Saturday, May 5, 2018

You too, U2?

Achtung, Baby” was the 4th or 5th record I purchased for myself as a youngster saving up allowance money.  I’ve always like U2’s music, but as I became a young adult who actually started paying attention to lyrics, U2’s appeal only grew for me.

In one of U2’s most famous songs, “When Love Comes to Town”, Bono sings with B.B. King that the Crucifixion of Christ conquers “the great divide”.  Love Rescue Me”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, and so many of U2’s catalog of songs have strong Christian overtones.

As the divide between “secular” and “Christian” in Western culture grows exponentially today, a band like U2 that is willing to make popular music that occasionally mentions Christ or Christian themes becomes something to latch onto as a sign of hope. 

So when U2 came out this week in favor of abortion in Ireland in the run-up to that country’s very important vote on the issue, it was such a disheartening announcement for so many.

But, as a Catholic, the betrayal of U2 (after the shock wore off) served as a helpful reminder:  U2’s betrayal is yet another reminder that a dogma-less “mere Christianity” is ultimately a house of sand on which nothing meaningful can be built.  Christ left us a Church for a reason.  He built it on “rock” for a reason.

In “When Love Comes to Town” Bono says that he’s ”Seen love conquer the great divide.”  But for many Christians, far from helping Christ conquer the divide, U2 just helped widen it.

Bono, lead singer of U2, singing songs on tour dressed as the Devil

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