Last month, you might remember, I promised you an answer regarding a question on Apartheid. I needed some time to reply. Yet now I have realised that the answer to such a question is so vast that it would take a book … or a doctorate thesis to reply! Perhaps one day I could tackle it, but for now, I am going to give a very brief answer, laying down as it were, only a few Catholic principles.
Q. My question flows from an answer regarding the war in Iraq and, though not directly related, relates to a people’s response to an unjust government. I admit that the question may be contentious, but it is a genuine one.
Was support for the old National Party-apartheid government (in the sense of voting for it, fighting in its army, etc) ever justified, given the great evils it perpetrated and the opposition of the Catholic Church to it? I believe there was once considered whether Catholics who voted “NP” might even be excommunicated, as one who voted communist might be. I also am told that the state placed heavy restrictions on the entry of Roman Catholic priests to the country. Perhaps a built-in suspicion of the NP, as an English-speaking South African, and inherited hatred of the old regime as much as the new, motivates this question, but as the Catholic Church was “anti-apartheid” perhaps the question has moral implications.
Similar to the above, it has plagued me concerning the moral issues at stake in the 1992 whites-only referendum, which asked whether the negotiation process already begun should be continued or not. At the time, it seemed only “servants of the devil” could vote “No” (as our then High School deputy principal expressly informed us, as did priests) and those who did were irredeemably wicked, but was the question so straightforward?
Inequality is a principle of nature. No single person or any race can at any time be equal. In fact, to try and do away with inequality is to deny all authority. Authority is met at every corner, whether it be in the home, the father, or on the road, the policeman, or in politics, the president or even in nature, animal life.
Inequality can be misused to perpetrate an evil. The strong man injuring the weak, the policeman misusing his authority for his own gain.
Inequality can be used for good. He who has much, who is rich, can make use of his situation to give to him who has nothing. He who is intelligent can teach him who is not. In these ways, inequality serves the beautiful virtue of Charity.
To deny the principle of inequality because it may have been misused is absurd. A father, if he is a bad father, cannot by his evil deeds loose his fatherhood. Indeed, he who tries to deny authority is by that fact falling into the absurd because he is trying to exercise an authority in order to deny an authority.
Inequality between nations or races is such a truth that it is seen in the entire history of mankind. Either one race overcame another, or one race advanced more in technology, for example, and so proved to be more intelligent than another etc.
Differences in culture, although of itself not necessarily a question of equality, can also prove to be irksome to one race as opposed to another. This again is deeply embedded in nature. English has a saying: “birds of a feather flock together.” There is therefore in this no evil if one race wishes to remain together, apart from another.
Apartheid is the Afrikaans word for “separateness.” As a principle of inequality and the preference of one race wishing to remain apart from another, Apartheid cannot of itself be an evil. The use, however, of Apartheid can be good or evil as I explained above. If one race were to use this principle in order to help the other, it is a good. If it were misused to exercise a dominion unto the gain of the one nation and the detriment of another, it would be an evil.
From here we enter the labyrinth of the actual practice of Apartheid in the history of South Africa. It is impossible for me to answer this question in a few lines. On the one hand it would be totally naïve to condemn the practice entirely, and on the other, it seems we cannot deny that in the history of South Africa, Apartheid was misused also. What vastly complicates the matter at hand, is the Communist and Free-Masonic influence, or rather I should say, pressure, exercised in this land, not indeed for the good of the “under privileged” race, for which they had absolutely no concern, but for anti-Catholic, power and capitalist aims. Another factor which even further complicates the matter is the condemnable teachings of the Calvinist churches. Many, or even most of these splintered sects hold to the absurd idea that black people have only half a soul, or none at all.
Dear friends, I do not mean to leave you in the air in regards to my answer, but it seems to me that I have sufficiently laid down the Catholic principle and evoked the practical influences which clarify and distort, respectfully, the truth of the matter. I am open to any more questions in this regard.