Earlier this year, I was surprised and honored to be asked by the National Recording Registry of the United States Library of Congress to write a short essay to accompany one of the works listed, U2’s landmark 1987 album The Joshua Tree. As a way of breaking the ice on my contributions to Spirit of Cecilia, I thought I would share that essay here. Writing it gave me the opportunity to re-connect, in a somewhat limited and wistful way, with a band that has meant a lot to me over the years. The last couple of U2 albums, despite a few great moments and the occasional flashes of brilliance, have left me cold. I was further disheartened by U2’s glib, corporatist support of the unlimited abortion license, which was deftly (and devastatingly) critiqued by Irish journalist and playwright John Waters over at First Things. This is the kind of terrain I am most likely to cover on this blog, trawling the megahertz in search of Godly inspiration in the devil’s music.