What do Cee Lo Know?

“Rap” is an ancient form of rhythmical speech. One who delivers a modern performance of such is known as a “Rapper,” and what the Rapper does is known as “Rapping.”

One practitioner of this art is improbably known as Cee Lo Green. What kind of a name, might one wonder, is Cee Lo? But all names are culturally connected to something or other. What about improbable names like Edwin, Pamela, or Vergilius? To criticize the dude for the name would be an ad hominem logical fallacy and probably racial. What kind of name is Green?

Cee Lo Green what did you mean? What did you mean oh Cee Lo Green? Did you mean to be obscene? Is your religion just plain mean?

John Lennon and I were born in the same year. He is 48 days older than me. Among the many differences between us, perhaps the most important just now is that I am alive and he is dead. And this has been our relationship for the past 31 years.

You have no doubt heard quite a bit recently about “standing” to bring cases in court. Here is a good example. No person, or organization, that I know of has standing to contest Cee Lo’s admitted modification of John Lennon’s masterpiece “Imagine” when he sang this work in a public display at Times Square, on New Year’s Eve that celebrated the arrival of 2012, said by some to be the last year for the life of our planet and for all that thereon dwell.

And note just how the words were changed in the Cee Lo presentation.

John Lennon had written: “nothing to kill or die for / and no religion too.”

The Cee Lo version said: “nothing to kill or die for / and all religion’s true.”

It is a sad fact that Helen Kagin is not alive to confront this outrage. “Imagine” was her favorite song and she adopted it as a theme song for Camp Quest. I warned her that she might get sued for copyright violation, but she didn’t care and did it anyway and no one ever complained. Helen would have been on them faster than a priest on an altar boy.

However, if you do not have some legal right to the song, you have no right, or “standing,” to complain in court. The change in wording from “and no religion too” to “and all religion’s true” is way beyond accidental. It is a deliberate change, and it is, in my view, wrongful, but I also know I cannot really do anything about it

Or, it could perhaps be argued that Cee Lo had not looked carefully at the words of a song he knew he would be singing on television from Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

And, that change of three words changes the entire meaning of the song. We know that, and he knows that. The idea was to do some religious implantations into Americans of the idea that religion, whatever form it may take, is, ipso facto, good. The mere fact that “all religion’s true” is a meaningless statement does not deter the evangelical drive of those who would see us all converted.

In may be that the heir(s) of the rights to the song either approved of the change in words before it was sung, approved after it was sung, or don’t really care. None of these possibilities give you or me any rights whatsoever to enforce who sings the song how. Nor do we want to get an official court opinion saying that, given the facts as they now exist, the words can be changed, in the manner done here, at will.

There is still, of course, the Court of Public Opinion. And it is to there we could go to make our outrage heard. Every atheist in the country could write to NBC protesting the permitted mangling of this great atheist song by John Lennon. We can, in all of our strength, write, and forcefully tell, of our outrage that NBC permitted such a thing as letting some rapper change the atheist meaning in the song “Imagine” to make it appear to be a song stumping for, and affirming, an all inclusive view of religion as universally true. Then, after all of our voices have been heard, maybe NBC or some polling outfit can ask people what they think and report that 87 % or more of Americans think the change in the words of “Imagine” was a good thing. Then it is our turn.

And the Court of Public Opinion might then be treated to a great pouring out of proof that John Lennon had in fact, become a strong Christian, and a supporter of Jesus Christ. And that he got murdered before he had a chance to tell the world. And this could, in theory, be confirmed by his heirs. And the argument that could flow from that assertion could easily encompass the concept that John Lennon would have approved of the changes to his atheistic song to make it into a positive song strongly supporting the side of religion, and dog knows what else.

And thus would we have done our work and our world a great disservice by once again permitting the religious principle to operate that a lie is okay if it helps prove the truth.

Does this mean you should do nothing? Of course not. This is truly an outrage and an affront to the memory of John Lennon and to the very integrity and meaning of his song “Imagine.”

Complaints based on artistic grounds will probably be more effective than arguments grounded on theological biases.

Our argument, and protest, should be grounded in principles of ethical and fair treatment for atheists. As Bobbie Kirkhart observed, how would “they” like it if we should sing, in public forum media, “How Great Thou Aren’t?”

Maybe we should.

So, welcome to another little skirmish in the American Religious Civil War (ARCW).

© Edwin Kagin 2012.











Twelve Years after the Rapture

The Rapture occurred on midnight at the opening of the year 2000—twelve years ago today!

Despite so many years, and so many proofs, there are still those who insist stupid things, like that the end of the world will happen in December of 2012. The end of the world has already happened. Get used to it. The Rapture came a dozen years ago this very day.

As a reminder, or as proof for those who actually do not know, here reproduced below is the only known surviving document generated contemporaneously with our terrible end.



This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
T.S. Eliot

Edwin, unto those who yet remain for the eternity to come, to all those left behind who, though damned, yet know it not, Greetings. Little of comfort can be said or given unto you, save the assurance that truth, however dire, should be valued of more worth than the vanity of false belief and the futile imagining of a vain thing.

I erred when last I wrote, in false strayed prophecy, that the world would not end and that the rapture would not come. On the midnight stroke that called in the 2000th year of our Lord, this, our world, ended. The saved saints, living and dead, were raptured into Heaven. We, and all of us who remain–who you must now know are the eternally damned–were left behind. Left behind, forever, without hope, in a world that has been utterly destroyed. Left in a world beyond repair. Left in a world that is, with no hope of redemption, ruined.

That which had been prophesied, this horror foretold, was not at once known to have been so fully and so finally fulfilled. There were only small things to be seen as signs. The weather was too warm, and cats seemed less opaque than usual. Cats, we note too late, are not mentioned in the Bible. Dogs are mentioned eight and thirty times. Now know we why. Cats know why too. Cats have always known.

The truth, the horror, of what had happened was made known to me, for reasons I neither know nor understand, in a mighty vision. Whether in the body or out of it, whether asleep or not, I can in no wise truly say. I only know it was revealed unto me that our world is now past and forever gone. And that I am charged to tell you.

Hope of supernatural salvation for any who remain is likewise gone, for the blessed of the almighty power, all of the chosen elect, have been raptured away. We who are left are left unto eternity, denied forever and forever the beatific vision, denied the fulfillment of the blessed hope. There will never be offered another chance to gain that heavenly world beyond the natural world. We are all alone, with our fallible human reasoning, in our world that lack of faith destroyed. The only world we have ever had. No supernatural power will ever visit us again. We are alone for all time, with only ourselves to guide and save us.

How, might one ask, as I asked, can our world have ended, yet seem so solidly to continue and appear so plainly to remain? So asked I in my vision, and the answer as a mystery came. With the mystery of that answer came the charge to publish the truth abroad–to assure the anguish of all of us who are fellow travelers on this orb that was first created and lately then destroyed.

There appeared before me a book, the edges of which were blackened and burned, as in a refiner’s fire, and the seals of which book, wherewithal it had been sealed, had been broken asunder. And the book was open unto a page. And the words upon that charred and tattered page could still be plainly seen and clearly read. And these were the words that were thereupon writ:

Know thou, doomed mortal, that thy world hath ended. It ended in the first moments of the first day of the first month of the year you call 2000. The Rapture hath come. It came as the world ended, and those who were chosen to be saved have been taken away unto a new Heaven and a new Earth. All who are ever to be raptured have been raptured, and all those not then raptured are never to be raptured. Those not raptured are left behind, by Divine Design, to live out their mortal lives in a world that hath now ended, a world in which they, the not saved and the not raptured, must henceforth forever remain.

Then asked I, through terror and tears, unto the unknown darkness about me, how our wrecked and ruined and wretched world could still so sentient seem.

And a voice, likened unto a voice of doom, sounding as the taste of wormwood and gall, answered from out a whirlwind unto me, with directions to tell the answer unto you, my fellow mortals, who along with me alike to death are damned:

Hear, Oh fool, thou who would not see the supernatural or on faith believe that which was unseen. Know thee, in this final answer–for no further answer shall ever come–that thy world has been transubstantiated, with all of its substance forever changed, with only the accidents of its appearance as land, sea and sky remaining, that cause it to seem, in each of its particulars, to those of undiscerning hearts, immutable and unchanged. As it was in the days of Noah, so has it now been finally fulfilled as it had been formerly forever of old foretold.

As it was in the time of Noah! The flood, the ark, the animals, the drowned children. Only eight adult humans spared. Only four breeding pairs of humans left alive when finally dried the heavenly waters that had choked the life from all other adults and from all children, both in and out of the womb, from those who, in person or by the hands of their doomed mothers, scratched and screamed, as their lives slowly ended, against the splintery sides of the ark of salvation, as it floated above their weakened forms that finally sunk beneath the righteous waves. Seven pairs of every clean animal were mercifully spared. Those not saved then died. Their fate was to be preferred to that of those not saved this time, to the fate of those condemned to live where faith has failed.

I then understood this vision granted me. Those awaiting the rapture of the blessed were as foolish virgins awaiting their bridegrooms while despising their coming. Few were chosen, and few were taken. It was not written how many would be saved, only that it would be as in the time of Noah, and surely it was so. The religiously pious, the self- righteous, those assured unto themselves of their goodness and of their salvation, all are as fully denied as are those who, through the use of reason, reject untestable faith as folly.

Heed not the much speaking yet to come from false preachers, for such fools are as sure to die as you. Laugh at pretenders who claim knowledge, at those who dare presume upon eternal truth, for they are here with all of us, un-raptured and alone in a transubstantiated world, in a world wherein their faith has failed.

My charge is now completed, and my revelation has been revealed. It remains but to remind you that only our human minds, with their naturally evolved abilities to create and learn and reason, yet abide. Nothing supernatural will ever exist for us, or be available unto us. What can be done by humankind in our new world, where mortals live for this life alone and can look neither to hopes of immortality nor to any power or powers beyond the bounty and boundaries of our natural world, cannot now be known, because such a thing has never yet been fully attempted or truly tried.

We have no choice, it seems, but to live in our world without faith in anything beyond ourselves. For that is all we have. Perhaps it is all that we have ever had. But it is enough.

May the years yet to come unto you bring you peace and joy. And do take heart, for you have this day seen the prophesy fulfilled that there will be Kagin’s Columns yet to come.

Edwin Kagin ©