserable. If you attribute every setback you suffer to “the patriarchy” or “the oligarchy” or whatever you’re blaming it on these days; if you attribute your dissatisfaction and hunger to the fact other people have more – that is the recipe for ending up in a private hell of envy and resentment.

And this explains the tone, the purges, the sheer anger you encounter in progressive cycles. They can’t enjoy their lives or build anything until oh, possessions are eliminated, and there’s “a brotherhood of man” and every step taken towards that seems to have the opposite result.

Take, for instance “I’ll try everything once.” Or “I will not obey my husband” both precepts promulgated by this sort of hatred for the past of Western civilization. If you live by them, you’re going to end up broken and miserable. (Translation for the SJWs who read this blog: No, dears, I don’t mean that you should always obey your husband. He’s human too. (Well, yours. Mine is a living god. Yes, I AM joking.) I mean that sometimes there are reasons to take his opinion over those of your best friend, your hairdresser or the cashier at the grocery store. More reason probably. After all, you married him. But the women liberated across to your “prescription” refuse to take the opinion or advice of any man, because patriarchy. Which is why they end up miserable.)

Most of the SJWs I know are miserable. At best they hold on to the trappings of “normalcy” by pretending REALLY hard. But they feel either guilty or failures or ineffective, because they’re not living up to their ideals.

Hence their stories, where everyone is miserable, and all of life is pointless, and their works of “art” where every shred of beauty must be eliminated.

They think they’re holding up a mirror to the world and showing that everyone is really, really broken and those evil people who pretend to be happy are really the worst (this is why “hypocrite” is the worst insult in the SJW vocabulary.)

They don’t realize in the end they are just holding the mirror to their own lives, and that those of us who are, in fact, happy and fulfilled, and who are in fact in the majority, just ignore them more and more, until their screams of rage occur only in their own little echo chamber.

Now, is that work complete? Not yet. They still have the education, and other bully pulpits and they’re still twisting the young into non-functionality.

Which is why we have a lot of work to do. Three generations of stupid pap are enough.

Teach your children well. Read, write. Enjoy. Rebuild the foundations of society that they’ve been chipping at for generations.

Living well and living on are the best revenge.





180 thoughts on “The Grandchildren of Imagine – A Blast From The Past Post From August 2014

  1. *frowns* Living god? I thought Kate says he’s an undercover archangel . . . Oh, well, any excuse to reread the Con books!

      1. I can tolerate “Land of Confusion” as a relic of the 1970s mindset and a teaching tool. “Another Day in Paradise” gets me doing single-finger salutes to the radio.

        1. That song makes me think that Phil hasn’t actually dealt with any homeless other than in carefully planned photo ops reminiscent of the Robin Hood scene in “Timebandits”.

  2. I’ve heard he was of the opinion his song was tripe in his advanced years, but we’ll never know, unless someone comes up with a valid recording of him admitting that, and his worshippers are invested in that never coming out.

    1. Apparently he was a contributor to the IRA. Not exactly an organization of the opinion that there ought to be “no countries…nothing to kill or die for.”

    2. I don’t know that he ever specifically denounced “Imagine,” but Lennon in the last few months of his life (he was in the midst of a comeback at the time and was doing a lot of interviews) did go out of his way to denounce his early 70’s leftwing activism; and he was by that time espousing some views that are surprisingly conservative given his reputation (Sample: “People don’t like to hear this, but the main reason the Beatles were so successful is because we worked harder than everybody else.”) He intimated that much of the reason for his previous “activism” was that he was being guilt-tripped about his Beatle wealth by the lefty hippies (aka jealous people) around him, and that he was well and done with such people (“I opened a record store and people bought the records at a fair market price”). It’s intriguing to speculate where that arc might have taken him had he not been killed.

      1. About six years ago there was a spate of articles on the topic of Lennon being a Reagan supporter, prompted, as I recall it, by a new documentary featuring his former assistant asserting as much. It doesn’t much matter, as it is all in the (distant) rear view mirror and, really, what authority did he have that anybody ought alter their view because of his opinion? As Alice Cooper has noted, you’d have to be nuts to take political advice from a pop star – their lives are completely out of touch with anything resembling normal.

        Put “did john lennon support reagan” into your search engine of preference and you can evaluate it for yourself.

        1. Followed your advice and followed the links. What was most amusing was how hotly the leftwing sites like Salon denounced the very idea that a cow as sacred as John Lennon would ever be an apostate. (Their evidence? He and Yoko wrote a statement in support of workers on strike at the place where they made Kikkoman soy sauce. Sounds more Yoko than John, amirite?) You’re right, no one is going to (or at least shouldn’t) base their opinions on his; but it’s interesting to consider that there’s strong evidence that he wasn’t the Johnny-one-note Bolshie of the left’s fantasies (Bob Dylan got flat-out abuse from some of the same people for his apostasies along these lines).

  3. I have called “Imagine” a nihilistic piece of crap. “Nothing to live or die for” has always been the line that trips me up. If you have nothing to live for, you have no reason to live. The rest of the verses just grate on my nerves as well for the exact same reason.

      1. Which really isn’t any better. How shallow and shallow and meaningless must one’s life be to feel that it’s not worth defending or that there’s nothing worth laying down one’s life to protect?

        1. And, on the “Nothing to kill or die for” front, there’s John Stuart Mill:
          War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

          That’s one of the required memorizations I still remember.

      2. On April 29, 1945, the US Seventh Army rolled into Dachau.

        After they got a good look, I figure they knew what they were killing and dying for.

    1. Well, nihilistic, but perhaps for another reason. Is there any reason to think Lennon or any of the other Beatles believed it? That’s not just cynicism. The Beatles were a different band before running into their famed manager. He gave them a more refined, more mainstream, image, and the rest is music history.

      One of the things you can hear in their songs is how they experimented with other bands’ sounds. I’m trying to think of the one that sounds very similar to The Rolling Stones. I suspect it wasn’t so much for the same of art as it was with an idea of seeing what people liked the most. I really would not be surprised if Imagine was a song written to appeal to what they thought were their core listeners at that point in time.

      That would make the saddest part those who took it as something profound. Odds are the same ones would have said Johnathan Livingston Seagull changed their lives.

        1. I vaguely recall that being read to the class in Jr. High in the early 1980’s. I’ve mostly forgotten it which might be for the best. The playing of the Auntie Mame movie (which I’d seen before) while it had a slow start and build, at least had a good ending payoff.

        2. It had enough buzz that I read it. Did it in one evening IIRC. Went “Eh.” The amusing thing was more than a few thought it was profound, maybe the most profound thing they ever read. In hindsight that said much about what they’d been reading, but at the time it was taken as a different indicator.

        3. I had forgotten Jonathon Livingston Seagull. At one point I thought it quite profound. Of course I was only 11 at the time… I also thought the song “One Tin Soldier” by The Caste was quite profound too and knew all the words. Useful (alright maybe not) for wowing the 11 year old girls which were starting then to be interesting :-).

          1. Concur.
            And I found some pieces of JLS profound. But it turned out all the parts that were profound weren’t original. And that plenty of bits that sounded profound turned out not to be so, at all.

      1. In regards to the later Beatles work, it’s not so much that they were trying to copy, but they were in a rare position that they could do anything they wanted musically. Pretty much all the big, successful bands were trying different styles at the time, because their audience was pretty much established.
        Even the Stones were musically all over the place- witness the “Let It Bleed” album.

        1. By that point the Beatles were no longer a working band, in that they couldn’t tour because audiences screamed so loudly that the available stadium sound systems couldn’t make the band audible. That kind of isolation from an audience is unhelpful. Taking your direction from the professional music critics is even more unhelpful.

          1. They kind of hit that point that TV Tropes calls “Protection from Editors”.
            It’s not that they didn’t have any good songs- the opposite in fact*.
            It’s just that they released pretty much everything, good or not**.

            *”Revolution”, “A Day in the Life”, “Something”, “Hey Bulldog”, “Strawberry Fields”, and “I Am the Walrus”, ect
            **”Revolution #9″ as the crowning example

  4. Dear Sarah’s Body:

    Stop trying to kill the Sarah. We like her and if she goes… you know, so do you.

    Dear Sarah: Keep the water up. If the fuel runs low, the fire can be rekindled. If the water runs low, the boiler can blow.

    Dear RES: I don’t know what reply or pun you’ll have, but I fully expect. Try the carp.

    Dear Orvan: This is a Martinez cocktail. Sip, don’t gulp.

    1. Yeah. Recently when I said that I wanted to read a blog post about how she spent time resting? This is kind of the opposite.

    1. Makes me think of ‘The Free and Equal Blues’ (which despite the title, is FOR freedom and equality [of opportunity, I presume, given the era of the recording]).

  5. It does rather depend on the religion. The brotherhood of Man we get from the Jews, and with extra emphasis, I really mean it now. From the Christians. I’d welcome correction, but as far as I know, while most religions have some or most of the Natural Law (or what C.S. Lewis called the Tao) you’re only going to build, by extrapolation, a society whose tribalism includes universal human dignity, if it’s got Judaism or Christianity in there somewhere.

    In other words, I can Imagine a world without either Mohammadism or Marxism being a darn fine place for everyone (and especially for Muslims) to live in.

  6. I’ll just say that I don’t see a real problem with atheism/agnosticism/whatever *itself*. If it is used as excuse that “I can get away with it, so I can do it” that’s a problem – but one can reason (if one bothers to) why the Golden Rule is a Good Idea without any need of a deity. It is possible to do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do, without having someone (whether that someone is confirmed or not) looking .

    A state-enforced atheism or such, though, is an evil. Believe whatever you like. Just don’t force it on others. If you must force, you’ve proven your belief (whatever it is) inferior to whatever it is trying to displace.

  7. Imagine there’s no moronic songwriters
    Dumbing us all down
    Decrying all rights of property
    While collecting royalties for his song

    1. Imagine all musicians
      Writing decent tunes, ahey-hey

      You may think I’m a dreamer
      But I’m not the only one
      I’d close with a hopeful image
      But though-I still-remain-optimistic-I-can’t-explain-in-a-single-cleanly-scanning-lyric-the-need-to-maintain-both-uplifting-aspiration-and-realistic-awareness-of-permanently-flawed-human-nature-so-I-guess… this song is done.

    2. Lennon was consistently in an altered mental state at that point, as were the rest of the Beatles (even though it’s a purely Lennon song). And then there was Yoko, A man can only handle so much.

  8. There you go again, stretching my poor brain all out of shape. Holodomor, eh? I thought that the 1930’s Soviet Famine was just an illustration of the errors of central planning and the failure of socialism. Now you burst my bubble and it turns out to be deliberate, and with malice aforethought genocide.

    I have your blog under a Favorites category called appropriately, Education.

    “Teach Your Children” by Crosby Stills and Nash bothers me. On the one hand, it can be taken as an exhortation toward Progressivism; on the other hand, it could be taken as a warning to parents to teach them enduring social values; while on the gripping hand, it can be a warning to parents that they will be subjected to indoctrination by their own children. Like I said, it bothers me.

    1. Teach Your Children. Ah, yes. That supplied the tune for Teach Your Parents, the campaign song of Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro.

      That pretty well says it all, doesn’t it.

  9. As a side note, these lines:

    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    are a surefire way to ensure civilizational collapse. Because let’s be real here: the only people who really “live for today” and give no thought to the future are strung-out addicts of various kinds, stupid criminals, and foolish vagrants.

    1. To me those are some of the most frightening lyrics in any song. I’ve got a good imagination and yeah…scary stuff.

    2. #defineirony: People humming “Imagine all the people/living for today” will then turn around and lecture you on Anthropogenic Global Warming/Cimate Change/Climate Disruption/*Insert Current Buzzwords* and the need to think of the planet’s future.

  10. I have two things to say:

    First, you’re strongly reminding me of something my wife said about how the SJW crowd are basically making themselves miserable with envy, and that they are their own worst punishment. (And, as Christians who are commanded to love our enemies, we should feel sorry for them rather than hate them — at the same time as we try to oppose the evil effects they’re having on society, of course. You can work against someone without hating them.) Smart woman; I knew there was a reason I married her! 😀

    Second, the paragraph about these nonsense ideas being pushed by the Leftist crowd (like the “all PIV is rape” idiocy) reminded me rather strongly of this G.K. Chesterton short story, turned into rather a fun one-scene play here:

    Apologies for the video quality, but that was the best version I could find on Youtube. Fullscreen it and it should be watchable enough, but it might be a bit hard to watch in an embedded-into-Wordpress window.

    1. You can work against someone without hating them.
      But, then again, love for the multitudes might mean you need to kneecap a few individuals.

  11. I agree with Mrs Hoyt that lyrics to Imagine make me feel like a mosquito at a nudist colony – I just don’t know where to start.

    It is humans who are sub-optimal, not religion.

    Violent religious leaders believe in Hell, or afterlife, which kept their violence constrained somewhat while atheist communist leaders believed a few eggs had to be cracked to make omelet and proceeded to kill millions.

    1. like a mosquito at a nudist colony – I just don’t know where to start

      Props en passant for that simile, which is both hysterical and brilliant.

    1. Yesterday is a pretty good song. When we played it, we were told to imagine a boy taking his girl to the prom only for her to leave with his rival.

      OTOH, there is a parody called Vasectomy. It keeps the line “I’m not half the man I used to be.”

      1. OTOH, there is a parody called Vasectomy. It keeps the line “I’m not half the man I used to be.”

        …I thought it was titled: “Leprosy.”

        o/~All my limbs are falling off of me/I’m not half the man I used to be/Since I contracted Leprosy!o/~

        (Or something like that. I think I heard it in grade school or around that time.)

  12. The song is about a “nice idea”. Hey, who wouldn’t want peace? Peace is a nice idea. Unfortunately, it is also a pie-in-the-sky-impossible idea. Hey, who wouldn’t want to end world hunger? Greed? Strife? Murder? Rape? The heartbreak of psoriasis? Sure! Get rid of all those things! What a nice idea! Of course, all that is impossible too.

    The song does suggest some dumb ideas about how to get this to all come about (no religion etc.) They just reflect John Lennon’s personal prejudices. I’m pretty sure if anyone ever really did come up with a way to truly attain world peace, it would be obvious to everyone that it would work. Unfortunately, the ONLY way I’ve come up with is to kill EVERYONE! Bingo! World Peace! You’re Welcome! Yea, admittedly not a WORKABLE solution, but you have to admit it really WOULD bring about World Peace.

    1. That’s the defense I’ve usually heard of the song: “It’s a nice idea. No, it’s not realistic, but that’s the whole point that we need to ‘imagine’ such a thing.” However, I don’t think it’s a nice idea. Okay, no greed or hunger might be nice, living in peace, great, but that’s two lines out of the song. The rest of it is pretty much horrible. No heaven or religion: everyone you’ve loved who’s gone is just gone (apologies to any atheists here, but I don’t think that’s an ideal). Nothing to die for, which as others have pointed out, pretty much means nothing worth living for either. All the people living for today: the selfish lives of children who have no ability to plan ahead, and no desire to either prepare for future generations or take care of the treasures of the past. And to put the cherry on the top, no countries, which means no borders to flee across if you find the imagine-topia an oppressive nightmare.

      It seems like a nice idea if you just listen to the piano music and vaguely catch a few lyrics about peace, love, and brotherhood. Listen at all to the verses, and it’s the inspiration for a Brave New World style distopia.

      1. However, I don’t think it’s a nice idea.

        Here, try this lotus blossom tea, or smoke some of this weed. That’ll help put you in the mind set to appreciate the world imagined.

    2. Well, honestly, you only need to kill the problematic people. The ones who will simply do what you say… they can hang around to make you sammiches and bring you beers.

      (Yes, the only lasting peace is the peace of the grave – or slavery.)

    3. Hey, who wouldn’t want peace?

      Whenever I imagine world peace I can never decide if the lunar surface or the Antarctic landscape best represents the concept. Then I get into an argument with myself that usually results in my going off in a sulking snit and not talking to myself for several days.

      So no thanks, I do not care to imagine world peace.

      The only peace that interests me is peace from holier-than-thou scolds and their stupid bumper-sticker ideas constantly nattering at me.

            1. I’ll take the spicy chicken (Note: one of the real uses of low end lager is as a quench). You can bloody have the peas. IMO there is sound reason reason that Mr. Yuck is a pea with a face.

  13. “Imagine no possessions” – So we’re all supposed to be standing around in the desert stark naked and starve to death? As soon as someone picks up a rock or a stick, he has a “possession” and can do something with it whether use it as a weapon, build a shelter or start a fire. Once people realized anything had a use, humans became “possessive” because they wanted to survive. Heck, even our hands become those weapons or tools. And, unless you have been trained to be completely helpless (SJWs) as soon as somebody did stick us out in the desert like that, we’d be doing out best to find and create the best methods of survival we could because we’re human.

    1. Well, it’s not so much that there aren’t any things as that no one really owns them. So, that rock or stick is community property. Because we all learned to share in kindergarten, right?

      Because that’s all the further thought put into it: “We all learned to share in kindergarten, right?”

      Sit and ponder the constraints on that concept that are built into our cultural assumptions, that we learned without them being expressed clearly, or that came from other learned bits. “Share” is a lot more complicated than what we were told in kindergarten.

        1. TRX given your possession hierarchy I believe you to be a member of Felis Silvestris v.cattus. No one knows you’re a cat on the Internet unless you give yourself away like that.

      1. We all learned to share in kindergarten, right?

        The Experimental Model is too young to understand the lesson yet, but I’m trying to be consistent in teaching it nonetheless: What he’s playing with will be protected against some other kid taking it away—and what the other kid is playing with will be protected against him taking it.

      2. “We all learned to share in kindergarten, right?”

        I learned that if I lent out my carefully-tended art supplies, they came back damaged or destroyed. And that’s at the high school level.

        One girl had the temerity to tell me that the much-chewed cap was “like that when she got it.” I don’t chew on pen caps. It doesn’t bother me that other people do. But don’t chew on mine and then tell me you didn’t.

        Someone actually told me I was selfish for not lending out my things. I gave her a level look and told her I was under no obligation. (The fact that I was known to be in a lower economic bracket than most of the girls at my private school probably didn’t hurt.)

    2. Imagine no possessions

      Not even self-possession? I don’t need to imagine it, it is in my face daily, demanding I pretend it is a serious statement.

    3. And if you’ve put work, your effort not some imagine community effort, into it, then it has greater value to you and you are not apt to willingly part with it without compensation that you consider at least equal to that (or a repeat of that) effort.

      Any random rock or stick? Big deal. The better rock for throwing or more balanced, easier on the hand stick.. hey now. The napped rock bound to the stick for a spear or such? Pointy end first.

      And if someone does manage to build a possession-less society (that doesn’t get immediately destroyed by another or lions,tigers, bears, enraged emus, the vicious land-carp, or a slime mold..) they better be satisfied with pretty much nothing – how do they convince each other to do anything of complexity? These folks will not be going to the moon. Not by their effort or choice, anyway.

  14. So it’s not just me. Even though I enjoy INFREQUENT renderings of
    Imagine I’ve always considered it insipid drivel. I tend to avoid
    picking pointless fights, a world with or without Imagine would be
    exactly the freaking same, so just to get along, I grin and bear Imagine
    while telling myself that Heinlein was right; a large number of
    people are candidates for protective restraint.

  15. I just take the word “imagine” to mean “I know it’s just a fantasy in my mind and completely unrealistic” and go put on some Beatles, usually early stuff.

  16. IMAGINE is philosophically sophomoric, lyrically juvinile, and musically trite. It is the Progressive Left’s version of the soppy, sentimental, intellectually indefensible twaddle that was popular with the Victorians and which, mercifully, we have mostly forgotten.

  17. Recently, this past week, I heard “Imagine” re-played for about the 9-millionth time on the car radio and came to what seems very much the same place, if from a rather different direction… and while the night journey through darkness recounted here isn’t short it might yet be worthwhile.

    Why is John Lennon’s “imagine” like Victoria Roth’s “Divergent” (series)?
    Because they are both dystopias that were supposed to be utopias, that started out in their creators’ minds as such (though at least Roth quickly realized it). And his, even more than hers, operates by ripping out some of the deepest foundations of any typical, human society,

    No religion? Presumably people are allowed (or are to allow themselves) *some* kind or other of spirituality — only never an organized or shared one, no “community of faith” as the Christians call it (or Buddhism, just to name one more, has its Sangha). No traditions, no lineage (as, again, the Buddhists call it), no schools, maybe no Books; just re-invent the wheel over and over, cheers!
    Or to quote “Wind River” (again), this isn’t the Land of Backup, this is the Land of You’re On Your Own — up to whatever deity or deities you can recruit on an ad-hoc basis of course.

    No country(ies)? This has to start with meaning no nation-states, but to me it sounds very like a much deeper forbidding. No collective, national identity (arguably the Usaians still have that, even without the corresponding nation-state). This would even seem to include where national and ethnic identities have (sort-of at least) fused, for example in places as far apart as Japan and Hungary. Saying “I’m Irish” as a native-born American citizen, who might not even speak Irish (beyond “Erin go bragh!” and the like) and who’s never been on that side of the Atlantic, might well be too much, too contrary to “a brotherhood of man.” Want to remain Navajo or Cherokee? Uh, No.

    No possessions? This isn’t just the programme of left-anarchism or anarcho-communism (see “The Disposessed” vs. “Alongside NIght”), the “other” libertarianism few talk about (because it’s so hard to, ah, *imagine* how it could actually work?). It quite *literally* means there’s *nothing* at all in this world you can call your own, ever, cradle to grave — maybe not even your own body.
    I find myself unable to do much more than stand mute before the enormity of *that* one.

    After literally decades of hearing this same song over and over, I finally got somewhere close to the heart of what (to me) its own words *say* it means; and above all, it’s nothing. Nihil.
    A spiritual, cultural, social, philosophical vacuum, filled with only with fuzzy platitudes from “the Sixties” (which as stated lasted well into the 70s), rosy as Lennon’s trademark glasses. A “vast wasteland” in our real world, not behind the TV screen. A nihilism like a universe without stars.

    Human nature abhors a vacuum too, of course. And if we ever did manage to create, however briefly, anything like that, I’m sure it would be quickly filled with — something. Maybe only more Communist “malware of the soul” (best short functional description *I’ve* ever heard), with its multiple examples of deaths, megadeaths, and starving breadbaskets like then-Soviet Georgia and Mugabe’s Rhodesia. But maybe such a huge, Ginnunga-gap-sized hole might call forth a Big Bad (with due apologies for lapsing into Buffy-speak) un-Imagine-ably bigger and badder still.

    I keep getting a picture of decades of happily-chanting cultists (hopefully only Monster Hunter International ones and not Truly Cthulhy ones) repeating words they don’t really understand but hope will bring along Something Good ((shudder)), from the deepest heart of empty darkness. Good enough to make Marx and Mao into pikers.
    [Paging Mrs. Hoyt, paging Mr. Correia..?]
    But also I have a better idea.
    Imagine no Imagine, it’s easy if you try…

    1. Any lingering positive thoughts I might have had about certain aspects of the French and German Enlightenment, Communism in general, and Chinese Communism in particular died when I realized that harvesting organs or selling the bodies of prisoners to be used in anatomical displays elsewhere were the logical results of the idea that the State is above all else, and that the State decided what is best for itself, not for any individual. *shudder*

      1. the State decided what is best for itself

        So, you’ve seen the reports of the arguments over Texas’ “Futile Care” law which empowers the physician and hospital (not the patient or family) to determine when continued palliative (i.e., not futile) care is contra-indicated.

        And you’ve been able to extrapolate what that would mean in a state monopoly health system.

        Smartest thing I heard in the Hillarycare debate was some guy on NPR observing “The least expensive course of treatment is almost always termination.”

        1. Imagine me overseeing the national substance abuse treatment protocol. Now go watch something light, fluffy, and heartwarming, like Iron Blood Orphans.

        2. No, I wasn’t aware; I noticed I always got asked if I had one whenever I went to the hospital, but figured it was pretty normal since the Schiavo case. Fortunately, Em and I both do.

          1. if you mean living wills, we got asked that well before the Schiavo case. They’re dangerous, because if the hospital knows you have one, but can’t get to it (has happened) they assume it’s “no extraordinary measures.” I don’t have one. I have next of kin who speak for me.

        1. Lucifer means light-bringer

          I thought that simply meant he was the bloke to look for when you’re at a do and need to smoke a fag but your flint’s gone duff.

        2. Either that was deliberately labeling as the opposite of what he is (similar to calling the current crop of fascists, Antifa); or someone had been falsely smeared by the old Christian hierarchy, perhaps as a means of decreasing Luciferian influences?

          1. The tradition is that he was the chief of the angels, basically God’s second-in-command, before he rebelled. So the name Lucifer, “light-bringer”, is supposed to be what his name was before he rebelled and was thrown out of heaven.

        3. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. A lot of the enlightenment (like our constitution) is good. It’s just where it gets tangled with the romanticism. BTW the idiots in the “Dark enlightenment” are ALL romantics. Like Jean Jacques Rosseau with an alt-white spin.

            1. Reversing all of the enlightenment. Absolute monarchy; serfs and slavery; some races are better than others at everything and we can tell by skin tone etc. etc. ad very literally nauseum.

                1. They apparently take the truth that the soviet/socialist/communist/marxist model is falsehood from the foundation to roof, and pervert that truth into falsehood.

          1. That’s why I always specify the French and German Enlightenment. Those two (Germans took French ideas and added some of their own Statist dreams to them) had elements that lurched the fastest toward Really Baaaaad Idea. The Scottish Enlightenment gave us Adam Smith and Co. There’s good in with the bad, but take Rousseau (please!)…

    2. I found a decent entry on evolutionary origin of religions in Wikipedia. I could remember reading several articles on it over the past decade but couldn’t remember the specific ones, and unfortunately didn’t copy them to file or print them out for the cabinet.

      “Psychologist Matt J. Rossano argues that religion emerged after morality and built upon morality by expanding the social scrutiny of individual behavior to include supernatural agents. By including ever-watchful ancestors, spirits and gods in the social realm, humans discovered an effective strategy for restraining selfishness and building more cooperative groups. The adaptive value of religion would have enhanced group survival. (my emphasis) Rossano is referring here to collective religious belief and the social sanction that institutionalized morality. According to Rossano’s teaching, individual religious belief is thus initially epistemological, not ethical, in nature.”

      So the social chaos we’re seeing over the past few years could be attributed to the destruction of organized/collective religious belief. Indeed, this over emphasis of the supposed “value” of diversity, and failure to assimilate immigrants into the American “standard” culture (based on our Judeo-Christian heritage), is actually aiding in the destruction of our society. And the grave faults of religious organizations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, to address and correct their institutional policies of covering up major abuses didn’t help them any.

      Some of this was objectively recognized by the Soviet Union, and perhaps their communist-Marxist predecessors. And we’ve seen historical documents that the Soviet Union deliberately sponsored people in the U.S. and the West to sow doubt and disaffection with organized religion and standard morality in order to help destroy our unity. There have been enough people who picked up their ball and continue to run with it to accelerate that process, even after the Soviet Union fell apart. You could argue that the destruction of what little religious continuity existed in the USSR helped that process of fragmentation. Talk about being hoist by their own petard! And we didn’t learn from their lesson.

      I can see why John Lennon wrote the song. Wishing for pie in the sky, and a chicken in every pot is fine for a starting point. But how many songs are there about actually going out there and working for them?

      1. Although I’m at odds with that theory of the origin of religions, it suffices to say the rest matches very closely what Benjamin Franklin observed in himself and others when he want full-blown Deist (with a capital “D”). He didn’t like what he saw. As far as it is known, he remained a deist the rest of his life (lower case “d”), but argued in favor of organized religion precisely on these grounds. He pretty much spelled it out in a letter to Thomas Paine after he published Age of Reason, He embraced this to the point that at first blush Franklin sounds like a Christian, yet he appears to have seen the value of religion purely as a positive effect on society.

      2. So the social chaos we’re seeing over the past few years could be attributed to the destruction of organized/collective religious belief.

        I think a fair bit of the credit can be assigned to the increase in single parent (generally the mother) households. Those of us who’ve raised kids know that two parents is barely sufficient, and more than two parents renders it nearly impossible to reach agreement on standards.

        While this might be attributable to diminished religious faith, the loss of faith may also be a result of one=parent households becoming normalized.

        Further, the liberalization (and not in a good way) of old-line clergy (We don’t believe in god but think ethics a generally nice thing, so we’ll strip away the silliness and keep only the sense) has further reduced the inclination to not sleep-in Sunday.

        1. Ah, but I can remember when the social standard was if you were a Christian, and especially a Catholic, you didn’t have sex before marriage, and you never separated or divorced. Not that people didn’t have sex out of marriage, or didn’t get divorced or separated, but it wasn’t acceptable. Tt was a religious standard being socially enforced in a civil environment.

          1. Aye, and look at what happens to any academic daring to publish such contemporary heresy. Just ask Professor Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

            1. Thank you. That was both interesting, and somewhat comforting that there are still some rational people in the halls of academia; even if they are under attack.

  18. Beg pardon:

    Let’s go instead into the post-religious world. Whether they dressed it in religious shibboleths or not, WWI was not religious. WWII was not religious. The cold war’s “little” flareups, the millions of people who died in the camps, etc, none of it was in the name of G-d, but in the name of the state.

    But they were religious wars. The religions were different sects of the secularist anti-religion of the Enlightenment, which attempted to maintain the “best” parts of Christian society and thought while rejecting its “superstitious” underpinnings. The Marxist version was officially and explicitly atheistic and sought to destroy all competition, while the Western version was less overtly hostile to Judaism and Christianity, but increasingly dismissive of them. However, just as anarchy is unstable and devolves to rule by the strongest and most ruthless, so atheism is unstable and devolves to the worship of man. This may be either in the amorphous form of “the state” or in the form of personality cults fostered by the various dictators, especially of the past century. These forms are by no means mutually exclusive.

      1. I’m not saying all wars. I’m referring principally to the great wars of the 20th century and many of the smaller conflicts of the Cold War.
        I distinguish these from the European wars of the reformation and dynastic succession, and the colonial wars of subjugation and conquest. Although these frequently did involve religion, they did so more traditionally.

          1. I would point to the attempt of the French Revolution to substitute Reason for Christianity as the basis of French society as an early example, but then Reason was a rather bloodthirsty goddess in the hands of the hands of the revolutionaries.

  19. And we can’t let one of the great ironies pass unmentioned- that “Imagine” was played over the end credits of “The Killing Fields”.
    Which makes one wonder- was the filmmaker commenting on the fact that the Khmer Rouge was attempting to put the song’s lyrics into practice, and that mass murder would be the end result?
    Or did they not really pay that much attention to the lyrics, and think it was a hymn for peace?

  20. Peace: the mythological condition in which nobody is trying to take anyone else’s stuff or boss anyone else around. Rumored to occur between violent conflicts until it was discovered that those intervals between violent conflicts usually were used for planning and preparation for the next one by the victors, and falsely believed to be the end of all conflict by the losers. Allegedly exists in a place called “Heaven.”

    1. Eternal peace is what happens when entropy wins for all time.

      See Flanders & Swann’s explanation of the (First and) Second Law of Thermodynamics:

      “Heat is work and work’s a curse
      And all the heat in the universe
      is gonna cool down
      because it can’t increase
      so there’ll be no more work
      and there’ll be perfect peace”

      Swann: Really?
      Flanders: Yeah, that’s entropy, man.

  21. And how to even make an irrational lyric melded with a pleasant melody into great art. If you don’t know the series, you don’t get the full impact of this scene, but it’s brilliant, and the young actress pulls it off. Donald Bellisario, I hate you for this!

  22. I pretty much don’t notice the grocery store music. Unless it’s a really bad cover of a good song.

    Back in the day, though, the wife asked me once why I was banging my head on the cart bar. “John… Denver… PLEASE make it stop!”

      1. And since most retail establishments shy away from playing religious Christian music like a vampire shies away from a church, that means that they don’t play any of the really good songs, because almost 100% of the really good songs are religious. (I might make an exception for a few of the non-religious ones, like Winter Wonderland or I’ll Be Home For Christmas — but then they get WAY overplayed because the selection of good-but-non-religious Christmas songs is so limited, and it’s easy to get sick of them).

        Show me a store that would actually play Handel’s Messiah over the PA system in December, and I’ll show you a store that would get ALL of my Christmas-shopping dollars.

        1. I meant “religious Christmas music”, of course. The phrase “religious Christian music” is… well, unfortunately it’s not quite as redundant as it should be given the current state of “Christian pop culture” (sigh).

        2. “Jingle Bells” is my particular nemesis. It isn’t objectively a bad song, but I got so sick of hearing it at every occasion where “we need a Christmas song that never mentions Christmas” was called for that the mere sound of the opening chords will drive me out of the room.

          1. We like to complain amongst ourselves about the fact that if they are going to play “Winter” songs instead of “Christmas” songs, then they need to play “Winter” songs ALL WINTER LONG!

            (Spell check just marked “amongst” as spelled incorrectly – sheesh!)

          2. One year during the Christmas season, the Bruce Springsteen version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” was played so often over my then-workplace’s sound system (something like five to seven times a day, and reliably at least once every ninety minutes) that by the time that year’s holiday was over, I had conceived such an abiding loathing and revulsion for the song I will now literally tear at my hair whenever I hear it.

            The only nondenominational Christmas music I really like is the Carol of the Bells, though even that’s beginning to suffer from overexposure. (That, or the Porky Pig cover of “Blue Christmas”.)

            1. Carol of the Bells is actually a Ukrainian tune set on the old date of the New Year, on the Feast of the Annunciation in March. Since Easter and the Annunciation date sometimes coincide, some Ukrainians see it as an Easter song.

              So apparently it’s an inter-holiday song….

            2. The stores could solve all of this by putting on instrumental versions of Christmas hymns or by playing Medieval Christmas Carols (the words to which no one would understand anyway.)

        3. I don’t know. Religious Christmas music to entice people to spend money? Though if the Hallelujah Chorus hit as I was finished checking out, it would be perfect.

          While this confirmed member of the Scrooge club actually likes some Christmas music, after about two weeks I start making up my own lyrics to the heavily repeated secular songs. They ain’t nice once, either,

          The other symptom is put-on accent singing. One year we heard Beautiful Star of Bethlehem so many times, I started doing it in heavy Hillbilly style.

          1. Kmart in my area used to play a mix that included religious carols.

            The bad news is that not only did they play “Mary Did You Know” (Answer: Yes! Didn’t you listen to the Magnificat!?), but another more recent country song carol that was like playing “Incarnational Heresy Bingo.” Sometimes songwriters mean well, but they don’t pay much attention.

            1. I’ll confess that I will forgive any number of theological sins for Kathy Mattea’s cover of “Mary Did You Know”. A friend of mine also covered it once in church and knocked my socks off, so I have a distinct if slightly heretical fondness for it. 🙂

        4. Hmmm. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as sung by Burl Ives. Absolutely traditional to hear it in its entirety at least once during the Christmas season. (And I don’t mean starting in October!)

            1. From one of the best Christmas albums of the last three decades …

              From Amazon:1{992’s It’s Christmas, Man!] is a merry romp through traditional and not-so-traditional holiday fare. “O Christmas Tree” is done as a drum heavy samba, “The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting) skanks in as a ska tune, and “The Little Drummer Boy” has obviously been hanging out in Cuba. There are polka, waltz, and cumbia versions of classic carols, and a Hanukkah hora (circle dance) as well. Brave Combo have penned five new tunes for this release which are sure to become seasonal favorites. This is a fun recording, featuring accordion, sax, clarinet, guitars, bass, drums, and vocals in a mostly lighthearted set of inspired silliness. The occasional serious song like “Ave Maria” is treated with the respect it deserves, without being allowed to bog down in maudlin sappiness. The 15 songs on this CD make it a generous gift of spirited music.

          1. The absolute best playing of that tune was done one ridiculously hot July or August morning in the n-th day of a nasty heat wave (one where the body count in Chicago was due to heat, not “heaters”). The local DJ apologized roughly thus: “Sorry folks, but I just had to. It’s just been too hot too long, so I wanted something from a colder time.”

      2. Somebody, anybody, please hunt down the disgusting vermin who wrote LAST CHRISTMAS. I want him skinned. Preferably with a red hot can opener.

        There is only one pop music Cristmas song I actually like; I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS by ELP.

        “The Cristmas we get, we deserve”

        Bingo. You want peace on earth, go do something about it.

        1. Is that the title of the utter dreck that should nuked from no less than five times and then something more to be really, Really, REALLY SURE?

          The crappola with this garp:
          Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
          But the very next day, you gave it away
          This year, to save me from tears
          I’ll give it to someone special

          To which my reply is: You said that LAST year, you idiot!

          And, sadly, I’ve encountered.. creatures.. (not people, no. Not even monsters. These are worse.) That actually claimed to like this bilge! Edward Teller thought WAY too damn small.

          1. I… um… I actually kind of like that tune. (shuffles feet, kicks gravel)

            But as Thomas More said to Henry VIII in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, “I must in fairness add that my taste in music is reputedly deplorable.” I also like a lot of Britney Spears and Coldplay.

            1. Have it. Just kindly do not inflict it on others, thanks.
              I know I have things I like that are of.. dubious taste (She-ra, H.R. Pufnstuf, and then there’s the things I do not publicly admit… which, considering, yes) but even when I do indulge, I tend to make sure even $HOUSEMATE isn’t about.

              Now, if you want to laugh, but for all the WRONG reasons, you might consider the disaster that is the He-Man/She-ra Christmas Special. While perhaps not _quite_ as bad as the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (aside from the animated bit, perhaps the nadir of the Star Wars produicts – yes, including the abysmal Prequels), let’s face it…. it’s not Great Art. It’s even good. At best, it’s “Oh come on, did they really….?” And if you figure that was “before your time” then don’t bother, as I expect it will be just be painfully rotten instead of amusingly awful.

              1. While I wasn’t overly enthused with the Star Wars Holiday Special, it’s wasn’t bad enough to turn off the TV and walk away; which can’t be said for an awful lot of other programming. And I particularly liked the Jefferson Starship number, “Light the Sky on Fire.”

        2. Evidently the late George Michael committed it in 1984 and it’s been covered since. Alas, it has not, as far as I know, been released on clay pigeon where it would be most appreciated. PULL!

          1. I don’t want to pile on the late Mr. Michael. Even if he wrote the flaming thing (and apparently he did) he struck me as somebody who had enough problems.

            Still. Yuck!

      3. “It’s beginning to look a lot like bedlam,
        All around the mall…”

        “Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell schlock,
        cheap plastic crap in glittery wrap…”

          1. Bob Rivers; “Chipmunks roasting on an open fire,
            hot sauce dripping from their toes…”

            Aside; it’s amazing what a difference in singer can do:

            Santa Baby. Earth Kit’s version sounds like an elegant kept woman living in Central Park West. The other version that gets played all over sounds like White Trash living in a trailer park. And not a nice one, either.

  23. Around the same time, Pete Townsend penned “Won’t Be Fooled Again”
    A song that fits the history of the bloody 20th century better:

    We’ll be fighting in the streets
    With our children at our feet
    And the morals that they worship will be gone
    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgement of all wrong
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again

    The change, it had to come
    We knew it all along
    We were liberated from the fold, that’s all
    And the world looks just the same
    And history ain’t changed
    ‘Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again
    No, no!

    I’ll move myself and my family aside
    If we happen to be left half alive
    I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
    Though I know that the hypnotized never lie
    Do ya?

    There’s nothing in the streets
    Looks any different to me
    And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
    And the parting on the left
    Are now parting on the right
    And the beards have all grown longer overnight

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again
    Don’t get fooled again
    No, no!


    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss

    1. When I hear this, I always think of a montage, first of ‘revolutionary’ and protest pictures, then segueing into pictures of death camps, battle fields, and devastation. Finally, for the last few beats, flipping through photographs of Che, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler, Ho Chi Min, Pol Pot, and finally a skull.

      Meet the new boss indeed.

  24. One thing that REALLY annoys me is that people think that early (pre-Islamic) Christianity was in any way peaceful. They were like the Soviets, who preached revolution while creating the most ossified state in history. The early Christians were far better at killing fellow Christians over minor doctrinal differences (not to mention going nuts on non-Christians of whatever variety) than the pagans ever were.

    If the Romans had known what sort of Frankenstein’s monster it was, they’d have stomped on Abrahamic monotheism of whatever variety at all costs. The actual “persecutions” were fairly mild and didn’t generally last long—and the Romans often didn’t like to be used for “suicide by martyrdom.”

    “O unhappy men! If you wish to die, are there not enough tall branches to hang yourselves from?” –attributed to a Roman official confronted by Christians.

    1. Er…. not from what I read, and while I’m NOT big on Christian history I was raised on ROMAN history by people who’d read primary sources.
      I suggest you have the wrong end of the stick. (I don’t expect you to believe me.)

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