A friend posted an article link describing how an Ohio city now says Columbus Day – and the Columbus statues – must go. This of course would mean ESPN would need to ban all Ohio State University games until the city name was changed lest the snowflakes melted.
I just finished reading a very detailed biography of Columbus last year. I was always in awe how he prayed to God for help and recorded angelic visitations and direction in his journal helping him to navigate the unknown path to the New World. You can imagine then how shocked I was to realize that Chris wasn’t the hero I thought he was when I read the full recount of his life. Yes, he single handedly created the North American transoceanic slave trade in part because the discovery of gold he promised his Spanish benefactors couldn’t quickly be found. Therefore, he decided to decimate entire island communities by forced slaveries to show a profit from his ventures, rather than simply admit failure.
In retrospect – EVERY LEADER has both heroic and demonic elements to who they are. Lincoln was a huge racist who wanted to send all Africans back to their homeland and he shredded the constitution protections by forcing states to comply with a federal government. The founders of our country supposedly gave the right of freedom from tyranny and to leave if they wanted. Lincoln couldn’t support the economy of the North without the income of the south so “to hell with the Constitution.” Of course, 2 years into the war, he pivoted to champion abolition. Almost as a reverse of Columbus – he gained a more intense relationship with God at the end of his life.
I’m very unclear whether his conviction as to the humanity of the negro came before or after he realized the political move would help to galvanize both money and support to defeat the South.
But I suspect ALL of us have impure motives – sometimes even conscious – that we are embarrassed to admit have caused us to cowardly acts. This is of course why you don’t see monuments to human frailty. We don’t need to be reminded of that. But was is exceptional are the good traits. We all remember the time we did something heroic – sometimes even surprising ourselves that we were capable of it.
No one but Jesus is worthy of a statue. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t honor the heroic things they did or condone – as my friend put it – the erasure of history. It was the Jewish people that wanted to preserve Auschwitz – not the German democrat socialists (aka Nazi’s). They didn’t want anyone to forget the cost of the battle – or the intermittent acts of heroism also represented by such a detestable icon.
I could care less about these statues if I was being honest. Some of the detail and sculpture is pretty impressive, but not nearly so much as the beauty of a North Carolina forest path or an Oregon river in the middle of nowhere.
But even forgetting the legality of defacing public property – lost in this argument is the great liberal notion that all artwork is sacred. If you attempted to destroy the “Jesus in piss” (so called) art that created the fury among liberals some years ago when conservatives wanted to ban it – you would forever be labeled a cultural and liberty heretic. They were incensed not because they believed in Jesus – but because you were destroying “art.”
Funny how no one seems to care about the sculptors who are having their bronzes destroyed now…
We are all hypocritical about something. No one is perfect but God. And anything that continue to keep people in a tizzy rather than finding, and working toward, good values that will make us all better – is just a demonic strategy to glorify the god of chaos.