15 December 2012 - Archbishop Desmond Tutu - Very Special Guest

Archbishop Desmond Tutu


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- Very Special Guest


Born: October 7 1931


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G'day guys,


I'm pleased to have an amazing man as my special guest today - Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


Desmond Mpilo Tutu is a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. Bishop Desmond Tutu was born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal. His father was a teacher, and he himself was educated at Johannesburg Bantu High School. After leaving school he trained first as a teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal College and in 1954 he graduated from the University of South Africa. After three years as a high school teacher he began to study theology, being ordained as a priest in 1960. The years 1962-66 were devoted to further theological study in England leading up to a Master of Theology. From 1967 to 1972 he taught theology in South Africa before returning to England for three years as the assistant director of a theological institute in London.

In 1975 he was appointed Dean of St. Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black to hold that position. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978 became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. Tutu is an honorary doctor of a number of leading universities in the USA, Britain and Germany.

Desmond Tutu has formulated his objective as "a democratic and just society without racial divisions", and has set forward the following points as minimum demands:

1. Equal civil rights for all
2. The abolition of South Africa's passport laws
3. A common system of education
4. The cessation of forced deportation from South Africa to the so-called "homelands"

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The South African Council of Churches is a contact organization for the churches of South Africa and functions as a national committee for the World Council of Churches. The Boer churches have disassociated themselves from the organization as a result of the unambiguous stand it has made against apartheid. Around 80 percent of its members are black, and they now dominate the leading positions.

Some history:

The government of South Africa did not extend the rights of citizenship to black South Africans. The National Party had risen to power on the promise of instituting a system of apartheid -- complete separation of the races. All South Africans were legally assigned to an official racial group; each races was restricetd to separate living areas and separate public facilities. Only white South Africans were permitted to vote in national elections. Black South Africans were only represented in the local governments of remote "tribal homelands." Interracial marriage was forbidden, blacks were legally barred from certain jobs and prohibited from forming labor unions. Passports were required for travel within the country; critics of the system could be banned from speaking in public and subjected to house arrest.

When the government ordained a deliberately inferior system of education for black students, Desmond Tutu refused to cooperate. He could no longer work as a teacher, but he was determined to do something to improve the life of his disenfranchised people. On the advice of his bishop, he began to study for the Anglican priesthood. Tutu was ordained as a priest in the Anglican church in 1960. At the same time, the South African government began a program of forced relocation of black Africans and Asians from newly designated "white" areas. Millions were deported to the "homelands," and only permitted to return as "guest workers."

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Desmond Tutu lived in England from 1962 to 1966, where he earned a master's degree in theology. He taught theology in South Africa for the next five years, and returned to England to serve as an assistant director of the World Council of Churches in London. In 1975 he became the first black African to serve as Dean of St. Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho. In 1978 he became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

This position gave Bishop Tutu a national platform to denounce the apartheid system as "evil and unchristian." Tutu called for equal rights for all South Africans and a system of common education. He demanded the repeal of the oppressive passport laws, and an end to forced relocation. Tutu encouraged nonviolent resistance to the apartheid regime, and advocated an economic boycott of the country. The government revoked his passport to prevent him from traveling and speaking abroad, but his case soon drew the attention of the world. In the face of an international public outcry the government was forced to restore his passport.

In 1984, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, "not only as a gesture of support to him and to the South African Council of Churches of which he is leader, but also to all individuals and groups in South Africa who, with their concern for human dignity, fraternity and democracy, incite the admiration of the world."

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Two years later, Desmond Tutu was elected Archbishop of Cape Town. He was the first black African to serve in this position, which placed him at the head of the Anglican Church in South Africa, as the Archbishop of Canterbury is spiritual leader of the Church of England. International economic pressure and internal dissent forced the South African government to reform. In 1990, Nelson Mandela of the African National Congress was released after almost 27 years in prison. The following year the government began the repeal of racially discriminatory laws.

After the country's first multi-racial elections in 1994, President Mandela appointed Archbishop Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, investigating the human rights violations of the previous 34 years. As always, the Archbishop counseled forgiveness and cooperation, rather than revenge for past injustice. In 1996 he retired as Archbishop of Cape Town and was named Archbishop Emeritus. For two years, he was Visiting Professor of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Published collections of his speeches, sermons and other writings include Crying in the Wilderness, Hope and Suffering, and The Rainbow People of God.

In 2007, Desmond Tutu joined former South African President Mandela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, retired U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former Irish President Mary Robinson to form The Elders, a private initiative mobilizing the experience of senior world leaders outside of the conventional diplomatic process. Tutu was named to chair the group. Carter and Tutu have traveled together to Darfur, Gaza and Cyprus in an effort to resolve long-standing conflicts. Desmond Tutu's historic accomplishments -- and his continuing efforts to promote peace in the world -- were formally recognized by the United States in 2009, when President Barack Obama named him to receive the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Now ... Watch a tribute to Nobel Peace Prize-winner Archbishop Tutu's life and work. Listen to former South Africa President, Nelson Mandela, Peace Prize winners and others speak about
the profound leadership of Archbishop Tutu in post apartheid South Africa from the film, "Just Call Me Arch."

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tut0-mov-042b


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Clancy's comment: You have probably already gathered that I admire people with courage - like 'Arch'. Yep, had a few of them on this blog. I certainly believe you are born with such courage. It is not something you can learn from books. Mm ... you have to love a guy who hangs out with billionaires, presidents, the great unwashed and craggy Irish rock stars. I certainly do. Love ya work, Arch! - CT.


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