Former South African President Nelson Mandela passed away today. Already various leaders and pundits wax lyrical about his "inspiration and leadership". This includes some notable conservatives, I regret to say. I can understand all the liberal/progressive mouthpieces taking this ball and running with it. In fact, I can fairly well predict that the official Archdiocese of Washington paper, the Catholic Standard, will quite likely devote the bulk of its next issue to "celebrating his life". They will, of course, be omitting some teensy details of what really is a very chequered career.
Prior to 1996, South Africa had some of the tightest laws regarding abortion on its books. That ended in December 1996 when Mandela signed a new law, the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill, that gave girls of any age sole discretion about murdering the babies in their wombs. The South African bishops have shown a regrettable propensity to turning a blind eye to a baby-murder-enabling politician at their nation's helm. John Smeaton, head of England's Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, had some pointed words to say about this and other immoral stances by the late Mandela. And of course, read what one gay media outlet has to say about the man whom they dub "father of the rainbow nation".
I write this to provide some moral perspective. Whatever else he may have done to promote some political equality among adults, his actions that imperiled countless South African babies more than tower over the good he did. In enshrining gay marriage into the South African constitution, he helped erode the morality of millions - and perhaps jeopardized their immortal souls.
No doubt we should pray for his eternal repose, that God have mercy, for the sins Mandela facilitated are those "that cry out to God for vengeance". Pray for mercy upon him, but please don't jump on the bandwagon to lionize him. I lament that even some Christian conservatives are doing precisely that. Please don't forget the babies he helped kill; too many forget the babies as it is.
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