Monday, October 08, 2007

Columbus and Civilization

Today is the official celebration of "Columbus Day." It used to be on October 12, to commemorate Christopher Columbus's landing in the New World (at San Salvador island, also known as Waitling Island, today part of the British Bahamas) on October 12, 1492. But a number of holidays were moved around to accommodate the desire of federal employees to have longer weekends, severing the connection between the holiday and that historic moment. (We must have our priorities straight, after all.)

In 1892, the 400th anniversary of Columbus' achievement was enthusiastically celebrated in America. In 1992, for the 500th anniversary, Columbus was widely denounced as a "racist" and an "imperialist."

It may be that others discovered America before Columbus, but Columbus brought with him Christianity, and therefore Civilization. America was settled. "Settling" is something only civilized people do. Americans have the right to pitch a tent and "live off the land" in isolated "self-sufficiency" (unless there are "zoning laws" to the contrary). Indians did not have the right or the option to live under a division of labor in an industrialized economy.

The forces of "multiculturalism" that dominated Columbus Day in 1992 seem to have lost some influence, largely because after 9-11, it's hard to say that the religion of Christopher Columbus is the same as that of Osama bin Laden, and that all cultures are equal.

Columbus was after Gold.
A good reason to like anyone.
Some Secularist historians have used this fact to cast doubt on the claim that Columbus was a Christian. Neo-platonist "christians" are easily confused at this point. They don't see how someone could be a Christian if he's in pursuit of something so terribly "unspiritual" as gold.
But the Bible says gold is good.

Even the U.S. Constitution says gold is good: that "no state shall make anything but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts." The triumph of Secular Humanism's preference for unbacked paper money has empowered the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to crush more poor Latin Americans than Columbus could ever dream of.

Columbus Attempted to Civilize the Indians.
How many Indians were there? Less than a million? Ten million? Russell Means says 100 million. This is nonsense. The Indians were unable to sustain a population in North America which is one-hundredth that of today. To quote Hobbes, their lives were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

The Ignoble Savage

The Indian as Environmentalist

The Indian as Egalitarian

Was Columbus an instrument of God's judgment upon a people dominated by idolatry, slavery, immorality, brutality, and tribal racism?

Columbus and the Puritans came to this nation to bring the Gospel to the natives, and this is their chief offense in the eyes of modern secular man.

Columbus Defended Western Civilization

  • Columbus was motivated to explore and then to civilize the New World by his Christian faith.
  • Commission cited by Court in Holy Trinity shows influence of Christianity
  • The civil government which backed exploration of the New World were also motivated by the vision of Christendom.
  • The coercive excesses of European governments in the New World were being tempered by the Christian faith.
More discussion here.


The journals of Columbus reveal his faith:

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