When you have presidents on speed dial and your day job involves standing in front of a stadium full of people as they chant lyrics you wrote 25 years ago back at you, I would imagine it’s hard to stay humble enough to acknowledge that you need a savior.
That’s why Bono is such an interesting character. When you see him, he looks like rock star through and through. But when he talks religion, well, here he is:
But the way we would see it, those of us who are trying to figure out our Christian conundrum, is that the God of the Old Testament is like the journey from stern father to friend. When you’re a child, you need clear directions and some strict rules. But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.
Holy crap, was Bono sitting in front of me in Sunday School? I don’t remember any ten-year-olds with weird, bug-eye sunglasses in there. But I think he would’ve fit right in.
Bono: I really believe we’ve moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.
Michka [interviewer]: Well, that doesn’t make it clearer for me.
Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.
Michka: I’d be interested to hear that.
Bono: That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.