Thank You, Mr. Columbus?

As far as I know, Columbus Day is still a federal holiday.  The local Army post here is acknowledging it as that, and all non mission essential personnel have the day off on Monday – in fact, many had Friday off as well for what is called a “training holiday” – these supposedly make up for some of the longer days or time spent “in the field” …

Our school has the day off on Monday too – mainly because I am in charge of setting up the school calendar!!  🙂  I’ll take any day off that I can get!! 

HOWEVER, our local public schools DO NOT have the day off.  In fact, I recently heard that there is much controversy surrounding Christopher Columbus and that is why some schools do not acknowledge his accomplishments or consider him worthy of celebration. 

I hesitate to even write about this because I really haven’t done enough “research” on the topic to give an intelligent answer … BUT I am curious to know if anyone has any opinions or input about ol’ Chris? 
I did look up an essay that makes the case that Christopher Columbus is NOT a hero.  The reason is that he mistreated the Native Americans – and even did so in the name of Christianity.  He allowed the Natives to be tortured and murdered.  It goes back to the theme of the inhumane treatment by the all-conquering white man.  If that is true, then OF COURSE, I think it is horrible that Columbus committed these violent acts or allowed them to be done anyway … especially in the name of God.  Although I have also read/heard that this may also be a way God punishes the “heathen” for their own ungodly and violent lives that they already are living among themselves prior to the presence of “white men” … I honestly can’t say I have a definite opinion about that right now …
Then we have the flip side:  My children use a Christian curriculum in their school which tends to portray all our “Founding Fathers” as devote, godly men.  While many – to include Christopher Columbus – knew their Bibles and quoted them – that isn’t to say they were truly GODLY or even really a Christian in the true sense of the Word (of God!).  We know Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were Deists (belief that God created the world but is not a personal God … that God stays out of the affairs of men).  I looked up something about what is known as the Jefferson Bible, which consists of the snippets of Scripture Jefferson actually CUT OUT OF his Bible and put together in a manner he thought was more true than the order of the inspired Word of God!  His Bible is apparently on display at Monticello – and I wish I had known that when I visited there many years ago.  Jefferson is said to not have believed in the miracles Jesus committed (miracles would be God acting on man’s behalf), and so he cut them out and rearranged them to use them only as “principles” to live by not as ACTUAL acts of God.  hmmmmmmmmm……
So, anyway, like I said:  I don’t REALLY know what I am talking about in all of the above; however, I am curious what the TRUE stories of these historical figures are.  I hope, I think, there must be a BALANCE in there somewhere!   I do know and believe that all of history is HIS story – and God is in complete control.  His reasons are sometimes hard to understand – we just have to trust. 
I do also know I am thankful Columbus discovered America so I can live here … and I’ll take a day off with my family in his honor as a gift!  Thank you, Mr. Columbus!

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3 Responses to Thank You, Mr. Columbus?

  1. Thanks for your reply to my Columbus post. And now I've signed on to follow you – looking forward to it. :^)

  2. Rochelle says:

    Hi there Conny,Thank you for this great post about Columbus Day. Since I left my job over a year ago holidays like, Columbus Day, President's Day, and Rosh Hashana I tend to lose sight of because I am not in an environment where I am easily reminded. Columbus Day is typically a day of great shopping and I would have totally missed it if not for your post. I am also grateful to you for ackowledging the dichotomy of behavior. My hope to is that there was some sort of balance between behavior and Christian belief. Nonetheless I am grateful for the discovery of this great country and the freedom we have in it. Enjoy your wonderful day off with the family.Rochelle

  3. Thank you for sharing that information about Jefferson–I had not heard that before. We learn about Columbus in my classroom, and the children love to learn about him. I do tell them that history tells us that he did mistreat the Indians, and we talk about it. I still don't think that warrants not learning about him as an important part of our history as a country. Celebrated, though? I'll admit to not doing enough research to decide that, ad we don't even have Columbus Day off this year! Enjoy your family!

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