Columbus Day, Anyone?

Well, the end of another day approaches.  There were no sales today (that I knew of, anyhow) that marked the occasion.  If there were any parades, they were kept sort of quiet.  As far as I know, the local school district was in session today.  Yet, the mail didn’t run today.

Well, it’s sort of hard to argue that the non-observance of Martin Luther King Day is racist when even Christopher Columbus doesn’t get a blip on the radar.  Of course, there are those of an apologetic bent who are embarrassed that our forefathers even came to this country, let alone a merchant adventurer such as Columbus.

Yes, he did it because he wanted a trade route.  It takes money to go gallivanting around, and you’ll have difficulty proving to me that has changed for the better.

Some, though, would want to re-write history.  They forget that Columbus took a very huge risk.  They forget that it wasn’t just about the money.  In fact, he barely convinced his crew not to turn around – at peril to his very life.

Some even go so far as to say that the world would have been better off if America would have been left “pristine” and undiscovered.  I’m not convinced that is anywhere near the truth, though.

After all, America did stand in resistance to many world empires.  The founding of the US brought about a standard of living that was and sometimes still is the envy of the world.  It isn’t just about the monetary aspects either.  Our freedoms stood in stark contrast to the religious and economic oppression in Europe.  It was what stopped the spread of fascism and the imperial designs that preceded it.  It still stands in contrast to the oppression of places like Iran and even Russia (who is reverting back to its old ways more each day).

Has the US always been perfect?  No, sadly it hasn’t.  The slave trade was around much longer than it should have been.  Furthermore, we have lost much of our moral standing not because of events that have befallen us but because we have tossed much of our moral foundation into the trash heap.  We have preached “truth, justice and the American way” to the world all the while having CIA operatives secretly training our future enemies – a situation where we have indeed reaped what we have sown.

Like all men, Christopher Columbus wasn’t perfect either.  However, much of his fervor had to do with a religious zeal to bring Christianity to another part of the globe.  OK, we can debate all day about whether or not it was true Christianity, but I don’t think that without some Biblical foundation that God would have blessed his or any of our other forefathers’ efforts.

I’m not really saddened so much about the fact that Columbus Day takes a backseat to other events or holidays.  What does sadden me is that we have tried to totally forget where we have come from to the point that we rewrite history to make them sound like the world in general today: cynical, greedy, sensual and totally irreligious.


  1. I live in a city named Columbus, with a statue honoring Christopher Columbus on the downtown Riverwalk. But there's no Columbus Day celebration at all.

    There used to be an outdoor music festival on the holiday weekend, but it brought so much rain that it was canceled. 🙂