Culture War
Many from both the right and the left bemoan the state of the American culture today. Whether it is the lack of positive images in TV, movies, music, politicians, sports figures, police in schools and more, freedom and morality are discussed as being in conflict with each other. Benjamin Franklin once wrote on the subject: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need for masters." This should ring true to you today as we debate not only our eroding culture, but the role of government in our lives. Are culture and the need for more government control more connected than we realize?

The Truth About Columbus

10/14/18
By Jarrett Stepman,
from The Daily Signal,
10/5/18:

Is this the last time we can celebrate Columbus Day? A wave of cities have decided to remove the holiday from the calendar and replace it with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer credited with discovering America, and his legacy are under attack figuratively and, increasingly, literally. Several Columbus monuments have been attacked and vandalized around the country. The towering Columbus statue at Columbus Circle in New York City now needs 24-hour guards after Mayor Bill de Blasio put it on the list of a commission to review “offensive” memorials.

A few historians and activists began to attack Columbus’ legacy in the late 20th century. They concocted a new narrative of Columbus as a rapacious pillager and a genocidal maniac. Far-left historian Howard Zinn, in particular, had a huge impact on changing the minds of a generation of Americans about the Columbus legacy. Zinn not only maligned Columbus, but attacked the larger migration from the Old World to the new that he ushered in.

It wasn’t just Columbus who was a monster, according to Zinn, it was the driving ethos of the civilization that ultimately developed in the wake of his discovery: the United States. “Behind the English invasion of North America,” Zinn wrote, “behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was that special powerful drive born in civilizations based on private profit.” The truth is that Columbus set out for the New World thinking he would spread Christianity to regions where it didn’t exist.

In fact, as contemporary historian Carol Delaney noted, even the money Columbus sought was primarily dedicated to religious purposes. Delaney said in an interview with the Catholic fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus: Everybody knows that Columbus was trying to find gold, but they don’t know what the gold was for: to fund a crusade to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims before the end of the world.

One of the biggest allegations against him is that he waged a genocidal war and engaged in acts of cruelty against indigenous people in the Americas. But historians like Delaney have debunked these claims. Rather than cruel, Columbus was mostly benign in his interaction with native populations. While deprivations did occur, Columbus was quick to punish those under his command who committed unjust acts against local populations. “Columbus strictly told the crew not to do things like maraud, or rape, and instead to treat the native people with respect,” Delaney said.

But even as a man of an earlier age in which violence and cruelty were often the norm between different cultures and people, Columbus did not engage in the savage acts that have been pinned on him.

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