December 11, 2013

Without a doubt, Nelson Mandela was one of the towering figures of our times, a man who became a legend and cultural icon while still alive. Now that he is dead, his detractors are demonizing him while his followers are canonizing him.

Senator Ted Cruz was quick to find this out after he issued a statement that Mandela would “live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty,” noting that, “Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free.” In response, some of Cruz’s followers wrote that Mandela was a “terrorist,” a “communist,” a “murderer,” and more.

Who then was the real Nelson Mandela?

According to President Obama, “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth.”

In the words of Bono, “Stubborn til the end for all the right reasons, it felt like he very nearly outstared his maker. Today, finally, he blinked. And some of us cry, knowing our eyes were opened to so much because of him.”

According to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Mandela was “a hero of our time,” stating that, “A great light has gone out in the world.”

But World Net Daily’s Joseph Farah urged us not to mourn for Mandela, writing that “He was a committed member of the South African Communist Party. He was a leader of the revolutionary African National Congress, which he helped to radicalize into an organization sworn to armed, violent attacks.” And while he overthrew the evil system of apartheid, “Mandela’s revolution brought about . . . one in which anti-white racism is so strong today that a prominent genocide watchdog group has labeled the current situation a ‘precursor’ to the deliberate, systematic elimination of the race.”

In short, Farah argues, we have been sold a myth about Mandela (think “Invictus”), in support of which he quotes Sonia Hruska, “an early supporter of Mandela” who “worked in his administration.” She states that, “After about six years, I realized something serious is wrong; the communist elements are taking over, it’s not what we were promised.”

Farah adds that, “Hruska describes routine, violent, racist atrocities of almost unimaginable proportions: Kidnap murders, home invasions, gang rapes.”

CultureWatch blogger Bill Muehlenberg also has strong reservations about Mandela, citing South African missionary Dr. Peter Hammond who notes that “Mandela was the head of the military wing of the African National Committee (ANC),” which Hammond referred to as “the abortion, necklacing and corruption party.” According to Hammond, “1,000 Africans were killed by necklacing in the country through the ANC, an act where terrorists would ‘put an automobile tire over someone, pour petrol over them [and] set them alight.’

“Hammond also described numerous other acts of violence that he alleges were committed by the ANC under the order or oversight of Mandela. ‘Missionaries and their kids [were] murdered, bayonetted on the fields—whole families killed by landmines planted in the roads,’ he said.”

And it is without dispute that Mandela signed off on acts of terror against the apartheid government, to the point that even the New York Times tempered its praises for Mandela.

Yet it is hardly a violent terrorist who states, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

It is true that Nelson Mandela was once a member of the Communist Party. He was a Communist when he was imprisoned back in the 60s. He never gave up his Communist vision even facing the death penalty in 1964. at which time he famously said, “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

In short: 1) He was a man who resorted to acts of violence and terror to overthrow injustice; 2) He was a man who stepped into the role of national and international statesman with dignity; and 3) He was a man who was more communist than conservative and whose legacy in South Africa remains mixed.

While the assessment of Muehlenberg is meant to be simple rather than profound, it appears to be accurate: “Mandela was a great man in some respects, but he was also an evil man in some respects.”

It’s tough to buck the tsunami of media deification of Mandela in the wake of his death. What else can explain the warm fuzzy talk from the likes of Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and even Rush Limbaugh in recent days?

Why is it so difficult for conservatives to tell the truth about Mandela? Is it a lack of information? Is it a fear of being labeled “racist”?

Here is a little dose of truth about Nelson Mandela we should never forget.

He was not a “political prisoner” for 27 years, as is often reported, but was convicted of specific acts of sabotage and revolutionary activity. He was offered many opportunities to walk out of prison a free man if he simply denounced violence and terrorism. He refused.

His best friends on the world scene during his active political life were Fidel Castro, Moammar Gadhafi and Yasser Arafat.

He hated the United States and called it the country that, more than any other, “committed unspeakable atrocities in the world.” He concluded by saying Americans “don’t care for human beings.”

What’s the documentation for this? His own words. His own deeds.

It’s one thing for the state-run media to pronounce secular sainthood on Mandela. But Rush? Say it ain’t so.

I, for one, have very mixed emotions, feelings and thoughts about the man. Perhaps late in his life, the last few years, saw Mandela's change of heart. But is that enough for us all to jump on the bandwagon of official sanctification and media adulation? Is it enough for him to be the first non-American citizen for whom government flags be order to half-staff?

I mourn for Mandela - a little. But I mourn more for his victims, for those martyrs being persecuted, tortured and killed every day around the world for their faith in God. I mourn for the tens of millions of innocent victims of Communism and other forms of totalitarianism that Mandela promoted for the first 75 years of his life.

More than Obama's divisive acts of class warfare, Nelson Mandel was, and always will, divide our opinions of his legacy. Only God has the final say on his true nature, only God knew his heart.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.