Many of you have already seen this, but I thought I'd throw up a link anyway - it's well worth it.
At the National Prayer Breakfast last week, Bono spoke and had some very moving comments. I recommend that you read (or watch) his entire speech, but in case you aren't able to, here are a few highlights:
One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God.
This is what happens when God gets on the move: crazy stuff happens! Popes were seen wearing sunglasses! Jesse Helms was seen with a ghetto blaster! Crazy stuff. Evidence of the spirit. It was breathtaking. Literally. It stopped the world in its tracks. When churches started demonstrating on debt, governments listened - and acted. When churches starting organising, petitioning, and even - that most unholy of acts today, God forbid, lobbying…on AIDS and global health, governments listened - and acted. I’m here today in all humility to say: you changed minds; you changed policy; you changed the world. Look, whatever thoughts you have about God, who He is or if He exists, most will agree that if there is a God, He has a special place for the poor. In fact, the poor are where God lives.
...it’s not about charity after all, is it? It’s about justice. Let me repeat that: It’s not about charity, it’s about justice. And that’s too bad. Because you’re good at charity. Americans, like the Irish, are good at it. We like to give, and we give a lot, even those who can’t afford it. But justice is a higher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.
...He said, stop asking God to bless what you’re doing. Get involved in what God is doing - because it’s already blessed. Well, God, as I said, is with the poor. That, I believe, is what God is doing. And that is what he’s calling us to do.I was amazed when I first got to this country and I learned how much some churchgoers tithe. Up to 10% of the family budget. Well, how does that compare with the federal budget, the budget for the entire American family? How much of that goes to the poorest people in the world? Less than 1%.Mr. President, Congress, people of faith, people of America: I want to suggest to you today that you see the flow of effective foreign assistance as tithing…. Which, to be truly meaningful, will mean an additional 1% of the federal budget tithed to the poor.