I read yesterday that the Vatican had forgiven John Lennon for his remark saying that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
There are a couple things worth commenting on here.
First, it’s amazing to me that it took 40 years for some to realize it was just the boasting of an English working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success.” And while I think there is truth in that statement, doesn’t it sound a little condescending — even insulting? Indeed Lennon was young when he said that, but what’s wrong with a working-class lad making comments on life? It just seems a little snobbish to me.
Second, the extension of this forgiveness seems to miss the point of forgiveness as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are to forgive, not because “it was no big deal” or because “the person meant no offense” or because (as in this case) “the working-class lad didn’t know any better,” but we are to forgive because we’ve been forgiven. That’s the whole point of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18:23-35. We forgive because we’ve been forgiven.
We Christians (who have forgiveness through no merit of our own) should surely be able to forgive John for his statement in 1966 and his followup statement a decade later where he pretended that it liberated them from touring. It didn’t liberate them from touring. They liberated themselves. Their marketability suffered very little long-term damage.
In fact, throughout the seventies the Fab Four were begged to reunite and sing. I recall people going to McCartney concerts just because of rumors that the other three might join him on the stage.
It seems the market forgave Lennon long before the Vatican did.