In a commentary for the Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati, Deacon Royce Winters, director of the archdiocesan Office of African- American Catholic Ministries, likens Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela to the Holy Family. Seriously. It has something to do with the upcoming Feast of the Epiphany. This is the same guy who roasted a local priest for failing to celebrate the 2008 election of Barack Obama during his homily. In any event, it brought to mind a recent book review in the Wall Street Journal that demonstrates Mandela and his African National Congress were Communists of the Marxist-Leninist, i.e., violent, variety. Here’s a snippet from the review:

“External Mission” begins by annihilating conventional understandings of the circumstances surrounding the ANC’s 1961 declaration of war on apartheid. According to Mr. Ellis, all critical decisions were actually taken by the South African Communist Party (SACP), which sought support from Moscow and Beijing and then “bounced” the ANC into following its lead. Since white and Indian Communists couldn’t join the racially exclusive ANC, much of this bouncing was done by a charismatic black lawyer who was secretly a member of both organizations: Nelson Mandela. Indeed, Mr. Ellis goes so far as to report that Mr. Mandela was almost certainly a member, at least for a time, of the SACP’s central committee.

As Mr. Ellis tells it, Mr. Mandela and those around him were intoxicated by the ease of Fidel Castro’s victory in Cuba and imagined a similar outcome for their own military venture. They sidelined ANC President Albert Luthuli, who was opposed to violence, and launched an amateurish bombing campaign. Within two years, they were all in prison or in exile.

Mr. Mandela’s membership of a militantly pro-Soviet movement was unlikely win friends in the free world. More could be gained by portraying him as a black liberal, and Mr. Mandela and his lawyers crafted a masterful speech for Mr. Mandela to deliver from the dock during his 1964 trial for treason.