So why all the uproar? Well, let's look at what he changed in the song and why what he changed it to made no sense. Then, we'll look at his deleted twitter response and show exactly where he misses the entire point of that line in the song.
The lyrics to Imagine include the line:
Imagine there's no countriesMr. Green decided that imagining no religion doesn't sit right with him, obviously holding his own beliefs himself, so he changed the last line to, "And all religion's true." All religion is true? So, Jews and Christians are both correct; Jesus both was and was not the Messiah. Muslims and Hindus have it right and now that Cee Lo Green has cleared that up, they can stop fighting over in Kashmir. Buddhists are also correct when they say there is no magical ruler Godhead at all and we are all merely subject to the cycle of death and rebirth until we find "enlightenment," which, in most cases is only reserved for men.
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
The uproar was immediate, not just from non-believers, but also from fans of Lennon who may or may not have their own spiritual beliefs and could still understand the meaning of the song beyond, "It says no religion, must be 'anti-God,'" (which is what I imagine went through Mr. Green's head when he changed decided to change the lyric).
Cee Lo immediately tried to explain himself when the uproar occurred over social networking sites and tweeted this:
First, you meant no disrespect? You're an artist yourself, are you not? You don't understand the implications of taking someone else's work and changing it because you don't agree with it (or understand it, in this case).
Well, he's an idiot, that much is now clear, and a lot of people lost respect for him last night because of it, but lets move on to the second part of his tweet, which he has since deleted.
"I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that's all"
Mr. Green, how blind you are. I want you to imagine for a moment what a world without any religions would really, really mean.
Imagine 9/11/2001 just being another Tuesday.
Imagine women in Saudi Arabia able to walk out into the sun.
Imagine albino children in Africa living out full, healthy lives without fear that someone will slaughter them over a superstition.
Imagine women not being buried in the ground and having rocks thrown at her because she committed adultery.
Imagine no Heaven's Gate or Waco.
Imagine people going directly to police when a child is being molested instead of that molester having a herd of people hiding his crimes for him and letting him get away with it.
Imagine no one caring what goes on in someone else's bedroom.
Imagine equal rights for all people.
Need I go on, Cee Lo Green?
The song wasn't attacking belief itself. People believe crazy shit all the time with no consequences. Religion, however, tells people what to believe and then tells people how to act based on those beliefs. Everywhere, every religion is a stifling, oppressive operation to control the masses. If you wanted a world where "u could believe what u wanted that's all" then you would imagine a world with no religion. Way to miss the point entirely while alienating tons of people.
Cee Lo Green took down the tweet and there are some twitterers out there who are defending him, which will make him sleep better at night, I'm sure, with his bias confirmed by all his like-minded religious fans who enjoy being told what to think by people in robes, but the damage is done. I'm disgusted with him, disappointed and I'm like "Fuck You."