“It’s just an expression, meaning the Beatles seem to me to have more influence over youth than Christ,” he said.So "Imagine no religion" really means: Imagine life without that humorless vicar.
“Now I wasn’t saying that was a good idea, ’cos I’m one of Christ’s biggest fans. And if I can turn the focus on the Beatles on to Christ’s message, then that’s what we are here to do.”...
“If the Beatles get on the side of Christ, which they always were, and let people know that, then maybe the churches won’t be full, but there’ll be a lot of Christians dancing in the dance halls,” he said....
“Whatever they celebrate, God and Christ, I don’t think it matters as long as they’re aware of him and his message.”
Lennon... said his dislike of institutional religion had been shaped as a 14-year-old when a “ludicrous” vicar banned him from church after he and his friends were “having the giggles”.
He added: “I wasn’t convinced of the vicar’s sincerity anyway.”
July 14, 2008
Said John Lennon — in a newly discovered interview from 1969. He was asked about saying that the Beatles had gotten bigger than Jesus Christ: