03 April 2008


It has been a couple of years since Bono brought the idea of "coexist" into our lives. He stumbled across the concept and then used it in an entire concert tour, creating much more friction than I am sure he ever thought possible.

As you can see, the symbols creating "coexist" include an Islamic crescent moon, a Jewish Star of David, and a Christian cross. Bono has since been labeled a "false prophet", "charlatan", "universalist", and much worse (not to be printed here).

Contextually, as the Irish son of a Catholic father and Protestant mother, Bono seems to have an angle here. War in the name of any God cannot be justifiable...can it?

In U2's concerts (video below - 3:22 mark), Bono would point to his headband and exclaim, "Jesus, Jew, Mohammad, it's true - all sons of Abraham." This is where folks, especially evangelicals, begin losing their patience.

So, the idea of "coexist" is out there... And there have been some pretty healthy discussions in spaces like these about this topic. I was wondering what you think. Does equating Jesus with Mohammad make Jesus less beautiful? Is coexistence something we should be after in the first place? Where, in the scheme of things, does justice come in?

"Father Abraham, look what you've done..."

What do you think? Comments...


  1. While I firmly believe that fighting of any sort does nothing to convince anyone of the truth of your beliefs, the bible reveals that there is one truth, one way to salvation. We certainly can and should live together in peace, but we cannot accept their beliefs as equally valid.

  2. OK, then the question would be....does the idea of "coexist" give equal validity to the beliefs?

    Can all be (lowercase) true, Sons of Abraham?

  3. From http://paulmayers.blogs.com/my_weblog/

    "For those who are interested Bono’s message reminds Christians, Jews and Muslims that we all have a shared heritage, we are all distant cousins – family as well as neighbours. Neighbours who have a lot in common to talk about. Jews and Arabs [who are mostly Muslims] can trace their ancestry back to Abraham and Christians through faith are recognised as his “spiritual” sons. Abraham was the guy who God agreed a special relationship with – he would bless Abraham and in turn Abraham and all his generations of children would be a blessing to the world.

    I know that Bono’s comments provoked discussion amongst some of my Christian friends – what is Bono saying – are all faiths the same? All paths lead to God? It doesn’t matter what you believe? Incidentally If you are interested in exploring for yourself these questions I can’t recommend highly enough a book by Brian McClaren called Finding Faith: A Self-discovery Guide for Your Spiritual Quest

    I don’t think U2 were saying that at all. I think they was making a very Jesus point…love your neighbour, love those who oppose you, are different to you, who maybe even persecute you. Jesus didn’t say conquer, suppress, hate, fear, take revenge or attack… I think he would have said embrace love, peace, justice, mercy… coexist..."

  4. Jesus said, love your enemy as yourself, right? I think that's what this is saying. we may all have different points of view on faith, but regardless, first and foremost, we must love. jesus loved the prostitute, the leaper, etc. we can't pick and choose. after all, we're all sinners.

  5. Wars in the past (and I would say in the present) have been waged in the name of Religion. Hitler thought he was doing the will of God by slaying Jews. It all points to the fact that none of us really know anything. And the idea to coexist with one another is one everyone should embrace. We do not know who Jesus really was, or what he was really saying... things that are revealed to us through time. None of us know anything, and that is the true beginning of wisdom. This war that we find ourselves in the middle of was pitched as " a war on terror, or evil". Fear controls us, and disables us from being what we are truly called to be. The two greatest (and in my opinion most important) commands are to love your God with all your heart, and Love your Neighbor as youself. We are all sons of Abraham from birth... if we look past all the bullshit, we would truly see that God transcends mans thought of who he is...I do not know who is right or wrong.. maybe there is no right or wrong in this... just a call to love everyone the same... Christians are no better then Jews, or Muslims...we are all connected..

  6. Omar.....that was beautiful!!!
    Couldn't agree more!

  7. omar said it in a roundabout way...

    "jesus, jew, mohammad, it's true. all sons of abraham."

    let's get back to heaping burning coals on their heads...(which is a good thing, remember?)

  8. COEXIST I like the idea and I agree with Omar
    We should embrace the idea of coexisting it better for ourselves and the rest of the world who knows maybe someday we can all coexist