Nelson Mandela & Conveniently Selective Memory

8 Dec

Historian James Bratt of Calvin College has some sobering words for RCA and CRC folks:

The tributes and praise for Nelson Mandela have come pouring in, from every corner of the globe and every segment on the political spectrum. For those of us who remember how Mandela and his organization, the African National Congress (ANC), were vilified by so many for so long, the effect is a bit dazzling, a testimony to conveniently selective memory. True, we shouldn’t demean the power of repentance on the part of those who see their judgments about the man, his character, and his policies to have been proven wrong. But much repentance —at least some basic honesty—is due on this occasion of Mandela’s passing.

Read his entire reflection here.


2 Responses to “Nelson Mandela & Conveniently Selective Memory”

  1. Michael & Carolyn Yoder December 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Thanks, Doug, for posting this. I remember when Oliver Tambo was not welcome to speak at the RCA General Synod, when Robert Schuller said something like this (That communist will not speak in my church). To be charitable here, the ANC had not yet totally renounced violence, as Mandela later did, but I find it offensive that Schuller referred to the Crystal Cathedral as “my church”. I am glad that the RCA and many other Christian groups came to embrace Mandela’s non-violence as they did MLK’s non-violence and am again reminded that non-violence is often more powerful and has more long-lasting positive effects than do violent responses to injustice.

    Hope things are well with you and Joan. Do have a blessed Christmas. We remember many joyful Christmas gatherings in your home(s). We will be spending Christmas and January in Santa Barbara with Sarah and hubby Scott.


    • Douglas Firth Anderson December 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      I confess I am not up on Mandela’s biography enough know if we also have “conveniently selective memory” about his journey, too. Still, thanks for the comment, and try not to have too much fun in Santa Barbara! Merry Christmas to you and Carolyn.

      On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 12:43 PM, Buffalo Doug

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