Happy Retirement, Abp. Tutu!

Today, on his 79th birthday, the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, is retiring from public life. I saw him speak once, when I was an undergraduate, and the thing I remember most about the man was his laughter and passion, which had him flying all over the world working for and teaching about human rights. Even to a small state college in far-northern California. It is a well-deserved rest he is now taking.

I’d like to share a small taste of his speaking and writing.

You would not be normal people if you were not sometimes, some what depressed by all the news reports that we get today.

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.

Resentment and anger are bad for your blood pressure and your digestion

We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.

“I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of human rights”

If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn’t worship that God

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

dalai lama  and archbishop desmond tutu
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A kid asked me a few years ago, “What do you do to get the [Nobel Peace] prize?” I said, “It’s very easy, you just need three things – you must have an easy name, like Tutu for example, you must have a large nose and you must have sexy legs.”

All rich, poor; tall, short; substantial, not so substantial; beautiful, not so beautiful; clever, stupid. All, men, women, children; old, young; white, black, red, yellow. All, all, gay, lesbian, so-called straight. All, all, all. All belong.

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