“I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown.”Christopher Columbus
I think it is great that we celebrate Columbus Day. I work for a bank and as such I will get the day off to celebrate. I am not just thankful for the day off, though I am thankful for it, but because I believe Columbus and his achievement should be celebrated. I know that is not a popular opinion in this day and age, and that is something to be regretted.
Much like the founding fathers, Columbus felt he had a destiny for this continent. Also, like them he was slandered by his enemies. People who were jealous of him and saw the income potential of a new continent. They ruined him in his day and those same words are ruining him now.
There is one interesting things about Columbus that I don’t know that we think about a great deal; that he wrote down everything. He wrote more than all the other famous navigators combined, yet he is the most misunderstood. How can that be? The stat I read was something in the neighborhood of 95% of everything he wrote is sitting in a library untranslated. Meanwhile, the slander of the day was published in papers and still available today as “primary source” material. Despite being discredited, it was far too easy for “scholars” to dig up the dirt and run with it to sell books.
This is the way revisionist history goes, whatever sells. The unfortunate thing is Historians know we will not push back. We will just accept it as fact and move on. Well, that cost Columbus in his day and is costing him now. There were something like 8 people who attended his funeral. 8! The man who discovered a new continent, opening up the west, the most famous man in the world at one point, and 8 people came to his funeral. Amazing!
Who was Columbus? A man of faith, who talked of being led by God to open up the Western Hemisphere for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a genius, who navigated waters masterfully with a determination unmatched by any other. He was misunderstood and slandered with no way to defend himself. Not perfect by any stretch, but not the awful monster that is portrait in our day, or in his day for that matter. He was a man of God, and as such is trying to be wiped out of History by the morality police of modern days using their modern lenses.
It is hard for me, when my son comes home from school and says they are doing reports on famous navigators, but we are not allowed to do one on Columbus because he was a terrible person. No amount of talking to the school will change what is popular and sounds good regardless of the truth. It is unfortunate, and I am certain over time this holiday will be discontinued, but I for one and glad we still celebrate it, because it gives me a good reminder to let my kids know who Columbus was not, and perhaps more importantly, who was was.