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Tue, December 10, 2013 | Author: Jim Hnatiuk

Nelson Mandela died peacefully at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday, following a prolonged lung infection. He was 95 years old. He lived long and, with the spotlight focused on both his good and bad traits, historians will have much to interpret about the life and times of Nelson Mandela.

Let me start this Communiqué by stating the obvious. The Christian Heritage Party of Canada certainly cannot and does not endorse many of the earlier practices or some of the political and social beliefs of Nelson Mandela. I will focus on a couple of the things in the life of Nelson Mandela that made him a great man in the eyes of the world.

From the onset, Nelson Mandela’s drive and passion was fuelled as a result of the injustice he saw in South Africa. He chose to challenge those injustices. He was charged and convicted with 221 counts of public violence, sabotage, and bombings. We could no more endorse that method of changing public opinion than we could endorse bombing an abortion clinic or murdering those who participate in the slaughter of the unborn.

His 27 years of imprisonment did not hinder Mr. Mandela’s cause; rather it served to promote it and raised him to the level of a martyr for his cause.

Public persecution for a cause often provides visibility and growth.

Imprisonment also had the effect of humbling the man and hence, on his release, afforded him the wisdom to deal with his oppressors through more peaceful means. This resulted in the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he set up with Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu as its chairman.

Nelson Mandela was a man, not a saint. We must celebrate his achievements in standing against a system of government that set people’s value by skin colour.

In drafting the South African Constitution, Mandela fought to word properly, a statement in the preamble that affirms the dignity of all humans, regardless of the injustices of the past...clearly a commitment to resolution and forgiveness as the path forward. Forgiveness? What a transformation.

Yes, we disagree with Mandela’s actual philosophy of government – pro-gay, pro-abort, Marxist economics, the modern approach to AIDS, to name a few – but we must respect his commitment to human dignity and to his post imprisonment methods of resolution that are consistent with our side of the philosophic divide.

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