The Point

Imagine as an Anthem for the World?


John Stonestreet

Kasey Leander

“Imagine” has become a kind of secular national anthem, but it seems like a strange choice. Last year, a bunch of celebrities tried to make us feel better about a global pandemic by singing “Imagine there’s no heaven.” Really? Facing death, let’s offer a materialistic worldview, with no future after we die and no present source of meaning? And, these millionaire celebrities actually sang to us, “Imagine no possessions?”

Then, during the opening ceremony of the Olympics, this song with the line “no religion, too” was sung, when 84 percent of the world identifies with a religious group. Not to mention, how does “imagine there’s no countries” fit with the Olympics, at a ceremony featuring every nation bearing their respective flags into the stadium? 

At best, this song is an ironic choice almost everywhere we hear it, especially for a global celebration of world cultures and athletes. At worst, it pushes a worldview that’s godless, hopeless, unrealistic, and ultimately meaningless.


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