Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Bono is one of my new heroes

Yesterday, at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, I had the privilege of hearing Bono (lead singer of U2) speak. First of all, I loved hearing him speak because it seems that many songwriters have such a poetic eloquence that carries over into everything they write and say. (Jon Foreman of Switchfoot has that same talent.)

More importantly, Bono captured a lot of things that were on my heart and put words to them. I am so thankful that someone with such influence and eloquence cares so passionately for social justice.

So, I'm going to put a few quotes from what he says and elaborate on them. If you know of anyone who attending the Leadership Summit, I would highly recommend borrowing a copy of the DVD of Bono's interview from them. (Yes, interview... It's quite remarkable what happens when Bill Hybels and Bono get together.)

"'Love thy neighbour' is not advice; it's a command."

The question becomes "who is my neighbour?" Remember in Luke 10 when an expert of the law asked Jesus that very question? I think we can easily surmise that our neighbour becomes anyone, whether they live next door or across the world.

Walking around the Legislature grounds the other day, I read a sobering quote regarding the Holocaust. "Neutrality always helps the oppressor, never the tormented." (I apologize because I can't remember who said it!)

Today we live in a world with a Holocaust of Hunger. If we don't care, if we don't do anything, we are contributing to the problem. There are only two sides: fight "stupid poverty" (that which "sees a child die of hunger in an age of plenty," that which is completely preventable) or encourage it. By doing nothing, we are part of the problem. If I do nothing to fight poverty, I am guilty for the deaths of AIDS-afflicted orphans and hungry widows.

So what can we do? Well, my apologies to all the skeptics, but I'm going to reference Bill Hybels. First of all, we need to be educated about the problems out there. Then we need to do SOMETHING to alleviate human suffering.

Here are some links to help you with the first step: - A campaign started by Bono to eliminate third-world debt and other poverty issues - A campaign targetting child soldiers and poverty in northern Uganda - An e-zine with a section about social justice - A campaign targeting debt, AIDS and trade for Africa

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