An article appearing on the website of CorruptChristianMusic.com, entitled ‘Influences: U2’ is a blatant criticism of U2, although the alarming fact is that the writer(s) of this article have completely missed the point, misunderstood Bono, taken Christianity to extremes I, as a Christian myself, know it never should be taken to, and made great errors. This article shall rebut that of Corrupt Christian Music.
‘Today’s influence is who we become tomorrow’
This line, found above the title, is meant to be a put-down of U2, claiming that their bad influence will ruin us in the future. However, it shall be shown by this article – and has been shown by many other articles on the Internet – that U2 is a very good influence, and, the more people influenced by U2, the brighter our tomorrow will be.
‘They are another very worldly and ungodly band’
It’s fascinating that the author makes such a judgement when he/she does not successfully prove their point. U2 is a very spiritual band, most certainly not worldly and ungodly. This can be seen by the themes of their songs – Gloria, Tomorrow, If God Will Send His Angels, 40, The Wanderer, et cetera – and by the way they live their lives, with Bono in particular working to better this world.
‘claiming "Christianity", they sing of depression, women, drinking, use base profanity’
What point is the author trying to make here? Not only is he/she being extremely judgemental and claiming U2 is not really Christian (both calling them liars and making a judgement that never should be made at the same time), they, without any evidence at all, imply that no Christian band would ever sing of depression, women, and drinking. There is nothing wrong with singing about things that exist. The Bible also speaks of depression, women, and drinking, so, by the author’s logic, the Bible is somehow wrong as well! And, in regards to profanity, please see my article on the issue that explains why it is not sinful.
‘and even sing a song titled 'Playboy Mansion' with lyrics such as "sex is a religion ... it's who you know that gets you into the gates of the playboy mansion"!’
This comment is simply ludicrous and fraudulent. The word ‘sex’ NEVER appears in The Playboy Mansion, the line they’re referring to is “Chance is a kind of religion”, and the author obviously has not bothered to even research the meaning of the song, because, if they had, it would’ve become apparent this song has a Christian message. This blatant mistake – which has not been corrected even though CCM has been contacted and informed of it – shows they cannot be trusted. If they can’t even get a simple lyric right, how can they be trusted to be accurate on more serious issues?
‘Lead singer, Bono (real name Paul Hewson), has written songs that have "taken people on spiritual journeys, turned them on sexually, or inspired them to change".’
This is supposed to be a bad thing? If so, the author better get off whatever they’re smoking because it’s obviously messing with their head in weird and strange ways. It’s wonderful Bono’s lyrics have had such a profound impact on people.
‘He was given the nickname of 'The Antichrist' to decribe his character when he was a young boy, by his brother. [Followed by quote from http://www.atu2.com/band/bono/]’
For a second, allow me to relate some personal experience here to prove my point. One of my close friends is a strong Christian, a man of faith who most certainly is not an evil, wicked person who desires to be like Satan or anything like that. However, one of his nicknames is ‘The Antichrist’. We, his friends, are not accusing him of being The Antichrist; we just call him it as a joke and as a take-off of his ‘evil’ character. It in no way is meant in seriousness. I imagine the same would apply to Bono being nicknamed ‘The Antichrist’. He was even nicknamed this by his brother! Siblings give each other ‘evil’ nicknames at times. This point simply cannot be used to destroy Bono’s character. It’s completely outlandish and stupid.
‘Bono did things like stripping naked in London in a public restaurant during an interview.
The band, altogether, passed out free condoms in their concerts.’
This doesn’t prove much.
‘The activist, Bono is known for claiming spirituality yet living a lifestyle completely secular including swearing, drinking, smoking and associating with the immoral celebrities like himself’
Swearing is not sinful, drinking is not sinful (drunkenness, on the other hand, is), smoking is not sinful, associating with other celebrities is what famous people often do (whether they like it or not), and to accuse them and Bono of being immoral is judgemental, the kind of judgemental behaviour condemned by Christ. Furthermore, Bono is only human. He’s going to muck up, just like you, me, and everyone else on the face of the planet. To expect him to somehow be perfect is stupid.
‘His U2 band is a mainstream band which sings of women, depression, hopelessness etc.’
The last thing U2 is, is mainstream. In their music, they continually buck the trend, experimenting with new styles and new ways of doing things, and, in their songs, they sing of issues many singers shy away from, particularly God and religion. The point on singing on issues other than Christianity has been refuted earlier in this article and need not be repeated here.
‘This man has a AIDS foundation called DATA which even Christian artists are falling for to help aid, yet they are failing to look at who they are joining with!’
Firstly, get it right: DATA is not just an AIDS foundation, it also has to do with dropping the debt of impoverished African nations, et cetera. It is a fantastic organisation working to improve the lives of millions in the world, and to criticise it is sheer stupidity, stemming from something rather unlike Christianity and much more like heartlessness. It is a worthy cause, and Bono should be applauded for his fantastic efforts. The fact other artists also want to help is even better, and shows the cause is gaining in popularity and having an impact on other people. And who are they joining with? Not some evil Bono presented by this article, but a humanitarian, one of the most giving, loving men to ever grace this planet, a man who works to help people and improve the lives of some of our world’s poorest and most needy.
‘On top of the fact that Bono is activily promoting DATA, he is also an active supporter of Greenpeace.’
Although I cannot claim to support Greenpeace in all of their actions, many of their activities are to better the world, and it is fantastic Bono is getting behind them and helping to promote them further. His support means the word gets out to even more people and his actions most likely have meant the earth has been helped in ways it never would’ve been helped in had he not come along. To criticise him for supporting Greenpeace is simply rubbish.
‘Here are some of the many quotes that lead singer, Bono, has made - He is no way represents Christianity, on the contrary he represents complete filth, which he makes clearly evident by his own mouth!’
This sensationalist statement is not even worth the time of day.
(Please note that I will not reply to all the quotes given by CCM. Assume the reply to any quote not otherwise replied to here is “What is this supposed to prove?”)
</i>‘"I'd like to give a message to the young people of America, and that is; we shall continue to abuse our position and f*** up the mainstream." (Said on the '94 Grammy's)’</i>
I’ve responded to this quote in a previous article and shall reproduce that response here: “of course that’s going to stir up dislike on the part of Christians who hold the position that swearing is wrong (even though no explicit statement on the issue can be found in the Bible). I personally applaud Bono for this statement. U2 is one of the biggest bands in the world today, and I hope they abuse their position and “fuck up the mainstream”, because mainstream music today is utter rubbish and needs a quality band like U2 to do something to it.”
"It took U2 fifteen years to get from Psalms to Ecclesiastes, and it's only one book!"
One can safely assume they do not literally mean it took them fifteen years to get from Psalms to Ecclesiastes. In fact, it would be safe to assume that Bono, being the reader he is, has read the entire Bible. What he is really referring to here is the spirit and message of U2’s music: fifteen years before the quote, they were like Psalms, and, over the following fifteen years, they progressed to being akin to Ecclesiastes.
"[When asked "Don't you ever wish you were a band they were after for your sex appeal"? (as opposed to their social conscience etc)] Yeah well were working on that at the moment, were gonna become a sorta trash band. We were just saying we could get into wrecking a few hotel rooms and driving a few Rolls Royce's into swimming pools."
This is a joke. J-O-K-E. Might be a foreign word to the author.
"The name U2 is ambiguous, it's in-between... like the tightrope that we're treading."
Is the author trying to criticise U2 by putting this quote in the article? Well, that surely has backfired on him/her. This is a very profound, thoughtful quote about life, how it can seem ambiguous, be like a tightrope, et cetera.
"I feel that we are meant to be one of the great groups. There's a certain chemistry that was special about the Stones, The Who and The Beatles and I think it's also special about U2." October 1981
Wow, what a prophetic statement on Bono’s behalf. One can imagine the author is trying to criticise Bono because he’s mentioned three secular bands they probably think are Satanic or demonic or evil or something like that, but it’s a simple statement by Bono that he thinks U2 is meant to be great on the scale of these bands, and stating U2 has a special chemistry just like these great bands also had – all great bands have a special chemistry, and, without it, they simply would not be great.
“Sex and music are still for me places where you glimpse God. Sex and art, I suppose, but unless you're going to get slain in the spirit by a Warhol or Rothko, I think for most of us
art is music.” – Bono
What point are they trying to make here? Sex and art ARE places where you can glimpse God. He did, after all, create both of them.
“Sadomasochism is not taboo in rock & roll. Spirituality is.” - Bono, 1985
That is one of the truest statements Bono could’ve made, acknowledging the reality of rock music – you can sing about almost anything but spirituality. The author of this article, instead of destroying Bono, shows him to be an insightful and truthful man with this quote.
"We don't write music for food; we write music for sex. Dinner parties just aren't our thing." [yes and since he created music for "sex" then he too has caused AIDS]
This is quite possibly one of the stupidest statements I have ever read. Just because he’s created music for sex, he’s caused AIDS? What utter rubbish. The author can kiss their credibility goodbye. And, furthermore, I would not be fully confident that Bono is being 100% serious here. Indeed, in many of the quotes put up by CCM, Bono is joking or the author is taking him way too seriously.
"John Lennon changed my way of seeing things." –Bono
Oh yes, and because he’s such a dreadful heathen who no Christian should ever speak of, Bono’s now some evil person who’s been sucked in by Satan? Seriously, the author has some very warped and mistaken views. Bono has a lot of respect for John Lennon, which is understandable, because he did great music; plus, inspiration and new perspectives can be found in all places.
"Listen, I'll talk to Jesus. I'll talk to the lady at the check-out there at Kmart. I'll talk to anyone."
And this is meant to be a putdown of Bono? It just shows he’s prepared to mingle with anything, and shows he’s a down-to-earth guy, not so arrogant as to refuse to talk to anyone “beneath” him. It’s a very good quote.
"They say, 'He who loves his life loses it.' But I say, 'Hate your life enough and you can keep it forever." –Bono
Here, Bono confirms a Biblical truth. Doesn’t the author like him speaking a Biblical truth? Is a rockstar speaking a Biblical proof somehow evil now? What is this quote meant to prove, apart from that Bono has made a very astute observation?
"People expect that because I am a believer that I somehow have all the answers. And I was saying that really I have more questions, as a result of being a believer, and the road I am going down is a road with many side roads, and you get lost along the way and I don't feel that I'm a very good ad for God, y'know. If ever there was a sinner there is one here. " –Bono
To have a problem with this statement is sheer stupidity. Lots of questions arise from being a believer – being a believer is not easy and we cannot know all the answers – and Bono even admits he’s sinful and fallen, just like the rest of us. What’s wrong with it? NOTHING!
"I think people understand that I'm not religious. When I talk of religion I'm talking about the force which has cut this country (Ireland) in two. I'm not religious at all, but I do believe in God very strongly, and I don't believe that we just kind of exploded out of thin air, I can't believe it." –Bono
Not only is Bono denying creation in this statement, he’s condemning religion, something TRUE Christianity is not. It is a RELATIONSHIP, not a RELIGION, and it is wonderful Bono has made this distinction. To elaborate on this quote by Bono, another quote of his: “I'm not doubting. I don't doubt God. I have firm faith absolutely in God. It's religion I'm doubting.”
"I believe in the powers that be, but they won't overpower me." –Bono
Firstly, please credit this ACCURATELY. Yes, it is, in a way, a quote by Bono, because he wrote the lyrics, but this is actually a line from the 1982 single A Celebration. And this is a very good quote: Bono’s not going to let anyone push him around and oppress him. How can anyone quarrel with this?
"I think it's the spiritual strength that's essential to the band. People have got to find their own way. I'm not into standing up and saying, 'hey, you should be into God!' My own life is exhilirating through an experience I feel, and I feel there's no point in talking about something which should be there in your life anyway. You don't have to preach about it. " –Bono
All I can say about this is: WHAT A FANTASTIC QUOTE!
"Where's my public? My God, they've deserted me! This is a crisis. We'd better do something. Stir up some publicity or something. 'Bono in under-age sex orgy.' That should do it. I want my public back." December 1987 –Bono
Do I sense a joke? Yes, yes I do. The above quote is most certainly a joke.
‘click on photo to view a very disterbing shot of Bono with Oasis lead singer, Liam Ghallager acting completely perverse!’
The photo is of Bono and Liam Ghallager kissing, and my question simply is this: since when was there any kind of law against one man kissing another? It’s common practice in many parts of the world. Just by kissing someone of the same gender, one is not committing any kind of sin – homosexuality is a sin, but one straight man simply kissing another straight man? No, most certainly not.
To conclude, the article by Corrupt Christian Music is utter nonsense. They misinterpret U2 and Bono, paint a fraudulent picture of them, are very inaccurate, and don’t do any damage to the very good reputation of U2 and Bono. Indeed, through their posting of some very good quotes, they most likely improve U2’s reputation. This article by CCM should be taken with a grain of salt and not trusted in the slightest, especially considering some alarming errors that are made. U2 is a very spiritual band, and anyone who tries to criticise them and claim they are worldly and ungodly needs to have their head checked because they are in serious error.