Book Notes: God Is Not a Christian by Desmond Tutu: Our Glorious Diversity
I read God Is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations by Desmond Tutu, and it is one of the most amazing books I have read. I greatly recommend it, whatever your religious beliefs. Desmond Tutu, arch-bishop of the Anglican Church in South Africa has won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, fought against the apartheid, and is incredibly out-spoken concerning issues of tolerance, oppression, civil and human rights. I want to quote ever single page, but I’m trying to limit myself. Today I’ll be sharing my favourite quotes from the chapter, Our Glorious Diversity.
Our Glorious Diversity:
“We live in a universe marked by diversity as the law of its being and our being. We are made to exist in a life that should be marked by cooperation, interdependence, sharing, caring, compassion, and complementarity. We should celebrate our diversity; we should exult in our differences as making not for separation and alienation and hostility but for their glorious opposites. The law of our being is to live in solidarity, friendship, helpfulness, unselfishness, interdependence, and complementarity, as sisters and brothers in one family, the human family, God’s family. Anything else, as we have experienced, is disaster.”
“Religion, which should foster sisterhood and brotherhood, which should encourage tolerance, respect, compassion, peace, reconciliation, caring, and sharing, has far too frequently – perversely – done the opposite. Religion has fueled alienation and conflict and has exacerbated intolerance and injustice and oppression. Some of the ghastliest atrocities have happened and are happening in the name of religion. It need not be so if we can learn the obvious: that no religion can hope to have a monopoly on God, on goodness and virtue and truth.”
“We need so much to work for coexistence, for tolerance, and to say, “I disagree with you, but I will defend ot the death your right to your opinion.” It is only when we respect even our adversaries and see them not as ogres, dehumanized, demonized, but as fellow human beings deserving respect for their personhood and dignity, that we will conduct a discourse that just might prevent conflict. There is room for everyone; there is room for every culture, race, language, and point of view.”