Yes, it's Bono again!
You may have heard that yesterday Bono spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. I conitue to be in awe at his eloquence (I wonder how many times he's kissed the blarney stone). He broke it down. I would recomend you read the entire transcript because every word is fantastic, but he has a beautiful section on justice, here's a bit of 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.
6,500 Africans are still dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drug store. This is not about charity, this is about Justice and Equality.
And a few lines later he goes on:
Preventing the poorest of the poor from selling their products while we sing the virtues of the free market… that’s a justice issue. Holding children to ransom for the debts of their grandparents… That’s a justice issue. Withholding life-saving medicines out of deference to the Office of Patents… that’s a justice issue.
If you're not going to read the whole transcript, this part is worth reading too - it's moving!
It was what Colin Powell, a five-star general, called the greatest W.M.D. of them all: a tiny little virus called A.I.D.S. And the religious community, in large part, missed it. The one’s that didn’t miss it could only see it as divine retribution for bad behaviour. Even on children… Even fastest growing group of HIV infections were married, faithful women.
Aha, there they go again! I thought to myself Judgmentalism is back!
But in truth, I was wrong again. The church was slow but the church got busy on this the leprosy of our age.
Love was on the move.
Mercy was on the move.
God was on the move.
Moving people of all kinds to work with others they had never met, never would have cared to meet… Conservative church groups hanging out with spokesmen for the gay community, all singing off the same hymn sheet on AIDS… Soccer moms and quarterbacks… hip-hop stars and country stars… 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.
Bono never ceases to inspire me! Near the end of the speech he urged our goverment to give an additional 1% of its budget to poverty focused development assistance. This is something Bread for the World and the ONE Campaign have been working on over the last several years. If you're as inspired as I was after reading his speech and want to take action yourself, feel free to connect with Bread for the World's campaign this year which is working towards reaching that additional 1%!
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