Johannesburg - African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader the Rev Kenneth Meshoe on Tuesday slammed Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for his “homophobic God” statement, saying the cleric must keep his “unbelief” to himself.
Meshoe was reacting to Tutu’s statement made at the UN launch of its campaign to promote the fair treatment of lesbians and gays.
Tutu reportedly said he did not support a “homophobic God” and would refuse to go to a “homophobic heaven”.
Said Meshoe: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu is out of order when he alleged that God is a homophobic God, and that he finds fault with Scriptures that teach that a homosexual lifestyle is a sin before God.
“We ask Archbishop Tutu not to confuse people who respect the Scriptures, and we advise him to keep his unbelief to himself if he does not believe in the teachings of the holy Bible.”
Meshoe said there was no Scripture that “teaches us that God hates anybody”.
“If sinners cannot live up to the standard of the word of God, they should not find fault with the Scripture. We urge all those whose conduct and morals violate scriptural teaching to repent from their sins, be they adulterers, homosexuals, murderers or rapists,” said Meshoe, who recently resigned as an MP.
Meshoe’s statement follows Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s attack on the Nobel laureate, urging him to atone after his speech.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, declaring that it was not his place to judge them.
Speaking to journalists as he flew back to Rome from a high-profile trip to Brazil, the pope said: “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”
“The problem is not having this orientation, it is lobbying. That’s the most serious problem.”
The pope had admitted in June that there was a “gay lobby” in the Vatican’s secretive administration, the Roman Curia.
This followed earlier Italian media reports claiming that a secret report by cardinals investigating Vatican leaks included allegations of corruption and blackmail attempts against gay clergymen, and on the other hand, favouritism based on gay relationships.
“I have not seen anyone at the Vatican who is registered as gay on his identity card,” he said, adding, however: “We acknowledge that there are (gays).”
Gays and lesbians should be “treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, without discrimination”, he said.