Desmond Tutu: I’d rather go to hell than a homophobic heaven

Desmond Tutu

I’ve always had a fondness for Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning South African archbishop. His passion, directness and courage in articulating his disgust with homophobia and proud support of the LGTB community is highly commendable. I wish more religious people were cut from the same cloth.

Tutu said, according to the Washington Times:

“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 agree with his sentiments 100%. If there is a God and I make it to the proverbial pearly gates, and God stands before me (or however God would posture himself/herself/itself), I would plainly ask, “Is homosexuality a sin?” If he/she/it answered in the affirmative, I’d turn around and walk back. Eternal paradise with a bunch of homophobic people is no paradise to me.

Of course, Tutu’s far more brave for saying that in a place like South Africa dealing with those issues. Where are the rest of so-called Christians on this? Jews? Muslims? If your God is just and loving, then surely a homophobic heaven is the antithesis to all he/she/it stands for, right? 

In earlier statements, Tutu laid it on a bit thicker and elaborated in potent fashion:

“Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical — the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act; the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reasons have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?

The Jesus I worship is not likely to collaborate with those who vilify and persecute an already oppressed minority. I myself could not have opposed the injustice of penalizing people for something about which they could do nothing — their race — and then have kept quiet as women were being penalized for something they could do nothing about — their gender; hence my support for the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.

Equally, I cannot keep quiet while people are being penalized for something about which they can do nothing — their sexuality. To discriminate against our sisters and brothers who are lesbian or gay on grounds of their sexual orientation for me is as totally unacceptable and unjust as apartheid ever was.”

Again, he’s absolutely right. For his time, if the record is true, Jesus was undeniably a radical. His beliefs, words and actions were radical compared to the people of his time and that’s what set him apart. I’m dealing in generalities here, but I think many of those that claim to follow Jesus now would be the first in line to hammer in the nails back then.

To put it in my parlance, if Jesus came back, surely, he would observe how we treat the LGBT community and say, “Dude, what the fuck?” 


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