Desmond Tutu – My Plea to the People of Israel: Liberate Yourselves by Liberating Palestine

desmond_tutu

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens … as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.

I asked the crowd to chant with me: “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.” Continue reading “Desmond Tutu – My Plea to the People of Israel: Liberate Yourselves by Liberating Palestine”

Madiba, Rest in Peace! Your Memory Will Live Forever!

Nelson Mandela

“He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages” – US President Barack Obama

Madiba is gone. He will be missed and remembered forever.

As I have explained a number of times already, I must confess that before going to England to study theology, my impression of Mandela,rooted in the common prejudices of American inspired conservative evangelicalism, was that is a mere ‘rotten communist’ and nothing more. All his fight to freedom from apartheid did not have much value for me. He was a leftist and ended the conversation for me.

Then, in England, I realised that the socialist movement was not created by atheist communists, but about Christians who tried to temper the violent excesses of wild capitalism, in order to help bring a better life for the poor and marginalised that the utter selfishness and greed at the core of capitalism left behind. Continue reading “Madiba, Rest in Peace! Your Memory Will Live Forever!”

Desmond Tutu And The Dalai Lama on Religion – God Is Not A Christian

Dalai-Lama & Desmond-Tutu

This is an amazing dialogue, between two extraordinary people of our time. You may agree or disagree with some of the things they say, but I guess we may all learn a thing or two from this. Take the time to read it. It is really worh it, I would suggest.

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The Dalai Lama, wearing an orange visor, was on stage sitting next to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who had just flown in from South Africa. The Dalai Lama sat in his usual lotus position on a leather armchair that was a size too small for his folded legs. His knees stuck out a smidgen beyond the armrests.

“My main concern,” he said to Tutu, “what’s the best way to talk about deeper human values like love, compassion, forgiveness, these things. Not relying on God, but relying on ourselves.”

Tutu was hunched forward in his chair; he was carefully examining his hands, which were resting on his lap. He was dressed in a dark suit and a striking purple shirt with a decidedly magenta hue. A large metal cross hung below the clerical collar.

The Dalai Lama said, “I myself, I’m believer, I’m Buddhist monk. So for my own improvement, I utilize as much as I can Buddhist approach. But I never touch this when I talk with others. Buddhism is my business. Not business of other people. Frankly speaking”—he stole a glance at the archbishop and declared firmly—“when you and our brothers and sisters talk about God, creator, I’m nonbeliever.” He laughed, perhaps a little self-consciously. Continue reading “Desmond Tutu And The Dalai Lama on Religion – God Is Not A Christian”

Desmond Tutu – Free Liu Xiaobo

Desmond Tutu

Danut –

You may not know his name, but my friend Liu Xiaobo is a global icon for freedom. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights.

Today, this hero remains in jail, as China’s most famous political prisoner.

Xiaobo is serving an 11-year term for his activism demanding that the Chinese government make his country more democratic and make its courts more independent. His wife, who has never been convicted of any crime, is under house arrest. This is not just.

I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for my work fighting the racist Apartheid system in South Africa. I am humbled to share the Nobel legacy with someone so brave as Xiaobo.

Today, with more than 130 other Nobel Prize winners, I am calling on the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to release Liu Xiaobo from prison and his wife, Xia, from house arrest. Continue reading “Desmond Tutu – Free Liu Xiaobo”

Desmond Tutu: Not going quietly – The Frost Interview

One of the greatest men of our time.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the famous Nobel laureate, and one of the world’s most respected church leaders, was a central figure in ensuring an end to white minority rule in South Africa.

He was instrumental in the struggle against apartheid, also acting as chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). He has since gone on to play a role as one of Nelson Mandela’s handpicked Elders along with others like former US President Jimmy Carter.

The archbishop takes Sir David Frost on a tour of his beloved South Africa; he talks about his time in the anti-apartheid struggle movement, his work with the TRC, and his alarm over recent developments in the “rainbow nation”.

Desmond Tutu – God is Not a Christian

A darker side is re-emerging and gaining ground. There is an increase in xenophobia, homophobia, discrimination, racism, religious intolerance and attacks on minorities – fuelled by far-right and populist agendas – and all too often by religious extremists.

Far-right parties are gaining ground in Europe at an increasingly alarming speed. The recent disgraceful video and cartoon insults on Prophet Muhammad, and the controversial adverts in New York subway stations with the intent to insult and incite hatred, in the name of “free speech”, are examples of undue intolerance. Free speech should not be misused to deliberately insult. With freedom comes responsibility.

We are seeing intolerance across the board, creating fear of others different from ‘us’, arising out of an anxiety over financial and economic uncertainty in Europe and political uncertainty in the Middle East, reinforced by hate-filled, extremist rhetoric appealing to concerns for our own well-being and security – claiming that we should fear one another. Opinions that once would have been considered derogatory are slowly filtering into mainstream parties. It is negative rhetoric that speaks to people’s fears and emotions, it is scaremongering that is irrational – yet it is effective because fear stops people from thinking rationally. This increase of intolerance is happening worldwide. It is intolerance easily provoked by economic hardship and it is very, very dangerous. Continue reading “Desmond Tutu – God is Not a Christian”

Desmond Tutu Interviewed by Krista Tippett

Krista Tippett is a well known radio host from American Public Radio. Her website, called Being, presents a wealth of materials around the themes of the interviews that she does for public radio.