Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nobel Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu Challenges the World to Support Homosexuals' Civil Rights

I would never worship a homophobic God.
-Archbishop Desmond Tutu

     Imagine if one of the most popular and influential religious leaders in the world came out in favor of homosexual persons and their fight for equal rights.  Imagine a cleric using reason, science, and experience to inform his/her faith to come to the conclusion that gays and lesbians are people too.  Imagine if this person directly challenged the Gospel According to Hate that so many religious people practice.  That day has arrived. 

     Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu taken yet another giant leap for humanity.  Yesterday, he posted an op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post, in which he directly addressed the hatred, bigotry, and ignorance being preached in the name of god to discriminate, intimidate, murder, and deny the "fundamental rights and freedoms" of  homosexuals in "terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa."

     Here are a few passages from Tutu's op-ed in The Washington Post:
     Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity -- or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity.
    That this pandering to intolerance is being done by politicians looking for scapegoats for their failures is not surprising. But it is a great wrong. An even larger offense is that it is being done in the name of God. Show me where Christ said "Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones." Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God.
    "But they are sinners," I can hear the preachers and politicians say. "They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished." My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn't it amazing that we are all made in God's image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?
    The wave of hate must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.
     That you Archbishop Tutu for reminding me that the fight for LGBT equality is not with all religious persons, but only with the intolerant, ignorant, and prejudiced ones.

Keep fighting the good fight, Archbishop!
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Deldachez said...

How so very refreshing to read his words!