Author Topic: Bono's softening on the church  (Read 683 times)

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Offline stumpy

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Bono's softening on the church
« on: May 29, 2019, 09:21:53 PM »
He used to be very critical of the church and avoided much contact with them. Criticism started to wane around 2006, stating they were getting really organised and powerful in helping the worlds poor total respect for the church etc. Has even appeared on focus on the family and a number of connections with church leaders. Have developed a large christian fanbase after losing a lot of it in the 90's.

Musically have lost grit since Pop, although have delivered some good tracks such as Electrical Storm and The little things.

Not sure why he changed..



Offline laoghaire

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Re: Bono's softening on the church
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 05:58:22 AM »
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Not sure why he changed..

I see three factors at play.

The Prayer Breakfast and Focus on the Family and stuff are about reaching American Christian audiences and specifically Christian politicians for the ONE Campaign. He would not have gotten anywhere without this. I do think he was perfectly honest about his beliefs, and he still made a few pokes at religion (not faith but religion as an institution).

Second factor is that he had gone through a spiritual crisis starting in the late 1980s as The Fame Monster ate him up. Like King Solomon, he wallowed in his wealth and fame - as the vast, vast majority of humans would do if given the opportunity. His Ecclesiastical struggles are well documented in his lyrics starting with AB but especially Zooropa and Pop - though I will say that he seems to have never rejected faith, just "went wandering."

But over time he seems to have overcome The Fame Monster more than most do (not entirely of course). I think a sense of purpose greater than himself (here we come back to The ONE Campaign) was a major factor in pulling out of his dark night of the soul.

The third factor I see is just plain age/maturity. He rebelled for a while. And then he got older. His father died. He had increasingly stronger brushes with mortality himself. His children got older and he could more easily see their lives unfolding into a future.

He aged out of a lot of his anger. Met a lot of people, read a lot of philosophy, gained new perspectives. He's still willing to poke the church pretty hard - see SLABT - but as we age, we humans often turn away from our youthful anger and toward acceptance and serenity.

Offline singnomore

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Re: Bono's softening on the church
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 06:28:34 AM »
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Not sure why he changed..

I see three factors at play.

The Prayer Breakfast and Focus on the Family and stuff are about reaching American Christian audiences and specifically Christian politicians for the ONE Campaign. He would not have gotten anywhere without this. I do think he was perfectly honest about his beliefs, and he still made a few pokes at religion (not faith but religion as an institution).

Second factor is that he had gone through a spiritual crisis starting in the late 1980s as The Fame Monster ate him up. Like King Solomon, he wallowed in his wealth and fame - as the vast, vast majority of humans would do if given the opportunity. His Ecclesiastical struggles are well documented in his lyrics starting with AB but especially Zooropa and Pop - though I will say that he seems to have never rejected faith, just "went wandering."

But over time he seems to have overcome The Fame Monster more than most do (not entirely of course). I think a sense of purpose greater than himself (here we come back to The ONE Campaign) was a major factor in pulling out of his dark night of the soul.

The third factor I see is just plain age/maturity. He rebelled for a while. And then he got older. His father died. He had increasingly stronger brushes with mortality himself. His children got older and he could more easily see their lives unfolding into a future.

He aged out of a lot of his anger. Met a lot of people, read a lot of philosophy, gained new perspectives. He's still willing to poke the church pretty hard - see SLABT - but as we age, we humans often turn away from our youthful anger and toward acceptance and serenity.

Age is definitely a factor here - life experience and health scares I think will all be factors too

Offline stumpy

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Re: Bono's softening on the church
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 10:28:11 AM »
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Not sure why he changed..

I see three factors at play.

The Prayer Breakfast and Focus on the Family and stuff are about reaching American Christian audiences and specifically Christian politicians for the ONE Campaign. He would not have gotten anywhere without this. I do think he was perfectly honest about his beliefs, and he still made a few pokes at religion (not faith but religion as an institution).

Second factor is that he had gone through a spiritual crisis starting in the late 1980s as The Fame Monster ate him up. Like King Solomon, he wallowed in his wealth and fame - as the vast, vast majority of humans would do if given the opportunity. His Ecclesiastical struggles are well documented in his lyrics starting with AB but especially Zooropa and Pop - though I will say that he seems to have never rejected faith, just "went wandering."

But over time he seems to have overcome The Fame Monster more than most do (not entirely of course). I think a sense of purpose greater than himself (here we come back to The ONE Campaign) was a major factor in pulling out of his dark night of the soul.

The third factor I see is just plain age/maturity. He rebelled for a while. And then he got older. His father died. He had increasingly stronger brushes with mortality himself. His children got older and he could more easily see their lives unfolding into a future.

He aged out of a lot of his anger. Met a lot of people, read a lot of philosophy, gained new perspectives. He's still willing to poke the church pretty hard - see SLABT - but as we age, we humans often turn away from our youthful anger and toward acceptance and serenity.

That’s fine. I know he is sincere in the plight for Africa, his faith does not bother me. He is not a hypocrite, as he certainly has generated the political will and awareness with ONE. It’s just embarrassing when I see him befriending people who call themselves Christians. He fought against the prosperity gospel as well as other social injustices and avoided religious people for many years. Yes it is true, this not about the left or right, however the churches frantic drive to far right wing is tearing Christianity away from its true roots. Was hoping Bono would’ve maintained pressure on them about it. Or at least not overly credit them like has..

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Bono's softening on the church
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 12:28:06 PM »
I hear ya.

I think he sees it this way: he can either keep locking horns and criticizing, or he can get them on board and achieve very real progress on AIDS and extreme poverty.

I am certain he has had to swallow hard sometimes. But I think it's a truly Christian effort to find positive regard in people who think so differently than yourself, and to extend a love and care to them by trying to see from their point of view.

And taking Jesse Helms as an example - I think that was truly one of his greatest achievements in life. He went to the Senator with an open heart and found common ground. Sen. Helms responded in a big way. I used to live in NC and my face tightens at the mere mention of his name. He is a racist and mich more. But Bono connected with him and convinced him that AIDS is the leprosy of our time and we all know Jesus's teachings there. Senator Helms not only delivered his vote but also that of his Christian Right peers.

It's so easy to draw the line in the sand and just shake our fists at each other over that line. It does nothing but drive us further apart. Bono actually changed the trajectory of many human lives. And he takes a lot of crap for it and still doesn't give up.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Bono's softening on the church
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 12:31:52 PM »
And speaking as a decided non-fan of Jesse Helms, he deserves credit for his significant participation - his change of heart made a big difference and Bono didn't do it alone. And credit is quite the currency. What better to spend it on?

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Bono's softening on the church
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 12:46:18 PM »
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Not sure why he changed..

I see three factors at play.

The Prayer Breakfast and Focus on the Family and stuff are about reaching American Christian audiences and specifically Christian politicians for the ONE Campaign. He would not have gotten anywhere without this. I do think he was perfectly honest about his beliefs, and he still made a few pokes at religion (not faith but religion as an institution).

Second factor is that he had gone through a spiritual crisis starting in the late 1980s as The Fame Monster ate him up. Like King Solomon, he wallowed in his wealth and fame - as the vast, vast majority of humans would do if given the opportunity. His Ecclesiastical struggles are well documented in his lyrics starting with AB but especially Zooropa and Pop - though I will say that he seems to have never rejected faith, just "went wandering."

But over time he seems to have overcome The Fame Monster more than most do (not entirely of course). I think a sense of purpose greater than himself (here we come back to The ONE Campaign) was a major factor in pulling out of his dark night of the soul.

The third factor I see is just plain age/maturity. He rebelled for a while. And then he got older. His father died. He had increasingly stronger brushes with mortality himself. His children got older and he could more easily see their lives unfolding into a future.

He aged out of a lot of his anger. Met a lot of people, read a lot of philosophy, gained new perspectives. He's still willing to poke the church pretty hard - see SLABT - but as we age, we humans often turn away from our youthful anger and toward acceptance and serenity.
Obviously none of us really know.  Maybe he wandered alot.  But I wouldn’t necessarily assume the themes from Pop and Zooropa were autobiographical.  There were never any high profile incidents in the news to support that idea.  I see AB - Zooropa as a course correction to keep from being too closely identified with evangelicals through the use of irony.  A way to communicate Christian ideals with art that would somewhat shock mainstream Christianity.  This let him put distance between schools of Christianity he was not comfortable with while retaining Christian themes.  It seems he was at least somewhat taking a page from Flannery O’ Conner, who he had been reading alot during the JT era.

In the 90s I think he just saw that he could accomplish more for good with the help of evangelicals than he could without and he saw a way to use the Christian message, which they would recognize, to show them the irony of how they were practicing their own faith.  He took the message of irony of the AB/Pop/Zooropa era and stated it in a literal, non-ironic language.

I read something once about Bono relating the story of how MLK schooled the civil rights movement to quit being against things and start being for them.  It was related to RFK, who they did not trust...MLK’s message was to find some common ground as a starting point and work from there.  I think that has been Bono’s approach with US evangelicals.  Really, do you think you’re going to have any influence with a group as an outsider speaking out against that group?  Doesn’t work.  Much more effective to approach that group from whatever beliefs you share in common.


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Offline 73October

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Re: Bono's softening on the church
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2019, 04:05:11 PM »
I thought for a while he's been harder on the church.

He had to TELL Pope Francis how bad things have become with the abuse scandals.  Something the Pope didn't pick up on when he was in Ireland before he met Bono.  Seems that Pope has acted on some of this now because I noticed that he has been much firmer in dealing with things since his meeting with Bono.

Bono's recently said that he doesn't call himself a Christian - because he thinks he isn't good enough to be called one.  Admission here that he has messed up at some point and wants to distance himself from the morality that comes with the Christian label.
(I actually think he is better at trying the Christian thing than many others - the ones that come across as all holy and pure, but are cheating on behind the scenes...and then, shock horror! ).

Bono had a good poke at Christian music (the video with the Late Eugene Peterson) saying that he gets fed up that a lot of Christian songwriters don't write about the bad stuff in their lives (eg: marriage issues, sickness etc etc).  Christians tend to focus on the 'things to praise God about' - success, health, money, amazing experience of God etc etc.

Yeah, he still has his faith though I reckon.  It's like a dog at his heels.

Offline stumpy

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Re: Bono's softening on the church
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2019, 08:35:36 PM »
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And speaking as a decided non-fan of Jesse Helms, he deserves credit for his significant participation - his change of heart made a big difference and Bono didn't do it alone. And credit is quite the currency. What better to spend it on?

Absolutely. I am somewhat aware of that, I’m from Australia and don’t follow much American politics. Correct me if wrong, the change in Helms as an individual didn’t seem to win the public recognition to be remembered by. Although noted.

I guess It shouldn’t be Bono’s responsibility. Africa as important as it is, just happens to be one of the “many” major issues with it. Change needs to happen within and needs to be done forcefully. If it doesn’t happen soon and continues the same path, it just proves the whole thing as a fairytale replete with B.S...