Bono is on tour and denouncing Trump. The problem is that Bono unwittingly helped get Trump elected. Bono did this by providing cover for the white evangelicals that are Trump’s most reliable base.
Bono has for years burnished the image of the far right hate-monger and Trump-booster Franklin Graham, and his hell-preaching fundamentalist father Billy. Bono has also provided photo ops for other white evangelical leaders including Mike Pence and W Bush. These are the people that put Trump in power by paving the way for white far right evangelicals to take over the Republican Party. And Bono has offered respectability to the ugly American evangelical far right movement by identifying himself with them both theologically and philanthropically. He even allows Franklin Graham to use him on the Billy Graham website. That site is designed to raise money for the Billy Graham’s empire that is also a far right hate machine that attacks gay rights, liberals, women’s rights and Muslims.
Bono might not like Trump now but Bono (like so many other trendy lefty Christians) is part of the problem. Bono’s theology is part and parcel of the exclusionary “Jesus-is-Lord” evangelical view of “salvation” from hell. That view is pure “Alt-Fact” and anti-science to the core because it takes the collection of myths called “The Bible” literally. This brand of fundamentalism is the basis of the white evangelical exclusion of the Other, or as evangelicals call everyone who aren’t “born-again”– “The Lost.”
The cool Christians from U2’s Bono — who doesn’t call himself a Catholic or a Protestant, but simply a Christian but who nevertheless is closely linked to American evangelical organizations and to the evangelical style of “Jesus is Lord” beliefs — and the Sojourners group led by evangelical Jim Wallis, and all the rest of the kinder gentler mildly lefty evangelical leaders contributed to getting Trump elected. They don’t like Trump, but they did provide cover for the white evangelical Trump-voting mob. They provided cover by making the word evangelical respectable.
Trendy lefty Christians softened the public image of an exclusionary hate-filled religion. Some of them, like Bono, did more than that: Bono let himself be used by the theocratic gay-bashing, Muslim-hating, Trump-defending conman Franklin Graham, to bolster the image of the Graham empire.
The cool Christians like Bono provide cover for the haters. Critics of the far right evangelical movement can be answered with the words “But not all evangelicals are like that! What about Jim Wallis? What about Bono?” Moreover by not repudiating the evangelical mob and in the case of Bono, by allowing himself to be used by the likes of Trump-shill Franklin Graham, for fundraising and propaganda purposes, some of the cool Christians on the left have actually helped forward the cause of far right white nationalist Trump voters and climate change deniers. In that sense the religious faith of Bono and company has helped doom the planet….
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