I am an Afrikaner, I will remember Apartheid
June 16, 2009
I had a long conversation with Brian McLaren the morning before we visited the Apartheid museum, and something we said to each other helped in working through my emotions that day. Every religion has the responsibility to remember the worst moments in their tradition, those times which we never want to talk about, we need to tell our children about those times!
Christians need to remember the time when thousands of “pagan’s” were crucified and killed after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire. We need to remember the crusades, the inquisitions. Afrikaners need to remember Apartheid. We owe it to the world to remember Apartheid! It is our responsibility to tell the story of how a people group could become the oppressor, and use their religious language to justify this. We need to remember, so that it will never happen again.
Remembering make us sensitive to repetitions of similar events. Afrikaner people need to remember, and in remembering help other oppressors to notice when they are doing similar things, notice when they are using similar religious language to justify the evils within them.
It’s not only the Afrikaners that need to remember. Post-Bushian evangelical Republicans (or maybe all Christians) in America will need to remember how Christians could support a president that spread violence and hatred. Muslims (sorry, I am not able to pin-point it into a smaller group) of later generations will need to remember how their faith was used to justify a war against the West. And the list could go on.
We remember, not to experience guilt, we remember so that it will not be repeated. I am an Afrikaner, and I will remember Apartheid.