Truthdig tips its hat this week to South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who took the Anglican Church to task for what he called its “homophobic” attitude, declaring in a recent interview with BBC Radio 4 that, “If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God.”
Archbishop Tutu zeroed in on church leadership in his critique, lamenting that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has not promoted the idea of a “welcoming God” to all members. Instead, Tutu charged, Williams and other top officials have unduly focused on the subject of gay priests, which cropped up again in the controversy over the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, when much bigger considerations should be given priority. “Our world is facing problems—poverty, HIV and AIDS—a devastating pandemic, and conflict,” the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner told the BBC. “In the face of all of that, our church, especially the Anglican Church, at this time is almost obsessed with questions of human sexuality.”
Tutu also seemed to have little patience with the question (usually posed as a thinly veiled judgment) of whether homosexuality is an individual choice, invoking racial parallels—and turning the terminology of perversion on its head—while offering his own take on the topic. “It is a perversion if you say to me that a person chooses to be homosexual,” he said, adding that, “It’s like saying you choose to be black in a race-infected society.” Although some might take issue with the particulars of Archbishop Tutu’s argument, his overall message pays tribute to the notion of an all-embracing God who truly delivers on the promise of grace for those who believe. Amen, as they say, to that.
Click here for more about the (as yet) unresolved controversy over gender and sexuality in the “Anglican Communion.”
Archbishop Tutu also held forth about America’s foreign policy last week in Cambridge, Mass., as the Harvard Crimson reports.
Not one, apparently, to shrink away from yet another challenging and timely topic, Tutu let his opinion be known about the death penalty in The Guardian on Nov. 13.
AP photo / Nati Harnik
Tour de force: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has cut a wide swath through global social and political issues of late. Here Tutu addresses reporters before delivering the keynote speech at an event for Girls Inc. in Omaha, Neb., on Oct. 22.