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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Tutu: Labels don't work

What are we doing when we treat individuals or groups as hopeless or evil? "We're giving up on a fellow human being when we demonize a fellow human being," said Desmond Tutu, retired Anglican archbishop of South Africa, preaching to 700 worshipers at Boston's Episcopal Church of St. Paul in February. Asking if listeners regarded Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda members as human beings, he said: "The Christian God we worship gives up on no one."

Tutu ended his sermon by saying Jesus promised "not to lift up some but to lift up all" and listing citizens of two nations that President Bush called part of an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address. (See also, page 58.)


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