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L. Neil Smith's
Number 700, December 9, 2012

"So here's a call to arms—or at least to
keyboards—for all of those I hear wondering
what they can do to advance the cause of liberty."w3

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WND: Leave Lennon Alone
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Sometimes people say things that are so incredibly stupid that, even if you count them among your enemies, you feel embarrassed for them.

I read about half of the thousand or so messages I get every day from World Net Daily. I have never regarded WND as a source of unquestionable truth, and that goes double for the somewhat demented personality behind the whole thing, Joseph Farah. I know people who have worked for him; from their description, "hysteric" hardly covers it.

Not that Farah hasn't done a great deal of good in his own way. After all, he helped unleash the Two Toms, Woods and DiLorenzo, on the complacently collectivist world of academic history. But his idiotic denial of the facts of evolution by natural selection, along with his indescribably ignorant insistence that the 4 1/2 billion year old planet under his toes is only 6000 years old gives me restless butt syndrome.

And now my second favorite half-Syrian, half-Lebanese scribbler (my favorite was William Peter Blatty), the all anti-Muslim all the time publisher, is pushing a sillier swarm of bonnet-bees than even he could have thought of on his own. It seems that he's found this writer who ...

But let me ask you a question. Let's assume that you are an avid practioner of Ayn Rand's all-embracing philosophy of Objectivism. You think it's an outlook "true for all men in all times" and that its judicious and consistent application would solve most of the world's problems. One important tenet is the rejection of all mysticism of any kind.

Then you hear that building contractors or archaeologists or something, tearing apart Rand's old digs in Manhattan, have discovered a hidden Russian Orthodox shrine in the back of a closet, or something Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Mormon, Neo-Aztecan, or latterday Scientologist.

So the old lady was secretly religious (remember, this is only hypothetical). My question is, does her failure to remain consistent, with her own philosophy affect the validity of Objectivism in any way? Here's another: suppose she'd told us all along she was religious. Would the discovery of this closet shrine in any way constitute big news?

Then why in the name of Aleister Crowley is World Net Daily making a big fat deal out of a few words written and spoken by John Lennon? Anyone who paid attention was well aware that he and his buddies were on a god hunt, with their experimentation with drugs, and their pilgrimages to places like India. Or Scranton. Are the teachings of gurus "not a real religion", as WND writers have said of Islam, even though it predates the Protestant Reformation by several hundred years?

They want you to believe that John was not only an atheist, but an icon (their word) to other atheists. I was there, friends, in the 60s, and he was not. He was just another "seeker", doomed to wander because he didn't have any real foundation on which to base his inquiries.

Each year in August, I go to the world famous Red Rocks natural amphitheater near Morrison, Colorado, to see and hear four hardworking guys called "1964: the Tribute" bring the Beatles back to life. I sing and scream and shout and laugh and weep along with 10,000 other folks, some of them toddlers, who have good reason to love those legendary Liverpudlians.

John wrote some of the most beautiful music in the world. He and his gang changed the course of musical history in a way for which we'll be eternally grateful. As he matured, he was even turning into a nice guy. At the time he said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, it happened to be true, in England. Lennon meant it as a criticism of social superficiality. People just didn't like hearing it. He should have had Kevlar. Yoko should have had a 1911. But he was not a musical Madalyn Murray O'Hare. It wouldn't have mattered if he were.

What does Farah hope to accomplish with all this crap, besides convincing the world (and himself) that he isn't one of them thar rag-headed camel-humpin' pagans? Does the man dream of a future in which the God Police regularly smash doors down looking for defiant unbelievers to throw into a dungeon and torture? And didn't we do that already, back when Lizzie Tudor's siblings were running things? Isn't that why Americans have a First Amendment, separating Superstition and State?

So I'll ask nicely. Leave him alone, you parasites and scavengers. Love the man for what he was and what he did. Not what you want him to have been and done. That way lies even less integrity than you have now.

L. Neil Smith is the Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE, as well as the author of 33 freedom-oriented books, the most recent of which is DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis:
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DOWN WITH POWER was selected as the Freedom Book Club Book-of-the-Month for August 2012

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