Font of Life, by Garry Wills

A story is told of Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa. He ascended the cathedral pulpit one Sunday to preach, yet again, against the evils of apartheid. As he did so, government-dispatched soldiers with machine guns encircled the nave. The tenseness of the moment indicated that if the bishop dared to speak against government policy, there would be a violent assault on him by the soldiers. When the bishop surveyed the scene from the pulpit, he paused, and then he laughed. Slowly members of the congregation laughed with him. And finally, the soldiers also began to laugh. All laughed together, I suppose, at the absurdity of the scene. When the laughter subsided, Tutu preached yet again against the evils of apartheid. And the soldiers, along with the congregation, listened respectfully.

 

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