Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bono as EveryChristian . . .

Because we are a multi-faith weblog, I generally try to stay away from straight-out proselytizing. However, since I can peg this to a celebrity, a major world rockstar (who is very newsworthy in his activities), I'll proceed with a humble spirit and ask that co-bloggers grant me a little latitude.

I was reading an excerpt from a new book made up of extensive interviews between a journalist and Bono, the lead singer and songwriter for the band U2 and came across this segment that could speak for virtually any Christian you know. You think I sometimes get overly aggressive with a commenter or am maybe too sarcastic or uncharitable in a post? Believe me, I know that and much worse about who I am. Bono puts his finger on what all of us (Christians) are counting on:

Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.

When asked to make his confession by the journalist, Bono replies:

That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.

32 comments:

S. T. Karnick said...

That is a very wise statement. From the mouths of babes and rock stars. . . .

Francis J. Beckwith said...

And in the case of Cheryl Crowe, you have a babe and a rock star!

Hunter Baker said...

Think that's Sheryl Crowe.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I've been meaning to say something nice about Bono, too. Unlike the Rolling Stones and their new tune, which plays up to lame radical chic, Bono has refused to condemn anybody and instead has answered the question I pose to our lefty friends of late: What good are you trying to accomplish?

The ceaseless drone of "Bush Lied" is oriented toward no good. The murdering dictator of Iraq is out; 8 million purple thumbs expressed a hope and prayer for the future. What shall we do now, turn our backs on them? Are they less worthy or less threatened than the million dead Rwandans we wring our hands about not having stood up for?

Back to Bono, he, to the best of his fathoming and ability is trying to accomplish good, for Africa in particular, and will even work with heinous neo-cons to get it done. Surely he looked at Live Aid, which, although viewed by almost 2 billion people, raised a paltry $60 or 80 million, which won't get squat done for an entire continent.

Looks like he gave Sir Bob Geldof the word, because Live8 was politically well-behaved, and is likely to accomplish a helluva lot more. I had a few other thoughts on the whole deal here. Worth a click I think, at least for one of my better captions.

(And, oh yeah, mystical/Pauline Christianity [Jesus died for your sins] definitely is all about freeing us from the wheel of Karma. I sure hope so. One of these lives is enough for me, thank you. I think Maimonides and rabbinical Judaism have a bit to say on the subject, too, but I'm not as qualified as perhaps others here gathered to explain it.)

(Hint, hint, ecumenical hint...)

Kathy Hutchins said...

Unlike the Rolling Stones and their new tune, which plays up to lame radical chic, Bono has refused to condemn anybody

There's another big difference between Bono and Mick Jagger -- U2 is still making kick-ass music. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is as good or better than any of their earlier work. How far back to you have to go to say the same thing about the Rolling Stones with a straight face? Some Girls at least. They've now been pathetic for closing on 30 years.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Actually, it's Sheryl Crow.

Hunter Baker said...

Crap, I knew that Kathy, but just didn't want to look it up. I agree about the latest album. I bought it and am really happy with it.

Anonymous said...

This interview mirrors the lyrics to "Grace" on the "All That You Can't leave Behind" album ... especially the part about karma.

Tlaloc said...

I love when people bitch and bitch about stars making political statements...right up until a star says something they agree with. Then they fawn all over them.

Tlaloc said...

"The ceaseless drone of "Bush Lied" is oriented toward no good. The murdering dictator of Iraq is out; 8 million purple thumbs expressed a hope and prayer for the future. What shall we do now, turn our backs on them?"

We should do what we should have done thirty years ago: left them alone. Hussein was kept in power through our support and later our sanctions. Removing him now has only created a power vacuum filled by Shiite fundamentalists. A low grade civil war is going on (notice all the reports of revenge killings by both sides?) and theres not much of anything we can do to stop it.

Net result? Lots of civilians dead. Lots of troops dead. Close to half a trillion dollars used to buy Iran a new client state.

Anonymous said...

Tlaloc,

I'd hardly call this "fawning all over " Bono; besides, since when is making a statement of faith "political"?

James Elliott said...

I think Tlaloc was just pointing out the irony inherent in your kissing the behind of a socialist liberal like Bono because of his vocal Christian faith. Other than faith, y'all exist at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Tlaloc said...

"I'd hardly call this "fawning all over " Bono;"

I'd disagree.


"besides, since when is making a statement of faith "political"?"

Well at least as far back as christ faith has been deeply political.

Tlaloc said...

I'd hardly call Bono a socialist anymore JE, his recent work seems decidedly along a different track.

Hunter Baker said...

The T-man is back! Traffic stats will be headed through the roof!

Anonymous said...

Not sure who kissed his behind. Bono did something extraordinary, he is a rockstar/superstar and he professed to be a Christian. Not just in name only, but all the way to "Christ was either the Messiah or a lunatic."

This shows him NOT to be simply a bible-believing Christian, but also an educated one; likely to have read C.S. Lewis and other apologists.

What his EXPRESSION OF FAITH has to do with politics is beyond me.

James Elliott said...

Never said it did. That was T.

Interesting standard you have for being an educated Christian. One must conclude that Christ was either the Messiah or a lunatic? Well, indeed, I've been saying that all along, only my work with schizophrenics leads me to a different conclusion than yours...

Tlaloc said...

"The T-man is back! Traffic stats will be headed through the roof!"

Not quite yet hunter. My kids are visiting for the next few weeks which means I have substantially less energy to devote toward my own blog much less anyone else's.

Anonymous said...

The "messiah or a lunatic" comes from reading, I believe, C.S. Lewis, however I could be wrong.

I suppose I played a little fast-and-loose with the word "educated". My meaning was that he was using extra-biblical reasoning and/or thought in that interview.

James Elliott said...

Exactly. My work and reading in mental health leads me to conclude one thing. His reading C.S. Lewis leads him to conclude another...

Locke said...

Go with Lewis in that situation. The mental health business hasn't exactly been a sterling success outside of the pharmaceutical remedies, which come from outside the mental health training.

Jay D. Homnick said...

The only thing worse than the news that tlaloc has kids is the news that they still come to visit.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Quite right, Anon. CS Lewis in Mere Christianity:

"A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher; he'd either be a lunatic -- on a level with a man who says he's a poached egg -- or else he'd be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse...

"You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

And, of course, no person can consider himself educated without a familiarity with Lewis, whether he accepts his conclusions or not.

Tlaloc said...

"The only thing worse than the news that tlaloc has kids is the news that they still come to visit."

Sounds like somebody has anger issues.

Anonymous said...

... either that or someone has humor issues ... my guess is the latter!

Tlaloc said...

"... either that or someone has humor issues ... my guess is the latter!"

Hey I'm not the one who created a forum that is so strict about any form of disparaging comment. I generally play in a crowd that's a lot more honest and vocal about their disdain.

James Elliott said...

C.S. Lewis this, C.S. Lewis that. Went to the link you provided. Read the book. So utterly unconvinced. I have a hard time accepting arguments that try to prove the existence of God/Divinity of Christ when in order to make the arguments you have to have accepted the basic premise of said divinity first.

I mean, in that one quote, Lewis is utterly WRONG. So many things Jesus said were beautiful teachings that any philosopher, teacher, or social organizer could say and would be revered for. Whether they were a schizophrenic nutjob or not.

Said it before, I'll say it again: Sometimes good ideas are just that: good ideas. Some are even so good that they stick with people forever.

And, Locke? Spoken like someone who doesn't know what they're talking about, but rather desperately wants to have a contrary opinion.

Tom Van Dyke said...

James, I'm disappointed. Nowhere in The Abolition of Man does Lewis refer to the question of Jesus' divinity.

I'm afraid I cannot take you at your word that you read the book.

In fact, Lewis explicitly shies away from the subject of God entirely:

"In order to avoid misunderstanding, I may add that though I myself am a Theist, and indeed a Christian, I am not here attempting any indirect argument for Theism.

I am simply arguing that if we are to have values at all we must accept the ultimate platitudes of Practical Reason as having absolute validity: that any attempt, having become sceptical about these, to reintroduce value lower down on some supposedly more 'realistic' basis, is doomed. Whether this position implies a supernatural origin for the Tao is a question I am not here concerned with. "

It is a purely philosophical work.

James Elliott said...

You referred me to Mere Christianity.

James Elliott said...

Ah. I apologize. You did link to Abolition. The book I read was Mere Christianity.

James Elliott said...

I see what happened. I was mashing separate threads in my mind. Mere Christianity has been referenced so many times, I assumed it was the one you linked to (I found a copy of it online and read it after so many references to it).

Tell you what, I've bookmarked Abolition and, now that I'm done with "The Wedding" and R. Scott Bakker's "The Darkness That Comes Before," I'll read that next.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ah, why it is not wise to call another man a liar.

I confess I was tempted, James, and sorely. But I did not want to believe such a thing of you. That, and a little Christian forbearance stilled my cybertongue. ;-)

A link to the online Mere Christianity would be appreciated. I would not expect to convert everyone, but it has occasionally worked a little magic.