The whole world knows by now that our beloved Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius, is being charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. This is an absolute tragedy for all of us, as Oscar gained so much respect in the way he handles himself and his disability on the track. I do not wish to make any judgement on that case!
But now our “honorable” minister of women, children and disabled persons, Lulu Xinwana, has really gone and make a sweeping statement in an interview with ABC.
“Xingwana told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that young Afrikaner men were raised to believe they owned women and children.
“Young Afrikaner men are brought up in the Calvinist religion believing that they own a woman, they own a child, they own everything and therefore they can take that life because they own it,” she said during the interview aired on Monday.
(- See more at: http://news.iafrica.com/sa/845215.html#sthash.D7SA3AGw.dpuf
In today’s newspaper she does offer an apology. But this is the problem of South Africa- we all have our own favourite little piece of prejudice against one another of different cultures.
It is also a very sad truth that South Africa has the top statistics on the prevailance of rape in the world. It would be just as wrong to conclude that because most rapists who do get punished by the law, is black, would mean that black men have this tendency to rape. Before you reach for the tyre and petrol-can- hear me out: It is wrong to stereotype people!
I am a pastor in a Calvinist tradition church. I also am an Afrikaner male. It would be a small stretch of the truth to still call me young.
So- Minister Lulu Xinwana- I think I am qualified to speak about men and women in the Calvinist tradition. But maybe more qualified to speak about how I see my wife and children and their role in my life.
Minister Xinwana- in my tradition of understanding life, the universe and everything, I would like to point out some things I believe:
- God created man and woman in His image, as equals, to help each other to live a much better life together than they would separately. This is a symbiotic relationship- it is supposed to benefit all. The equality point of Genesis 1:27 is mostly overlooked by some people. In my marriage, my wife is not my property. She is the most valuable person in my life, I share everything with her, and her presence in my life makes me a better person.
- Out of the love between us in our marriage, children were born. They are not my property. I believe that they are gifts from God, and that my responsability is to feed them, nurture them, and protect them from harm. I have to guide them to adulthood, so that they may live their own lives as well balanced, happy people, able to make their own moral choices in life.
- I believe that every woman has the right to feel safe against the predators that some males seems to be. I believe that every woman has the right to say no to any form of sexual advances, and that right must be protected with the full extent of the law.
- I teach my young Calvinistic sons to respect and honor women. If they like a girl, they need to approach her with honor and respect. It is a value I uphold dearly in my house- a woman will always feel safe around me and my sons.
So, minister Xinwana, with all the tragedies happening around us every day in South Africa against women and children, we also feel deeply saddened by the brokenness of this world. We choose to be part of the solution, a safe haven to the women in our lives. So no, your sweeping statement to the Australian public is seen with contempt from this Calvinistic family.
And by the way- even though our church has some Calvinistic roots, I prefer to think of our congregation as followers of Jesus, who want to live in love and peace with God and all humanity. We pray for South Africa’s broken women, and we pray for the restoration of respect towards all in this beautiful country. After we prayed, we go out into our community, trying our best to be a part of the solution of this country’s desperate search for love and understanding.