Desmond Tutu: ‘I would not worship a God who is homophobic’

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Desmond Tutu has said he would rather go to hell than worship a homophobic God.


The Nobel peace laureate and anti-apartheid hero was lending his support to a UN-backed campaign for gay rights in his native South Africa.

Though same sex marriages are legal in the country, homosexuals still experience brutal violence. Last month a lesbian was found dead, having been sexually assaulted with a toilet brush.

The retired former Archbishop of Cape Town, 81, is a long-standing campaigner for gay rights, and compared the struggle to that for racial equality in South Africa.

He said: "I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.

"I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this."

Written By: James Legge
continue to source article at independent.co.uk

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  1. ‘I would not worship a God who is homophobic’

    It’s amazing how people ALWAYS believe in a god that happens to share EXACTLY the same moral viewpoint that they do!

    I’ve never heard anyone say, “I believe in this god, but I think his opinion on this topic is crazy.”

    It’s almost as if the god they believe in has just been made up in their own mind.

    • In reply to #4 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee:

      ‘I would not worship a God who is homophobic’

      It’s amazing how people ALWAYS believe in a god that happens to share EXACTLY the same moral viewpoint that they do!

      I’ve never heard anyone say, “I believe in this god, but I think his opinion on this topic is crazy.”

      It’s almost as if the god they b…

      I think that’s why it’s called a “personal” god. Your god is whatever you want it to be. It’s like people reading the Bible. The words come to mean whatever the reader wants them to mean.

      The god of Christianity appears to be totally homophobic to me, but Desmond obviously can’t see it, even though it’s clear in his Bible.

    • In reply to #4 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee:

      It’s amazing how people ALWAYS believe in a god that happens to share EXACTLY the same moral viewpoint that they do!

      Research shows when you think about what you believe, like and so on, one area of your brain lights up, and another area lights up when you do the same for someone else. However, the first area lights up when considering how God thinks. In other words, God is just a projection of one’s own opinions.

      • In reply to #21 by Jos Gibbons:

        Research shows when you think about what you believe, like and so on, one area of your brain lights up, and another area lights up when you do the same for someone else. However, the first area lights up when considering how God thinks. In other words, God is just a projection of one’s own opinions.

        Sounds interesting. What research are you talking about?

  2. There are few more admirable than Desmond Tutu in my view. For someone who has been so profoundly and continuously “on the right side” of most moral arguments he remains wonderfully uncompromised. No god is going to make him a hypocrite.

  3. I don’t understand any of this. When the Pope said, “Who am I to judge gays?” I thought, well, you are the effing Pope. It says so in your book that gays are an abomination. Hasn’t he read the darn thing? And now Desmond Tutu – a man who has stayed, generally, on the right side of history – says he can’t worship the god for whom his church, and he, exists. Go back to sun worship? At least that makes more sense.

    • In reply to #6 by stuhillman:

      I don’t understand any of this. When the Pope said, “Who am I to judge gays?” I thought, well, you are the effing Pope. It says so in your book that gays are an abomination. Hasn’t he read the darn thing? And now Desmond Tutu – a man who has stayed, generally, on the right side of history – says he can’t worship the god for whom his church, and he, exists. Go back to sun worship? At least that makes more sense.

      The difference between Tutu and the pope is integrity. The pope might talk the talk, but he doesn’t really walk the walk.

  4. I am not a fan of religious leaders.Have to make that clear.I do however respect and admire Desmond Tutu.He is a person who is not afraid to speak his mind and campaigns tirelessly agaiinst injustice.He also wrote a book ‘God is not a Christian and other provocations’ which
    is strange coming from a former Archbishop.If more religious leaders were like Tutu,Christianity would not be the curse it is.Wish he would not read the bible everyday(although he does not accept the bible in its entirety and criticises the unsavoury parts) but still , he is a nice old guy.

  5. Easy to be cynical and dismissive but for the question is simple: Is it a good or bad thing for prominent religious types to speak out against homophobia in their religion?

    Seems to me it is a good thing.

    • In reply to #10 by Matthew Lehman:

      A God who agrees with every opinion I hold is still as unlikely to exist as one who doesn’t. I have great difficulty explaining this to my theistic friends.

      I know this will sound pessimistic but.. this reminds me of what the Dr. House character once said in the eponymous TV show:

      “If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn’t be any religious people.”

      However… I have to give religious people some credit. They are unequaled when it comes to providing me a way to have an argument without having to pay for it. They also avoid me getting ripped off by a dishonest “argument provider” who will just automatically contradict anything I say (although an argument with religious people will inevitably degenerate into exactly that because…. what else is left when you run out of arguments?).

      Note for the people under 50 : The above was a reference to a Monty Python skit, one of my favorite:

    • In reply to #11 by Roedy:

      But he claims to be a Christian and Jehovah is one of the most homophobic beings in all fiction. Something does not add up.

      I’d take that up with those metaphorically inclined Unitarians, Quakers and old school Anglicans. The only problem with their God of Love and Niceness who was hip to modern problems (we’re in the 1950s and 1960s here) was that in a religious free market they would inevitably loose out in the authority stakes to biblical literalists and the Catholic Magisterium.

    • In reply to #13 by Peter Grant:

      “I’d rather break bread with Dawkins and Dennett than Desmod Tutu.”

      Tim Minchin

      Most I’d rather break bread with Tim Minchin. I met Tutu at a bash for Nicaragua in the eighties (with many others). He was an awful lot of fun. Richard ‘n’ Dan I’d be mostly mute and happily squeak occasionally.

  6. I’m with Phil@5 and Christiana@7, Desmond comes across as a kindly, intelligent man, not allowing religion to prevent him acting morally, though that does require some reworking of the script.

    I salute him. Not least for surviving the media for so long with the name ‘Archbishop Tutu’. He’s the only one with dignity (and humour) enough.

  7. Once again, it seems to be that beliefs in the afterlife or in a metaphysical creator – unevidenced as they are – can be relatively harmless. It is what believers of such beliefs do in this real world here and now that matters. If enough Christians were of as unassailable a moral character as Bishop Tutu, the argument that Christianity makes people good might have some empirical support.

  8. Well, just like erveryone else here, I’m an atheist. But, sometimes I get the notion that no matter the content and the importance of the statement made by a religious person, he is criticized, first and foremost. Mercilessly. The man spent his whole life as a cleric. He’s 81 years old. And he also is a living legend of his nation. Can’t you perceive the magnitude and importance of a statement like this? It means that, for all followers of the religion (not exactly a small number), NOT being homophobic not only is ok, but is somenthing that god wants from them. That is awesome news!

    Applause for Desmond Tutu ! ! !

  9. This “God” is not only homophobic, he is sexist, racist, anti family planning, anti abortion and a murderer. If you believe in the Bible then “God ” is all these things so what the hell is Desmond worshipping him for !

  10. What is the actual science of homosexuality? I hear it constantly quoted that exactly 10% of the population is gay. But that is scientifically absurd, no other attribute amongst a varied population is constant despite variations in environment and genetic make-up. Both Kinsey and Freud believed that Homosexuality was mutable and effected by society, so why do we not believe now that homosexuality is not itself an unscientific religious belief like polygamy or a mental illness like depression or anorexia?

    I think some people are concerned that if normal biological pairing and the consequent property ownership by families is not protected (in some way) then the state will gain control of too much of our lives, a fear which has been shown to be validated many times throughout history. This would surely be the case if governments become the sole arbiters of who can have children (after all they are the ones that choose which gay couples are fit to be parents).

    There is some evidence for this idea, as marriage is in decline and although the rich are not that adversely affected by frequent divorce, the children of the poor are massively more so, which we do not see in the popular media. If young adults, who are scientifically proven to be chemically confused by their hormones through their age of majority, are bombarded with homosexual ideation through the media then are we that sure that it will not lead first to an anti marriage majority and then to an anti straight / anti monogamy majority?

    I see a potential in the spread of homosexuality misinformation by the liberal elite, for creating an unstoppable momentum behind the flow of children from those whose biological parents have had their resources pulled away from them by impossibly unfair governments, to the those who have been chosen as state approved as parents. It seems to me to be the subversion of the poor by the rich for the rich’s own selfish and often sexually perverted pleasures.

    The fecundity of society has to be a moral issue surely if it is to have consequences on our children?

    Can we ever actually have some unbiased science on the subject?

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