I'm a sucker for Christmas songs. I'm not so far gone that I'm okay
with department stores playing some pop princess's version of "Baby It's Cold
Outside" on an 85-degree early November day here in central Texas. But let me
join in on a round of "O Holy Night" or "White Christmas" and I'll get choked
up every time.
When it emerged in the 1980s, the Irish rock group U2, with its lead singer Bono, displayed a spiritual passion that countered the big-haired, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” synthesizer pop of that era. The band was sincere and idealistic, and its lyrics sidestepped the standard topics of sex, parties and relationships.
I like the title of Jon Sweeney’s book Born Again and Again, reviewed in this issue along with three other memoirs dealing with fundamentalism. My own religious experience includes several trips to the altar as a youngster, one in a Baptist church, another in a revival tent.
As chief spokesperson for the One Campaign, U2 rock star Bono asks fans not for money, but for a personal commitment to taking a stand against poverty. The campaign, founded by Bread for the World, CROP, World Vision and other organizations, has 2 million U.S. members.
Elvis Presley shook hands with Richard Nixon in 1970, but it wasn’t much more than a fleeting photo op. When Bono got together with President Bush for lunch at the White House in October, however, they spoke for nearly two hours about debt relief, AIDS and other issues.