Jack Kerouac, John Lennon, Bob Marley and to a lesser extent, Phil Lynott of the Irish Rock group Thin Lizzy, have all been considered as liberal icons by more than a few who consider themselves left-of-center both politically and socially.
But in an article recently published by Dave Heartline of The American Catholic, the reporter identifies the first three as embracing traditional views in the years before their deaths.
The Beatnik Poet Embraced Traditional Marriage...
The leading Beat poet and novelist of his day, Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac, is widely considered one of the founders of both the Beatnik and Hippie movements.
Both lifestyles were well known for their rejection of organized religion and traditional patriotism.
But as cited Heartline, Kerouac;
"Reengaged with his Catholic faith and was going to anti–American protests for the sole purpose of saving flags that were about to be burned."
Heartline also notes;
"Kerouac also let everyone who would listen know that the sexual experimentation that was being openly promoted in some quarters would be the country’s downfall.
He noted that he engaged in just about every sexual situation imaginable and it left him empty and near the emotional abyss."
During the mid-late 1960s, many Catholics intellectuals also abandoned traditional Catholic teaching to the point of "literally embracing heresy."
As the reporter cited;
"Kerouac was embracing a very traditional view of the Faith.
He famously stated, 'I don’t want to be known as a beat poet anymore, I want to be known as a Catholic.'"
John Lennon - Reagan Republican...?
Always the conspicuous capitalist, multi-millionaire John Lennon was open of the Mercedes-Benz 600 he owned, as well as the air-conditioned walk-in closet for Yoko's rather large collection of fur coats custom built into their Upper West Side of Manhattan apartment at one of the most posh apartment complexes in the world, The Dakota.
As published by The American Catholic;
"Reports surfaced that Lennon had spent the last few years of his life reading religious books and watching religious programming.
It seems the 1977 worldwide television release of Jesus of Nazareth had a tremendous effect on the former Beatle.
Lennon’s former assistant reported that Lennon got into a shouting match with the assistant’s father who was a Socialist.
Lennon told him that Big Government didn’t work and faith was the key to happiness not the government."
In case anyone blinked during the Summer of 2011, it briefly was reported by mainstream news outlets that Lennon's former personal assistant Fred Seaman revealed that Lennon actually was a fan of Ronald Reagan.
Case in point, from the Los Angeles Times, Lennon lamented that he couldn't vote for Reagan in 1980 due to his British citizenship;
"The former Beatle and anti-war activist favored Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter and would have voted for the Gipper if he could have."
As Seaman was quoted in The L.A. Times;
"John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on Jimmy Carter."
Discovering The Real Ras Tafari...
Prior to being crowned Emperor of Ethiopia as Haile Selassie I, the Emperor's official name was Ras Tafari Makonnen,
As the titular head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Haile Selassie was a devout Christian throughout his life.
Yet Reggae super-star Bob Marley rejected Christianity for the cult of Rastafarianism which looked upon the Ethiopian ruler as Christ, something Haile Selassie himself always rejected.
Before dying of lung cancer, Marley explored the actual Faith of the man he thought was Christ.
The result was Marley's embrace and eventual baptism into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church six months before his death.
Taking the Baptismal name of Berhane Selassie (Light of the Trinity), Marley was baptized by His Eminence Abouna Yessehaq, Archbishop of the Ethiopian Church in the Western Hemisphere.
Marley was buried in accordance with the liturgy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica in 1981.
"My son was Ireland’s Elvis Presley." - Philomena Lynott
Not mentioned by the article in The American Catholic, but still on the same vein was the return to the Faith of his youth by Phil Lynott in the days prior to his death.
Lead singer and bassist of Ireland's Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott passed away in 1986 due to complications of years of heroin abuse.
Much to the sadness of his mother, Philomena, Lynott abandoned the Catholicism of his youth when he became famous in the world of Rock and Roll.
However, from his hospital bed on the night he died, Lynott cried out to God; "Mercy, mercy!"
It was then that Lynott requested a Catholic priest to administer The Last Rites.
As published by Classic Rock Magazine;
"Philomena was still in denial when Lynott was admitted to Salisbury Infirmary.
She was horrified to see a Priest entering Philip’s hospital room, until informed that Philip himself had requested the clergyman’s presence."
As Philomena recollected;
"My legs buckled.
Philip’s last words to me were, ‘Merciful Jesus, what have I done to you, Ma?'"
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Elizabeth's Church in Richmond, Ireland.
On January 11th 1986, Phillip Parris Lynott he was buried from the Howth Parish Church in Ireland.
The Gaelic inscription on his headstone reads, "Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas da anam" - "May God give peace to his soul".