BonoSNLThere’s been no mainstream media coverage of the moment yet, but Bono threw down another gauntlet for the FCC on Saturday Night Live this weekend. During the show’s closing credits, and while riffing on U2′s chestnut “I Will Follow,” Bono mounted an audience member’s lap and began thrusting.

Several blogs are abuzz about the show, describing U2′s set as “re-legitimizing music on Saturday Night Live” or simply the “Best SNL Performance Ever.”

On a religion note, Bono recently put in a good word for “the religious instinct” in an interview with Jon Parales of The New York Times. But he also offered the standard disclaimer about what his faith is not:

“To have faith in a time of religious fervor is a worry. And, you know, I do have faith, and I’m worried about even the subject because of the sort of fanaticism that is the next-door neighbor of faith. The trick in the next few years will be not to decry the religious instinct, but to accept that this is a hugely important part of people’s lives. And at the same time to be very wary of people who believe that theirs is the only way. Unilateralism before God is dangerous.”

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  • Jeff the Baptist

    “Unilateralism before God is dangerous.”

    Last time I checked God actively practiced Unilateralism according to most religions. The problem then becomes making sure your form of it conforms to His.

  • alison

    When I first read Bono’s comments, I took it to mean the great religious divides within Christianity.

  • Brian Lewis

    fyi – The World Magazine blog links to the National Review’s review of U2′s newest album, calling it their most religious yet.

  • Douglas LeBlanc

    Thanks for the link, Brian. I’m adding this more specific link since World’s blog is updated so often:

  • Brant

    This stinks. I’ve been advocating adding U2 to the playlist at our network of “Christian Hit Radio” stations, particularly hoping they’d release “Yahweh” — a sensational song — from “Bomb”.

    The laudable idea is to continue to blur the silly lines of secular/sacred, and draw in still more mainstream listeners, which is something at which we’ve been fairly successful in South Florida. It’s not a big thing, but the resulting discussion would have been an an instructive thing for Christian radio listeners.

    Generally speaking, humping random folks in the audience has been a frowned-upon practice, and I can see I’m going to lose my nearly-persuasive argument that U2 belongs alongside Switchfoot in our format.

    Que sera, or however you spell it.

  • alison

    OK, one more comment. I saw the offending song (yes, I watched SNL this once – the last time was when Colin Firth was the guest host), and didn’t see any serious thrusting or humping happening, but did see the gal grab and hang on. At any rate, I didn’t tape it, so I can’t say for sure, but it couldn’t have been for more than a second or two.

  • Cheryl

    Bono’s comments reminded me of that line about the definition of a fanatic: that is, “a fanatic is someone who takes religion more seriously than you do.”

    There’s another very positive review of U2′s newest release and its religious flavor on Godspy:

  • Joe Perez

    Bono is awesome.

  • andy

    Bono’s perfectly sensible comments on fanaticism put me in mind of something Rabbi Irving `Yitz` Greenberg writes in his latest book, “For the Sake of Heaven: The New Encounter between Judaism and Christianity” (JPS): `[T]he deepest truth is that unless we hold on to our absolutes in pluralist fashion they turn pathological and tend to destroy others. We can avoid this pathology only if we get to know the limits of our position. My truth cannot or does not cover all people, all possibilities, or all times, because God wants others to contribute. We need the checks and balances to prevent the spinning out of control of our individual positions. That is why our [Christian-Jewish] dialogue is so vital and so necessary. We are embarked on one of the great moral adventures of all time: to give up triumphalism, to accept that it is God’s will that will be done, to accept the fact that we are only servants and agents, and to know that we have not been the sole vehicles of God’s love or the redemption that is coming.`

  • Andy

    I love U2. I love the fixation with grace that runs through all of their albums. But sometimes I have no idea what the heck Bono means.

    My frustration was summed up in an article written a couple of years ago for Slate by David Plotz, entitled “Their Vague Majesties of Rock.” (

    Plotz points out that the one consistent feature of U2′s catalog is its insane ambiguity. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” may be about Jesus; it may be about Martin Luther King, Jr. Who knows? “Wild Honey” from All That You Can’t Leave Behind includes allusions to Eden and the 121st Psalm, and yet still seems to be about a woman.

    Bono is a genius… I think. I just wish he was capable of saying something clear and meaningful.


  • moronikos

    Well, someone asked Mick Jagger once why he didn’t enunciate his lyrics so clearly, and he said it made it more interesting trying to figure out what he said–just like it was for him trying to find out what all the old bluesmen were singing. I think Bono’s lyrics are just the same way. The opening of the latest is “Unos, dos, trece, catorce.” 1, 2, 3, 14? Except even the Unos is not one–”uno” sans “s” is one. What does he mean by it? I don’t know, but if you google it, you’ll find other folks are wondering the same thing.

    I saw the humping too and basically thought, “what the ef?”