Nothing personal, Matt.
OK. So the last time we had a discussion about Bono, I pretty much buried the hatchet regarding my personal grudge against the greatest frontman in rock history and his band. I know it was keeping him up at nights, so I am sure that Bono has slept better since that blog entry.
However, that hasn't stopped Bono from continuing to annoy the monkey-fur off of me. We all got a nice little laugh when U2's publicist came out and said that U2 is upset that both Hillary Clinton and Rick Santorum are using U2 concerts as political fundraisers -- some of us laughing because of the irony, and some laughing because of the pomposity, and yet others laughing over the apparent complete lack of self-awareness evident in the thinking which would prompt such a statement.
Anyway, BreitBart is reporting today (feeding from AP) that Bono has met with President Bush (in a completely non-political way, I am sure; neither Bush nor Bono scored any political points by meeting with each other) to talk (again) about world poverty. Yes, that's fine -- I'm sure lunch from the staff mess at the White House did a lot to enlighten President Bush about world economic forces and the solutions to the plight of people trapped in totalitarian regimes which are siphoning off national resources to fund the personal bling-stash of the totalitarians in question. I'm sure they actually fed a lot of hungry people in Africa over that lunch in the Oval Office dining room.
But you know what? That's not the worst of it. this is the worst part of it:
Bono told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview before they dined that he had no fear of meeting Bush or any other world leader."No Fear". Think about that for a second – Bono, whose greatest achievement personally to date was the failure of Live Aid to deliver on its promise to end starvation in Africa, and who apparently doesn't have enough free-time to clear up his theological muddle, has "no fear" in speaking to one of the most politically-powerful men in the world today.
"They should be afraid, because they will be held accountable for what happened on their watch," Bono told the magazine for an article on newsstands Friday. "I'm representing the poorest and the most vulnerable people. On a spiritual level, I have that with me. I'm throwing a punch, and the fist belongs to people who can't be in the room, whose rage, whose anger, whose hurt I represent.
"The moral force is way beyond mine, it's an argument that has much more weight than I have. So I'm not feeling nervous."Emph Added
Now you would think that perhaps if he was a prophet sent by God with certainty that he had a message of divine authority to warn the President of the United States about some big doin's in the future (and more on that in a second), he'd have some justification for "no fear", right? But what is Bono's justification for having "no fear"? "I'm throwing a punch, and the fist belongs to people who can't be in the room, whose rage, whose anger, whose hurt I represent." He's not representing divine authority: he's representing a threat of violence.
Consider it! He's walking into the White House essentially blackmailing (as he frames his own position) the President to do what he says, or else! With no fear! I have already covered the kind of thinking that is behind this from the perspective of how much money gets sent to Africa in foreign aid every year, right? And just over yonder in the right sidebar, you can see the link for Compassion International, so I'm let's not assume that I think the poor in Africa need to buck up and put on their big-girl panties and deal with it. What I find completely outrageous is the belief that somehow it is right to threaten those who have the means to provide whatever anyone might have the spunk to demand, and it's OK because the motive is "rage and anger".
"Rage and anger"? Against whom? For what reason? It's completely blind rage, completely blind anger, and in that it is fearless because it is completely blind – blind to fact, blind to responsibility, and blind to what is actually the reason to intervene for the poor: the image of God in them, and in those who can and should help them.
Which brings me around to the matter of the actual prophets who actually had God's own words to deliver who actually were bringing judgment upon the mighty for being completely morally bankrupt. You might like to bolster Bono's fearlessness by noting that Samuel wasn't afraid of Saul, Nathan was not afraid of David, John the Baptist was not afraid of the Pharisees, and Jesus was not afraid of Pilate. Bono's in good company, right?
Yeah, not so fast. Moses was afraid of Pharaoh – so afraid that he told God to send somebody else. Paul, in testifying to Felix who held his life in his hands, said, "I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man." And again to Agrippa, "I beg you to listen to me patiently." Isaiah had enough sense to know that he was in as much danger as anyone before God, and was "undone" (sometimes you have to love the KJV) for his own wickedness. And these are the guys who were actually on a mission from God, not some self-proclaimed crusade that is motivated by "rage".
The only somewhat-redeeming factor in Bono's favor is that he refuses to couch his arguments in God's name. I say, "good for him." That shows at least some microscopic awareness that what is driving him is nothing larger or smaller than his own ego.
Much like people who blog about the famous and the popular.