I have loved U2 for ages, ever since the Joshua Tree album blew me away with its amazing sound and gospel-esque harmonies (check out ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’, for example). I have been fascinated by the Christian influence in their music and in their passion for justice at all levels of society.
So when I heard that an interview with Bono had been published where he talked about his Christian faith I was very interested. Read extracts from it here.
If you didn’t follow the link please do. It is well worth reading, even if only for his account of what happened when he met the Pope!
Go on, it makes so much sense. It is brilliant to hear someone in the public eye talk so candidly about their faith.
And now you have read it, let me remind you of what I think is one of the most powerful things he said. The interviewer is responding to Bono’s statement about Jesus’ death on the cross:
Assayas: That’s a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it’s close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world’s great thinkers. But Son of God, isn’t that farfetched?
Bono: No, it’s not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: “I am God incarnate.” And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you’re expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he’s gonna keep saying this. So what you’re left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we’ve been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had “King of the Jews” on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I’m not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that’s farfetched.
Be blessed, be a blessing.