Desmond Tutu quotes

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Desmond Tutu

Birthdate: 7. October 1931
Other names: Desmond Mpilo Tutu

Desmond Mpilo Tutu is a South African anti-apartheid and social rights activist, as well as an Anglican clergyman and theologian. He was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town and bishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa . Theologically, he sought to fuse ideas from black theology with African theology.

Born to a poor family in Klerksdorp, Tutu is of mixed Xhosa and Motswana heritage. Moving around South Africa as a child, he trained as a teacher and married Nomalizo Leah Tutu, with whom he had several children. In 1960, he was ordained as a priest and in 1962 moved to the United Kingdom to study theology at King's College London. After this education he returned to southern Africa, working as a lecturer at the Federal Theological Seminary and then the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. In 1972, he returned to London as the Theological Education Fund's director for Africa, necessitating regular tours of the continent. Back in South Africa, he took an active role in opposition to the apartheid system of racial segregation and white-minority rule. During the 1980s, he emerged as one of the most prominent anti-apartheid activists within South Africa. Unlike other sectors of the anti-apartheid movement, he stressed non-violent protest.

After Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in 1990 and negotiated the dissolution of apartheid with President F. W. de Klerk, Tutu became a supporter of the new government. Mandela selected Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. Since apartheid's fall, Tutu has campaigned on other social justice issues; combating poverty, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, as well as opposition to forms of prejudice like racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.

Tutu has been widely praised for his anti-apartheid activism. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He had attracted some criticism for his views on Zionism and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He has also compiled several books of his speeches and sayings.

„This family has no outsiders. Everyone is an insider.“

—  Desmond Tutu

"And God Smiles," sermon preached at All Saints Church, Pasadena, California (6 November 2005)
Context: This family has no outsiders. Everyone is an insider. When Jesus said, "I, if I am lifted up, will draw..." Did he say, "I will draw some"? "I will draw some, and tough luck for the others"? He said, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all." All! All! All! – Black, white, yellow; rich, poor; clever, not so clever; beautiful, not so beautiful. All! All! It is radical. All! Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Bush – all! All! All are to be held in this incredible embrace. Gay, lesbian, so-called "straight;" all! All! All are to be held in the incredible embrace of the love that won’t let us go.

„A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.“

—  Desmond Tutu

Address at his enthronement as Anglican archbishop of Cape Town (7 September 1986)

„We learn from history that we don't learn from history!“

—  Desmond Tutu

Often attributed to Desmond Tutu, actual source is G. W. F Hegel: What experience and history teach is this — that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it. Lectures on the Philosophy of History (1832)
Misattributed

„Do a little bit of good wherever you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world“

—  Desmond Tutu

Variant: Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

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„All are to be held in the incredible embrace of the love that won’t let us go.“

—  Desmond Tutu

"And God Smiles," sermon preached at All Saints Church, Pasadena, California (6 November 2005)
Context: This family has no outsiders. Everyone is an insider. When Jesus said, "I, if I am lifted up, will draw..." Did he say, "I will draw some"? "I will draw some, and tough luck for the others"? He said, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all." All! All! All! – Black, white, yellow; rich, poor; clever, not so clever; beautiful, not so beautiful. All! All! It is radical. All! Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Bush – all! All! All are to be held in this incredible embrace. Gay, lesbian, so-called "straight;" all! All! All are to be held in the incredible embrace of the love that won’t let us go.

„I give great thanks to God that he has created a Dalai Lama.“

—  Desmond Tutu

As quoted in "Dalai Lama honours Tintin and Tutu" at BBC News (2 June 2006) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5040198.stm
Context: I give great thanks to God that he has created a Dalai Lama. Do you really think, as some have argued, that God will be saying: "You know, that guy, the Dalai Lama, is not bad. What a pity he's not a Christian"? I don't think that is the case — because, you see, God is not a Christian.

„Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice.“

—  Desmond Tutu

Speech in Boston (2002)
Context: Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice. We condemn the violence of suicide bombers, and we condemn the corruption of young minds taught hatred; but we also condemn the violence of military incursions in the occupied lands, and the inhumanity that won't let ambulances reach the injured.

„Injustice and oppression will never prevail.“

—  Desmond Tutu

Speech in Boston (2002)
Context: Injustice and oppression will never prevail. 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, the voiceless? And on the basis of that, God passes judgment.
We should put out a clarion call to the government of the people of Israel, to the Palestinian people and say: peace is possible, peace based on justice is possible. We will do all we can to assist you to achieve this peace, because it is God's dream, and you will be able to live amicably together as sisters and brothers.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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