Thank you, Neil Young

The New Yorker Festival 2014 - Neil Young In Conversation With Nick Paumgarten


I don’t blame the people who voted for you. I support their right to express themselves, although they have been lied to, and in many cases believed the lies, they are true Americans. I have their back.  – Neil Young, in an open letter to Donald Trump

Contrary to what it might look like, this is not a Catch about politics. It’s a Catch about attitude, and about what I wrote about all last week, and what I hope you’ve been talking over and seeking to do with your friends and neighbors — about loving our enemies.

Neil Young, popular singer/songwriter and rockstar, who was born in Canada and has become an American citizen, published an open letter to Donald Trump on his website in which he disagrees with many of Trump’s policies and minces no words about what he thinks of his character, but towards the end of his letter, he has the statement I quoted above, and it caught me unawares. I must say, it not only caught me; it nailed me.

Can I say I have the back of Americans with whom I disagree politically? Well … not until now. Can I say that I think those with whom I disagree are true Americans? Well … not until now. Can I say I don’t blame anyone who voted differently then me? Well … not until now.

That’s right — not until now — because now I must say, Neil Young has taught me something. He has taught me something about respect, about no blame, and about what Jesus said about loving my perceived enemies. He has shown me a different attitude than the one I had.

And this is the reason I offer this to you, in case you might benefit from it as well. It matters not where on the political spectrum we find ourselves, this is how we should think about those with whom we disagree, and it’s about the only way we will ever move forward — when we all, or at least most of us, think like this. And certainly, as followers of Jesus, we should be leading the way.

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15 Responses to Thank you, Neil Young

  1. roughrider45 says:

    Invite Neil Young and Richie Furay ✝️ on to your online interview segment.m/ Blogtalkradio Coffee With Johnnie. The three of you could truly harmonize, Acoustic set! Intertwining Buffalo Springfield, WoodstockNation and all who came upon a child of God walking along the (Emmaeus) rd…yet finding that It’s a narrow way on that one way road to life. So where are we headed? let us go together by His Grace and mercy he will pave the way. May our hearts be open with grace turned outward to love and to listen To those we find on this road. By his grace, Mark F. Dodd 631-276-7925 cell

    >>

  2. dierama says:

    Very well said, and needed by me, in this very hostile difficult political climate that we find ourselves in today!

  3. Mark D Seguin says:

    LOL, I don’t thank Neil Young b/c I believe / think he is a bit of a self-righteous jackass! Please tell me what Politician didn’t lie?

    PS this is a great example of a back handed compliment and if you can not see that Pastor John you my friend have a bit of a blind spot!!!

    • Kirk Palmer says:

      Agree. It is apparent in the letter that Neil Young’s enemy is Donald Trump,
      and I don’t see much love in his words toward his enemy.

      • jwfisch says:

        But you can see love and respect for his followers and that was what surprised me and why I wanted to write this.

      • Mark D Seguin says:

        TY 4 adding your comments, Kirk – I guess Pastor John chooses to look pass being called a person that believes lies is an honor, of loving & respecting us, lol

        ONLY another self-righteous Pharisee Jackas..s would think that! And Pastor John often fits perfectly into that mold!

        In my opinion he’s still upset b/c the person he voted for Hillary Clinton loss!

    • Dennis says:

      Haha.

      I have had and still have friends across all spectrums of politics and lifestyles for decades. I actually live what Neil Young professes to.
      I support his right to say whatever he likes. Sad that he seems to be a hater.

    • Rick Gillespie says:

      I couldn’t agree more.
      John, you have been taken by a guy who paints with a broad brush ie all southern men are racists and slaveholders. You say he surprised you but did he say he had Trumps’ back? Did he say he cares about the leader of this Country? I am not a Trump supporter, but I love this Country and every person lies, not just Trump. You missed the boat on this one, badly.

    • Sandie says:

      Truly…Everyone has lied. Every person that ever lived or is living or who will live. It’s a big boat and we are all in it. Romans 3:23. But thank God for Romans 6:23.

  4. Alfred LePage says:

    So exactly how would Neil Young’s promise that he “has my back” be manifested, other than in words? What does Neil mean that he “has my back”? How would I know Neil “has my back”? What is the express proif that Neil “has my back”? Its just typical feel good verbiage. Neil has declared his liberty in and now he can pretend he has accomplished something of value. Talk is cheap. But it sure makes people who utter it feel they have accomplished something. Now Neil can go home, get baked and fry out a few more brain cells.

  5. Sandie says:

    “With malice toward none”…
    I think John has grasped the spirit behind Neil’s imperfect expression of his feelings.
    Long ago I came to the realization that Christians don’t own the rights to truth and wisdom. God speaks through whom He pleases. When He pleases. What He pleases.
    It is our responsibility to look beyond the surface and remember everyone is created in His image; therefore deserving of our respect.
    I have to always bear in mind and heart that God cut me the greatest break when Jesus called me to Himself. Once I accepted that break I am honor-bound to offer the same to everyone else…no exceptions.
    That being said – I do not agree with Neil’s lifestyle or philosophy – heck, I don’t even like his music! But, as John stated a while back, we should not consider non-believers as ‘unsaved,’ but rather as “not yet saved.” That has helped me change my perspective for sure.
    Respectfully.

  6. John A Fagliano says:

    As imperfect as we all are, it’s easy for one to get called a hypocrite when their message is unity over division. With that in mind, I offer the lyrics of a Neil Young song that has always been among my favorites.

    Neil Young Lyrics

    “Lotta Love”

    It’s gonna take a lotta love
    To change the way things are.
    It’s gonna take a lotta love
    Or we won’t get too far.

    So if you look in my direction
    And we don’t see eye to eye,
    My heart needs protection
    And so do I.

    It’s gonna take a lotta love
    To get us thru the night.
    It’s gonna take a lotta love
    To make things work out right.

    So if you are out there waitin’
    I hope you show up soon,
    ‘Cause my heart needs relatin’
    Not solitude.

    Gotta lotta love
    Gotta lotta love.

    It’s gonna take a lotta love
    To change the way things are.
    It’s gonna take a lotta love
    Or we won’t get too far.

  7. Larry McDonald says:

    I have been a Neil Young fan for 50+ years. So I appreciate him “having my back” even though I have ignorantly believed a particular set of lies. Sorry, but that kind of statement wreaks of arrogance. What does Mr. Young know that I’m not capable of knowing? What will it take for me to see through the lies as he has? I do like that he isn’t labeling people as deplorable, but as usual, I wish he’d avoid the celebrity soapbox and just sing.

  8. Walter Quelch says:

    Dear bother in Christ. We need to pray for our president that the Lord will guide and strengthen him through all this. Neil Young has the right to speak his mind. But I believe the Lord has put him in office such a time has this. Please I am not judging. Only God is the true judge and He is faithful and just. God bless you both.

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