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NELSON MANDELA—YOU’VE GOT TO BE TAUGHT TO HATE AND FEAR

Friday, December 6, 2013 2:06
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Nelson Mandela [pictured above], whose death is being mourned and life is being celebrated around the world today, is enough evidence to me—not that I needed it—that people are … basically good.
There’s a song in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific entitled You’ve Got toBe Carefully Taught (sometimes referred to as ‘You’ve Got to Be Taught’ or ‘Carefully Taught’). Here are the lyrics of that song:

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
Nelson Mandela said something similar:
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Yes, you have to learn to hate, and in order to learn to hate, you’ve got to be taughtto hate. I reject, in its entirety, the Christian doctrine of original sin, namely, that people are born … totally depraved. Yes, the words ‘total depravity’ belong to Calvinism—even though they are derived from the Augustinian concept of original sin—and not all Christian churches have a Calvinist theology, but even the Roman Catholic Church—which is hardly Calvinist—accepts the doctrine of original sin. It’s a monstrous and most silly idea, and it is an idea that has to be learned, and in order for it to be learned, it has to be taught. You know, almost all Christian doctrines depend upon the doctrine of original sin. If there is no original sin, there was no need for Jesus to die to save us from our sins, etc, etc. No wonder I reject the lot. That’s why I am a Unitarian minister of religion.
Now, I can hear readers say, “Ellis-Jones, are you blind to all the evil and suffering in the world? Were not Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and so many others, evil beyond belief?’ Yes, dear readers, they were indeed evil beyond belief, and there are many like them in the world today, but they learned to be evil, and to do evil, because they were taught to be evil.
Nelson Mandela suffered terribly beyond belief, yet he did not turn to hate. Instead, he loved … and forgave those who treated him so wrongly. Yes, he forgave—totally. Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke today described it as ‘rational forgiveness.’ I like that. It’s very much consistent with the philosophy of rational humaneness to which I adhere. Mandela was unique. What a noble, decent, upright, compassionate and inspirational human being! His likes we may never see in our world again.
B4INREMOTE-aHR0cDovLzIuYnAuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLy1vV0FCaDBWVXhyZy9VcUdRTTlkOWZlSS9BQUFBQUFBQURVUS9BczZmY1p0eXZEZy9zMTYwMC9ub3JtYW4tdmluY2VudC1wZWFsZS5qcGc=One Christian minister whom I loved and admired greatly was the late Dr Norman Vincent Peale [pictured right]. He was, and remains for more than a few, a controversial figure in Christianity—especially for those narrow-minded Christians who have been taught in their homes, schools and churches to hate and fear. Dr Peale was once asked if people were inherently good or bad. He replied, They are inherently good—the bad reactions aren’t basic. Every human being is a child of God and has more good in him than evil, but circumstances and associates can step up the bad and reduce the good. I’ve got great faith in the essential fairness and decency—you may say goodness—of the human being.’ So do I … and so did Nelson Mandela. 

Yes, you’ve got to be taught to hate and fear. You’ve got to be carefully taught.


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Source: http://ianellis-jones.blogspot.com/2013/12/nelson-mandela-youve-got-to-be-taught.html

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  • Char

    I have a problem with this. You said:

    Nelson Mandela suffered terribly beyond belief, yet he did not turn to hate. Instead, he loved … and forgave those who treated him so wrongly. Yes, he forgave—totally. Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke today described it as ‘rational forgiveness.’ I like that. It’s very much consistent with the philosophy of rational humaneness to which I adhere. Mandela was unique.

    I am trying to figure out how to love a family that’s been forever dysfunctional where “I love you” is said from obligation and not from the heart. I have spent over 40 years full of hatred and bitterness that I was seeking love in the wrong ways and threw away most of my life before accepting Christ at the age of 45. Four years later and I still want to learn how to love them but finding it easier to love those who don’t have a history with me, who have only known me since giving my heart to the Lord.

    I don’t find Mandela to be unique. He was human as all of us. But somehow he didn’t allow what he was taught to define him. I wish that I could speak with him to know how he did that. I forgive over and over but the hurts and pains don’t diminish.

    I also know of a pastor in Honduras who was falsely accused and spent nearly 13 years in prison before a judge got to his case. He never held a grudge or retaliated. So it’s possible. I’d love to know how for my own peace of mind.

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