Det ble ingen U2-konsert på meg i Køben i helgen. Men jeg legger herved ut en gammel Bono-reprise i bloggen …
Bilde: Mulla David på U2-konsert
Mange er opptatt av likhetene og det universelle i alle religioner. Og det er en god ting å forsøke å finne likheter mellom mennesker, framfor å drive unødig polemisering. Paulus formidlet sitt evangelium på Areopagos gjennom å kommunisere ut i fra sine tilhøreres religion. (Noe av det samme Aril Edvardsen gjorde på en god måte i sin tid.)
Samtidig blir jeg ofte slått av forskjellen på Jesus og alle de andre, om jeg skal være ærlig. Og det skal man jo være.
Det er ren kunnskapsløshet som gjør at enkelte f.eks. framstiller Jesus og Muhammed som to ganske like skikkelser, bare i hver sin kultur og tidsalder. Forskjellene mellom deres lære og holdning, om vi baserer oss på de tidligste skriftlige kildene, er helt åpenbar. Den er rett og slett himmelvid.
Av en eller annen grunn har det blitt delvis forbudt og ukorrekt å peke på slike objektive og historiske fakta. Men skal man kunne ta stilling til historiske personers lære og virke, må det i det minste være lov med faktiske gjengivelser av hva de sto for, ut i fra det vi vet (bare man ikke setter dem opp mot hverandre på en tendensiøs måte, men så objektivt som mulig).
Jeg finner også store motsetninger mellom Buddha og Jesus. Hadde vært morsomt å skrive en novelle basert på et fiktivt møte mellom de to. Notto Thelle har gjort noe lignende i sin utmerkede bok “Kjære Siddhartha!”. Men der han heller mot religionsdialogen, ville nok jeg ha formidlet en radikal konfrontasjon mellom de to.
Klisjeen om at “Jesus ikke er en religion”, stemmer i grunnen veldig bra. Det samme gjør klisjeen om at religion er menneskets forsøk på å nå opp til Gud, mens Jesus er Guds forsøk på å komme ned til mennesket.
Bare veldig synd at Kirken så ofte har laget en religion av Jesus også.
Under vil jeg gjengi noe Bono sa om forskjellen på nåde og karma, i boka “Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas”. I det som følger oppsummerer Bono mye av min tro på en svært god måte.
Bono: It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.
Assayas: I haven’t heard you talk about that.
Bono: I really believe we’ve moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.
Assayas: Well, that doesn’t make it clearer for me.
Bono: 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 physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” 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 I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.
Assayas: I’d be interested to hear that.
Bono: That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep shit. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.
Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.
Bono: But 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 there’s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let’s face it, you’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. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.
Assayas: That’s a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it’s close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world’s great thinkers. But Son of God, isn’t that farfetched?
Bono: No, it’s not farfetched to me. 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 doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: “I am God incarnate.” And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you’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, he’s gonna keep saying this. So what you’re left with is: either Christ was who He said He was – the Messiah – or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we’ve been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had “King of the Jews” 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. I’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, that’s farfetched.