By: Jason Koele, Jesse Rothman, and Jessica Spanswick
The number of challenges facing
To open the week of classes, Mr. Graham Hopwood, chairman of an independent think-tank here, spoke to the Political Science class about the evolution of democratic culture in
On Wednesday, the Religion and Social change course met with Dr. Gehard Buys, a pastor, theologian and former president of the Namibian Evangelical Theological Seminary. Our objective as a class was to better understand the viewpoint of a white Afrikaner in the midst of apartheid, his thoughts about the religious morality of apartheid, and the effects it had on his life.
I (Jason) was struck right away by Dr. Buys persona. Expecting an advocate of apartheid, I was taken aback by his sympathy and admiration for the native African people. Although Dr. Buys grew up having strong ties with the elite secret force, through his father’s connection to the South African Apartheid regime, he looked to his own faith to discern his moral stance on apartheid. “One day, I decided leave my family at age 15. I ran away from everything and everyone I ever knew for when I thought of apartheid, I thought of injustice and how Jesus wouldn’t advocate such ideologies or support such atrocities,” said Dr. Buys. I could only sit in disbelief as he continued with how the apartheid secret service would hunt down those who committed treason (anyone who went against the ideologies of the apartheid government) and murder them or would taint their family name to shun them out of society. I thought to myself, who could kill another human being just for disagreeing with them? It didn’t make sense to me how those who supported apartheid, but weren’t connected to the government, could just stand back and watch all these atrocities happen. Understandably, the protection of their family would be priority, but wouldn’t you think the lives of hundreds of thousands would come before yourself? Would you or I in that situation have just stood by and watched thousands die without saying a word? Would you (hypothetically) have been a white Afrikaner, supporting the rule over blacks? Dr. Buys helped me realize that not all white Afrikaners took the path of apartheid ideology and that following one’s faith and God’s calling to do the right thing in the face of fear and death can lead to peace, serenity and forgiveness.
I (Jessica) was so excited to attend the Basic Income Grant (BIG) release for our Development class! We’ve been studying different strategies for poverty reduction and wealth redistribution in