Who’s the Hero?
Author: Lisa Van Houten  
20171010
 

 

Editor’s Note: Yesterday was Columbus day, and this piece was all set to go out to you our readers when we heard news of President Trump’s immigration proposal.  Rather than inundate your mailbox, we held back Lisa’s excellent article on Christopher Columbus and why he’s a hero, not a villain, As that remains true the day after Columbus Day, we hope you find this information useful and edifying.


In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue…

It’s a poem that millions of American schoolchildren once learned.  The poem ends with the lines:  The first American? No, not quite. But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.

Now they’re more apt to learn the revisionist history that paints Christopher Columbus as a marauder/pillager/rapist/genocidal murderer.

We have been a nation that admires the bravery of men and women who blazed new trails.  Who put men on the moon; who championed freedom.  Where once Columbus was lifted up as a courageous explorer, who set off through uncharted waters, he’s now torn down – both figuratively and literally.

Antifa has announced a nationwide plan to deface statues of Columbus today on Columbus Day. 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering whether a 100 year old statue of Columbus is a “symbol of hate” and should be taken down.

Dozens of U.S. cities have scrapped Columbus Day and replaced it with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”.

Leftist “historians” such as Howard Zinn have successfully depicted Columbus as a plundering butcher of indigenous people and his allegations have influenced the teaching not only at the college level, but also in many K-12 schools.  Zinn claims:  “Behind the English invasion of North America, behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was that special powerful drive born in civilizations based on private profit.”

As Jarrett Stepman writes for the Daily Signal:  “Zinn claimed to turn the pro-Columbus narrative on its head, writing that Columbus was essentially a genocidal monster who paved the way for greedy, profit-seeking capitalists from the Old World to destroy and pillage the peaceful indigenous people of the New World.”

So what was the motivation of Columbus?  Let’s take a look at his own writing from his journal on October 12, 1492 after arriving at the first island they sighted, which he named San Salvador (Our Holy Savior):  “So that they might be well-disposed towards us, for I knew that they were a people to be delivered and converted to our Holy Faith rather by love than by force, I gave some red caps and to others glass beads, which they hung around their necks … At this they were greatly pleased and became so entirely our friends that it was a wonder to see … I believe that they would easily be made Christians, for it seemed to me that they had no religion of their own.  …” 

On October 16, 1492 Columbus wrote:  “… I believe that they very promptly would turn Christians, for they are of very good understanding.”

Such a desire to see the indigenous people he met come to know Christ – i.e., the Great Commission – saturates Columbus’ journal. 

Historian and U.S. Naval Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, who won the Pulitzer in 1943 for his biography of Columbus, “Admiral of the Ocean Sea,” confirmed Columbus’ motivation:  “This conviction that God destined him to be an instrument for spreading the faith was far more potent than the desire to win glory, wealth, and worldly honors.”

“Rather than cruel, Columbus was mostly benign in his interaction with native populations,” writes Jerrett Stepman. “While deprivations did occur, Columbus was quick to punish those under his command who committed unjust acts against local populations.”

Historian Carol Delaney has stated:  “Columbus strictly told the crew not to do things like maraud, or rape, and instead to treat the native people with respect.  There are many examples in his writings where he gave instructions to this effect. Most of the time when injustices occurred, Columbus wasn’t even there. There were terrible diseases that got communicated to the natives, but he can’t be blamed for that.”

However, that doesn’t fit the narrative of the Left.  They aren’t protesting Christopher Columbus so much as they are what he stood for – the Gospel message and the ideals upon which our nation were founded.  They tear down Columbus and other historical figures as “racists,” not out of a noble desire to eradicate racism, but to eradicate freedom.

Of course Christopher Columbus - like all human beings - was flawed.  Some of his viewpoints from the 15th century would not be acceptable in 21st century America. 

While the Left paints Columbus as the epitome of evil, they turn a blind eye to the widespread slaughter, human sacrifice, cannibalism, and slavery perpetrated by the indigenous peoples long before Columbus set sail.

As this excellent piece from The Federalist points out:  Slavery, torture, and cannibalism—tell me why we’re celebrating “Indigenous People’s Day” again? And we’re getting rid of Columbus Day to protest—what? The fact that one group of slavery-practicing violent people conquered another group of violent, blood-thirsty slavers? …

This has always been the fatal flaw of the Left’s politics of race guilt: Name the race that’s not “guilty”? Racism, violence, and conquest are part of the human condition, not the European one.

There is, however, one key difference between the European Conquistadors and the Incas, Aztecs, and Iroquois who conquered the Americas before them: In addition to violence and greed, the Europeans also brought literacy, liberalism, and the scientific method, all of which would transform America into the greatest champion of human freedom the world has never [sic] known.

Do the anti-Columbus activists who claim Europe’s conquest of America is a sin really want to live in a world where it never happened? Where America is an illiterate, technological backwater of tribal violence and ritual human sacrifice? Of course not. The only reason their ideological idiocy has free rein today is because Europeans showed up in 1492.

The attack upon Columbus Day is actually a clash of worldviews.  The Judeo-Christian worldview or the Leftist worldview which denies the Sovereign God that led Columbus to pave the way for the Gospel to go forth.

I’ll close with these words from Columbus’ own book, Libro de las Profecias (Book of Prophecies) where he affirms that Gospel message:

… I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart’s great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task … It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from there to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures … encouraging me to continually to press forward and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me make haste.

Our Lord Jesus desired to perform a very obvious miracle in the voyage to the Indies, to comfort me and the whole people of God. …

No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Savior, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service.The working out of all things has been assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His sovereign will … Oh what a gracious Lord, who desires that people should perform for Him those things for which He holds Himself responsible! Day and night moment by moment, everyone should express to Him their most devoted gratitude. …


 

We are looking forward to our upcoming conference scheduled for Friday evening,  October 13 (Fremont, Michigan) and  Saturday morning, October 14 (Grand Rapids, Michigan)We are calling the events “The Sword of Truth or the Sword of Islam?”.

Mark your calendar and plan to be with us either on Friday, October 13 at 7:00 PM at American Decency, in Fremont, MI or on Saturday, October 14 at 9:00 AM at Double Tree by Hilton, Grand Rapids, MI to hear powerful messages from two men of God.

For more information and to register click here or call us at 231-924-4050.


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