Financial Times news editor Alec Russell published an article Friday beneath a headline that read, simply, “Desmond Tutu.”
Tutu, 81, is the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town who won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize and played an instrumental role in ending apartheid in South Africa. Russell’s article is essentially a feature-length recap of a conversation he recently shared with Tutu and Tutu’s adult daughter, Mpho.
The interview began with prayer and explored a variety of topics. Perhaps the most interesting quotation attributed to Tutu in the piece is something he said when asked for his thoughts about the widespread popularity of prominent atheist Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion.”
“God doesn’t want us being childish,” Tutu said. “God may want us to be childlike but not childish. We’ve been given intellectual gifts. We should go and question things we think are dubious intellectually. God is not sitting on edge that someone is going to find out eventually that the area of God’s control is shrinking. It’s not. God is not on edge. God says, ‘Bah!’
"God is thrilled that we’ve been discovering all kinds of things. When you look at what science has discovered, God says, ‘Yay. There they go. That’s what I would like them to know.’ ”
In April Tutu received the Templeton Prize “for progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities,” an honorific bestowed on the Dalai Lama in 2012 and which includes an award of $1.7 million.