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Hero or Villain: Christopher Columbus

Updated on May 22, 2019
James A Watkins profile image

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with three non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

Christopher Columbus Portrait (1892)
Christopher Columbus Portrait (1892)

Columbus Day

The capital of the United States of America is the District of Columbia, so named in honor of Christopher Columbus. British Columbia, Columbia University, Columbia, South Carolina, and the Columbia River are also all named for the Italian explorer, as well as the Knights of Columbus, and the country of Colombia. Also, there are more than 30 cities in America named Columbus, the most prominent of them in Ohio.

Columbus Day has been celebrated in the United States since 1792 to honor the incredibly courageous discoverer of the New World. The Founding Fathers of America did not call themselves Americans. They called themselves Columbians.

In 1892, Columbus Day was proclaimed a holiday by President Harrison. Many statues were erected across the country to mark the 400th anniversary of his astonishing achievements.

In 1934, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a federal holiday, in honor of which banks, post offices, national agencies, state government offices, and school districts are closed. It is the only federal holiday besides Christmas celebrated to revere a person.

The Ku Klux Klan, the paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party, smashed statues of Columbus, violently disrupted Columbus Day celebrations, and tried to persuade state governments to disavow the holiday for decades. The cause of the KKK has now been taken up by leftist agitators in today’s Democratic Party. They share the same goals: Tear down the statues, eliminate Columbus Day, and generally heap hate on the man himself because he was a devout Christian, which those on the Left cannot stand, and he advanced Western Civilization, which is fiercely hated by leftists.

Bust of Christopher Columbus
Bust of Christopher Columbus

The Christ Bearer

The name Christopher means 'Christ Bearer,' and that is what Columbus was. He set out to spread the Good News about Christ to peoples who had not yet heard of Him, in accordance with the Great Commission that Jesus gave his disciples.

Columbus believed it was his divine destiny in God's Will to be the instrument for spreading the Gospel. He did also hope to find gold, but even that was for religious purposes: To fund an expedition to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims, who had taken it from Christians, and who were raping, robbing, and massacring Christian pilgrims trying to visit the sacred sites of the Holy Land.

It is not true that Columbus was cruel to Indians. He punished men under his command that mistreated the natives. He explicitly prohibited robbery, rape, and murder of Indians, and instructed his men to treat them with respect. His orders were not always followed, as we know, and maltreatment did happen in his absence.

Columbus' Map
Columbus' Map

Indigenous Peoples Day

The Left is determined to destroy all that Americans once held dear. Out of their loathing for America, they especially despise Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. All the heroes of America must be brought low.

The leftists, who control our government schools, teach all manner of preposterous, outrageous lies to students, such as “Columbus was a monster, a war criminal, and a genocidal maniac who killed millions of Indians."

High school history classes routinely show the Marxist propaganda film The Columbus Controversy that teaches children Christopher Columbus was one of the worst human beings who ever lived and should be despised. This is flat out the falsification of history for ideological purposes.

The Catholic University of Notre Dame recently covered up murals of Columbus, perhaps the greatest hero of Catholicism. Vermont just became the third state, along with South Dakota and New Mexico, to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day, perhaps with the Carib Indians in mind, who not only kidnapped women to make them sex slaves but would routinely fatten up male babies and eat them.

Alternatively, maybe it is in honor of the Aztec Indians, who not only owned five million slaves, whom they treated with utter cruelty but also had a little festival in which they cut the beating hearts out of 80,000 human beings in four days. Their butchers worked in shifts, four at a time, round the clock, on convex killing tables, so efficiently that they could kill fourteen victims a minute.

Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus: The Man

Christopher Columbus was a self-made man. He knew Latin and scoured all the books he could get his hands on to sharpen his knowledge, wisdom, and intellect. Above all, he studied the Holy Scriptures.

At age fourteen, he had first gone to sea as a cabin boy and apprentice. He sailed all around the Mediterranean, as far east as it goes, to the Levant, which was an area infested by Muslim pirates. He was severely wounded in one battle against them.

In his thirties, we have a description of Columbus as tall, robust, and manly, with blond hair and light blue eyes. It is said he was a perfect gentleman, without vices, who did not swear, gamble, or get drunk.

In the 1470s, we find Columbus engaged in commerce, mapmaking, and bookselling in Lisbon, Portugal. He also undertakes several voyages, including one to Iceland, even sailing 300 miles beyond it, probably up inside the Arctic Circle. In the 1480s, he glides along the coast of Africa, as far south as Guinea.

Like most learned Europeans since the ancient Greeks, Columbus knew the Earth was round, but along with all others, he considerably underestimated how big it was.

In 1474, Columbus, now age 38, exchanged letters with the famous Paul Toscanelli, a doctor, cosmographer, and mathematician from Florence who was a studier of nature and ardently zealous about science. In these letters, the two men discussed sailing west to reach Asia, to find a new route for the spice trade that would bypass the Muslim corsairs blocking the sea routes eastward, and perhaps continuing to circumnavigate the globe. When Columbus discovered the New World, he had a letter from Toscanelli in his pocket.

Christopher Columbus Statue
Christopher Columbus Statue

Overcoming Rejection and Betrayal

Columbus took his idea to the Senate of his hometown, Genoa, only to be rejected. Venice and Portugal likewise turned him down. That is how he ended up sailing under the flag of Spain.

In all of his proposals, at the top of his list of reasons for the voyage was the salvation of peoples who did not know Christ. The humble Columbus was an honorable man, willing to sail into the unknown to bring savage cannibals out of satanic darkness for the glory of God. He wrote:

“Immortal thanks should be rendered to God that Jesus Christ rejoices and triumphs on Earth no less than in Heaven, at the approaching salvation of nations innumerable that were hastening to destruction.”

However, the Portuguese first tried to steal his idea. The King of Portugal asked Columbus for all the details of his knowledge of the Gloomy Ocean, as the western seas were known, along with his proposed route, charts, and specific plan to carry out his mission, only to send his top mariners to try and accomplish the dream of Columbus. A tempest at sea made them turn back.

Columbus was heartbroken to learn of this betrayal, which was amplified soon after the death of his noble wife, Felippa. In 1484, he left Lisbon with his young son, Diego (James), and moved to Cordova, Spain.

In Cordova, Columbus was an unknown, without friends, family, name, or property. He was destitute and approaching fifty-years-old. Fortune smiled upon him as a beautiful young maiden of high birth took a shine to him, and they married in 1486. Beatriz would become the mother of his second son, Fernando.

Queen Isabella
Queen Isabella

Ferdinand & Isabella

Columbus would meet King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain in 1486. They would not fund his trip west until 1492, providing him with three small ships and 120 men.

In his first letter to King Ferdinand, we see the forthright, strong, and to the point style of Christopher Columbus:

"Most Serene Prince, I have been engaged in navigating since my youth. I have voyaged on the seas for nearly forty years. I have visited all the known quarters of the world and conversed with a great number of learned men. I have acquired some knowledge of navigation, astronomy, and geometry. I am sufficiently expert in designing the chart of the Earth, in placing the cities, the rivers, and the mountains where they are situated. I have applied myself to the study of works of cosmography, of history, and philosophy. I feel myself at present strongly urged to undertake the discovery of the Indies; I come to your Highness to supplicate you to favor my enterprise."

When Columbus finally got an audience before Ferdinand and Isabella, he told them that what he had in mind was “doing service to our Lord by spreading His holy name and faith among many peoples who are still ignorant of the Messiah. To glorify the Redeemer, to carry the Gospel and civilization to the most distant countries.”

Financial and political concerns were also presented but only as secondary considerations.

Columbus, Ferdinand & Isabella
Columbus, Ferdinand & Isabella

The Mission: If He Would Accept It

It is not a coincidence that the year Columbus set out, 1492, was the year the Muslims were finally driven out of Christian Spain, which they had conquered 700 years earlier. The Muslims had declared war on Christian Civilization in the 600s by taking, with massive bloodshed, its three most hallowed cities: Jerusalem, Damascus, and Alexandria. That war continues today.

For overcoming what was sure to be many obstacles and dangers by unrelenting determination and toil, Columbus expected to be handsomely paid. However, he did not want remuneration to live a life of luxury, no sir. He wanted it as a means to an end: To retrieve the Holy Sepulcher—the tomb of Christ Jesus—from the Arabs who had swarmed out of their homeland in the desert of Arabia and stolen it from its rightful heirs, Columbus’ Christian brothers and sisters.

Columbus wanted to enrich Spain by discovering a route to the Indies so that the riches would be spent for this purpose: “I have petitioned Your Highness to see that all the profits of this, my enterprise, should be spent on the conquest of Jerusalem.”

To that end, he planned first to try to buy Jerusalem from the Arabs. If that failed, he would take 55,000 men and reclaim it by force.

Queen Isabella said of Columbus’ journey, “He went into the oceanic regions to accomplish great things for the service of God. To extend the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and bring great glory to the Church, by preaching Jesus Christ and His Cross throughout the whole universe.”

As Columbus set out, the Santa Maria bore a flag, upon which was the image of Our Savior nailed to the Cross. He shouted, “Unfurl the sails in the name of Jesus Christ!”

The Santa Maria
The Santa Maria

The New World

What courage it took to sail into the unknown, to calm the terrors of his men, despite the dangers of the sea. It was not long before the murmurs of mutiny made their rounds. Columbus was a foreigner. All his men were Spaniards. Many wanted to turn back, by casting him into the sea if need be. They could always claim he fell overboard. As the voyage went on longer than any of them planned, open revolt exploded. Columbus was alone against them all.

Somehow, with God's help, he mollified the men. He told them that their revolt would come to nothing because no matter what they thought or did, the journey must and would go on. Columbus would later say, “The eternal God gave me all the strength and courage I needed, and sustained me alone against all.”

The next morning, he assembled his crews and told them to remember all the great blessings God had bestowed upon them. They had had marvelous weather, for one thing. The proper feeling amongst them should be gratitude. He assured them the voyage was almost over. They were approaching land. They had not seen it. However, he predicted they would see it by morning. His closed his speech by making a request: “Let us spend this night in prayer.”

At midnight . . . LAND! Columbus, among shouts of joy, fell on his knees whilst tears of thankfulness poured down his cheeks. In the morning, he stepped on shore, planted a cross in the sand, and prostrated himself on the beach, praising his Heavenly Father:

"Lord! Eternal and Almighty God! Who by Thy sacred Word, has created the heavens, the Earth, and the seas, may Thy name be blessed and glorified everywhere. May Thy Majesty be exalted, who hast deigned to permit that, by Thy humble servant, Thy sacred name should be made known and preached in this other part of the world."

Christopher Columbus Discovers the New World
Christopher Columbus Discovers the New World

The Indians

October 12, 1492, Columbus discovered the island he named San Salvador—Holy Savior. Today, it is in the Bahamas, but Columbus believed he had reached the East Indies off the coast of Asia and so he named its inhabitants Indians.

The natives were frightened by the appearance of the three caravels, thinking them to be sea monsters, and hid in the deep woods for a while. They did not wear clothes, had no written language, and had not yet discovered the wheel or metal, stuck in the Stone Age.

When they finally came out to meet Columbus, carrying clubs embedded with a shark’s tooth, he gave them colored caps, tiny bells, glass beads, and other trinkets, which they prized. He wrote, “Men and women were as naked as they were when they came from the bosoms of their mothers.”

Seeing they were simple-minded, Columbus forbade his men to barter with them or take advantage of them in any way. He decided to take seven of the primitives back to Spain, to show the king and queen what the inhabitants were like, to learn their language, teach them Spanish, convert them to Christianity, and bring them back as interpreters.

However, first, Columbus sailed on to Cuba, where he hoped to find gold and spices so that Ferdinand and Isabella would continue to fund his explorations. Cuba had a king, with a capital village of fifty huts. The Indians kissed the feet and hands of the explorers, offered them tobacco to smoke, and called them “celestial men.”

The Admiral couldn’t help but notice that the Indians lived in the interior, not by the sea, even though there were many excellent building sites on the coasts. There was a reason for this, which they explained to Columbus: The Caribs. They were a large tribe of fearsome, powerful cannibals, who would raid the island for humans to eat. They would capture their prey, take them to their islands, hold them in pens as livestock, and fatten them up. Their fellow human beings were a staple of their diet.

Next, Columbus discovered a large island he named “Little Spain,” Hispaniola, because its topography reminded him of Castile. The natives called it Haiti, “high land.”

There he met a tribal chief named Guacanagari, who received him well, with cordial hospitality. Columbus struck a deal with him to build a fort and leave some men behind as he sailed back to Spain. His men could learn all about the Indians and their way of life and language, as well as teach them about Jesus.

Guacanagari was excited that these extraordinary and powerful men wanted to live near his people, hoping they might protect them against the Caribs. Forty-two men stayed behind, along with stocks of biscuits, wine, seeds, tools, arms, and sundry other items.

Columbus Plants a Cross in the New World
Columbus Plants a Cross in the New World

The Greatest Explorer in History

When Columbus arrived back in Barcelona, it was pandemonium: “The narrow streets were thronged with multitudes impatient to see him. Every terrace, and even the roofs of houses, covered with spectators.”

At court, Queen Isabella addressed him, “Don Christopher Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean and Viceroy of the New World.”

The queen hung on every word, “beaming with joy and admiration,” as he recounted his adventures.

Columbus told the monarchs about the New World, the soil, minerals, landscape, vegetables, and living creatures. He showed them many specimens and then brought in the seven Indians.

At the end of his presentation, the king, queen, and all their court suddenly got down on their knees, lifted their hands towards Heaven, and praised God. There was not a dry eye in the house.

The Caribs
The Caribs

For the Glory of God

Columbus would make three more voyages to the New World, discovering Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad (Holy Trinity), as well as many other Caribbean islands.

On his second voyage, Columbus went to meet those cannibals he had heard so much about, on one of their islands, Guadeloupe.

In one Carib home, he found a man's neck being cooked in a pot. In others, heads and limbs were hanging from the rafters, being cured. They enjoyed eating men but not women so much. Females were kept as sex slaves, and their offspring would be fattened up for future victuals.

In late 1494, Columbus received a missive from Queen Isabella, which has gone down in history as the first letter ever sent from the Old World to the New. It reads:

"We have great pleasure in learning the things you have written to us, and for all these things we render heartfelt thanks to our blessed Lord. We hope that, with His aid, this work, which is yours, will be the cause of our holy Catholic Faith receiving a great extension. And in all this, one of the chief satisfactions we enjoy is to feel that this enterprise has been conceived, explained, and executed by your genius, your ability, and your labor. And it appears to us that, since your first overtures, all that you have told us should arrive has been in the major part affected, with as much precision as if you had seen it accomplished before telling us of it."

Notice the glory of God and the expansion of His Church are always first in the correspondence between Columbus and Isabella.

Voyages of Columbus
Voyages of Columbus

All Was Not Well

However, all was not well. King Ferdinand was jealous of Columbus, as were most of the men at his court, mainly because he was a foreigner. The king was also resentful of his wife's apparent affections for Columbus. Besides, just as King Saul was jealous of his subjects’ adoration of David, Ferdinand was angry that Columbus had suddenly become more popular than he was among his subjects.

Another problem was that as Columbus sailed the ocean blue, he could not control what the men did that he left behind. The governor of Hispaniola, Pedro Margarit, defied Columbus by disobeying his orders in regards to the treatment of the native peoples. He allowed his men to steal from them, and they and he indulged in sensual appetites. There were no women among the explorers.

There were several occasions where the Indians attacked and massacred Spaniards. So these, naturally, brought vicious reprisals, including torture, mutilation, and murder.

Those horrors were not done while Columbus was present and not at his instigation but against his express orders. He saw Hispaniola stained with blood and grieved at the harm done to the natives. Many of them loved him and would sob whenever he would leave them. Columbus loved the Indians and felt like a father to them.

Columbus
Columbus

They Are Our Brothers

Unfortunately, unlike the first voyage, which was manned by hearty and experienced mariners, on the second trip the sovereigns insisted Columbus take with him many hidalgos, Spanish gentlemen, whose only interest was gold and who had no idea how rough life at sea can be.

Besides, Columbus was not given the quantity or quality of provisions he asked for, and what he got proved to be partly moldy. Most of the wine leaked out of poorly bound barrels. He was not provided with near enough medicine. Moreover, once in the New World, the tropical heat and incessant rain produced fatal fevers amongst his men.

While Columbus was himself sick, the unhappy hidalgos became rebellious under the leadership of one Bernal de Pisa. He wrote the royals a malicious report that the New World featured nothing but disease and death, declaring Columbus had deceived them.

When Columbus found out about this rebellion, he could have executed the rebels, which was the standard penalty for mutiny. Instead, “The Admiral conducted himself with great moderation. Several mutineers were punished but not with the severity that their offense deserved,” history records.

As Columbus sailed back to Spain to conclude his second journey, the food began to run out. His crew, struck by famine, “that horrible feeling that overcomes every tender sentiment,” wanted the thirty Indians with them either thrown overboard, so there would be fewer mouths to feed, or killed and eaten. Columbus stopped this nonsense, and protected the Indians, saying, “They are our brothers.”

Tomb of Christopher Columbus
Tomb of Christopher Columbus

The End Draws Near

The third voyage of Columbus was quite different because he was forced to take 200 felons, recruited from prisons, as his crew. The king and queen promised them pardons for their crimes, even rape, and murder if they would serve Columbus for two years.

Some of them rose in revolt, led by a man named Bobadilla, who put Columbus and his brothers in chains and shipped them back to Spain, accused of mismanaging the colony.

As soon as the shocked queen found out how Columbus had been mistreated, she was grief-stricken and immediately had him released, brought to court, and given 2,000 ducats as recompense. Isabella and Columbus wept together.

He would make one last journey before retiring to a monastery. Isabella died in 1504; Columbus in 1506. He is entombed at Santo Domingo (St. James), in the Dominican Republic.

Christopher Columbus: The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived

The Admiral of the Ocean doubled the known size of the Earth. There is something supernatural about the life of Christopher Columbus, particularly his voyages. He recognized God’s aid and expressed thanksgiving for it on countless occasions, calling himself merely the instrument of God’s Providence. It is striking that all of the great navigators were Christians.

The God of Heaven chose Columbus for His Mission. Columbus answered the call. He was a genius with a great soul, tenacious, with amazing powers of observation.

Columbus was an original, unlike any who came before him and unlike any since. His achievements are unequaled in human history. He changed the entire course of time.

What was the motivation of Christopher Columbus? “It was the Holy Trinity who excited in me the thought, rendering it more and more clear to me, that one could go by sea from the West to the East.”

Columbus lived in the presence of the Lord. It was God he fervently beseeched, to teach him, to guide him, all the days of his life. He loves nature because it is God's handiwork. He erects crosses everywhere he lands to honor the Redeemer. Before each expedition, we find him not pouring over maps and charts but in monasteries in long, quiet prayer and devotion. God chose Columbus as His Emissary of Salvation.

The man was a model of public virtue. He protected the weak, magnanimously bore the grudges of the jealous, did not complain about mistakes made by others, and was entirely wise about human nature, humbly withstood injustice after injustice done to his person and his name. We find no griping coming from Columbus, no matter what affliction befalls him.

Alexander von Humboldt summed him up this way: “What characterizes Columbus is the penetration and extreme accuracy with which he seizes the phenomena of the external world. He is quite remarkable as an observer of nature as he is an intrepid navigator. Arrived under new heavens, and in a new world, the configuration of the lands, the aspect of vegetation, the habits of animals, the distribution of heat according to longitude, the currents, the variations of terrestrial magnetism, nothing escaped his sagacity.”

President Ronald Reagan pronounced, “Columbus is justly admired as a brilliant navigator, a fearless man of action, a visionary who opened the eyes of an older world to an entirely new one. Above all, he personifies a view of the world that many see as quintessentially American.”

Columbus lived by and exhibited Faith, Hope, and Love. He was just, prudent, temperate, and brave. What man greater than Columbus? John the Baptist, I suppose. The Apostle Paul. The Apostle John. Moses and Solomon. That might be about it.

It is ultimately the Christianity of Columbus that makes him the target of hatred today, just as was and is our Lord.


To learn more about Christopher Columbus, click here:

https://hubpages.com/education/Christopher-Columbus-The-Explorer

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    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      3 months ago from Chicago

      You are truly blessed, Paula.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Believe me, I never dreamed I'd have such a tribe! Sons #2 & #4.....have 4 kids each....so there's 8, right there! In that 14...are included 2 GREAT grandchildren......Don't bother to ask if I ever imagined myself a GREAT_Grandma!.....EEEEeeek!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      3 months ago from Chicago

      Paula ~ Thank you so much for reading my article about Christopher Columbus. Your lovely laudations have just made my day.

      Fourteen grandchildren! Wow. We have six children but only three grands. We wish we had 14 grandchildren. We really do. Our kids are all grown but they are not reproducing.

      I am grateful for you sharing my article with your family. I am humbly honored that you did. Let me know if they comment on it.

      Thanks again, Paula, and you are most welcome.

      James

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      James....Never thought I'd be presented with the very best, accurate and fascinating history lesson of my life, at my age! Seriously, what a pleasure that I appreciate, being "enlightened" by this in-depth article.

      I took special note of your info about what is being taught in our schools. With 14 grandchildren, currently I have every age from 9 months.....up to 29 yrs!....I have sent your article to 4 grandsons and 2 granddaughters of middle school and High School age. I also requested some feedback.....eager to see what they send Gram! '

      Have a good day, James & Thanks again. Paula

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      North Wind ~ It is a distinct pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I totally agree with your comments.

      As I note in my piece, "leftist agitators in today’s Democratic Party share the same goals: Tear down the statues, eliminate Columbus Day, and generally heap hate on the man himself because he was a devout Christian, which those on the Left cannot stand, and he advanced Western Civilization, which is fiercely hated by leftists."

      I could not agree with you that the Bible is the only accurate history book. Well put! God Bless.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      4 months ago from now on

      Amen brother, if someone called you ignorant for that statement then ignorance is bliss!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 

      4 months ago from The World (for now)

      I love a good, historical account and I really don't understand why people are throwing Columbus under a bus. Even if he did do wrongs, the ones who condemn him would not exist if it weren't for his voyages which is ironic to me.

      There are many biased history books out there and there will continue to be because people like to spin the truth according to certain agendas. That's why I say (and I have been called ignorant for this) that the Bible is the only accurate history book.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      Aurelio Locsin ~ Thank you so much for visiting and reading my article on Columbus. You made a great guess as to the illustrator of those two images. They do look like Wyeth's work, especially the first of the two. However, I have not been able to find out who painted them, and looking at Wyeth's gallery of Columbus illustrations I found no match.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      4 months ago from Orange County, CA

      Interesting article about Columbus -- but I'm wondering about the two colored illustrations in the middle: "Christopher Columbus Discovers the New World" and "Columbus Plants a Cross in the New World." They look so familiar. Are those by NC Wyeth?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      Ami Parekh from London ~ Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I sincerely appreciate your lovely laudations as well. I will be glad to take a look at your article. And you are welcome.

      Faithfully Yours,

      James

    • ampare profile image

      Ami Parekh 

      4 months ago from London

      hey there,

      i love your style of writing and the way you put your ideas together... since you are such an talented writer could you please check out my article and tell me your opinion and thoughts on that topic and how i could improve my articles..

      Thank you,

      Ami

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      Awdur ~ You are most welcome, my dear. I know you have studied Columbus extensively. That is why I provided a link to your excellent article at the end of mine.

      You wrote, "You need to share this lesson with homeschooling websites."

      Thank you for that. I believe this is wise counsel. I will have to try to do that based upon your recommendation. It is a good idea.

      I sure appreciate you reading my work. It made my day to receive your lovely laudations.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      Peg Cole ~ It is always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for reading my article and for your kind compliments. God Bless You.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      Virginia Kearney ~ Thank you ever much for taking the time to read my article. I love the writings of Rodney Starke. I have several of his books but not the one on the Crusades. I'll have to get it. God's Battalions?

      The Victory of Reason is my favorite book of his. In it, he describes how the rise of science in, and the success of, the West are due to its Christian foundations and the men who brought it about were devout Christians who believed that God is a conscious, rational, supernatural being of unlimited power who cares about human beings and imposes moral codes and responsibilities upon them.

      I appreciate your awesome accolades!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      T ~ You are quite welcome. I sincerely appreciate all your kind words. If you help me 'spread around' my articles I humbly consider that high praise indeed. Thank you.

    • awdur profile image

      Awdur 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      What a fabulous Hub! Thank you for all of the information. I've studied Columbus extensively, and you have provided me with a lot of information I was unaware of. You need to share this lesson with homeschooling websites..... you know they're not going to teach it this way in school :-( Fantastic job.... I enjoyed!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      This is the kind of history lesson that is truly missing from today's educational system. I learned so much about the roots and reasons Christopher Columbus felt the need to explore the new world. It breaks my heart to see our symbols and history role models erased.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      4 months ago from United States

      What a terrific article! It is especially interesting to me since I am reading Rodney Stark's book about the crusades. The men who sought to free the Holy land always sealed that pledge by "taking the cross" which usually meant wearing a red woolen cross on their breasts. I'm guessing the red cross on the ship's sails was intended to convey the same thing.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      4 months ago from now on

      Thanks James for the history lesson on Zinn, I had never heard of him till I googled Columbus!

      Your articles are so educational, I feel like I should be paying you! Guess the best thing I can do is keep spreading them around.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      Pamela Oglesby ~ It is a distinct pleasure to hear from you. I am sorry to hear that you had been ill. However, it is good to hear you have recovered and are back to writing on HubPages.

      I did not write on HP for years because I decided to devout my attention to writing books, three of which have now been published. A few months ago, I just got the urge to start writing articles again. So here I am!

      It is nice to hear your familiar voice. Thanks for reading and I am glad you liked my work here.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      Readmikenow ~ Thank you ever much for taking the time to read my article. I am glad you enjoyed reading it and I appreciate your kind compliments. Surely I agree with your insightful comments.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      4 months ago from Chicago

      T ~ Thank you very much for being my first commenter. The most commonly taught ‘history’ book in America’s high schools was written by the Master of Deceit, Howard Zinn, ‘A People’s History of the United States,’ which is pure Marxist propaganda written by an Atheist Communist.

      The book is full of lies written to bolster Leftist Ideology. Zinn admitted he wrote not to chronicle the past but to further his own social aims, and those of his fellow travelers.

      Zinn conceded that the book “is a biased account. I am not troubled by that.” In his own words: “I wanted history and my teaching of history to be part of social struggle.”

      Many celebrities and professors fawn over the book, like it is their Bible. The New York Times declared (when it came out in 1980) that it should be ‘required reading’ for American students—and so it is.

      To Howard Zinn, Red China under Chairman Mao was not the bloodiest state in world history in terms of mass killings by its government but a people’s paradise. Cuba under Castro has no record of suppression whatsoever, in his telling. There is very little one can learn about real history in this book.

      If you have read Karl Marx you can predict what Zinn will say. The first line in the ‘Communist Manifesto’—“The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggle”—is how Zinn explains the entirety of American History. He sees greed motivating every major event—the rich got richer at the expense of others is all you need to understand.

      America sparked the fire of Freedom and Self-Government around the world, but to Zinn our own Founding was a new diabolical way to oppress others. Whether the United States permitted or abolished slavery, its motives can be boiled down to pernicious greed. Even our entry into World War Two was because Americans were greedy, according to Howard Zinn. And us rebuilding our mortal enemies after that conflagration, Japan and Germany, who are now our chief economic rivals, that was American greed too.

      More striking than the gross inaccuracies, are the intentional omissions. Washington’s Farewell Address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate are excluded. No mention is made of America leading the world in inventions by a country mile, such as the first walk on the moon.

      Not included are Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright Brothers, and Jonas Salk but we do learn about Joan Baez, the Berrigan Brothers, and Speckled Snake.

      Left out are the great American success stories such as Alexander Hamilton, John Jacob Astor, and Louis B. Mayer. There is no mention of the Normandy Invasion at D-Day or other important American victories but the My Lai Massacre gets three pages.

      Howard Zinn’s book says, laughably, “Unemployment grew during the Reagan Years,” which is ridiculously false. The day Reagan took office unemployment was 7.5%; the day he left office it was 5.4%. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see which figure is greater. He only smears Reagan because Reagan helped free hundreds of millions of people from the Slavery of the Socialism that Zinn builds his entire worldview around.

      ‘A People’s History of the United States’ can be reduced to this: workers are good, entrepreneurs are bad; minorities are good, white men are bad; feminists, racial agitators, and socialists are good but Christians, Conservatives, and Achievers are bad. All people are neatly slotted into groups and all groups have been oppressed except one: the Oppressor (did you guess heterosexual white males?).

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi James, I didn't realize you were still writing on Hubpaes. I was ill and gone for a couple of years, but I have been writing aga9in for about a year.

      As for Columbus, he was a fantastic navigator and an obvious brave man for all those rough trips. This article fills in so many wholes in my knowledgment about Columbus. I visited the the DR (Hispanola) and on a tour I was told Columbus's men killed a whole tribe of Indians. They were totally wiped out on that island. They must be talking about the time his men fought without his permission. This is an excellent article.

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      4 months ago

      Very good article. I don't know what is worse, the left's ignorance or the ignorance of the people who believe them. It is pretty awful. Enjoyed reading this article.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      4 months ago from now on

      I have to say I had no idea of the depth of Columbus’s faith and that it was his motivation! I thought he died penniless in prison but a little google search revealed that as a false myth.

      I also read the original names of his ships were not the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria but la Santa Clara, la Pinta, and la Santa. As was common of the time, the crews gave each ship nicknames. La Santa Clara became la Niña ("the girl"); la Pinta became la Pintada ("the painted one," in other words, "the prostitute"); and la Santa Gallega became Maria Galante (the name of another prostitute). The church censored these nicknames, but the way we remember them today borrows heavily from the crews' vernacular.

      Did you come across a book by a guy named Howard Zinn? He wrote this in what is called his “groundbreaking” history text, "A People’s History of the United States.”

      “They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend. In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route. The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town.”

      “Columbus later wrote,” Zinn quotes, "’Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”

      I don’t know where he got that quote but after reading your article James, it doesn’t sound right.

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