Make sure you read the full newsletter first so the extras make some sense.
Here is an edited version of the quote that Bono gave that Carrie talked about. Originally it was interspersed with questions as well, but it’s been edited to be one continuous thought.
You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physicsâ€”in physical lawsâ€”every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. Itâ€™s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. Iâ€™m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that â€œas you reap, so you will sowâ€ stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because Iâ€™ve done a lot of stupid stuff.
â€¦Iâ€™d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. Iâ€™d be in deep sh*t. It doesnâ€™t excuse my mistakes, but Iâ€™m holding out for Grace. Iâ€™m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I donâ€™t have to depend on my own religiosity.
â€¦ I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and thereâ€™s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, letâ€™s face it, youâ€™re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. Thatâ€™s the point. It should keep us humbledâ€¦ Itâ€™s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.
Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesnâ€™t allow you that. He doesnâ€™t let you off that hook. Christ says: No. Iâ€™m not saying Iâ€™m a teacher, donâ€™t call me teacher. Iâ€™m not saying Iâ€™m a prophet. Iâ€™m saying: â€œIâ€™m the Messiah.â€ Iâ€™m saying: â€œI am God incarnate.â€ And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. Youâ€™re a bit eccentric. Weâ€™ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But donâ€™t mention the â€œMâ€ word! Because, you know, weâ€™re gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know youâ€™re expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, heâ€™s gonna keep saying this. So what youâ€™re left with is: either Christ was who He said He wasâ€”the Messiahâ€”or a complete nutcase. I mean, weâ€™re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had â€œKing of the Jewsâ€ on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. Iâ€™m not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, thatâ€™s farfetched â€¦[I]f only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. â€¦When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my sh*t and everybody elseâ€™s. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and thatâ€™s the question. And no one can talk you into it or out of it.