Monday, August 1, 2011

Coexisting with Bono

I saw this bumper sticker today:

You've probably seen it. It's been around for a few years. I went to a U2 concert in 2005 and Bono did a whole thing about it. Even had it on a headband or something. A blindfold? I don't know. He could wear it as a diaper and he'd still be cool. He is Bono, after all.

But I digress.

The thing about bumper stickers is that, as my husband says, it's like starting a one-sided argument. You can put anything on a bumper sticker and the people who see it will probably never get to say anything to you about it. Perfect for being non-confrontational. So, of course, people respond in kind with other bumper stickers. Like this one:

Seriously? *sigh* I don't know what the deal is. I could go into a thing about how not all Muslims are suicide bombers. Not even most of them are suicide bombers. But I'm pretty sure most of the people reading this blog know better.

I hope so, anyway.

Personally, I love the "Coexist" idea. It doesn't say, "You all have to believe each other's stuff!" It doesn't say, "Everyone's right!" It doesn't even say, "I condone the beliefs of these other religions!"

Essentially, it says, "Don't kill each other." I find that to be pretty reasonable.

And just as you start to think to yourself, "Well, I clearly haven't killed any Jews or Muslims in recent memory," start to think about what's really lodged in your brain about those two faiths. What stereotypes are in your head? When you think of Muslims, is your reaction, "Well, they hate us! How am I supposed to like them?" And some Christians—honest to goodness—have a thing against Jews because "they" killed Jesus.


First, Jesus was a Jew. He wasn't a Christian. That wasn't a thing. Secondly, Jesus had to die. The whole thing had to go down just like it did in order for us to have eternal life. To put it bluntly, I killed Jesus. You killed Jesus. So—don't be a hater.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34

No exceptions. No substitutions. Love. And even if you think you have some sort of reason for holding a grudge, Jesus has that covered, too:

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28

Either way, you're commanded to do the same thing: Love. Without hesitation, without reservation, without conditions.

It's a command, yo. And it requires even more on our part than simply coexisting. Don't worry about what the other religions do or don't do, or what they think of us. Do what you know you have been told to do and love.

Are you being obedient?


  1. Hi Rachel - Excellent post.
    God bless

  2. Great thoughts, Rachel. I love Bono too! The idea of coexisting reminded me of how often people of different beliefs are quick to call someone intolerant just because they hold certain beliefs. Holding to certain beliefs or morals does not necessarily make some intolerant. I think this line get skewed sometimes. We are called to love first...despite our differing beliefs.

  3. Interesting take on the "Coexist" bumper sticker. I have to *sheepishly* admit that it's always kind of annoyed me actually. I've always taken it to mean, "I'm ok, you're ok..everybody's ok." Which is partly true, of course. Everyone's ok, BUT not everyone is right. JESUS is the only way to Heavean. I know you know that. I just had to add my two cents. ;)

    I'll be the first to say, however, that too many Christians are way too judgmental and belligerent so I like your perspective on this.

  4. Ouch. I'd like to think I do this command to love, but the truth is my response to others can be pretty conditional. Thanks for reminding me that it is a command and we are to be obedient.

  5. I wanted to add a "so there" at the end of that post. Good one.

  6. I went to a U2 concert in 1984. Really wish I hadn't. And I recall that someone else went to a 2005 concert and correctly identified the whole CoExist thing as anti-Christian.


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