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Bono on Jesus

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Bono Vox

Bono talks to Gay Byrne about religion and his beliefs

When Bono and his family want to worship, they read Scriptures, go to church or sometimes just pile into bed and pray.

In an interview with Ireland’s RTE One in June 2013, the U2 frontman opened up about his belief in Jesus, his prayer practice and the way he and his wife instill religious values in their children.

“I pray to get to know the will of God, because then the prayers have more chance of coming true — I mean, that’s the thing about prayer,” Bono told interviewer Gay Byrne. “We don’t do it in a very lofty way in our family. It’s just a bunch of us on the bed, usually, we’ve a very big bed in our house. We pray with all our kids, we read the Scriptures, we pray.”

Byrne presses Bono on his perception of Jesus — Was he divine? Did he truly rise from the dead? Bono answers in the affirmative.

“[Jesus] went around saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified. He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God. So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God or he was nuts. Forget rock-and-roll messianic complexes, I mean Charlie Manson-type delirium. And I find it hard to accept that whole millions and millions of lives, half the Earth, for 2,000 years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter. I just, I don’t believe it.”
When asked if he believed Jesus made promises that would come true, Bono replied, “Yes, I do.”

Apart from his prolific music career, Bono is also an avid philanthropist and social entrepreneur. In 2002 he co-founded DATA, an AIDS and poverty awareness organization that would go on to create ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History.

Bono’s faith has been an ongoing factor in his advocacy work, and it even cropped up in the lyrics of some of his most famous U2 hits. From ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’: “I believe in the kingdom come/Then all the colors will bleed into one.”

(from Huff Post)

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April 11, 2014 · 15:30

Denmark and God

God enjoying a renaissance – from “The Copenhagen Post”

Despite pews sitting empty and churches closing due to dwindling membership, a significant number of Danes still say they believe in some kind of higher power.

According to a YouGov survey undertaken for Søndagsavisen newspaper, 41 percent of people believe in a god while a further 15 percent said that they wouldn’t reject the existence of God.

Peter Lüchau, a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, said that religion is not something Danes are overly vocal about.

“Danes are surprisingly religious, but it’s not something that most Danes actively relate to. Religion has become a set of norms that is not flaunted and something that people have with themselves and their families,” Lüchau told Søndagsavisen.

It also appears that Danes become more religious the older they get. Fifty percent of people over the age of 50 are believers, compared to 32 percent of people aged 18-34.
Lüchau said that the survey results showed that religious and spiritual thought is once again gathering some momentum after experiencing a bit of a national crisis.

“In the 60’s we expected religion to become extinct. People believed that if we became effective enough and had enough science, we could explain everything,” Lüchau said. “But slowly people came to believe that science does not hold all the answers and now we have reached that point again where people look to religion for answers to the fundamental questions in life.”

The survey also revealed that women are more religious and more likely to believe in life after death than men. Some 45 percent of women believe in God, compared to 37 percent of men, and 47 percent of women believe in an afterlife, compared to just 26 percent of men.

The survey also found that people were more religious in the rural areas of the nation. In the Copenhagen and northern Zealand regions, just 33 percent of people said that they were religious, compared to the around 45 percent of people in Jutland and on Funen

The news follows in the wake of Statistics Denmark’s revelations in 2013 that while 79.1 percent of the population of Denmark are members of the Church of Denmark (folkekirken), just three percent of the population regularly attends church services.

Moreover, a TNS Gallup survey for Berlingske newspaper in October showed that one fifth of the Danish population are atheists.

According to a 2012 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 16 percent of the world’s population – 1.1 billion people – are atheists, making atheism the third-largest ‘belief’ on the planet.

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November 14, 2013 · 12:44

How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet

By Brendan O’Neill Last updated: August 14th, 2013

Article in the Telegraph


When did atheists become so teeth-gratingly annoying? Surely non-believers in God weren’t always the colossal pains in the collective backside that they are today? Surely there was a time when you could say to someone “I am an atheist” without them instantly assuming you were a smug, self-righteous loather of dumb hicks given to making pseudo-clever statements like, “Well, Leviticus also frowns upon having unkempt hair, did you know that?” Things are now so bad that I tend to keep my atheism to myself, and instead mumble something about being a very lapsed Catholic if I’m put on the spot, for fear that uttering the A-word will make people think I’m a Dawkins drone with a mammoth superiority complex and a hives-like allergy to nurses wearing crucifixes.

These days, barely a week passes without the emergence of yet more evidence that atheists are the most irritating people on Earth. Last week we had the spectacle of Dawkins and his slavish Twitter followers (whose adherence to Dawkins’ diktats makes those Kool-Aid-drinking Jonestown folk seem level-headed in comparison) boring on about how stupid Muslims are. This week we’ve been treated to new scientific researchclaiming to show that atheists are cleverer than religious people. I say scientific. I say research. It is of course neither; it’s just a pre-existing belief dolled up in rags snatched from various reports and stories. Not unlike the Bible. But that hasn’t stopped the atheistic blogosphere and Twitterati from effectively saying, “See? Told you we were brainier than you Bible-reading numbskulls.”

Atheists online are forever sharing memes about how stupid religious people are. I know this because some of my best Facebook friends are atheists. There’s even a website called Atheist Meme Base, whose most popular tags tell you everything you need to know about it and about the kind of people who borrow its memes to proselytise about godlessness to the ignorant: “indoctrination”, “Christians”, “funny”, “hell”, “misogyny”, “scumbag God”, “logic”. Atheists in the public sphere spend their every tragic waking hour doing little more than mocking the faithful. In the words of Robin Wright, they seem determined “to make it not just uncool to believe, but cool to ridicule believers”. To that end if you ever have the misfortune, as I once did, to step foot into an atheistic get-together, which are now common occurrences in the Western world, patronised by people afflicted with repetitive strain injury from so furiously patting themselves on the back for being clever, you will witness unprecedented levels of intellectual smugness and hostility towards hoi polloi.

So, what’s gone wrong with atheism? The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, which is just non-belief, a nothing, a lack of something. Rather it is the transformation of this nothing into an identity, into the basis of one’s outlook on life, which gives rise to today’s monumentally annoying atheism. The problem with today’s campaigning atheists is that they have turned their absence of belief in God into the be-all and end-all of their personality. Which is bizarre. Atheism merely signals what you don’t believe in, not what you do believe in. It’s a negative. And therefore, basing your entire worldview on it is bound to generate immense amounts of negativity. Where earlier generations of the Godless viewed their atheism as a pretty minor part of their personality, or at most as the starting point of their broader identity as socialists or humanists or whatever, today’s ostentatiously Godless folk constantly declare “I am an atheist!” as if that tells you everything you need to know about a person, when it doesn’t. The utter hollowness of this transformation of a nothing into an identity is summed up by the fact that some American atheists now refer to themselves as “Nones” – that is, their response to the question “What is your religious affiliation?” is “None”. Okay, big deal, you don’t believe in God, well done. But what do you believe in?

Today’s atheism-as-identity is really about absolving oneself of the tough task of explaining what one is for, what one loves, what one has faith in, in favour of the far easier and fun pastime of saying what one is against and what one hates. An identity based on a nothing will inevitably be a quite hostile identity, sometimes viciously so, particularly towards opposite identities that are based on a something – in this case on a belief in God. There is a very thin line between being a None and a nihilist; after all, if your whole identity is based on not believing in something, then why give a damn about anything?



September 4, 2013 · 14:56

A Poem of Belief

  • These words were written by a Jewish prisoner on a wall in a Nazi Concentration Camp in Cologne during World War II

    A Poem About Belief By a Jewish Prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp


    A Poem About Belief By a Jewish Prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp

    “I believe in the sun
    even when it is not shining
    And I believe in love,
    even when there’s no one there.
    And I believe in God,
    even when he is silent.

    I believe through any trial,
    there is always a way
    But sometimes in this suffering
    and hopeless despair
    My heart cries for shelter,
    to know someone’s there
    But a voice rises within me, saying hold on
    my child, I’ll give you strength,
    I’ll give you hope. Just stay a little while.

    I believe in the sun
    even when it is not shining
    And I believe in love
    even when there’s no one there
    But I believe in God
    even when he is silent
    I believe through any trial
    there is always a way.

    May there someday be sunshine
    May there someday be happiness
    May there someday be love
    May there someday be peace….”

    thank you, Jackie Wright, for writing these inspirational words in the card you gave me

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