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The Irish Rock Band U2 as a Modern Critique of Religion Essay

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Updated: Apr 17th, 2019


U2, the Irish Rock Band, has been under the guidance of the songster called Bono since 1980s. During most nationalized prayers particularly the February 2006 Washington, DC state mealtime payers, Bono offered a crucial speech concerning religious issues.

The affair was planned by the evangelical Christian charity and was attended by various world leaders, congress members, George Bush, and over three thousand people across the world. Before this crowd, Bono admitted that there could be something inappropriate or something deviant a propos the rock stars going to the podiums and starting to preach at the world leaders.

According to Bono sermon virtues, instead of preaching to the presidents, the rock stars should give aid to the poor Africans and the sick. With reference to the universal higher bylaws, Bono on behalf of U2 implored global elected officials to go past religion since it usually obstructs God’s ways. In fact, politicians are requested by Bono to hold the grace period that instigated with the Jubilee year, which is the new millennium.

The speeches offered by Bono during most mealtime prayers have made fanatics as well as the popular press associates to label Bono as the Messiah of Roll and Rock. Whereas since 1980s this songster has been infusing opinionated and theological teachings in the U2 lyrics, Bono transformed songs discourses into persistent political actions (Lofton, 2006).

In fact, Bono united with Pope Paul John 2 together with others in the waive debt drive. The songster invoked the Jubilee period as noted in the customs of Leviticus when most arrears were waived devoid of penalties. Songster, as a manager of DATA, spiritual and U2 pop group organizer has habitually been rising to the arena to sermonize to elected official and states heads.

The procedures and promotion schemes used by the songster are akin to those utilized by the present-day American renaissance evangelists that scholars idealized. Similar to Billy and Moody, who are the United States of America evangelical complements, the songster travelled the universe to urge the developed nations to waive the arrears poor nations owe them.

Bono via advocating for the Africans debt waiving fuses the revival strands and the American roll and rock in the politics of religion. The backing of the inclusive politics by the songster serves as an image of what various sociological practitioners dubbed the internationalization of dogmas.

However, to take part in the modern world politics, Casanova claims that social artists should accept the modernity commands that accrue from the desire. This is particularly factual for the religious conviction according to Casanova.

In fact, Bono asserts that, just the religions that have included as their personal enlightenment religion critique, the central aspects affecting poor nations stand a chance of playing the optimistic responsibilities in advancing the realistic rationalization progression (Lealand, 1994).

Bono and the U2 Irish Band act as religious brokers and the negation techniques used to advocate for the African debt waiving materialize to be religious. The data foundation, which is a poor state construction venture initiated by the songster in support of U2 pop group is both a wholeheartedly spiritual observer as well as an indisputably material undertaking.

Advocating for poor nations basically demonstrates what Asad Talal tentatively argued concerning the secular conception claiming that the practice can hardly happen devoid of the religious notion (Lofton, 2006). Through advocating for the poor African nations, the U2 Irish band songster preaches the secularized soteriology.

This emerges to be the communal fiscal and spiritual prescription for deliverance unrestrained by the religious organizations. Whilst committed to the saintly behaviors as mature and material activism which incorporates the undertakings of creed, the U2 pop group has upheld the West overall diplomatic status with eschatological prospects and gospel sparkles.

This paper illustrates the Irish Rock band U2 as a critique of modern religion. The salvation messages asserted by Bono as Max Weber indebted are incorporated in the paper.

For instance, by linking the personal deliverance soteriology lyrics to the opinionated direction on what poor nations ought to undertake to be salvated, the analysis of Bono and U2 band works in this paper symbolizes the three features of Max Weber soteriology hypothetical accounts. The first section claims that social agents may not receive deliverance or salvation devoid a rational global reflection offered by the prevailing humanity.

Part two utilizes Marxist designs on simplified conceptions or the humankind theodicy to elucidate the Almighty’s folklore. The last section asserts what Max Weber claimed that some theodicy sufferings instigate from the deliverance hope.

The Irish Rock Band U2 and global politicians

The songster and U2 pop group move athwart capital avenues to pastoral mountains, athwart ecological milieus, chronological architects, gaps, and era, to the Western nations from Ireland. Bono in this lyrical image depicts the true American image that is tangled up. In fact, U2 and Bono snatched a limelight intended to shine the blue-sky bullet that darkened the stage.

Throughout the lyrics, Bono and U2 band lament about the capitalism evils, but through highlighting and advocating against the capitalists ideas, Bono shades light across the board. Bono blames Americans for ignoring the African AIDS disaster through hoarding wealth (Finney, 2003).

The U2 band praised the Beastie Boys, the UN representatives, and Bill Clinton for the humanitarian responsibilities assumed, though Bono requested them to give out additional aid to the developing nations and fund research studies conducted on AIDS.

Bono manages to blend the political convictions with religious renderings by calling on the Americans religious commitment. The devout backwoods for the songster could be developed nations and U2 pop group perceives America as a terrain of opinionated leeway and pious assurances. When compared to the bands political messages, the divine passion of Bono are somehow unstructured (Trachtenberg, 2008).

Throughout Bono’s speaking engagements, concert performances, and references lyrics, Bono portrays the bands religious thoughts. During public religious politics performances, the Irish Rock Band U2 undertakes the communal theologians’ responsibilities.

Despite his liking of America, Bono and U2 band claim that American has been consuming various poor nations. In fact, America is Bono and the U2 band pulpit, but the songster tells the graduating populace that in the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God, loving thy neighbors’ residing in the universal villages is convenient. Thus, Bono calls upon developed nations to waive the debts given to the third world nations.

The Irish Rock Band U2 in ‘pop’, the most non-judgmental album, claims that not everything can be reached, grubbed, nor forced, and they cannot be religiously grabbed given they can hardly be connected to love. Bono and U2 avows that just the passion for can help in rattling the Iron cage. In the popular lyrical song, ‘Blue-sky-bullet’, the songster is correlated to the Israel’s holy bible fantasy.

In fact, the unfolding in first book of the bible emphasizes that Israel clashed with the Almighty’s correspondent in the darkness (Lealand, 1994). Acting as Jacob, the Irish Rock Band U2 under the guidance of Bono emblematically tussled with the U.S. and the Almighty.

Actually, Bono has a clear understanding of the Americans and the Almighty and claims that both ought to be conquered. According to Bono and the U2, the United State of America acts as the prospective envoy for the Almighty kindness, or Deity’s loveliness that should be emulated in the America’s capacity to waive debts.

Resembling the Almighty’s representative in the holy bible, the Western nations possess the supremacy to surname, classify general countries, and bestow commands. Therefore, via DATA, the Irish Rock Band U2 and Bono have frequently been recognizing such commands held by the U.S., and they call upon America to offer support for the people of God.

As a matter of fact, Bono and U2 demands for grace having been jerked by the Americans during the day (Lofton, 2006). Using the Almighty as the reference point, Bono and U2 has been requesting for the new fangled pledge of equality at the financial possibilities frame.

Conquering religious conviction

While the Irish Rock Band U2 toured Vertigo, the songster, Bono, wore a diadem during most stage performances. The headband had numerous symbols portraying the pictures of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Some of the symbols included the Cross-, the David’s Star, and a Crescent written within the ‘Coexist’ phrase.

Also dubbed as the ‘Rock Messiah Bandana’, Bono diadem was sometimes reserved for special occasions. For instance, Bono wore the headband all through the ‘Else, or Peace and Love’ concerts while reserved it for some melodies such as ‘could there be the primary communion moment?

A song sung for Miss Sarajevo, and ‘do we spare instances to go to the synagogue?’ or ‘do people have occasions spared to visit the exquisiteness emperor facing God, Mecca? In concluding, Bono and U2 ask whether there special moments meant for the shared principles and fighting for rights of fellow citizens (Lealand, 1994).

When performing the ‘Blue-Sky Bullet’, Bono slipped the so called the messiah crown to cover his eyeballs and consequently knelt downward while putting his arms on the skull. Most people referred the activities as all of us belong to father Abraham’s descendants.

However, after the sermon, Bono and U2 band explained the diadem importance to the fanatics by naming every sign whilst delivering in rhythm. The symbols denoted Muhammad, Jew, and Jesus all of whom are children of God and Abraham’s sons (Lofton, 2006).

With the occurrence of the September 11 2001 terrorists’ attack of the world trade center, Bono blamed the incidence as a spiritual transcendence. During the Vertigo tour, U2 band under Bono control delivered various religious messages but in all cases, the messages seemed packaged, reproduced and proffered in a restructured approach.

Whilst delivering the messages, the U2 band could alter the lyrical contents yet maintaining the methods utilized. Under chock-full sports ground that stymied the faint illumination, the songster utilized torches to burnish the arena. Furthermore, Bono tore the messiah crown and invited the elected officials who attended the show but remained sited in the luxurious boxes (Trachtenberg, 2008).

While entertaining the guests and fans, the Irish Rock U2 members and Bono ran about the heart fashioned podium. Despite emerging, as the modus operandi of the lyrical concerts, the techniques applied by Bono and the U2 band resembled the contemporary revitalization methods initiated and idealized by the American evangelists of the 19th century.

The Second Great Awakening between the fiscal 1780’s and 1830’s is denoted by the Finney revivals as claimed by Mathews. The creation of a mutual world experience by establishing several analogous local institutions enables the revivals to geologically consolidate discrete groups of persons into a national body. The utmost achievement of the awakening was the American democratization of Christianity.

Through church according to Hatch Nathan, revival brought to individuals self-determination, independence, and democratic standards. Accompanied with gospel music, the flames of religious ecstasy were fanned into popular culture by the ministers during that time (Lofton, 2006). As a result, Nathan correlated the opinionated efforts of the songster to the Western nations’ revivalist spiritual vocation

Bono’s application has comparable net special effects to those of American revivalist as it echoes their revival drudgery. In fact, the principles of Second Great Awakening that was distributed gets support from Bono’s talking engagements, preaching concerts, and working with DATA.

Besides, Bono’s rhetorical tropes, antics in concert, conversation policies, and distribution methods are comparable to other later evangelists (Lealand, 1994). For instance while in United Kingdom Bono said, ‘Provide you’re already converted, you don’t need me preaching at you.

Though I must say I take pleasure in it addressing the conference of Labour Party. The songster possesses his own techniques of conversion just like other philosophers including Finney. Bono’s conversion strategies would leave a fresh revival with a scorching and gentle love for enemies, relations, and friends souls.

Political conversion enabled Bono to convert Helms Jesse who was for a lengthy period served with a staunch conservatism as a Senator in North Carolina. In reality, after personally meeting Bono and moving to tear in the U2 concert, Helm turned into a resilient fighter against African AIDS (Lofton, 2006).

Finney tempted alteration and atonement to the listeners planning to make them surrender their lives to the Deity. Comparable to Finney, Bono established a parallel kind of dispensationalist zeal in working for the radical apprehension of biblical Jubilee.

The religious signs and messages conveyed by Bono in mystical concerts are similar to those of revivalist such as Moody Dwight approaches. In their revivals, Dwight Moody and others included gospel singing. Otherwise, in the course of his nomadic tours, Dwight was often escorted by Sankey Ira who was a song frontrunner. In fact, these nomadic tours initially covered Great Britain and thereafter all over US.

Sankey worked on ‘Moody and Sankey Hymn book’ that was his own songbook in this trip. This was the best ever published worshipping script according to the journalist of New York Times who was present at the concert in the fiscal 1875 (Lofton, 2006).

Actually an individual can sing the verses in this song just after a single audible range. It is possible as its lyrics are affirmative in character, filled with gospel, simple, and the melodies express the purpose they are lined up for.

Even though a number of U2 songs are simple and straight forward, not all of them are entirely positive. Indeed, certain volumes recorded by Harlem gospel choir that is, ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ or the ‘Pride’ a version bestowed to King Martin Luther Junior as an anthem were like gospel.

During the performance alongside Bono, the whole spectators could as well sing and only a few individuals could dispute this. The songster materializes to be dirt free claiming that U2 pop group lyrics vocalizes deity besides claiming that honor and adoration songs are secondary but undeviating progenies of inspired religious account (Finney, 2003).

On the contrary, the songster accentuates whilst dialoguing the biblical conception premise as a godly of expected manifestation asserting that U2 pop group lyrics have their unambiguous affirmations about deity. Normally, various shows portrayed the songster like a roll and rock star in one given that Bono recurrently offered binary guiding tasks involving evangelists as well as religious melody favorite.

The sustained efforts to overcome religion mark the utmost remarkable similarities amid American revivalists and Bono. Otherwise, Bono operated on rhetorical and musical ways and means. In the fiscal 2006 mealtime plea, the songster uttered the band’s commotion that faith is repetitively obstructing Almighty.

Learnt examples from developing in the hands of Catholic females along with Protestant dads in Ireland proffer the songster’s analysis on Bono struggle with religious conviction. U2 pop group’s Irish frameworks advanced its stance in regard to structured creed at particular theaters.

Nonetheless, U2 pop group begged off to be part of the Irish scuffle amid Catholic devotees and churches full of Protestants. Thus, Bono’s evangelical mood relates to his strength of character of working separate form religious organizations (Lealand, 1994).

U2 pop group was fundamentally drawn in dynamically in the Almighty’s evangelical huddles bar for Clayton. This involvement was so committal that it emerged to be a band’s issue. At a particular moment, an argument of whether to take on Christian pursuit more explicitly or to remain in rock ‘n’ roll ascended between Edge, Junior, Mullen Larry, and Bono.

Obviously they chose to continue in the rock ‘n’ roll. In fact, such resolutions hardly ended the patent evangelical craze. Within the Messiah roll and rock lyrics, U2 pop group asserts that creed have repetitively thrilled some pious stars.

Moreover, what additionally makes the songster analogous to the western sacred revivalists is the prominence on private affinity to the heavenly figures and this makes the leader the correct pious model for sanctity (Finney, 2003). U2 pop group proffered an oration on personage devotion significance over directorial reparation identical to the revivalists.

U2 pop group equally disapprove quite the reverse of the ecclesiastics that gawk through the orbits in the Protestants’ approaches. The libretto offered by Sunday Billy, ‘conviction in Almighty rescues beings, not devotion in worship places’ echoed the mistrust of U2 on structured creed.

For all intents and purposes Jesus I the only way according to Billy. In contrary, it is the responsibility of everybody to seek individual faith for the soul and that Jesus is his way according to Bono. U2 band asserts that the position for deliverance is dutiful personage and hardly the cathedral institutes hence designing the soteriological remedies to emerge material.

Through the office charisma but not the specific person, Eucharist is made sacred as actual manifestation (Trachtenberg, 2008). For this reason, through the apostolic series ministers possess power due to their rapport with the ecclesiastical. This makes Bono to go for an individual select over the obligation of the organization by objecting the authority of church pastors.

U2 pop group skillfully prepared a say ‘Approved, we might crack bucks and lilac proviso churches exist for us’ in the band’s Achtung child lyrics in the acrobatic folder. Nonetheless, the appraisals of Finney that beings are gratis decent instruments are hearkened via U2 pop group’s rhythmical doggedness on special fortitude, personage autonomy, or the incomparability of character authorization.

Comparable to Jones Sam, Bono’s attitude as regards the Eucharist unusually look similar (Lofton, 2006). Jones supposedly inquired ‘things that ought to be carried out to receive salvation in the resurgence oration. Jones could inform people to obtain the reparation of the Almighty’s evening meal.

Sam moreover answered that, this is one of the sacraments of the ecclesiastical of God. Jones moreover assumed that he spotted the manner in which individuals could expire and be mislaid, keep consuming the divine spiritual union, and groups that could repeatedly consume sacraments.

Based on Jones claims, priestly atonement can hardly reject a character from being mislaid in the vulnerability of anguish inferno but moderate devotion in the charm of Almighty could shield superstars. U2 pop group might hardly distribute the analysis of Jones that freedom is simply emancipation from aberrant battles yet not lyrics.

Nonetheless, U2 pop group tries to allocate such judgment on the rebuff of reparation recovery in evangelism. The messages of Bono give an impression of secularized soteriology due to rejection of sacramental salvation and his emphasis on the moral freedom of individuals (Finney, 2003).

Definitely, Bono has given a sermon on the message of personal salvation devoid of the intercession from house of worship just like Sam and Finney the American revivalists did. Bono has as well by means of employing the revival techniques to mete out this message of salvation.

Internationalization and developing nations

The Irish Rock Band U2 and Bono consistently requested for the well-being Africa and other poor nations. For instance, Bono in the Blue-Sky Bullet lyrics touched on the dark America sides although not every homily lingered on such points. However, other songs sung by this band praise America for being positive and responsible.

For instance, Bono uncovered various wrongdoings although the U2 band rapidly recovered the evildoers with God’s grace. In the Irish Rock Band U2 album named ‘Everything that can hardly be left behind’, Bono was somehow very frank and positive.

Lyrics specifically the ‘fine-looking moments’, ‘refinement’ and ‘serenity on globe’ were drawn on by U2 pop group and Bono to reveal the leeway and soul compromises. Whereas Bono used the ‘peace on earth’ lyrics often as his utopian plea and prayer, the songster’s moral mantra was the ‘grace’ song.


The Irish Rock band U2 is amongst the major critiques of modern religion. The salvation messages asserted by Bono are some of the tactics used by the U2 band to make most leaders not just to pursue their dreams, but to ensure that such leaders take part in helping the poor nations who are their neighbors. Bono justifies the need to help neighbors by quoting some phrases from the biblical teachings.

Bono and U2 band linked personal deliverance soteriology lyrics to the opinionated direction on what poor nations ought to undertake to be salvated. Bono and U2 band claim that social agents may not receive deliverance or salvation devoid a rational global reflection offered by the prevailing humanity.

Moreover, the U2 pop group uses Max’s imageries on restructured conceptions or the intact humanity theodicy to enlighten the liberators’ folklore. In conclusion, the U 2 pop group asserts what Max alleges that various theodicy miseries initiates from the relief anticipation.


Finney, C. (2003). A revival is not a miracle: In a documentary history of religion in America to 1877. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Lealand, G. (1994). American popular culture and emerging nationalism in New Zealand. National Forum: The Phi Kappa Phi Journal, 74(4), 34-7.

Lofton, K. (2006). Practicing Oprah or the prescriptive compulsion of a spiritual capitalism. The Journal of Popular Culture, 39(4), 599–622.

Lofton, K. (2006). The preacher paradigm: Promotional biographies and the modern-made evangelist. Religion and American Culture, 16 (1), 95-123.

Trachtenberg, M. (2008). Bono: Rock star activist. Berkeley Heights, New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc.

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