Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Desmond Tutu: God (she's) not a Christian.

What a wonderful, wonderful treat is in store for you!  Here.  Oh, the joy of being old and telling it like it is!  The joy of being famous and holy and old and getting away with it!

Here's a flavor:
The two elderly spiritual leaders, for one short, unforgettable moment, became kids again, horsing around and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. 

At one gathering in Oslo, after a particularly rambunctious episode, Tutu admonished the Dalai Lama in mock seriousness, “Look here—the cameras are on you, stop behaving like a naughty schoolboy. Try to behave like a holy man.”
Now Tutu tells it like it is:
 “The glory about God is that God is a mystery. God is actually quite incredible in many ways. But God allows us to misunderstand her”—at this, the audience went wild; the applause was loud and spontaneous—“but also to understand her.”

“I’ve frequently said I’m glad I’m not God,” Tutu continued. “But I’m also glad God is God. He can watch us speak, spread hatred, in his name. Apartheid was for a long time justified by the church. We do the same when we say all those awful things we say about gays and lesbians. We speak on behalf of a God of love. The God that I worship is an omnipotent God,” Tutu intoned, opening his arms wide. He paused to let this sink in. Then he said, sotto voce, “He is also incredibly, totally impotent. The God that I worship is almighty, and also incredibly weak.
“He can sit there and watch me make a wrong choice. Now, if I was God,” he said as the hall burst into laughter, “and I saw, for instance, this one is going to make a choice that is going to destroy his family, I’d probably snuff him out. But the glory of God is actually mind-blowing. He can sit and not intervene because he has such an incredible, incredible reverence for my autonomy. He is prepared to let me go to hell. Freely. Rather than compel me to go to heaven. He weeps when he sees us do the things that we do to one another. But he does not send lightning bolts to destroy the ungodly. And that is fantastic. God says, ‘I can’t force you. I beg you, please for your own sake, make the right choice. I beg you.’ When you do the right thing, God forgets about God’s divine dignity and he rushes and embraces you. ‘You came back, you came back. I love you. Oh how wonderful, you came back.’”
I agree with all of it, except the concept of going to hell. 

Whatever/wherever "hell" might be, to me it's an eternity of knowing (the consequences of one's choices), but with no possibility - any longer - of making good on wrong choices.  So an eternal anguish for those who've harmed others - children and women and gay people and people of different religious faiths, colors, political views.

I, being idealistic, hope it includes some way to mourn and grieve and find ultimate compassion.

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