A Voice Crying in the Wilderness:

Bishop Tutu's prophetic denuciation of injustice before the panel of his inquisitors.

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No future without forgiveness

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Forgiveness and reconciliation are not just ethereal, spiritual, other-worldly
activities. They have to do with the real world. They are realpolitik, because
in a very real sense, without forgiveness, there is no future.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Today

in a very real sense,
without forgiveness, there is no future

Desmond Tutu, full of inspiration, exhorts the Court
Tyrants may rule but
Truth, not tyranny, will prevail

In 1981, the apartheid government of South Africa summoned Desmond Tutu to appear before their tribunal. Alistair Sparks describes the encounter in his book:

The Little Black Bishop stabbed a finger toward the five white commissioners sitting before him and declared: "You whites brought us the Bible; now we blacks are taking it seriously. We are involved with God to set us free fom all that enslaves us and makes us less than what He intended us to be."

It was a curious scene, the black bishop all intensity and animation delivering a theological lecture strewn with Biblical quotations to [his five staid, stony faced inquistors].

He sat bouncing and twisting, his hands shaping out the outline of his ideas with vivid gestures, .... his voice [also contributing to] this vituoso performance, sometimes sonorous, playing with the cadences of his African accent, and sometimes breaking into a high-pitched chuckle as he hit on a pertinent new insight. His delivery was somber, joyful, impatient, humourous, reflective, switching rapidly through all the registers in response to a quicksilver spirit.

"The God of the Exodus is subversive of all situations of injustice. And the Bible is the most revolutionary, most radical book there is. If any book should be banned by those who rule unjustly and as tyrants, then it is the Bible."

Tutu ended with a ringing declaration of determination to continue his Christian mission as he saw it, [regardless of penalties or prohibitions by the government].

"I want Government to know now and always that I do not fear them. They are trying to defend the utterly indefensible and they will fail. They will fail because they are ranging themselves on the side of evil and injustice against the Church of God. Like others who have done that in the past, the Neros, the Hitlers, the Amins of this world, they will end up as the flotsam and jetsam of history."

The commissioners stared stonely ahead of them.

[Never man spake like this man.]

Desmond Mpilo Tuto was not yet the Anglican metropolitan of Southern Afica, not yet a Nobel Prize winner, not yet an international figure, yet this was perhaps his finest hour.

Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude
[Martin Luther King, Jr]

Hosarsiph, the Black Prince of Egypt - better known to history by his name Moses, the Hebrew. Freud was certain that Moses was Egyptian, but Édouard Schuré shows him to be none other than Hosarsiph, Prince of Egypt

Richard Dawkins writes: "We [all] have Africa in our blood and Africa has our bones. We are all Africans."

See Dawkins' I speak of Africa and Golden Joys (Richard Dawkins was born in Kenya, as was the father of America's President Barack Obama.)

Dawkins writes: The real Africa, humanity's cradle, is more magical than anything C.S. Lewis could dream up.

Is racial healing genuinely possible?

"Understand the differences; act on the commonalities." - Andrew Masondo, African National Congress, ANC

"The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us." - Nelson Mandela

"Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another." - Desmond Tutu

"Even when we interact daily with people of other ethnic groups, we rarely talk about racial issues. It seems too scary to people. But we must start doing it! We have to break down the barriers between us and talk openly, honestly, and with respect. The rewards far outweigh any concerns we may have." - Sue Alperin, dialogue participant

"It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of our own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man's freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity." - Nelson Mandela ' Long Walk to Freedom'

"We are faced with having to learn again about interdependency and the need for rootedness after several centuries of having systematically -- and proudly -- dismantled our roots, ties, and traditions. We had grown so tall we thought we could afford to cut the roots that held us down, only to discover that the tallest trees need the most elaborate roots of all." - Paul L. Wachtel

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing." - Desmond Tutu More Desmond Tutu

Without forgiveness life is governed by an
endless cycle of resentment and retaliation

[Roberto Assagioli in Answers in the Heart. Hazelden]

Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind
ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tears of the Beloved Country: Faith amidst suffering?
Beyers Naudé : swimming against the current
Now South Africa: SING the beloved country
Mr Mandela's moral authority even in captivity
Democratic capitalism : its rainbow promise
The African triumph - ancient spiritual ties
Create in me a new heart
The limits of absolution
I can't forgive

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