You can deny it all you want, wingnuts, but Ronald Reagan really did support the South African apartheid regime.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) December 7, 2013
Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that, and that’s the reason he is mourned today, because of that struggle that he performed…and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.
It’s difficult to imagine how anyone with a functional sense of decency and humanity could find a way to damn Nelson Mandela with such faint praise. I offer for your consideration American Conservatives, for whom everything is political and who never miss an opportunity to push their agenda an/or denigrate The Black Guy in the White House ©. When I saw the clip of Santorum’s brain cramp, I was speechless- not something that happens often or easily.
Mandela united an entire nation, in the process preventing what could easily have been a long, protracted, and bloody race war. And there’s Santorum saying Mandela did the right thing in the wrong way and then lapsing into his tired, predictable anti-Obamacare riff. It was every bit as offensive as it was thoughtless and inappropriate. There’s a time and a place to push your agenda, and the passing of one of the world’s truly great figures is neither. I’d say that Santorum should be ashamed, but that would presume he’s capable of feeling shame.
Santorum’s desecration represents merely the tip of the spear when it comes to Conservative propagandizing:
American Family Association head Tim Wildmon joined AFA radio host Sandy Rios today to discuss a USA Today article about how “Not all Christians believe there is a ‘War on Christmas.’” Wildmon spent most of the interview complaining that any Christian would dare criticize the AFA, which is a leading voice in movement to expose the “War on Christmas.” He told Rios that he resented Christian leaders who mock the idea of the War on Christmas or note that the AFA’s campaign actually emphasizes the material aspect of the holiday by focusing on how many stores tell customers “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”
Wildmon accused one pastor, who told USA Today that Christians needed to come to grips with the religious diversity in the US, of wanting Christians to partake in “a dangerous retreat into isolating ourselves from the larger culture.”
“This is exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany,” Rios said. She went on to compare the supposed War on Christmas to religious oppression in the Soviet Union and North Korea.
“I don’t think this pastor understands and I don’t think people understand what is going on in the world,” she said. “They don’t have a large enough world. Their world is too small and so they don’t understand the dangers.”
I will never forget my friend Madiba. pic.twitter.com/UX21ZZG7cg— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) December 5, 2013
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
- Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
The passing of Nelson Mandela leaves the world a much poorer place. There aren’t a lot of respected and well-known voices advocating for non-violence these days, and Mandela brought a sense of credibility and gravitas to the discussion that will be tough to replace. It was impressive enough that he survived 27 years on Robben Island with no rancor. He watched his daughters grow up through the glass of a prison waiting room, and he lost almost a third of his life to South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime. At the end of it all, he somehow emerged with a smile on his face and peace in his heart, a victor over his circumstances in a way few could duplicate.
Mandela set to work trying to heal the wounds of the past, and circumstances helped him succeed in a way that would have been impossible prior to his efforts. He embraced the South African national rugby team prior to the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, in itself an act of courage and surpassing grace. The Springboks at that time were associated with the worst of South Africa’s White power structure. Most Blacks hated the Springboks, and who could blame them? Given the vicious, lethal nature of the apartheid system, Blacks had good reason to despise a team they associated with their oppressors. Then came the day when Mandela stood in front of several thousand Black South Africans wearing a Springboks cap. He asked those present to support the national team, because they represented all of South Africa. And represent they certainly did.
The Springboks won the Rugby World Cup, a turning point in Mandela’s effort to unite South Africans. After the game ended, Springboks captain Francois Pienaar was asked what it felt like to win the World Cup in front of 60,000 South Africans. He responded by saying that there weren’t 60,000 South Africans present, there were 43 million. At that moment, what had represented the worst of White oppression became the symbol of an entire nation. Without Nelson Mandela, there can be little doubt that moment would never have come to pass. On June 24, 1995, South Africa became a united nation. There were still problems, of course, but Mandela and the Springboks had succeeded in making the Rugby World Cup about ALL South Africans. The country could easily have descended into a vicious, protracted race war. Instead, Black South Africans by and large decided to look forward and embrace the future instead of exacting retribution for the past.
There’s much more about Mandela’s legacy, but there are plenty of writers, pundits, and politicians who can and will express their feelings far more effectively than what what few feeble words I have to offer. Mere words can’t begin to do justice to a man who endured in a way most of us never could. That he led South Africa without rancor or a desire for retribution is something I can only marvel at. There are few man for whom and endless array of superlatives are not nearly enough; Nelson Mandela demonstrated that one person with a clear heart and change the world.
And he did.
One of the main points that we try to make whenever we write about David Barton is not just that he is a pseudo-historian who has a problem telling the truth, but that he is also a borderline theocrat who believes that our nation’s laws ought to be literally based upon the Bible.
During his recent appearance on “The Gospel Truth” with Andrew Wommack, Barton explained that Scott Peterson, who was convicted of having murdered his wife and unborn child back in 2002, should not have received the death penalty because there were no eyewitnesses to the crime.
Citing Deuteronomy 17:6, which states that “on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death,” Barton argued that even though Peterson was guilty of murder, he should not have received a death sentence because there were not two or more witnesses to the crime as required by the Bible[.]