The Poor: Bono, Buffett, Christianity & Yahweh

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Want a scary snapshot of the failure of American Christianity? Read TIME’s
remarkable interview with Bob Geldof, Bono and Michael Curtis (screenwriter “Four Weddings and a Funeral” & “Notting Hill.”)

As the three converse about their planned concert during G-8 to raise money to combat AIDS, tucked away in the interview is Bono’s recounting of the best advice he got from Warren Buffett about succeeding with Americans in his quest to serve the poor and those with Aids, “Don’t appeal to the conscience of America. Appeal to the greatness of America, and you’ll get the job done.”

Those with ears to hear know that a Christianity that can be more effectively moved by vanity than conscience is a brand of Christianity doomed for the scrapheap of history. Those with eyes to see know that this is precisely the brand of Christianity that prevails in America today.

Bono knows Buffet’s advice is pragmatic not proper, His most recent album’s Yahweh cries for the proper allegiance and motivation for good deeds.

Yahweh

Take these shoes Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes And make them fit
Take this shirt Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt And make it clean, clean
Take this soul Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn

Take these hands Teach them what to carry
Take these hands Don’t make a fist
Take this mouth So quick to criticise
Take this mouth Give it a kiss

Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean

Take this city A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart Take this heart
Take this heart And make it break¢â‚¬¦

Evangelicalism is touted as the most powerful religious impulse in American life, but in the public eye its strength is defined more as a reflection of numbers and political clout than unity, personal purity and service to the poor.

In this sense evangelicalism is more American than Christian–appeal to its greatness and wealth, not it’s conscience.

Am I anti-American? No.

I do believe when De Tocqueville said “American is great because America is good,” he recognized that whatever goodness America could claim was rooted in God and to be Christian meant to be motivated by God to do good, not by doing good because you are great.

Yahweh is great. Yahweh is good. We are Yahweh’s people and do good because Yahweh is great.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in June 25, 2005 by | No Comments »

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