The same month that U2 released their 13th studio album, “Songs of Innocence,” the spotlight has turned to the iconic rock band’s faith. In an article for The New Yorker titled “The Church of U2,”Joshua Rothman explored “confusion” around U2’s faith and claimed that they are a “semi-secretly Christian rock band.”
But applying such a label to U2 generally and their sunglasses-clad singer, Bono, seems difficult to defend. Even a cursory look at the band’s beliefs and song lyrics show that they are very much out of the Christian closet.
If you carefully attune your ears to U2’s lyrics, you’ll find there are 50 or more references to Bible verses in their songs. In “Bullet the Blue Sky,” for example, they sing about Jacob wrestling with the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 32) and there is a reference to speaking with “the tongues of angels” (1 Corinthians 13) in “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Bono even belts “see the thorn twist in your side”—an obvious reference to the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:7—in the song “With or Without You.”
Lead singer Bono is so comfortable talking about his Christian faith that he even agreed to be interviewed by “Focus on the Family.” In it, he spoke to Focus’ president Jim Daly about how much he liked King David and said he believes that “Jesus was, you know, the Son of God.”