Desmond Tutu: “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven.”

on July 29, 2013

Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu has set himself at war with any deity guilty of what he considers homophobia. The famed opponent of South African apartheid voiced his strident opinion to Agence France-Presse (AFP) during the United Nations’ launch of its gay rights campaign in South Africa. He told AFP, “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this…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 am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid…For me, it is at the same level,” he declared.

Archbishop Tutu’s claims seem uncharacteristic of most bishops–perhaps this is what has led to his popularity. In any case, he did not define what he meant by “homosexuality” and “homophobia.” Does the former mean attraction or acts and behavior? Does the latter mean persecution or opposition to activity within the church and/or a refusal to recognize same-sex marriage? Such important distinctions are never made, at least in this instance. That is not the theologically responsible language one would expect from a person who has been entrusted with the office of bishop.

Nevertheless, from Tutu’s other statements in the past, the Archbishop almost certainly thinks that speaking out against homosexual behavior and forbidding a redefinition of marriage falls under the category of homophobia.

Sadly, it seems that Archbishop Tutu is so confident in his own opinion (and that of the UN) that he would declare the historic, global teaching of the Christian church in error.

Call this author a coward, but I’d rather allow myself to be taught by the church catholic  than go to an indiscriminately-affirming Hell.

  1. Comment by Andrew Haines on July 29, 2013 at 10:47 am

    In the words of Alex Trebek: “Simply stunning.”

  2. Comment by Geert ter Horst on July 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Bishop Tutu has revealed himself by this statement as a blasphemer.

  3. Comment by gary on July 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Going down Bishop Tutu?

  4. Comment by Adrian Croft on July 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    This isn’t exactly shocking. Tutu is essentially a political churchman, not an orthodox Christians. A political churchman is going to let his agenda be set by the secular world, not by the gospel. If he lives long enough, watch him come out in favor or polygamy and child marriage.

  5. Comment by siouxfan on July 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Does Bishop Tutu smoke? Because when the time arrives he will placed in the smoking section at his own choice!

  6. Comment by Ray Bannister on July 29, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    So, he wants things his way, not God’s way?

    Hmm, seems like I read about that in Genesis 3.

    Pretty revealing that a high-ranking churchman (notice I didn’t say “Christian”) regards sexual morality as evil. I don’t worship a “homophobic” God, I worship one who calls people to lives of commitment and holiness. Tutu’s god sounds like one made in his own Politically Correct image.

    Oh, well. He’ll have plenty of other bishops to talk to in the afterlife.

  7. Comment by Ben Welliver on July 29, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    “I refuse to go to a homophobic heaven.”

    File that under “You can’t fire me, I quit.”

  8. Comment by Jacob Cherian on July 30, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Just a day or two ago, Pope Francis I made a similar statement in Brazil, “Why should I judge Gay Clergy?”

    Both Tutu and Francis are considered to be churchman of great stature.

    Somehow, these comments are contradicting the Bible?

  9. Comment by Vince Talley on July 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Not every Christian recognizes the authority of the pope, or bishops.

    No church official can trump the Word of God. Considering the scandalous historical record of numerous popes and bishops, why should their opinions count for anything? A layman armed with the Bible is worth an army of apostate clergy.

  10. Comment by Vince Talley on July 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Would the bishop prefer a heaven where sexual promiscuity runs rampant? He might want to consider becoming a Muslim.

  11. Comment by Gabe on July 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    What a fool. God isn’t a homophobe. He doesn’t fear homosexuality. He abhors its practice like other sins and calls us to repentance and to put our sinful nature to death and gives us the Holy Spirit to accomplish that. He also calls us to not give into any temptation but to flee them. Sadly, Desmond Tutu has embraced them.

  12. Comment by Charles Hogge on August 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Prior to 1973, the American Psychiatric Association had a classification for homosexuality that clearly did not see it as normal. Unfortunately, for all of society – including homosexuals, a committee of strictly left leaning psychiatrists from academia (not a single practicing psychiatrists included) put forth a proposal to eliminate all such classifications and ramrodded it through. I believe it is far more accurate to see all forms of sexuality other than between opposite sexes as analogous to being born with a predisposition to alcohol addiction, rather than comparing it to being left handed. I can practice Christian love toward both alcoholics and homosexuals and pray that both will find peace with themselves and society in recovery. Homosexuals need an organization similar to AA. The APA did them a great disservice when they decided that they have no problem. Archbishop Tutu stirred things up with his announcement but did so quite sloppily – not defining homophobia and not making a distinction between preference and practice. There is not a real problem in my mind if we understand homosexuality as I see it. They are just as welcome in my faith community as all sinners and I am certain that Christ will welcome them on the same basis. That said, practicing homosexuals have no more business in leadership positions in church than practicing alcoholics.

  13. Comment by Albert on August 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Tutu has since ceased to be a man worth high consideration some time ago and several African leaders denounced him as a politician using God to seek fame and consideration. I think he drank too much wine!

  14. Comment by Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline on August 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    BRAVO! Bishop Tutu, you continue to speak truth with directness and clarity. God is still speaking, as the UCC says, and God is speaking through Bishop Tutu yet again–just as God spoke through him against the inhumanity of apartheid.

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