- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tom Petty says that no one has interpreted Jesus Christ’s teaching more incorrectly than Christians, as he was asked to explain the history behind his new song “Playing Dumb.”

In an interview with Billboard, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer explained his inspiration behind the song, which will be featured as a bonus cut on the accompanying vinyl release of “Hypnotic Eye.”

“Catholics, don’t write me,” Mr. Petty said. “I’m fine with whatever religion you want to have, but it can’t tell anybody it’s OK to kill people, and it can’t abuse children systematically for God knows how many years.”

“Playing Dumb” mourns the victims of sex abuse within the Catholic church, and takes aim at the major financial settlements that were awarded to some victims, Billboard reported.

“If I was in a club, and I found out that there had been generations of people abusing children, and then that club was covering that up, I would quit the club,” Mr. Petty told Billboard. “I wouldn’t give them any more money.

“I just felt that I was being asked to play dumb,” he said. “That, ‘OK, well, they paid some money, so it’s all over.’ I don’t trust that.

“Religion seems to me to be at the base of all wars,” Mr. Petty continued. “I’ve nothing against defending yourself, but I don’t think, spiritually speaking, that there’s any conception of God that should be telling you to be violent. It seems to me that no one’s got Christ more wrong than the Christians.”