dedication of Desmond Tutu to the planet and justice for all | Letters
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Your informative obituary of Archbishop Desmond Tutu (December 26) missed an important dimension – his warnings about the need to save the planet. In March 2004, he gave a lecture entitled The Word of God and World Politics at the United Nations as part of Kofi Annan’s series of public lectures on cutting-edge topics in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences. and the arts.
The Archbishop said: “Ecological concerns are a deeply religious and spiritual issue. Polluting the environment, being responsible for catastrophic warming, is not only wrong and should be a criminal offense; it is certainly morally wrong. It’s a sin.”
Prof. Abiodun Williams
Desmond Tutu’s humanity was a candle of hope in a darkening world. Its moral significance was global. His warnings about the future of humanity on the planet remain as true today as when he summed up his thoughts in an article in the Guardian (This Fatal Complacency, May 5, 2007). The emphasis was then placed on climate change; 14 years later, we’ve added the weight of a 1.5 billion population increase, the actions of failed states and tyrannical governments, and the selfish international failure to help our neighbors during this current coronavirus pandemic. .
Your obituary focuses, of course, on Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s contribution to peace and reconciliation in South Africa. During the last 15 years of his life, however, he has also made a huge contribution to the peace process elsewhere in the world through his adopted philosophy of Ubuntu, that we experience our shared humanity with others.
In the UK, the work of the Tutu Foundation has supported bringing together young people, especially black youth from inner city neighborhoods, to address some of the difficulties resulting from the over-policing of minority communities through, for example, the disproportionate use of stop and seek. It’s too early to tell what the long-term effects of this work might be, but the first signs are encouraging to replace fear and mistrust with openness and commitment on an equal footing.
Professor Gary Craig
I was disappointed that your Obituary of Desmond Tutu made no reference to his support for Palestine, and to his powerful statement in 2014 when he made a direct comparison between the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians in the territories. occupied and the apartheid regime in South Africa against which he had fought so hard. Archbishop Tutu was a remarkable and principled man and an inspiration to many. Its fight against apartheid and racism was not confined to one country; he challenged it wherever it happened.
Hastings, East Sussex
Of all Desmond Tutu’s stories, my favorite is that of two friends who visited Cape Town a few years ago and attended a service in the cathedral. On leaving they were greeted by him and asked them where they were from. “Worcester” was the answer. “Ah yes, his beautiful cathedral…” “Well, actually, we’re Methodists. “He put his arms around their shoulders and said,” I forgive you, my children, “before letting out that well-known little laugh.
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