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The Passion of the Bono 

U2's frontman challenges Jesus for the title "King of Kings."

Go ahead -- roll your eyes at Bono's persistent messianic complex. But maybe the guy's got good reason to think he's bigger than Jesus. Don't forget, Jesus has had 2000 years to firm up his reputation, while the U2 singer has only been alive since 1960. And -- sorry, Pat Robertson -- isn't it about time we got some new blood in the deity department? Here's a side-by-side comparison of history's two most important men.

Jesus: Ascended Karn Hattin in Galilee to deliver his Sermon on the Mount, telling the decent-size crowd, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Since that time, the world has been embroiled in an endless succession of wars, persecution, and genocide -- much of which has been undertaken in Jesus' name.

Bono: Ascended the foothills of Colorado to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre during a torrential downpour, where in front of a sold-out crowd he waved a huge white flag to dramatize the need for a peaceful resolution to the troubles in Northern Ireland. Twenty years later, the IRA is all but dissolved, and a permanent calm seems to have taken hold in Northern Ireland.

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Turned water into wine.

Bono: Turned lousy prose by Salman Rushdie into a good song ("The Ground Beneath Her Feet").

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Clashed with the Pharisees, condemning them as self-righteous and hypocritical, and engaged in contentious meetings with them, after which the Pharisees hated him even more.

Bono: Met with ultraconservative Republican senators Jesse Helms, Rick Santorum, and Orrin Hatch to discuss solutions to the global AIDS crisis, after which Helms called Bono "an enormously impressive gentleman."

Winner: Jesus

Jesus: Multiplied loaves of bread and a handful of fish to feed 5,000 people at Tabgha.

Bono: Through countless charitable organizations, speaking engagements, and benefit concerts, has labored to multiply the number of food and monetary donations sent to Africa, which has helped feed millions.

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Raised Lazarus from the dead.

Bono: Raised U2 from the dead after the Popmart tour debacle.

Winner: Jesus, by the slightest of margins

Jesus: During his lifetime, had only a small contingent of loyal supporters.

Bono: Has already amassed untold millions of loyal fans, selling nearly 150 million albums and regularly packing gigantic stadiums around the world.

Winner: Bono

Jesus: Crucified just once -- by the Romans -- for blasphemy.

Bono: Crucified countless times -- by rock critics, comedians, former fans, and Henry Rollins -- for pomposity.

Winner: Bono

Overall winner: Bono*

*The foregoing is meant purely as satire and is not intended to provide grounds for Bono's ego to grow any larger.

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More by Michael Alan Goldberg

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