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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 29, No. 12. 1966.

Anti Beatles are wrong

Anti Beatles are wrong

Sir,—It is with feelings of utter disillusionment that we write to express our shock at the current anti-Beatle campaign being conducted throughout the world, with particular reference to the United States. Surely the United States has constitutional provision for freedom of speech, yea verily do we not often hear senators such as the venerable Robert Fleming of Pennsylvania thumping their constitutions while decrying the efforts of others to curtail this basic freedom.

Sir, we believe that the United States stands for truth, liberty, justice and Superman. Are inroads being made into the fundamental and widespread civil liberties of that great nation? Is the United States taking a turn back to the days of the Darwin Trials? Is John Lennon to be penalised for stating the truth? The Beatles are more popular than Jesus. This statement, although perhaps a sad reflection on both the semi-hysterical following of pop groups and the inability of people to accept what Jesus has to offer them is nevertheless an important truth to grasp. John Lennon was merely pointing out one of the great social phenomena of our time, namely the worship of the pop star. It is of little use for Southern gentlefolks to further advertise their Nazi views by dancing round a pyre of Beatle books and records.

The problem lies much deeper, indeed with the clergy themselves for failing to give the Young People of today an image of Jesus which they can worship, love and gain fulfilment from. The teeth-gnashing and Bible-bashing of the present Beatle critics serves to underline their own failings.

In any case the imperialist fanatic warmongers of the United States are basing their tirade on a false impression. Lennon's quote was taken entirely out of context. He was being interviewed by a pop magazine reporter, and so that you may have a Salient exclusive we release to you the exact text of the interview from which the quote was taken:

Reporter: Don't you think that John McGrath is more popular than you?

Lennon: We are more popular than Jesus.

R. S. Lawrence.

D. R. Bradshaw.