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Cee Lo, Truth, and Consequences

Religions are equal not because they share truth, but because they all lack truth.

By P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

[Snip] Cee Lo Green has come under fire recently for having changed the lyrics in John Lennon’s song “Imagine” to reflect, in his words, “peace and love and unity”; he did this by changing the line “And no religion, too” to “And all religions true.” This kind of light monism is the staple of a great deal of interfaith understanding: the idea that the great diversity and difference in the world’s religious traditions are really separate languages of discussing the same underlying reality, and that those who truly understand will see that there is no real difference between them. I’ve written before that I’m not an advocate of this notion, personally, and I’d like to continue to explore why that is, using Cee Lo’s lyrics as a jumping-off point.

It is not my own viewpoint that all religions are true in any universal or unproblematic sense. I do think that all religions have truth in them. But I do think I can state categorically that all religions are equal. I also think that though my current religion is one that I find the most true for myself, it is certainly possible that particular ways of practicing other religions might prove to be “equally true” for me in practical experience (though at present, I don’t plan on pursuing any of them).

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