Religion: Bob Dylan protests in China, in his own way :: The Republic
The police arrived again when this same flock tried to gather in a public place last Sunday. A church member who escaped told the Associated Press that about 200 were arrested. |
This kind of persecution is old news for those concerned about the 60 million or so Christians in China's "underground" churches. The crackdowns have become so common that they rarely inspire protests from human rights activists.
Bob Dylan, however, is another matter. His first-ever concert in China opened with an edgy gospel rocker that slipped past the Ministry of Culture officials who allegedly screened the April 6 set list to make sure it was safe.
"Change my way of thinking, make myself a different set of rules. ... Gonna put my best foot forward, stop being influenced by fools," sang Bob Dylan, performing a classic from the "Slow Train Coming" album that opened his "born again" era.
So who might the "fools" be in this context?
Put Maureen Dowd at the top of the list.
Seconds later, Dylan veered into alternative lyrics for "Gonna Change My Way of Thinkin'," written for a duet with gospel star Mavis Staples. These lyrics added a clear reference to "end times" doctrines and the second coming of Jesus -- subjects Chinese authorities have tried to curb in sermons, music and religious education. |
"Jesus is calling," he sang. "He's coming back to gather his jewels.
"Some people simply refuse to come to terms with this side of Bob Dylan. They just can't handle it."
No doubt Hitlery will see this as cause for embarrassment.