Saturday, June 18, 2005


Does Bono cosy up to the right-wing to get results, or does he cosy up because he likes them? You can understand a bit of flattery of the heads of the multimillion evangelical industry in a bid to get them to throw their weight behind the Make Poverty History and related campaigns, but surely when supping with those who believe they're in a fight against the devil, you should keep a long spoon?

Now it turns out that Bono is planning to work with Pat Boone on a tribute to Billy Graham:

"I came up behind him and said, 'I think it's time Boone-o met Bono,'" Boone says. "And he said, 'We met before. Our group was just getting started and you were on tour in England. We were introduced to you, and you were very nice and encouraging. It meant a great deal to us, but I don't expect you to remember it.' Honestly, I did not remember -- but nobody knew his group at that time. When I asked if he'd be willing to participate in the Billy Graham tribute, he said in a flash, 'I will. I admire him greatly.'"

Bono "admires Billy Graham greatly", does he? What does he admire, especially? His belief that homosexuality is a "sin" - to be fair, Graham does say it's a sin "no greater than idolatry and adultery", but that's from an Evangelical Christian, and we all know how much they hate idolatry. Graham "agrees with pope" on the abortion issue.

Perhaps he admires his stance on AIDS and HIV: although he oddly retratced it later, After seeing letters criticizing that comment, Graham contacted the Cleveland Plain Dealer to retract his statement. "I remember saying it, and I immediately regretted it and almost went back and clarified the statement," said Graham in a telephone interview. He said he never intended to make the remark, explaining that he was tired during the sermon and forgot to retract or clarify his statement. And I'm sure we've all been so tired we've indavertently started talking like bigoted pricks, haven't we?

Perhaps Bono admires Graham's choice of successor - his son Franklin Graham; picked to be head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Franklin is on record as calling Islam "a very evil and wicked religion" - although, apparently, the only real problem there is that people keep pointing out he said that, not that he said it in the first place.

Maybe Bono will find the time to tell us all exactly what it is he admires so much about Graham he's happy to join in a tribute to him? Otherwise we might assume that it's the cash and the power.

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