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 inkwizitions. 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 repititions 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.
We remember, not to experience guilt, we remember so that it will not be repeated.

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.

7 Responses to “I am an Afrikaner, I will remember Apartheid”


  1. […] ideologies in the future.) Today my son shared a few very interesting thoughts on keeping the memories of Apartheid alive in order to prevent us from doing the same in the future. Having grown up in a house where we […]


  2. […] I must admit that Brian McLaren’s discourse was a brilliant piece of pyrotechnical journalism. Before I continue discussing his presentation at the Amahoro conference, I need to summarize his objectives in these words: Condition mankind to abhor his past, and especially the atrocities of his religious past, and it will be so much easier to manipulate his thoughts and actions while you set him on a path of an endless quest for something better, something that allegedly translates into peace, harmony, love, compassion, tolerance and prosperity. By keeping mankind locked in a position where he is constantly looking back over his shoulder towards his past you will keep him yearning for a brighter future without really knowing where he is headed. Such an attitude is wholly unbiblical. Paul who suffered more than any of the other apostles at the hands of his persecutors once said: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13, 14). To use McLaren’s own words when articulating his thoughts, I would like to suggest that Paul deliberately chose to forget the past because recollections of the past often lead to feelings of bitterness, dissatisfaction and even hatred. His goal, unlike that of Brian McLaren and his emergent followers, was not clouded in a haze of uncertainties. He knew what his goal was and looked forward to the prize with great anticipation and joy. He also knew that this world could never improve on it’s past because it lies completely in the evil one (1 John 5:19). The cycle of violence in South Africa where more people have been killed than in the Iraqi war since 1994 is a direct result of this kind of bitterness and discontent. Are our emergent Afrikaner clergy prepared to remember these heinous atrocities as well or only Apartheid.? […]


  3. […] I must admit that Brian McLaren’s discourse was a brilliant piece of pyrotechnical journalism. Before I continue discussing his presentation at the Amahoro conference, I need to summarize his objectives in these words: Condition mankind to abhor his past, and especially the atrocities of his religious past, and it will be so much easier to manipulate his thoughts and actions while you set him on a path of an endless quest for something better, something that allegedly translates into peace, harmony, love, compassion, tolerance and prosperity. By keeping mankind locked in a position where he is constantly looking back over his shoulder towards his past you will keep him yearning for a brighter future without really knowing where he is headed. Such an attitude is wholly unbiblical. Paul who suffered more than any of the other apostles at the hands of his persecutors once said: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13, 14). To use McLaren’s own words when articulating his thoughts, I would like to suggest that Paul deliberately chose to forget the past because recollections of the past often lead to feelings of bitterness, dissatisfaction and even hatred. His goal, unlike that of Brian McLaren and his emergent followers, was not clouded in a haze of uncertainties. He knew what his goal was and looked forward to the prize with great anticipation and joy. He also knew that this world could never improve on it’s past because it lies completely in the evil one (1 John 5:19). The cycle of violence in South Africa where more people have been killed than in the Iraqi war since 1994 is a direct result of this kind of bitterness and discontent. Are our emergent Afrikaner clergy prepared to remember these heinous atrocities as well or only Apartheid? […]

  4. Alan Says:

    Colleagues and friends:

    Regarding the comment regarding “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.”

    No worries here, we’re just thanking the Lord you have Msholozi singing his Umshini Wami and not us. As for President Bush. He and the American taxpayers provided more HIV meds for Africa during his tenure than all the efforts of the entire world together.

    We’re not so bad here in the States, we even have a Kenyan Msholozi of our very own as president!

    Groete, Alan


  5. […] years Suzman was the only member of parliament wholly against Apartheid, but she kept on fighting. Remembering Apartheid, not in order to experience guilt, but in order to change the future, has become very important to […]

  6. Nico Says:

    1. Not “inkwizitions” but inquisition
    2. “remember the crusades”
    After 400 years of jihad and Jizya (Infidel Tax)against the Catholic Pilgrims, the invasion of Asia Minor by the Seljuk Turks (Muslim) and Spain and Portugal by the Muslim Moors, pope Urban II called for volnteers in 1095 to secure these christian lands that were invaded in the first place by the Muslims. In 1291 the Catholics were driven from Palestine.
    3. I have to agree with Alan no country in the world has given as much aid, send missionaries, teachers, health workers etc to the poor countries than the United States.


  7. […] besoeke aan die Apartheidmuseum bring my altyd by ‘n oproep dat ons Apartheid moet onthou (My eerste besoek. My tweede besoek). In reaksie op die gewilde oproep onder wit Afrikaners, my eie groep mense, dat […]


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