We grieve with Trayvon Martin’s family at the needless killing of their son. We grieve that the police have not as yet reacted appropriately to this shameful act. We grieve for a people and nation we admire where such acts can still happen.
Had Trayvon been white he would almost certainly be alive today. We give thanks for the many including President Obama who have expressed their shock and dismay. We give thanks that many white Americans have been equally appalled.
May this tragic act help the US to be true to the ideals of the founding persons of your great nation. May you all realise that you really are all members of one family, God’s family, the human family: black, white, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, lesbian, transsexual, gay, bisexual, and so-called straight all belong together in the bundle of life.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Photo by CASEY PAGE/Billings Gazette Staff
NOTE: Marilyn and Gil the have had different connections with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Marilyn’s dear friend and Archbishop Tutu’s youngest daughter the Rev. Mpho Tutu was able to secure the Archbishop’s preface to the book Marilyn co-authored, We Were Baptized Too: Claiming God’s Grace for Lesbians and Gays (Westminster John Knox Press, 1996). He wrote the piece in 1993 in the months after the South African constitution was changed to grant blacks the right to vote and before the first free and fair election in late April, 1994. As people of faith, he and Mpho’s commitment to justice and fairness for all people of all sexual orientations and gender identities was a rare statement at that time. Mpho and the Archbishop recently published a book together titled Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference (Harper Collins, 2010).
Gil was in attendance at Bishop Tutu’s Enthronement in Capetown, South Africa in 1986. Gil says, “I will never forget receiving communion from the hands of Archbishop Tutu at the outdoor service that followed the worship service in St. George’s Cathedral.”