I received Bono’s book On the Move for my b-day a few weeks back (thanks Ellen!) and in addition to the interesting graphics and images it contains most of the text of Bono’s speech at the February 2, 2006 National Prayer Breakfast.
I highly recommend giving it a read or a listen… Bono speaks as a person of faith to those who are gathered together, calling themselves faithful.
His main point is that poverty, whether around the world or around the corner, is a destabilizing force. It pulls families apart, causes a very visible divide in the “fabric” of society, and is ultimately a prevailing cause of political and religious extremism in our world. The affects of AIDS and other diseases only accentuate the chasm between those who have, and those who don’t.
Bono ends by challenging the leaders of America and the Western world to increase their foreign aid budgets by 1% in an effort to address poverty, hunger, agricultural development and disease control (hence the ONE Campaign.) He also challenges our notions of justice and equality – asking how greatly they are influenced by race and economic opportunity…
The “rock star” comments are a little tiresome but overall there have been few better speeches/sermons on the issue of AIDS, poverty, and western ambivalence.