Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bono, Jesus, Mohammed, and the Jews

It is being reported at recent U2 concerts that lead singer Bono has started to wear a head band with the word "COEXIST" written upon it. The "C" is the Islamic crescent moon, the "X" is a Star of David, and the "T" appears to be a cross. While wearing this headband, Bono has said something like this to the crowd: "Jesus, Jew, Mohammed - all true sons of Abraham."

There is, of course, much speculation as to what this all means. Bono seems to have espoused Christianity as The Truth in the past, but is he now advocating some sort of universalism? Is he perhaps saying that all religions (or at least Judiasm, Islam, and Christianity) have a valid pathway to God? What does he mean by "all true sons of Abraham?"

The COEXIST website can be found here. The following is the "concept" behind the company:

COEXIST was founded behind the concept of the COEXIST design logo. Combining the three monotheistic symbols to spell "coexist" suggests a lifestyle of creative consciousness. COEXIST embraces life first. We design the possibilities of enjoying it together because we are all at the interface of what is and can be. We aim to expose the distraction of discrimination, while promoting the vitality found in "collective." COEXIST expresses global beauty in all ways of life through the lens of fashion and design.

Much can be said about the "concept," beyond all the New Age jibberishness that it invokes. Really - so religion is all just a way to express fashion and design? You mean, I truly can go and worship at the House of Gucci? If this is true, then buying a T-shirt from COEXIST is a way to live out my faith.

Musician Tara Leigh Coble writes in Relevant about her experience at a U2 concert, in which she left feeling deeply disturbed.
I’ve heard the urban legends of amazing things Bono has said about his faith, I’ve read the books, and I’ve peered deep into everything he’s said hoping to find something that makes his beliefs clear. For years, I’ve adored him and clung to the notion that he is believer, too. After all, he identifies himself with Christianity, doesn’t he?

When he stated that lie so boldly, it devastated me. It was, without question, the most disturbing experience of my life; I felt like I’d been covered in bile. As I looked around, I saw all the people standing and chanting with him-it was disgusting and beautiful all at once. Unity can be so enticing. It made me think of the one world religion and how that will probably look benign and beautiful from the outside, too. I even started to wonder if universalism just might be poised to be that religion. All these things were running through my head.

Craig Dunham at TwentySomeone discusses how "respect is the new indifference."

More about Bono and his headband/scarf here, here, and here (in the comments).

Remember -
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." -- John 14:6 (NKJV)

1 comment:

  1. I doubt Bono was making a religious statement here. Remember he was raised during the religious wars in Ireland. Protestants and Catholics were literally murdering each other over religious differences (within the Christian faith). He is NOT saying all 3 religions of the book are the same. He IS saying, however, that we have to live together in one world. Despite our religious differences we have to learn to "co-exist" - literally (the girl from Relevant magazine sadly misinterpreted this idea).