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Columbus, Catholicism and Courage

October 8, AD2015

 

sky, storm, fear, hope, faith

“This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

This is one of those years in which the government decreed Columbus Day, the second Monday in October, does fall on October 12, the date, under the Julian calendar, when Columbus discovered the New World. Columbus Day is observed also in Spain as Dia de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional and as the charmingly non politically correct term Dia de la Raza in most Latin American nations.

In this country Columbus Day used to be an uncomplicated celebration, especially for Italian Americans. Now it has become controversial with Columbus blamed in some quarters for genocide against Indians and being the founder of the American slave trade. As Dinesh D’Souza pointed out in this article in 1995 in First Things, the condemnation of Columbus today tells us far more about current political battles than it does about the historical record of Columbus. From a modern standpoint there is indeed much with which to criticize Columbus since, in most ways, he was a typical man of his time, as we are, in most ways, typical children of ours. Among other views inimical to our time,  he saw nothing wrong about establishing colonies and bringing native peoples under the rule of European powers. He had little respect for the religions of native people and wanted them to be Catholic, as, indeed, he wanted all the world to be Catholic (I see nothing wrong in this myself, but rest assured most of our contemporaries in this country would).

Prior, however, to ascending the pulpit to launch a jeremiad against someone of a prior time, it might be useful to consider the criticisms that Columbus might have of our time. The embrace of nihilistic atheism by so many in the West in our time would have appalled him. The easy availability of the most degrading types of pornography would have sickened him. Our weapons of mass destruction he would have seen as a sign of the reign of the Antichrist. He would have viewed what I will call “ecu-mania” as a turning away from the True Faith. The celebration of abortion as a right would have seemed to him as the ultimate covenant with death. The Sixties of the last century popularized the term “generation gap,” describing the difficulty that parents and their teenage offspring had in understanding each other. Between our time and that of Columbus there is a generations’ chasm and the use of Columbus as a whipping boy in current political disputes only increases our problem of understanding him and his time.

Columbus’ Catholicism

I believe that there are two keys to understanding Columbus:  his Catholic faith and his courage. Columbus lived in a religious age, but even in his time he was noted for the fervor of his faith. Masses, penances, pilgrimages, retreats, the reading of the Bible, all the aspects of devotion that the Catholic faith offered, Columbus engaged in these things all of his life. Any ship he commanded was scrupulous in religious observances, with the Salve Regina being chanted by the crew each evening at Vespers. As his son Ferdinand noted:   He was so strict in matters of religion that for fasting and saying prayers he might have been taken for a member of a religious order.”

Born in 1451, Columbus was two when Constantinople fell to the Turks. All his life, except in Spain, Islam was on the march and Christendom was under siege. As a proud Genoese, Columbus grew up sailing in a Mediterranean increasingly dominated by Islamic corsairs and fleets. The sea routes to the East through the Mediterranean were blocked and the tiny Italian city states had embarked on a grim fight against the odds that would span over a century until Lepanto in 1571.

Throughout his writings Columbus emphasized that the purpose of sailing west across the Atlantic to reach Asia was to outflank the Islamic world and spread Christianity throughout Asia. Columbus was not insensible to the riches that could be gained with direct trade with Asia, but it was the desire to spread the Catholic faith that is always uppermost in his writings.  This is clear in his Journal of his first voyage to the New World. He wrote:

Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians, and princes who love and promote the holy Christian faith, and are enemies of the doctrine of Mahomet, and of all idolatry and heresy, determined to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the above-mentioned countries of India, to see the said princes, people, and territories, and to learn their disposition and the proper method of converting them to our holy faith; and furthermore directed that I should not proceed by land to the East, as is customary, but by a Westerly route, in which direction we have hitherto no certain evidence that any one has gone…

Since the foundation of the Franciscan Order, it was the sons of Saint Francis who chiefly undertook the incredibly dangerous task of missions to Islamic lands outside of Spain, and crossing the vast distances of Asia to undertake missionary efforts.  Small surprise then that Columbus was a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, and took Franciscan friars with him on his voyages of discovery.

Columbus’ Courage

All the faith in the world however is of small use to others if not combined with courage. There are two types of courage. There is the courage that comes in hot blood when the adrenaline is flowing. This courage is to be honored. A higher type of courage however is one that endures endless obstacles and frustrations over a great span of time and struggles on. For two decades prior to 1492 Columbus failed to gain any support for his mission. Men of lesser courage would have long before decided that the task was hopeless and moved on to other things in their lives. Columbus never wavered in his determination, against all odds, to see his dream become a reality. Critics of Columbus contended that he underestimated the size of the world and that he could not reach Asia across the Atlantic due to the vast distance. Ironically the critics were completely correct. If the Americas, and the islands of the West Indies, had not existed, Columbus and his crews would have perished long before any possible landfall. Against even such accurate criticism Columbus struggled on until finally he and the three ships under his command, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, sailed off into the watery wastes of the Atlantic on September 6, 1492 from the Canary Islands towards the setting sun.

Master Mariner that he was, Columbus had somehow learned the secret of the Trade Winds. Utilizing them, Columbus made the Atlantic passage in five weeks, a very swift voyage.

Five weeks out of sight of land was an unprecedented voyage for the time. As the days passed the temptation to turn back and abandon the effort must have been almost irresistible. This poem by the colorful  Cincinnatus Miller a/k/a Joaquin Miller, which all American schoolchildren once read, illustrates the situation well:

Behind him lay the gray Azores,

Behind, the Gates of Hercules;

Before him not the ghost of shores;

Before him only shoreless seas.

The good mate said: “Now must we pray,

For lo! the very stars are gone.

Brave Adm’r’l, speak: what shall I say?”

“Why say: ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”

 

“My men grow mutinous day by day;

My men grow ghastly wan and weak.”

The stout mate thought of home; a spray

Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.

“What shall I say, brave Adm’r’l, say

If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”

“Why, you shall say at break of day:

‘Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!’”

 

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,

Until at last the blanched mate said:

“Why, now not even God would know

Should I and all my men fall dead.

These very winds forget their way;

For God from these dread seas is gone.

Now speak, brave Adm’r’l; speak and say—”

He said: “Sail on! sail on! and on!”

 

They sailed: they sailed.  Then spake the mate:

“This mad sea shows his teeth tonight;

He curls his lip, he lies in wait,

With lifted teeth, as if to bite!

Brave Adm’r’l, say but one good word:

             What shall we do when hope is gone?”             

                       The words leapt like a leaping sword:                         

“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,

And peered through darkness.  Ah, that night

Of all dark nights!  And then a speck—

A light! a light! a light! a light!

It grew; a starlit flag unfurled!

It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.

He gained a world; he gave that world

Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”

On Columbus Day I honor a faithful Catholic who had a dream to spread the faith of Christ throughout the globe and the courage to make that dream a reality. Historians and critics will argue about Columbus until the final trump, but what he accomplished is a reality that will withstand all analysis and criticism. Let us give the Admiral of the Ocean Sea the last word. By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 30 years. Small town lawyer. President of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center. Easily amused as demonstrated by the fact that he blogs for amusement.

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  • Phil, you have been warned numerous times to stay on topic, and you continue to ignore that request. Likewise, we have received numerous complaints about your conduct on other article discussions on Cathoic Stand. Let’s take a little break from Catholic Stand. Thank you.

  • Once again folks, stay on topic! I do not appreciate having the comments to my posts littered with irrelevant discussions.

  • Stay on topic please gentlemen: Christopher Columbus.

  • “The transformation of part of the northern part of this continent into “America” inaugurated a nearly boundless epoch of opportunity and innovation, and thus deserves to be celebrated with great vim and gusto, with or without the participation of those who wish they had never been born.”
    Christopher Hitchens

  • “I can never quite decide whether the anti-Columbus movement is merely risible or faintly sinister… It is sinister, though, because it is an ignorant celebration of stasis and backwardness, with an unpleasant tinge of self-hatred.”
    Christopher Hitchens

    • Andre B

      Seems to me that one does not need to celebrate whatever backwardness exhibited by the native inhabitants of the lands Columbus visited in order to be able to criticize the brutality of his practices.

  • JDM85

    ….For those who like actual history, by an actual historian, rather than political posturing over the issue of Coumbus, Dr. Warren Carrol’s excellent essay from 1992 is available here on the subject.

    Columbus was neither a devil nor a Saint. But he was closer to a flawed saint than a genocidal devil, such is the straw-man propped up by the hate-America crowd for the past few decades:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/columbus.htm

    Read, think.

    • Cody

      Thank you JDM85 for this article.

  • Cody

    The work of the Dominicans led to the abolition of slavery, the point being that the declaration of the Church wasn’t the cause of the cruelty. Thanks Michael King for the history on Bartelome de las Casas.

  • Michael King

    Didn’t Columbus cut of the hands and noses of natives who ran away from forced labor and have others burned alive. Is it not recorded in his journals and those of others who accompnied him that one way they broke the natives was the repeated raping of their women. Didn’t the priest Bartolomeo de las Casas, a contemporary of the explorer, describe what was done by Columbus and his men to the natives as “against nature” and cruel in the extreme? The argument that we are all children of our age only goes so far. Jesus said “Do to others whatsover you would have them do to you”, “love your enemies”, “Whoever wants to be first must become the least and servant of all”, etc. What in his message was so obscure as to be misunderstood? What was too difficult to comprehend? And what of the natural law written on every human heart? Jesus taught that the most important commandments were to love God with one’s whole being and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. Would this not be known, even to the non evangelized (with respect to loving God perhaps implicitly as love of the good, beautiful and true), as a consequence of possessing this natural law? God is merciful and the sacrifice of Our Lord on the cross all powerful and so I hope Columbus and company died in God’s friendship. But based on what I have been told about these men’s actions, it is impossible to justify orexpain away the evil they perpetrated, however “pious”nthey were “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord’, ‘Lord’, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven”.

    • Cody

      One story said that the crew which Columbus left behind were having their way with the local women, for which they were all murdered by the locals. Columbus wasn’t too pleased when he returned.

  • You say “Among other views inimical to our time, he saw nothing wrong about establishing colonies and bringing native peoples under the rule of European powers. He had little respect for the religions of native people and wanted them to be Catholic, as, indeed, he wanted all the world to be Catholic (I see nothing wrong in this myself, but rest assured most of our contemporaries in this country would).”
    There is nothing Catholic or Christian about a fundamental disrespect for the beliefs of other people, there is nothing Catholic nor Christian about the forced conversion of Native Americans to Catholicism, there is nothing Catholic nor Christian about the destruction of our ancestors culture, language nor the forced colonization of their lands by European overlords.
    Columbus’ travels to the new word precipitated the Catholic Doctrine of Christian Discover in 1493 which was established by P Alexander VI in his bull Inter Caetera which essentially gave European overlords property rights in the “new world” to all non-Christian lands and the interjection of Catholic belief into “new world culture” by all means necessary. It is the most odious, heinous promulgation of imperialism and colonialism in history. Religion justified the theft of lands from indigenous people, the theft and destruction of their culture an forced adoption of foreign religious beliefs.. This is all the antithesis of Christ’s message. For years, many Catholics petitioned for a repudiation of the Catholic Doctrine of Discovery as an affront to human rights of indigenous people, to little avail. This year, the Sisters of Loretto petitioned the Pope to repudiate this doctrine publicly. Amazing…
    BTW, Dinesh (for people unaware) is a convicted felon, a neoconservative, aligned with several ultra right groups and a supporter of imperialistic colonialism. In his book on What’s Great About America…he maintains that the problem with Africa is not that it was colonized, but that it was not colonized enough. Amazing thinking,,,,
    For those unaware, the Catholic Doctrine of Christian Discovery
    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/imperial-rivalries/resources/doctrine-discovery-1493

    • Cody

      So the French missionaries didn’t suffer brutal torture at the hands of native people? And we would all have been better off if human sacrifice had been left to develop its own way? There’s a large statue in the Dominican Republic of a religious crying out across the ocean to Europe for better treatment of the native people. The article has it right, the problem with revisionists is that they demand choir boy simplicity and purity when they have none of their own. Nor has their courage been tested as was that of Columbus and his crew. So we would all have been better off if the Visigoths, Vandals, Huns, Vikings, Mongols, Tatars and Muslim invaders had won the day and eliminated Christianity?

      Yes, the Pope has apologized for brutalities but he also recognized Juniper Sera.

    • Columbus was ni brave soul…

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11170080/Christopher-Columbus-stole-credit-for-discovering-America.html

      And why did the French missionaries suffer such torture? Imposing their beliefs upon a people to whim the land belonged…

      I also believe that the recognition of Serra was the biggest mistake of this papacy, despite the outrage of many scholars and native Americans….(not all, there are several revisionists)
      Domination of people and their culture by foreigners is never justified … it is wrong!

    • Cody

      No, some were tortured because the Indians believed that one of their own died from a illness because the God of the missionary brought them bad luck. You have a very romantic notion of the indigenous peoples of this area. They had developed elaborate ways of torturing members of competing tribes. The Indians fought with the French against the British and it was the close alliance between the Indians and the French which concerned the Americans too. The story is more complex than your narrative.

      Even the Sisters of Loretto which you cited helped native peoples. Many native peoples have written languages as a result of the work of religious orders and the people are very proud of their written languages. Such orders have championed the rights of native peoples for a very long time.

    • Yes, in a very simple sense the Native Amerucans believed that they died from illnesses because of bad luck from a god the missionaries and explorers brought them….yet it’s true that hundred of thousands died from previously unknown ilnesses brought by missionaries and explorers and settlers. The reasoning may not be reflective of today’s beliefs….but the fact is true!

      http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/325

      Again let me restate…the fundamental underpinning and process of this wrong was founded upon an acceptance of the Catholic Doctrine of Discovery in 1493 and P. Alexander VI by European overlords.

    • Cody

      You can restate it all you want, but what are you? Or rather, what would you have been had Christianity not prevailed over the list of enemies I mentioned earlier? Universalism is not just Catholic, but was of the empires, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Chinese, etc. Millennialism is also not just Catholic, but of Protestantism, Judaism, Communism, Islam, Masonry, Modern Secularism and the Global Economic System with its projected Singularity.

      The French missionaries were not tortured for bringing communicable diseases. I made the point because they some tortured for as little as being suspected of causing death.

    • “Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”
      ― Christopher Hitchens,

    • Cody

      Phil, The declaration by Alexander VI preceded the protestant revolutions by a couple decades, but the revolutions were all in place in a sense at this time as the Church had become quite lax. England, the Netherlands and other Northern Protestant countries may never have honored this decree. I wouldn’t know, but they were soon to be more involved in revolt than exploration. The Turks who had recently conquered Constantinople proceeded with their own attacks upon Italy and later at the Battle of Lepanto 1571 for the whole of Europe. The Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588. To put it mildly, it was a wild century not characterized by obedience, but rebellion, explorations and conquests. The decree certainly doesn’t condone brutality.

      Christopher Hitchens and many modern people don’t believe there are exquisite experiential states derived from humility or prayer. That is, most modern people experience reality as that derived from subjugating knowledge, reducing life to knowledge as subject. Such is by nature reductionist. I imagine Christopher Hitchens may never have entertained the notion that he was subject to anything, nor that anything existed aside from the verbal nature of subjugating reality to itself and its own categories. A modern person’s experiential reality is greatly limited by the Lockean notion that what is experienced by the senses is thus limited to the sensory, (unable to make correlations of a non-limited basis). The Kantian solution to rationalize the virtues into the social contract was of the same stuff and missed the nature of love as something subject to reality and a greater reality, yet it was attempting to save us from positivism. Not surprisingly, the west is a culture with a limited understanding of the feminine principle and over dependent on will. You cannot blame this characteristic on Catholicism.

    • eddie too

      so phil, you are an adherent to hitchens? that explains the content of your posts.

    • thank you….

    • So you believe in natural law?

    • ? well, yes, but it my not be the same natural law that you believe in…..you need to be clearer…

    • eddie too

      it was not a wrong. there may have been sins committed during the colonization of north America. no humans except Mary and Jesus are perfect. but, to use the fact that all are sinners to declare the colonization of north America wrong does not follow logically or historically.

    • That whixh can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof!

    • eddie too

      proof, you mean like believing as you believe, that the aboriginal americans were better off living in the stone age than having the benefits of civilization. is this conclusion of yours what you are using as proof?
      if the stone age was so great, are you living like they did in the stone ages?

    • The benefits of civilization are not conducive to living a good and honest life…I try my best to simplify and learn about the Native American way of life…especially in dealing with the spirit world that modernism destroyed.

    • eddie too

      sorry phil, but the spiritual world is quite accessible to anyone who wishes to encounter it. it was never destroyed and the fact that you have not accessed it is quite revealing. along with your adherence to hitchens, believing the spiritual world destroyed explains much about you.

    • Sorry, eddie, I am in union with the spiritual world and the SOURCE on a constant basis. You could not live my life….taking 24/7 care of a spastic quad young man, my son, who can neither move nor communicate for the past 17 years, without a deep connection and constant union with SOURCE. Stop making mindless assumptions, Hitchens was a brilliant journalist, regardless of his anti theistic beliefs. Let’s be clear, the forced conversion of indigenous peoples’ animistic beliefs and connection to the gods and replaced by a Christian model was destructive of their culture.

    • eddie too

      since longevity (one of the benefits of civilization) can add to a good and honest life, it seems you are again mistaken.
      since good health is a benefit of civilization and healthy people are better able to render assistance to the needy than sick people, you seem to be confused about the contrasts between civilization and the stone ages.

    • You assume that longevity is a positive…I think the assumption is false. A short life can be as worthy as a long life.

    • Cody

      Okay, I’ll comment on the last additional paragraph. The secular universalism of which you refer as the new model, is being promulgated to no end by the very same elites who are displacing peoples around the world with wars and economic debt enslavement, destroying cultures and dominating their economic options.

      That is, it is the economic elites of the secular universalists who are stripping the world of its heritage, bribing countries to accept their new socio-economic universalism (religion) and part with their deep seated cultural and religious identities as Hillary Clinton put it. There is not a single thing which is kind or respectful in any of what’s going on. It is dominant and wrong by every measure of what you are protesting from 500 years ago, 400 years ago, 3, 2 and 100 years ago. Ironically, the most heinous things from these previous centuries you are not protesting; the remnant cultures of human sacrifice, the ritualistic torture of people from neighboring villages, the usury practiced upon the most unsuspecting. Even some these horrific things are still with us but in more modern and deceptive forms. You are living in a sentimental dreamworld.

    • eddie too

      life without Christ is nothing but death, destruction and despair.
      Christ opened the gates of heaven. those without Christ have great difficulty getting through those gates because none of us get to heaven without the intervention of Jesus Christ.
      dzialo does not believe that and this lack of faith explains the confusion in his mind revealed in his posts.

    • Cody

      Eddie, In 2006 new stuff was uncovered in archives in Spain which shed light on Columbus losing his position as governor. The accusations were and remain mortifying. Colonialism was filled with cruelty, but the issue is whether the cruelty of Columbus as governor dismisses his courage and importance as an explorer.

      Kidnapping raids were part of the death cult of the Aztecs. A recent AP story claims to have recovered the remains of members who were with Cortez. The find claims these people were captured and eaten. That Europeans considered themselves advanced of the rest of the world is without question, but holding the faith responsible for such is to overlook the efforts of the Dominicans in this case, who fought the powers on behalf of the local people. A more sophisticated form of neocolonialism is taking place today and hubris is again part of the equation, only today, Christianity is one of the targets of the current self righteousness.

      The wiki pages on Bartelomeo de las Casas and Columbus are well worth reading. As is also the AP story which appeared yesterday. http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-yields-details-sacrifice-spaniards-040128654.html

    • eddie too

      who are you or the rest of us to be judging anyone without sufficient knowledge?
      by the way, the aborigines Columbus found did not have the concept of geographical ownership, so the idea that they owned the north America continent is not accurate.
      and, ignoring the fact that the aborgines of north America benefited mightily from the arrival of the Europeans leads to many errors in understanding and fact. proclaiming that human beings are better off in stone age cultures and conditions is unsupportable on its face. but, that is what is required to make your statements.

    • Knowledge?

      http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/topic_display.cfm?tcid=102

      “aborigines”? can you be more derogatory? What the peoples lost was a loss of land, slavery, forced conversions, beating, death, many diseases introduced by settlers, loss of their culture, forced into encampments and forced labor…we did NO good through colonization….Native Americans still real from the stigma of the loss of culture, religion and lives are reservations are dismal to this day.

      Even the pope recognized the evil of the Doctrine of Discovery destroyed and killed peoples. If he sees the truth, don’t revise history…wrong is wrong. And the Pope would not apologize if what benefits you see are real

      http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/07/10/pope-francis-apologizes-indigenous-peoples-grave-sins-colonialism-161030

    • eddie too

      modern medicine, education, modern plumbing, expanded life spans, reduction in infant mortality, automobiles, radio, tv, the internet, etc., etc., etc.

      all of the sins of the individuals involved in the European development of north America do not outweigh the benefits of that development.

      you taking it upon yourself to determine that the aboriginal americans would have been better off remaining in the clutches of the stone age is not only misinformed but arrogant.

      and, by the way, who are you to designate the word aborigine as derogatory? do you even know the definition? here is the definition:

      ab·o·rig·i·ne, [ˌabəˈrijənē]
      NOUN:
      a person, animal, or plant that has been in a country or region from earliest times.
      that is what you call derogatory and yet you want to be taken seriously?

    • I know the definition (archaic) of aborigine and it is preferentially used to refer to Australia….we civilized people people like me and people and other respectful people use “indigenous people.” Many states re re-naming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day…you need to respect the times.
      And all the modern things, are they really a benefit to people who enjoyed and respected the land and the spirits? Was modern technology worth tghe loss of language, culture, freedom, religion for the indigenous peoples? I doubt it. Check and see if the uncontacted people of SA want imperialist colonization and intrusion. I doubt it. You impose your revision view of the world on tghe past. Shame….

    • Cody

      No Phil, It’s not a revisionist view. It’s a revisionist view to claim something should never have happened. The crimes were the criminal acts committed against the people, not the engagement of cultures. Hundreds of European dialects were lost in the formation of the Romantic languages and in the formation of the nations of Europe and some by intention. Explorations also brought the bubonic plague to Europe. You’re being far too simplistic and romantic. Columbus ended the flat earthers forever and the four corners of the map stuff. Cultures also spread because their populations grew. Columbus was looking for a less confrontational way of getting to the orient.

    • I agree that I am simplistic and romantic…mortal or venial sin?

    • Cody

      Yes, but you’re claiming something was so awful it never should have happened and believe therefore, that we have an obligation to redefine it. The article put forth by JDM38 below is worth reading. No one would have desired the Caribs who were cannibals to have had their way, nor the Aztecs as described in the article. Calling for an Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day is revisionism. Whether such is a sin or not would depend on one’s motivation, but to give a pass to the cruelty of the Caribs or Aztecs in the name of equivocation of peoples and their cultures is a strange notion. If you’re interested in a second opinion on the American West you might want to try a historian named McGrath.

    • EnidM

      You do realize that if Columbus had not come here and discovered America then someone else would have and it could have been far worse for the Indian population then it was. Yes it could have been better also but they would not still be living the same way today as they were back then. Instead of dwelling on the past why not see the wonderfulness of today. I am sure if you were to ask them if they want to go back to the old way of life almost everyone of them would say no. Also it seems that dwelling on the past is not helping the Indian’s to move forward with life and to become the great people that they can become. It is the same with black people when you cry poor me from the past it stops you from moving forward in the future. What has happened has happened. We should learn from it so it does not happen again but do not keep using it as an excuse to move on. I lived in an Alaska village and I saw how this entitlement has almost destroyed the younger generation. It is so sad.

    • JohnnyVoxx

      Actually, there is. “Go and make disciples of all nations…” That was the command. I know this might offend your delicate sensibilities. But this is the obligation Columbus labored under. From your profile picture it would appear you support Sodomy or engage in it yourself. I would not imagine you to understand the obligations of evangelism any more than the obligation of chastity.

    • I am married with two children…my son was a near drown under water for 25 minutes without 02 and is a spastic quad, cannot move nor communicate and can do absolutely nothing for himself. I have cared for him at home since 1998. Your accusations are outrageous, heinous and need condemnation …you are no Christian if you assume people who support gays are sodomites themselves. I understand chastity quite well and you would also if you took care of a person 24/7 for 17 years…just doesn’t leave time for sex.
      The injunction to make all disciples was certainly never meant by force nor cohersion but rather by love, by example and by dialogue.
      I comment on many sites and I find that some people on this site, like yourself, spend a lifetime condemning , assuming and judging without any facts but a simple avatar,
      The vast majority of my son’s therapists are gay….they love him in way which is courageous and consistent. They do not walk away and embody the spirit of genuine mercy to him where even family (good Catholics ) have walked away. So, yes, I acknowledge and celebrate them because they care…and you…..thank God that you have confession and absolution readily available and should avail yourself immediately.
      I await your apology as it is a prelude to your confession….

    • JohnnyVoxx

      I think I read in your other comments that you are not Catholic. So I presume you are something of a spastic troll that comes on Catholic sites and craps all over everybody. Then, when challenged, you trot out your disabled son and his homosexualist caregivers and a kind of shield for the blowback. I am not interested in playing your little game. The Catholic Faith is true and necessary for our salvation. That is all I have to say to you.

    • I forgive you and will keep you in my intentions to my Creator….

    • JohnnyVoxx

      You are demented and the fact you don’t sleep suggests you are diabolically oppressed.

    • What does your son have to do with your support of homosexual acts?

    • If you follow the thread, I described my family to a person who called me a sodomite or one who engaged in sodomy…also demented, etc. because of my avatar and I explained the rationale behind my avatar. Did I say I supported homosexual acts or a pride in those who are gay? You, as usual, assume much!

    • Which doesn’t really answer my question.

    • Learn to read please!! I was involved on a discussion about Columbus….a person went on a tirade about the heresy of my using a rainbow in my avatar. I explained that my profile pic was that of my son and honored many of his gay therapists who have worked with him for the past seventeen years. I did not speak of homosexual acts, but was rather accused of being a “sodomite”, etc. What is it that you do not understand…my answer to the homophobe was that my son’s pic was a celebration of this therapists undying devotion and love for many years. I did not speak AT ALL about homosexual acts, gay marriage or any such topic. I did not bring up the topic and simply explained why this is my facebook profile pic….NO mention of homosexual acts, as you refer to…If that does not answer your question…ask it in an understandable fashion…You knoe I will not shy away from answering questions.

    • What does a person’s sexual preferences have to do with their abilities as therapists? I’m still confused.

    • Let me un-confuse you! Therapists are people who commit their lives(1) either to the healing process of a patient or (2) to be compensate and make money. Some therapists keep a professional boundary so that they don’t get involved others bond closely with the patient and family and give beyond what they are compensated for. For they past 17 years, we have traditional Catholic therapists, atheist therapists, buddhist therapists, tibetan clairvoyants, TCM practioners….probably over a hundred different types. I do not speak ex cathedra, nor do I make a sweeping generalization…this is my observation based upon MY EXPERIENCE.
      I have found that Adam’s therapists who also happened to be lesbians have lived a life that was marked by judgement, marginalization, name-calling, non-acceptance as people, deemed “disordered” by a older society and Church, etc. In their suffer they learned to go deep into self to find meaning for their existence and that meaning exhibited in unconditioned service. They were readily able to tune into Adam pain and suffering, his abandonment by ALL his aunts and uncles and sisters, by his pre-accident friends and by a society which treats disability with indifference. That’s reality. We you have lived a life of social and religious marginalization, you go very deep and you can readily connect at a deep level with other marginalized people. In my experience this is a unique trait and serves the healing process in others well. So I laud my son’s therapists who are gay as they are so much better than the others who have never experenced this level of marginalization….in my experience. So I am very defensive of those who castigate gays and I celebrate who they are because they play a significant role in MY son’s continual survival. I am sure you will not understand my experience, but it is what it is and it’s MINE, maybe alone.

    • I’m still confused. Do you believe only gay therapists can be good therapists?

    • See directly above for the answer as I posted it to your earlier question

    • Sorry, I don’t see an answer there.

    • not your fault, I posted in the wrong place

    • EnidM

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_saints_and_beatified_people I am sorry to hear about your son may God’s healing hands cure this young man. I am also sorry that your family has been so cruel and unloving. I find it interesting that you bring up how the therapist are gay and they love your son would they be part of your sons life if they did not get paid to help? Also do the non gay therapist not love your son also?

    • Thank you for the kind concern. It is 17 years post accident and he cannot move nor communicate and is no cure… we work to sustain his life with the highest quality. Over the past 17 years, most of his bodyworkers happened to be lesbians and they emanated great warmth and love with or without pay. Haven’t had the same experience with straights and no they did not care for him, just the money.