Thursday, April 07, 2005

"I didn’t agree with everything [John Paul II] said."

So who is this one who joins the few courageous souls willing to admit disagreements with the Pope? Probably not the first person you would think of.
BONO paid tribute to POPE JOHN PAUL II during U2’s show in ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA last night (April 2). . . . “I met the Holy Father and I was so taken by this showman, even if I didn’t agree with everything he said,” the singer, whose father was Roman Catholic, said to the crowd as the band began playing the intro to new song ‘Miracle Drug’.
[link to nme.com article available but omitted due to potentially offensive content]

The U2 lead singer also called the late pontiff "the best front man the Roman Catholic Church has ever had."

And from MTV comes a reminder of another rocker's anti-papal protest (don't ask me how I find this stuff):
Of course, the most controversial pop-culture moment involving the pope occurred in 1992, when singer Sinead O'Connor ripped up a picture of John Paul II and said, "Fight the real enemy," after her performance of Bob Marley's "War" (in which she changed the lyric "social injustice" to "sexual abuse") on "Saturday Night Live."

O'Connor eventually apologized to the pope, calling her act "ridiculous." She went on to join the congregation of the controversial Irish Bishop Michael Cox, who eventually ordained the singer as a priest, a move the pope was quoted as calling "bizarre." NBC, which received thousands of complaints (including one from Frank Sinatra, who said he wanted to "punch" O'Connor), was eventually fined $2.5 million by the Federal Communications Commission. The performance was not aired again.
I don't know which is more amazing to me:
    1. The fact that so many evangelicals seem more in love with the late pontiff than rockers from RCC backgrounds, or
    2. The fact that CBS was only fined $550,000 for last year's Super Bowl incident when NBC was fined $2.5 million for Sinead's shenanigans
I feel as though this horse has been beaten to death. Barring a major development, I'll dig up something else to talk about tomorrow and in days to follow. So to choose a final word from the wisdom of Dan Rather: "Courage."

2 comments:

Jason Janz said...

Haven't met you yet, Ben, but something tells me that we'll hit it off!

Your comments about Bono brought up memories of a speech I heard by Bill Hybels two years ago where he talked about his meeting with the band leader. I found an interview referencing it here - http://www.boundless.org/departments/atplay/a0000863.html

I quote: "While his comments smack of flavorless salt, the rock star claims to be salt nonetheless. And pastors like Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church in Illinois believe him. After meeting with the singer during his weeklong speaking tour to drum up Evangelical awareness of the African AIDS crisis, Hybels stated, 'I came away convinced that Bono's faith is genuine; his vision to relieve the tragic suffering in Africa is God-honoring.' "

So, it looks like Bono, Bill, and Billy have finally all found what they've been looking for.

Ben said...

Very interesting article, Jason. I'll make the URL a link just to make it more accessible. The religious themes of U2's music are well-documented. Someone even wrote a book, "Walk On: the Spiritual Journey of U2."

Organizations like Youth Specialties are constantly promoting favorable articles about their faith. I'm glad to see a perspective from the other side.

bw

P.S. I met you once in The Daily Grind, probably during a family camp when I was a counselor. But then you were a legend, so it would have been far more memorable for me.