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Evangelical in the Eighties: Was U2's Christian faith important to you?


ethnosax
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When I was growing up in the 80s, I remember having a lot of the "are they or aren't they" kinds of discussions about U2's Christian faith. It was, for some reason, really important to me back then. I've been thinking back to that era recently, wondering why it was so important. What did we actually want U2 to be? Why did we need them to be that?

Looking back, it seems like kind of a unique historical moment. Nowadays, of course, there's no question about U2's faith. But even if Bono weren't so forthcoming in talking about Christianity, I can't imagine the debate amongst fans would be as intense as it was back then. Mixed up with all of that in the 80s were issues of a generation of young Christians coming to terms with fundamentalism, the development of Contemporary Christian Music, a strict divide between "secular" and "Christian" in all of the arts, and other things. It's a different world now.

Anyway, my thinking through this has led to my writing an article, teasing out the strands of what was at stake in the "are they Christians/a Christian band or not?" discussion. If you were also in that generation for whom the band's faith really mattered in the 80s, I'd love to connect with you and hear your memories and perspective as I work on the article. If you want to discuss it here, that's fine; or you can just send me a message and we can chat elsewhere. Thanks!

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Definitely not a 'christian band' in the sense of the term. A band with a personal faith, yes -  even a collective faith, yes - but not in the conventional sense - and certainly not a 'christian band' as understood commonly in the country where I and they have grown up.

'Christian bands' in Ireland north and south are somewhat seen as ideological preachers strumming acoustic guitars, praising the lord and hoping we all join in. If U2 had a personal faith to God etc, I really didn't see it in their performances or music.

It was their music, definitive music, that tore away the norm for me.

 

Interesting though, as a teen at school in the 80's I do recall a similar debate with some mates of the time in the playground.

 

We concluded then ; Christians bands are fringing on 'bible bashers' - trying to force you to listen to something you dont want to hear -  but not quite.

U2 just play music and let you make up your own mind as to whether you like them or not. Quite different.

 

Needless to say our collective in the playground never really influenced the world - and we can argue as to whether U2 have or haven't also - but for me ? Absolutely have.

 

My church is the U2 church in the form of a U2 concert belting out classic tunes. It's the simple things in life for me.

 

Long may it continue.

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We concluded then ; Christians bands are fringing on 'bible bashers' - trying to force you to listen to something you dont want to hear -  but not quite.

U2 just play music and let you make up your own mind as to whether you like them or not. Quite different.

 

Needless to say our collective in the playground never really influenced the world - and we can argue as to whether U2 have or haven't also - but for me ? Absolutely have.

 

My church is the U2 church in the form of a U2 concert belting out classic tunes. It's the simple things in life for me.

 

Long may it continue.

 

 

 

Being able to make up your own mind is the utmost important. No one wants to be forced or made  or manipulated to make a decision due to emotions or fear. I always think the best way to make a decision about God is for it to be made by yourself. Fearless and with love and not by the fears of hell fire!

 

I admit, at first I wanted U2 to preach it from the rooftop and make it clear we knew who they were. (Christians)but as time goes by I realize they are just like you and me and it should n't be important to my faith what they believe. Sure, I love they have faith and they do mention God during a show, but it's a bonus to loving the band U2 and I know. If they were all quiet and not so forthright about their faith. What's most important to me, is my faith and if I believe. 

 

Agree, long may it continue and long live the light U2 brings to a show without getting all over your face about it and they just being an example of pure love and service. That's where it's at for me!!! :wub:  :)

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In the 80's when I was really into U2 and that LiveAid, We are the World mental state, I used to go to 5 pm Sunday Mass & I used to end up standing next to Joe Biden. It was cool to see him in church with the Edge & co. Cyclical for me, farfetched in the random scheme.

Now, my church is Nature.

Art, Music & Poetry enhances my perception of God & Spirit. U2 appeals to my sense of spirit & our world community.

I have to admit, I sometimes find myself preaching and prothelesizing about fitness and my latest routine mostly because I try to stay motivated.

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It's more important to me now than it was back then. Now it's like the songs take on new meaning. They are very outspoken about it. More importantly, you can see it in their acts. Their huminaitarian efforts really is where their faith shows. They talk the talk and walk the walk.

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