There has been a great discussion over at a posting I made from way back on October 12 and I notice that the topic gets a fair amount of hits from search engines so I thought I’d bring it up front and see if we can generate more discussion.
My October 12 entry was about a change in the lyrics to “Yahweh” that Bono made when I saw U2 in Chicago this past fall but the discussion soon changed to include other things, most natably the use of Jewish, Musilm and Christian symbols both on Bono's headband and on the images on the screen behind the band. I have reproduced some of the comments and my responses almost exactly as they appear in the earlier posting (with a few typo corrections):
I saw U2 at Auburn Hills last week and was unprepared for the Coexist portion of the show. I have been a little intrigued and maybe a little more troubled with the Coexist theme, as it seems to equate Mohammed, Jesus, David, as all equals. From what I take from pluralism, is it disrespects all religions. Christians don’t believe Mohammed is equal to Christ. That is offensive. Muslims do not believe Christ is God. That is offensive. Jews don’t believe Christ is God either. So to say they are all theologically equal is folly. But maybe I am reading into that too much. I certainly agree that the religions should "coexist" without killing each other; bloodshed or ignorance in the name of religion is folly as well. How do you see beyond the apparent pluralism and misdirection of the character of God, "in the name of love" - have you read any other helpful links or articles?
Bob Keeley said...
to johnny5 - Here is what Nathan Hart wrote: "Bono actually says "Jesus, Jew, Muhammad, it's true: all sons of Abraham." it's an attempt to find the unity in the people of the religions of the world, in order to find peace instead of war among them." Similarly, in "Yahweh" the pictures of the symbols of the other religions seem to be saying "we don't hate Muslims and Jews" rather than "they're all the same." So, I think Bono really wants war in the name of religion to stop - or as he says "people are more important than ideas."
To paraphrase an earlier entry "I saw U2 in Cleveland last week and was unprepared for the Coexist portion of the show..." and I share the sentiments of that blogger. Interesting is the later entry......Similarly, in "Yahweh" the pictures of the symbols of the other religions seem to be saying "we don't hate Muslims and Jews" rather than "they're all the same." Where does that understanding come from? I would not ever get that idea from what I saw in concert. The mixing of the symbols seemed to say "equality," not in the human rights sense, but in the "all religions are the same" sense. I hope Bono's not into this mushy universalism. It pretty much ruined the concert for me. Maybe I just expected too much from only listening to lyrics.
Bob Keeley said...
I hope the previous anonymous poster looks back here again. First of all, thanks for reading and commenting. I really appreciate the dialogue.A read of The recent book by Michka Assayas (Bono in Conversation) makes it pretty clear that Bono is no universalist and his "Jesus, Jew Muhammad - it's true” is pretty clearly referring to "all sons of Abraham." That became even clearer to me when I watched the Vertigo Tour DVD. Just like you use the Bible to interpret the Bible, I think you need to use Bono to interpret Bono so the COEXIST theme, which is so strong, is the one that I think is what is meant here.Of course, someone could ask him outright but his Christian subtext is SO obvious in other places that I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here.
9 months ago