The “With or Without You” singer first said he can relate to the Biblical character David, because he’s a musician. Regarding David’s song lyrics — also known as the Book of Psalms — Bono says that while they are “gospel and songs of praise, they are also the Blues.”
As for what he thinks about who Jesus really was, Bono doesn’t really hedge on the issue. “When people say ‘good teacher,’ ‘prophet,’ ‘really nice guy,’ … this is not how Jesus thought of himself,” says Bono. “So, you’re left with a challenge … which is, either Jesus was who he said he was, or a complete and utter nut case.”
For the record, Bono clarifies, “I believe that Jesus was, you know, the son of God.” But he also suggests Christians be “really respectful to people who find that ridiculous.”
In addition to being God’s son, Bono says Jesus was “punk rock” in the way he responded to people. He also points out that Christ didn’t exactly graduate from charm school. “Politeness is, you know, is a wonderful thing. … But remember, Jesus didn’t have many manners as we now know,” Bono points out. He also calls into question the P.C. approach of modern day Christianity. “You’ve gotta be very careful that grace and politeness do not merge into a banality of behavior — where we’re just nice, sort of ‘death by cupcake,'” he says.
During the 20-minute chat, Bono promoted his charitable organization, The ONE Campaign, which has been instrumental in the fight against AIDS around the globe for nearly a decade. The rocker compares the history of HIV/AIDS to biblical stories about leprosy. Specifically, he recalls the Parable of the Good Samaritan. “People don’t understand in that scripture, the Samaritan was at odds with the ideology of the person he stopped on the road for. This is why we call it The ONE Campaign,” Bono says. “You and I can have many disagreements on many philosophical, theological things. But this, we know we can agree on.”
You can listen to Bono’s full interview with Focus on the Family hosts John Fuller and Jim Daly below: