Breaking news! Bono, as it turns out, is a human being from Dublin, Ireland born Paul David Hewson in May 1960. Why is this a newsworthy revelation? Because some people, it appears, believe that Bono is their god. I’m not capitalizing “god” here because this is a reference to people (and by “people,” I mean a small-but-perhaps-growing contingent of U2 fans) claiming to worship Bono as a god and using him as a substitute for the one true God – you know, the one that created heaven and earth.
What’s my evidence that people are doing this? As the tour goes on, we’re seeing more of these types of things on social media: photos and memes depicting Bono as Jesus (a particularly disturbing one with Bono’s eyes and Jesus’ lower face half/beard comes to mind), and more commonly, individual declarations that “U2 is my religion,” “U2 concerts are my church,” etc. I saw one tweet today featuring the touching photo of Bono and Malala Yousafzai at the Global Citizen Festival, accompanied by the text “Bono I worship you.” Really?
Bono is not God, people. God is God. For those who call themselves Christians, Jesus is Jesus; Bono is not Jesus. Et cetera. As a Christian himself, it would seem logical and highly likely that Bono does not want people, including devoted U2 fans like ourselves, to worship him as a god. Doesn’t that make sense?
Yes, sometimes he changes the One lyric to, “Have you come here to play Jesus? ‘Cuz I did…” Interpret that any way you want, but I believe it means he is demonstrating good works as all believers are instructed to – something we all know he has admirably succeeded at. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1
So, in conclusion…Bono is:
- The best rock and roll frontman of all time
- Probably the best songwriter in the world
- Undoubtedly one of the greatest singers alive today
- One of the most important global humanitarians of the past 100 years
- An international icon who is often treated unfairly by his critics
- Ridiculously attractive, particularly when performing onstage
But is he God? No. And I don’t believe he wants to be.