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What is Archbishop Desmond Tutu's legacy?

09:30 UK time, Thursday, 7 October 2010

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is stepping down from public life, as he celebrates his 79th birthday. What are his achievements?

The man described as the "conscience" of South Africa was a prominent voice during the country's struggle against white minority rule.

Archbishop Tutu has since been the voice of reconciliation in a number of regional conflicts.

But the Nobel Peace prize winner now says he wants to make way for a new generation of leaders.

Have you met Archbishop Desmond Tutu? What are your memories of him? What is his legacy for South Africa and Africa as a whole? Does South Africa have the new leaders to replace him?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    He has been around for a long time & has not abused the trust many people have in him. He is a household name & difficult to replace at short notice.

  • Comment number 2.

    Why do you allow comments on nonsensical topics yet the important ones are passed by? There is no point in accessing this site if major issues are 'taboo'!
    Desmond Tutu? who cares?

  • Comment number 3.

    My memories are of a man who despite the hardships was always smiling and tyring to find the good in people. A lone voice. Not many men like that left unfortunately. I wish him a very peaceful retirement, he deserves it.

  • Comment number 4.

    Why is the BBC so obsessed with Africa?

  • Comment number 5.

    As an black man, holding an Archbishopric in apartheid South Africa, with all the spiritual and temporal authority that entails, his very existence stuck two fingers up to the white supremacist government of the day.

    He was the one outspoken, critic of apartheid who the authorities never dared to gag.

    His public speeches and sermons kept the aprtheid government in the world spot light and the pressure he applied certainly helped to bring down the regime.

    Modern South Africa still has a long way to go, but the fact that its on the road at all is down to men like Arch Bishop Tutu.

    More grease to his elbow.

    'Yipee!'.

  • Comment number 6.

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu has somehow managed to project the image of a man who always sees the glass as half full. For that and his tireless efforts to promote what is good in Africa he must be applauded as a man of God. A man small in stature but with a BIG HEART!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    'Trying to find the good in people'. What a pity so many repondants are such mean minded and twisted personalities.

    Desmond Tutu was a great gentleman, a force for good in the whole world, and will be greatly missed. When he shook your hand, it nearly took your arm off.

  • Comment number 8.

    Desmond Tutu's role in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was absolutely fundamental. He gave the notion of reconciliation-through-forgiveness a meaning and direction that was not directly envisaged or required by statute. He encouraged victims and their families to put the past behind them even when the perpetrators had committed the most heinous of crimes. His accepted moral authority also gave the TRC a great deal of credibility and it is in no small part down to his efforts that a human rights culture is flourishing in South Africa today. That is his legacy.

  • Comment number 9.

    From the mid 1980s when the RSA government was beginning the preparations for the transition from apartheid to democracy, Tutu was a calming influence. After the election of Mandela, he continued to be so, and influenced the relatively calm transfer of political power.

    It could have been so much worse, so he was important.

  • Comment number 10.

    African politicians seems to be more vain than European, at least it shows better. But Desmond Tutu seemed unaffected by fame and kept focus all through his career. His retirement is a loss for South Africa, which runs the danger of descending down the Zimbabwe path to populism, corruption and increased poverty.

  • Comment number 11.

    Oh dear, another non topic.

    Desmond who? And who gives a damn anyway?

  • Comment number 12.

    2. At 10:02am on 07 Oct 2010, martyjg wrote:
    Why do you allow comments on nonsensical topics yet the important ones are passed by? There is no point in accessing this site if major issues are 'taboo'!
    Desmond Tutu? who cares?

    ------------------------------------

    So what do you want to rant about? Desmond Tutu was, and is, a very important political and historic figure in world politics. I am not talking about a 5 minute wonder but 50 years in the spotlight and a deserved winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    So what is your topic, last night's "apprentice", reality hits public sector pensions(methinks you are one that objects to any change to your gold plated pension from the ministry of straight railings and gender re-alignments) or Gamugate on x' factor(would never had needed to come here, and stay illegally, if Rhodesia had had a figure of the stature of Desmond Tutu). What are the big issues for you then?

  • Comment number 13.

    When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

  • Comment number 14.

    A genuinely good person who deserves to enjoy his retirement although I doubt that we have heard the last of his opinions or attempts to improve the lives of people who need a voice such as his to highlight some of the injustices in this world, I wish him well.

  • Comment number 15.

    In terms of public contributions his legacy is the inspired Committee for Truth and Reconciliation which sought to bring out the wrongs of the past in a spirit of loving forgiveness rather than the usual blame game and one-sided mud-slinging to which we are usually subjected. That was an example of faith in action.

    As a priest, I don't know because I've never heard him preach the Gospel - even from the pulpit he seemed always to speak about racism.

  • Comment number 16.

    For once .... a man of God has actually taken the words of Jesus seriously. I wish all clerics were like Desmond Tutu.

    Blessed are the peacemakers !

  • Comment number 17.

    A geniune man who protested peacefully and got people to listen.

    He never used terrorism even when provocked unlike Mandella and is really a great man.

    I hope he enjoys his retirement because he deserves it.

  • Comment number 18.

    Just the fact that university students who end up with a lower second class degree refer to it as a "Desmond" should be enough of a legacy for him.

  • Comment number 19.

    @18 Richard

    Is your post derisory for some reason or are you simply letting us know that students noticed that his surname rhymed with 2-2? He has a masters degree from King's College London. He also has numerous other honorary degrees from many other universities.

    If I were being padantic then "university students" should be "unversity graduates" or were you a Vorderman?

  • Comment number 20.

    Yet another non subject for debate. Let us not forget that Mandella was involved in a terrorist struggle. Tutu, supported the economic boycott and disinvestment which lead to the starvation of some of the poorest people in South Africa. There is blood on both their hands.

  • Comment number 21.

    Degree or no, Archbishop Desmond Tutu should have held the presidency of SA in place even of Mr Mandela and certainly of his successors. He is the lion of Africa. Sadly there will never be an adequate replacement.

  • Comment number 22.

    The ultimate man of God of our times.
    Compared to him most others look and sound like politicians and misguided amateurs.

  • Comment number 23.

    I am an atheist and I detest all religions but I have to say Desmond Tutu has been an amazing person throughout his career. He has been man enough to stand up to other religious leaders (both within his own religion and in others) as well as politicians and I admire him greatly.

    His intelligence, compassion and common sense have impressed me for years. He is head and shoulders above any other religious leader or politician I have known in my lifetime. He has the ability to laugh at himself and he has spoken out in support of gay people which impressed me more than anything - no other senior religious leader in any religion has been more accepting of all. He is a shining example of what religion SHOULD mean and if there was anyone who could have persuaded me to believe in a God it would have been Desmond Tutu. I am very, very sad to see him retire - the world needs more people like Desmond Tutu. I hope his replacement can continue on the same path.

    Thank you Desmond. You have been a beacon of hope for many people for many, many years. You have done an INCREDIBLE job and you more than deserve a long and happy retirement.

  • Comment number 24.

    Achievment is the wrong word.

    Promotion of anti-semitism
    Standing by while Robert Mugabe engages in ethnic clensing
    apologist for islamic terrorism
    Western nation bashing

    Good riddance!

  • Comment number 25.

    I respect Desmond because he is a man of the church and he has more of a legacy than Nelson Mandela. Mind you I can never work out what Mandela actually achieved.

  • Comment number 26.

    For me, Tutu's legacy is standing up against Israel. He is of few great leaders to be active in the disinvestment campaign of Israel, exposing the war crimes and mistreatment of the Palestinian people by Israel which he said was comparable to the apartheid regime of S.A.
    Long live Tutu

  • Comment number 27.

    What is Archbishop Desmond Tutu's legacy? Next to nothing. All mouth and little action.

  • Comment number 28.

    To answer one of the questions posed - no, I don't believe Africa has any leaders (political or religious) of even an eighth of the quality of Desmond at the moment. With the exception of Desmond, Africa has been lacking high caliber political & religious leaders for decades so his retirement is really going to hit them hard. There is going to be no voice for the poor and needy and no voice of reason.

    The UK is also lacking high caliber political leaders. We are very lucky we are a rich nation because our current batch of lightweight & superficial politicians would never be able to build our country in the same way that Africa is needing now. Our current politicians would fall at the first hurdle.

    In terms of religious leaders I would have to say the UK has NEVER had a religious leader as accepting, accessible, down to earth and intelligent as Desmond. Africa has been so lucky to have had him. He has been an excellent example of what religion really should be about. Our own religious leaders should have followed Desmond's lead years ago because his approach to religion and life has been inspirational but instead they found it easier and more comfortable to sit back and continue teaching religion in the way that has alienated most of the UK population for years. Desmond's religion is about acceptance, tolerance and forgiveness - UK religion is about who gives the most money, who can they preach hatred against without society making a fuss (at this point in time it's gay people)& how much money can they make on the world stock markets while continuing to avoid paying taxes.

    We will miss you Desmond !

  • Comment number 29.

    Next to Mandela Desmond Tutu was instrumental in getting rid of apartheid, he worked tirelessly for stopping black on black violence, did he succeed? I do not think he did. After achieving the end of apartheid both Mandela and Tutu left a vacuum, this has become a State of Entitlement that the Blacks are claiming and clamoring for. There is no doubt that South Africa was developed by the Whites into an economic power house and agriculture paradise, the Blacks did suffer under the strict system to keep them apart and segregated. I do not think that the end of apartheid has brought any credible progress for the Blacks, the safety on the streets has vanished, violence and robberies are daily news that people have stopped thinking about it. Tutu could have used his Church and influence to better manage the violence and greed among the newer leaders, he could have given them better lessons in honesty, chastity, accountability and sinful life styles.

  • Comment number 30.

    I had the opportunity to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu at Brown University in 1991. We had a very good conversation, When a faculty member leaned over to tell, "Others are waiting". The Bishop smiled, nodded His head abd said, "Nice to meet you". Desmond Tutu has set a good example for others to follow. Good job Desmond Tutu. Enjoy your retirement.

  • Comment number 31.

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu is stepping down from public life, as he celebrates his 79th birthday. What are his achievements?

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu's achievements have been many, a great many, If ever there was a man who could be described as a great man of his times, it is he, yet being the genuinely modest man he is, he would say no.
    He has been and still is a bright beacon of light that has shone out in the darkest moments, although he is a Great Christian, he has always accepted and respected the right of people to believe in their own Gods - their own religion.

    He spoke out against apartheid in South Africa, against injusticies and He spoke for the common man everywhere, no matter what colour, creed or religion, He has always been a man of peace - with great foresight - it is all this that is the mark of a truly great man.

    His will be a very hard act to follow, There have been few in my lifetime who have earned the respect of leaders, religous and political, everywhere, in fact I cannot think of one.

    If anyone deserved to be Knighted for his achievements in the name of peace, look no further, I, and I am sure all wish him a very long, happy and peacful retirement with his family.

  • Comment number 32.

    24. At 1:17pm on 07 Oct 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    Achievment is the wrong word.

    Promotion of anti-semitism
    Standing by while Robert Mugabe engages in ethnic clensing
    apologist for islamic terrorism
    Western nation bashing

    Good riddance!

    ---

    Don't mess with my Tutu.

  • Comment number 33.

    "A great man ,with gods joy in his heart, and a good dancer.

  • Comment number 34.

    I never met the man, so ANY judgement is unfair, but I have to say I never liked or trusted him. He came across to me as sleezy and self-serving. But, as I say, that's not a fair judgement since I didn't know him personally.

    So, he's retiring. Here in the UK, and someone else said, who cares?

  • Comment number 35.

    At least he was never a terrorist, unlike Mandela. Oh sorry, was Mandela's terrorism acceptable because you approve of his cause???

  • Comment number 36.

    Just like the great Nelson Mandela, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu is truely great man who has inspiered millions, a real hard act to follow.

  • Comment number 37.

    Archbishop Tutu = tolerance, not just within the African world, but within the entire world. Oh that humankind could internalize this message of tolerance!
    Archbishiop Tutu = peace and justice, not just within the African world, but within the entire world. Oh that humankind could internalize this message of peace and justice!
    Tutu = forgiveness and healing.
    He was the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 1995 to 2003. This commission held investigations, conducted hearings on suspected human rights violations that took place during apartheid in South Africa.
    The purpose: to encourage forgiveness and healing in South Africa.
    Oh that humankind could internalize this message of forgiveness and healing!
    Desmond Tutu, my favourite quote:
    "Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."

  • Comment number 38.

    saw some graffiti in Cape Town 10 years ago which has stuck in the mind!

    "I used to be Anglican - until I put Tu and tu together..."

  • Comment number 39.

    Archbishop Tutu’s enduring legacy would perhaps be measured in terms of the number and quality of respected African states men and women replacing him on both the African and world stages. I believe Archbishop Tutu has demonstrated not only to his fellow Africans, but to the wider world, that compassion that is morally rooted can affect how societies in Africa govern and deal with thorny issues like race and political tolerance.

  • Comment number 40.

    Someone earlier wrote "If I were being padantic then "university students" should be "unversity graduates" or were you a Vorderman? "

    I don't wish to seem pedantic but pedantic is spelt "pedantic" not "padantic"

  • Comment number 41.

    Although I am not religious, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the man and wish him well in his retirement.

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm quite sure he's a very nice chap with a wonderful sense of humour. Beyond that, he strikes me as little different from so many people I've met over the years - which leaves me wondering why HYS contributors' responses are felt to be so vital.

    Do the moderators have some hidden agenda we know nothing about?

  • Comment number 43.

    A real gem of a man who has tried to instil real Christian values in the people of South Africa and around the world. Here is a man of peace who has distinguished himself in such profound ways. South Africa was a torn nation but through the massive efforts of Archbishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela a solid bridge has been built to heal racial and colour differences. He has been exemplary, blazed a trail exhorting others to carry the torch for racial tolerance and harmonious living.

  • Comment number 44.

    I have no idea what his legacy is. Wasn't he just the only black leader not locked up therefore de facto spokesman?

  • Comment number 45.

    A very great man who has pointed the way to democracy and peace.

  • Comment number 46.

    It was thanks to Rev. Desmond Tutu that I learned about Ubuntu. In his words: 'Ubuntu ... It embraces hospitality, caring about others, being able to go the extra mile for the sake of others. We believe that a person is a person through other persons, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. When I dehumanize you, I inexorably dehumanize myself.'

    Through Desmond Tutu's courage, his inclusivenessa and his love of life and its interconnectedness, he has helped to re-ignite the spirit of humanity worldwide.

    Let's hope that others will take up the baton, knowing that he will continue to serve humanity in many other ways.

  • Comment number 47.

    tutu tutu tutu ...a very rich man....wonder how a bishop rakes in so much money....tutu tutu tutu....

  • Comment number 48.

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu is stepping down from public life, as he celebrates his 79th birthday.

    .....................................

    No offence intended but I thought he had stepped down about 15 years ago. I have not heard anything from this person for well over a decade. I wish him well in his retirement.
    If we are to judge his achievements I guess we have to look at South Africa now compared to how it was two or three decades ago. Has it improved? If so has Archbishop Desmond Tutu contributed to it's improvement?
    Sadly, I am not convinced that it has improved, if anything it is worse now than it was before, therefore the second question is somewhat irellevant.

  • Comment number 49.

    35. At 3:54pm on 07 Oct 2010, Chris mather wrote:
    At least he was never a terrorist, unlike Mandela. Oh sorry, was Mandela's terrorism acceptable because you approve of his cause???

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Can be applied in so many places, Northern Ireland, The Basque country, Iraq, Afganistan, the list is almost endless.

  • Comment number 50.

    13. At 10:38am on 07 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

    .................

    Yes, very good, and possibly with an element of truth as well. Presumably at some point you will tell us what exactly this has to do with the subject under discussion.



  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    50. At 8:58pm on 07 Oct 2010, devilzadvacate1 wrote:

    13. At 10:38am on 07 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

    ==============

    Not relevant to the topic at hand but hahahahahahahahahhaahahahah....

  • Comment number 53.

    johnbarri wrote:

    Degree or no, Archbishop Desmond Tutu should have held the presidency of SA in place even of Mr Mandela and certainly of his successors. He is the lion of Africa. Sadly there will never be an adequate replacement.

    ============

    In Africa u need more sheep than lions if u know what I mean

  • Comment number 54.

    1. At 09:55am on 07 Oct 2010, ian cheese wrote:

    He has been around for a long time & has not abused the trust many people have in him. He is a household name & difficult to replace at short notice.
    ===========

    Ah the Ian cheese...took time off the CWG uh ??

  • Comment number 55.

    One thing i know is that Africa lacks leaders of this caliber and stature.
    Tutu and Mandela should unite the african people from East to West and North to South against the outside forces looting their resources and against the corrupt and crooked leaders of these African nations who are being brainwashed and manipulated by the Western govts.
    Tutu is a good man and a good leader/speaker.Religion on one side,he needs to pursue an independent and neutral agenda to unite the african people,god bless the african poor.

  • Comment number 56.

    ref #53
    Luketerr wrote:
    johnbarri wrote:

    Degree or no, Archbishop Desmond Tutu should have held the presidency of SA in place even of Mr Mandela and certainly of his successors. He is the lion of Africa. Sadly there will never be an adequate replacement.

    ============

    In Africa u need more sheep than lions if u know what I mean

    ----------------------

    Hyena is a more accurate description

  • Comment number 57.

    Happy Birthday Pa Bishop Desmond Tutu, may God bless you for all your good works to humanity, Long life as you clock 79. My Prayer for your birthday "Thank you God for bringing people like Archbishop Tutu to be born in Africa, please God send more people like this to Africa, but please don,t send people like, Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Gen Gadaffi, Omar Bashir, Sani Abacha, Charles Taylor, and bless African in general".... Amen!

  • Comment number 58.

    What should be the Legacy of a Archbishop or any Clearic in High postion? I could have Respected Tutu if he had done more to tell the African people how the Catholic church,which he Reprented gave their Blessing on the Trade Black Africans as Slaves and also blessed the Robbery--Oh excuse me--i mean ofcourse the Colonisation of Africa and forced them to take this Religon.
    Better evan,to set an example step down as Bishop and live this church.

  • Comment number 59.

    I think it's a shame that some people find a topic like this "nonsensical" or consider world news a waste of time; perhaps they should learn to look a little further than their own backyard. Desmond Tutu is a great man and a key player in bringing down apartheid; recognition of his life's work can only be a good thing. I for one enjoy reading a few positive stories in the midst of such doom and gloom and it's a shame people choose to cast a negative light this topic.

  • Comment number 60.

    These comments here are so passe, Tutu did contribute to SA well being.
    most comments here are your typical sun readers small minded

  • Comment number 61.

    After Nelson Mandela,Desmond Tutu was the most important component of the Truth and Reconciliation. As a socio-political phenomenon, South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation has precious few parallels in history.

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    I met Bishop Tutu at my chuch when I was eleven years old. I was too young to comprehend his importance at the time. I was too shy to shake his hand- he smiled warmly, rubbed my shoulders and managed to coax a smile out of me. I will always remember that.

  • Comment number 64.

    The relatively small number of comments posted for this HYS speaks volumes.

    Desmond Tutu is retiring from public life. Who cares?

    I cannot imagine why the BBC bothered with this item. The number of comments suggests it was a mistake.

  • Comment number 65.

    From the heading of this I had to check - I thought he had died.

  • Comment number 66.

    martyjg wrote:

    Why do you allow comments on nonsensical topics yet the important ones are passed by? There is no point in accessing this site if major issues are 'taboo'! Desmond Tutu? who cares?

    #####

    Millions upon millions of people care. Tutu has been a major force not only for rights in South Africa, but across Africa and the rest of the world.

    His sensible, level headed and yet charming character has, often with a twinkle in his eye, silenced those that would oppress, lie and abuse.

    He has been a HUGE and incredibly important figure and in his retirement will be missed from political and humanitarian debate.

  • Comment number 67.

    A deeply serious and committed man, whose gravitas and profound wisdom have always been tempered by the twinkle in his eye, and the laughter in his voice.

  • Comment number 68.

    A gentleman, a realist, oozes common sense and tells the truth, not being afraid to speak his mind. In reality someone to respect and someone so few our politicians could say that they are within a million miles of his standards effort and honesty.

  • Comment number 69.

    Desmond Tutu showed the positive power of faith doing the right thing, promoting fairness and mutual respect... and without having to point to that faith as the driving force, just living life inspired by it. An excellent example to all.

    In particular, he's an excellent rebuttal to the anti-religionists who opine that people who believe in a deity ought not to participate in politics!

    PS. Gerhard Seeger: he's not a Roman Catholic, he belongs to the Anglican denomination of the Christian faith.

  • Comment number 70.

    I am always fascinated by how topics such as this bring out what I call "internet revisionists."

    These are those that amongst the huge number of factual documents and writings about great people like Archbishop Tutu, spend hour after sad hour trolling out the mean little bits of non information that slander him instead. They twist the meaning, they turn their narrow mindedness away from anything that would prove them wrong and will do and say anything just to kick someone in the shins.

    It is particularly relevant in this case as Tutu is a man who managed a plethora of well targeted comment over his life, who helped raise a people from the depths of apartheid and so much more, and yet never lost his sense of humour and never became bitter or twisted like those on here who want to stab him in the back.

  • Comment number 71.

    What is Arch Tutu retiring from exactly? He had stood down from being the Archbishop of Cape Town years ago. Is he now retiring from preaching good and criticising the endemic corruption by politicians in South Africa and the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe.
    He announced his retirement some months ago and now i suspect that he just wants to draw publicity to himself by announcing it again.

  • Comment number 72.

    '58. At 00:48am on 08 Oct 2010, gerhard seeger wrote:
    What should be the Legacy of a Archbishop or any Clearic in High postion? I could have Respected Tutu if he had done more to tell the African people how the Catholic church,which he Reprented gave their Blessing on the Trade Black Africans as Slaves and also blessed the Robbery--Oh excuse me--i mean ofcourse the Colonisation of Africa'

    Actually he is an Anglican, not a Roman Catholic

  • Comment number 73.

    He, along with Nelson Mandela are responsible for much moderation and tollerance in South Africa.

    As both Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela fade from life in South Africa, intollerance again grows.

    If only both Desmond and Mandela were 20 years younger, then I think South Africa would have a much better future!!!

  • Comment number 74.

    //26. At 1:30pm on 07 Oct 2010, Rawr wrote:
    For me, Tutu's legacy is standing up against Israel. He is of few great leaders to be active in the disinvestment campaign of Israel, exposing the war crimes and mistreatment of the Palestinian people by Israel which he said was comparable to the apartheid regime of S.A.
    Long live Tutu //

    There is genocide and abuse throughout Africa, which dwarfs anything even the biggest anti-semites on the left and in the muslim world wouldn't accuse Israel of.

    Yet Tutu criticises the jews and you support him.

    What is wrong with you people? Why are you so obsessed with jews?

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    MagicKirin wrote:
    A load of rubbish, again.


    For those who would prefer to hear the truth then you could always read the Bishop's own words and then decide for yourselves:

    Tutu's "anti-Semitic" speech

    People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong. Because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful. Ha, Ha, Ha ha! So what? So what! This is God’s world! For goodness sake this is God’s world! The Apartheid government was very powerful, but we said to them: Watch it! If you flout the laws of this universe, you’re going to bite the dust! Hitler was powerful. Mussolini was powerful. Stalin was powerful. Idi Amin was powerful. Pinochet was powerful. The Apartheid government were powerful. Milosevic was powerful. But, this is God’s world. A lie, injustice, oppression, those will never prevail in the world of this God. That is what we told our people. And we used to say: those ones, they have already lost, they are, they are going to bite the dust one day. We may not be around. An unjust Israeli government, however, powerful will fall in the world of this kind of God. Because we don’t want for that to happen but those who are powerful have to remember the litmus test that God gives to the powerful – what is your treatment of the poor, the hungry? What is your treatment of the vulnerable, the voiceless? And on the basis of that, God passes God’s judgment.

    We should put out a clarion call. Let’s, let’s make a clarion call to the government of the people of Israel. A clarion call to the Palestinian people and say peace is possible! Peace based on justice is possible! And we are meeting today, and we will continue going on, calling for this, for your own sakes Israeli Jews, for your own sakes Palestinian Arabs. Peace is possible and we will do all we can to assist you in achieving this peace which is within your grasp, because it is God’s dream that you will be able to live amicably together as sisters and brothers, side by side because you belong in God’s family. Peace! Peace! Peace!


    You can read the full speech here: http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2007/10/a_transcript_of.php


    The above speech was enough for the Anti Defamation League (a pro-Israeli lobby group pretending to be a human rights charity) to claim that Tutu was an anti-Semite and they then started a well funded international campaign to discredit the man and all he has achieved.

    This is a perfect example of how the Anti Defamation League and other pro-Israeli groups operate, they don't care about the truth and they're willing to spend vast fortunes trying to discredit anyone who suggests that the people of Israel and Palestine should try to live together in Peace because they and their supporters want only to carry on with the hate, lies and bloodshed until the day that their dream of a Greater Israel is realised.


    Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a great and a good man who has dedicated his life to Peace, Justice and Freedom. He deserves a long and happy retirement, although I suspect we haven't heard the last from him yet.

  • Comment number 77.

    If we all possessed the humanity which Desmond demonstrates then we would have peace for everyone...not wars and exploitation.

  • Comment number 78.

    13. At 10:38am on 07 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

    Not that it is relevant to this thread, but, rubbish, Africans have their land and always have, they just don't know how to use it.

  • Comment number 79.

    Archbishop Tutu has shown us how you can fight oppression and injustice without fighting people. He deserves his retirement, and I wish him all the best. He may rest assured that, even in retirement, he will remain a shining example and a source of inspiration for many people.

    A big big thank you to a great great man!

  • Comment number 80.

    No '17'
    Are you accusing Nelson M of a rain of terror? He had to do what he had to do. Would you be happy with the status quo as it was? I would think not! The regime in SA was an abomination and had to be removed at all cost

  • Comment number 81.

    The Israeli's think they are God's chosen people. a bunch weirdos!

  • Comment number 82.

    I spent some time with Desmond Tutu in 1994 in South Africa when I was working for the church in Limpopo province (formerly Northern Transvaal). A picture of him with myself and my wife hangs proudly on my office wall. He had time for everyone from the mayor to the lady who worked in the kitchen. He was passionate about justice but had no bitterness or racial hostility despite his lifetime experience of oppression and discrimination. He seemed to enjoy relaxing in front of the TV with a bunch of white people watching cricket with a rum and coke in hand just as much as leading worship and preaching at a massive gathering of black folk. He did the high profile political stuff brilliantly but he cared most about individuals: when my bishop's wife was in hospital the first bunch of flowers she received was from...Desmond Tutu. I'm sure he has flaws but as an example of Christian leadership in a really difficult context there's no-one I respect more.

  • Comment number 83.

    That smile could change the world. Happy retirement.

  • Comment number 84.

    ref #77

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a great and a good man who has dedicated his life to Peace, Justice and Freedom. He deserves a long and happy retirement, although I suspect we haven't heard the last from him yet.
    __________-

    No surpise that Tutu Apologists would smear a great group like the ADL who has done far more for the human rights than a terrorist supporter like Tutu has.

    Please see speech at a racist black church in boston http://urbangrounds.com/2008/12/desmond-tutu-racist-and-anti-semite-gets-a-beat-down/

  • Comment number 85.

    Concerning comment 76. At 11:57am on 08 Oct 2010 by General_Jack_Ripper.
    Very interesting contribution. I agree being against the Israeli Government does make you an Anti-Semite and being religious should not make you immune to criticism, especially by other religions. It is primarily a religious, rather than a political speech.
    He is being condemned as such by the "lobby" he says people are frightened to criticise.
    The speech might be a little misguided, but I don't think we should take the "Anti-Semite" accusation too seriously.

  • Comment number 86.

    Genuinely cannot believe some of the comments on this site about Desmond.
    Just because Tutu may not be important in some peoples' lives does not mean he is insignificant to millions of others around the world.
    I'm not religious at all but I've always been struck about how warm, engaging and intelligent he is. Growing up, he was always the spokesperson I saw on TV speaking out against apartheid. He's also not been afraid to speak his mind / challenge on other sensitive issues - homosexuality, aids epidemic and Israel.
    When I saw him cry during the reconciliation trials my heart went out to Africa. His ability to forgive and help others forgive & show tolerence was just super human.
    Have a great retiremnt - you deserve it

  • Comment number 87.

    Over many years he has been a strong and outspoken political figure. He could have done much for the good in the world. It's just a huge shame he allied himself with the floaty-beardy cults and their should-be-criminal hypocritical brainwashing scams.

    Just because he's old and been a long-time seen face makes people feel fond of him, whereas he's just been a perpetuator of one of the major evils in the world.

  • Comment number 88.

    I remember Desmond when he was just a young humble curate finding his way around at St. Mary's, Bletchingley in the '60s. We had many a laugh; remember the stocks, Desmond? LOL. The next time we met was during the '70s when he was one of the vicar's at St. Lawrence's, Catford south east London. I hope you have a long, happy and peaceful retirement, Desmond, you deserve it.

  • Comment number 89.

    All those fancy outfits. He sure is a swell dresser.

  • Comment number 90.

    25. At 1:22pm on 07 Oct 2010, John Sparks wrote:

    I respect Desmond because he is a man of the church and he has more of a legacy than Nelson Mandela. Mind you I can never work out what Mandela actually achieved.

    Were you in a coma during 1994??

  • Comment number 91.

    >> 84. At 12:56pm on 08 Oct 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    >>No surpise that Tutu Apologists would smear a great group like the ADL >>who has done far more for the human rights than a terrorist supporter >>like Tutu has.

    MagicKirin I would have had far more respect for your 84 post if you hadn't have "smeared" Tutu with your post at 24. Freedom of speech is as much a human right as anything else so if someone disagrees with how the state of Israel behaves towards it's non-Jewish citizens that doesn't make them anti-semites. You can disagree with how the Palestinians murder Israelis without being anti-Islamic just as you can disagree with how the Catholic Church dealt with paedophile priests without being anti-catholic. Injustice is sadly experienced all across the world and can affect all races, religions and sexes.
    Tutu helped fight some of this injustice and helped bring down a racist state that forced Black people into ghettos and prevented inter-marriage etc. These were exactly the things Jews faced in Nazi Germany and it's occupied territories so I'm sure many Jewish people (myself included) would empathise with the struggles he faced.

  • Comment number 92.

    11. At 10:28am on 07 Oct 2010, Wyn wrote:
    "Oh dear, another non topic.

    Desmond who? And who gives a damn anyway?"

    Not knowing Desmond Tutu is a reflection of your ignorance, and nothing else. Many people, much more well informed than you, give a damn.

  • Comment number 93.

    85. At 1:08pm on 08 Oct 2010, Deacon Jess John Charge wrote:
    Concerning comment 76. At 11:57am on 08 Oct 2010 by General_Jack_Ripper.
    Very interesting contribution. I agree being against the Israeli Government does make you an Anti-Semite

    ---

    The phrase Anti-Semite has been largely devalued and made rather ambiguous by its frequent use by the Israeli government.

    These days if you hear someone described as an anti-semite you don't know whether it refers to a holocaust denier or just someone who thought the blocade of Gaza was a bit harsh.

  • Comment number 94.

    50. At 8:58pm on 07 Oct 2010, devilzadvacate1 wrote:

    13. At 10:38am on 07 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

    .................

    Yes, very good, and possibly with an element of truth as well. Presumably at some point you will tell us what exactly this has to do with the subject under discussion.


    They are the words of Desmond TuTu. Now how stupid do you feel?

  • Comment number 95.

    78. At 12:08pm on 08 Oct 2010, Tony of Britain wrote:

    13. At 10:38am on 07 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

    Not that it is relevant to this thread, but, rubbish, Africans have their land and always have, they just don't know how to use it.


    Not relevant? These are the words of Desmond TuTu my ignorant friend.

  • Comment number 96.

    13. At 10:38am on 07 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land."

    A truer word has never been spoken. Reminds me of a very good book I read once - How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Very uncomfortable reading but a real eye opener. I don't believe we should bear guilt for the actions of our ancestors but there's no harm in acknowleding what happened.

    As for Desmond Tutu - a great man and a true icon of the 20th Century. A pity some of the Mail readers on here can't bring themeselves to acknowledge this.

  • Comment number 97.

    Alongside a "Geoff", "Atilla" and a "Richard" the second class degree award of 2.2 will for ever be known as a Desmond.
    This will probably stay longer in the public consciousness than the undeniably good works he did. Rather like comparing Princess Diana and Mother Theresa's funerals (they died in the same week for those that have already forgotten).

  • Comment number 98.

    #93. Horse wrote:


    ---

    The phrase Anti-Semite has been largely devalued and made rather ambiguous by its frequent use by the Israeli government.

    These days if you hear someone described as an anti-semite you don't know whether it refers to a holocaust denier or just someone who thought the blocade of Gaza was a bit harsh.


    Indeed, what Israelis do to Palestinians IS ALSO ANTI-SEMITIC. Perhaps you should read the dictionary before using new words.

  • Comment number 99.

    Desmond Tutu is one of a very few people of faith of our age (the other that springs to my mind is the Dalai Lama) who has provided leadership, a rational voice and maintained clear principals whilst dealing with an obnoxious and violently repressive political regime. Whilst he may be stepping back, I doubt very much if he will be retiring.

  • Comment number 100.

    He was a happy fellow.

    When the evil repugnant regnant racist regime of apartheid was in full effect and openly promoted by the powers that be like Margret Thatcher and Barclay's Bank who had business interests for financial profit making in the misery and suffering of the majority black Africans in favour of minority white European settlers, he continued the struggle to overcome against all odds.

    He was an admirable advocate for peace and tolerance against that wicked despicable old legacy.

    Misery
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8JJ6X2I7EQ

 

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