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The Gospel According to John, Paul, Ringo and George

 

The Gospel According to John, Paul, Ringo and George Aka “The Beatles”

Rock music writer Steve Turner grew up in a Christian home in

Daventry, England. And like other teenagers who came of age in the 1960s, Turner was a huge Beatles fan.

 

“At that time, Christians weren’t too keen on rock ‘n’ roll music, so people in the church generally weren’t too keen on the Beatles,” Turner says in a phone call from

London.

 

“Yet, after a few years, the Beatles became interested in religious topics, so there was this interplay between religion and rock music that I became interested in.”

Forty years after John Lennon made his infamous and often misunderstood comment that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus” – spawning ban-the-Beatles protests — Turner explores the Fab Four’s spiritual quest in his latest book, “The Gospel According to the Beatles.”

Long before they became the Fab Four, though, each of the Beatles was influenced by religion — Paul McCartney and George Harrison in the Roman Catholic Church and Lennon and Ringo Starr in the Church of England, Turner says.

As he grew older, Turner embarked on a spiritual odyssey of his own, and he found inspiration in the music of the Beatles.

“They sort of validated the search for God, if you like,” he says. “For a long time, it seemed like rock music or pop music was almost like an alternative to religion.”

“You had George Harrison quoting bits of the Bible — ‘the kingdom of heaven is within,’ and things like that — and I was thinking, ‘Hmm, I think I’ve heard that before.”

“It seemed like The Beatles were suddenly on to something that you’ve been on to for a long time.”

(

Carlton, Religion News Service, 1/25/07).

 

[TBC: Lennon’s “often misunderstood quote” in full says, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock and roll or Christianity.” It may be harder for some to “admit” what he said than to understand what he said. Another commentator writes, “Lennon and Yoko Ono were fascinated by the occult. He purchased entire sections of occult literature in bookstores (Hellhounds on Their Trail, p. 181). Occultist John Green was hired by Yoko Ono in 1974 to be her tarot card reader. As time went on he became Lennon’s advisor, confidant and friend. Until October of 1980, he worked closely with them. They did everything according to ‘the cards.’ He advised them on all of their business transactions and investments, even to the point of how to handle the problems Lennon was having with Apple, the Beatles record company” (Song Magazine, Feb. 1984, p. 16, cited by More Rock, Country & Backward Masking Unmasked, p. 105). ‘People were hired and fired based on the findings of the tarot card reader, Charlie Swan; the Council of Seers, an assortment of freelance astrologers, psychics and directionalists; and Yoko’s own consultations with the zodiac and Book of Numbers’ (Rosen, Nowhere Man, p. 38).     

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