What is Columbus Day 2016 Really Celebrating?
As Columbus Day 2016 approaches on Monday, October 10th, I remember a particular saying: Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. I learned this rhyme early on in life to help me remember the year that Columbus set sail to discover America. Many students today learn about how Columbus and his three ships (Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria) sailed from Spain and discovered the land he named the Americas. Some elementary schools even put on a play about the voyage. The history books paint Columbus as a hero because he found the land and helped the Native Americans that occupied it. Some history books also claim that Columbus was the one who discovered that the world was not flat. The origin of Columbus Day came from the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic Fraternal organization. It was eventually signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. Although the history books say one thing, historians have proven otherwise. So, on Columbus Day 2016, here are some questions we should ask: Was Columbus a hero? Should we celebrate him? What are we teaching our kids? What moral lessons can we learn?
What Really Happened
Columbus Day 2016 will make some Native Americans in America cringe due to the truth behind Christopher Columbus' voyages. The history books teach us that Columbus landed on what is now the United States, but what he actually landed on was the Caribbeans. The voyages, all four of them, were funded by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. The only catch request from the King and Queen sponsoring Columbus was that he must return with goods, slaves and gold. Columbus was under a lot of pressure, and he pushed slaves to produce gold, even if there wasn’t any. Columbus treated the Natives brutally and murdered many of them. Even when Columbus returned to Spain, he left behind some of his men who tortured the Natives. With history different than what is studied, Columbus Day 2016 is celebrated by some but dreaded by others. “Whatever your views of the “‘Columbus controversy,” ’ this holiday continues to be an important way for all Americans to learn more about the Age of Exploration and the enormous transformations it provoked.”
What Moral Lessons Can We Learn
With the history books conflicting with reality, what can we focus on this Columbus Day 2016? First, we should start with biblical discernment. It is important to decide between truth and error using biblical facts. We can use the history of the Crusades with gaining a worldview about the issue with Columbus. Second, we should practice what the Gospel preaches. Isaiah 1:18 states, “Come now let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” No one knows the spiritual relationship between Christ and Christopher Columbus. He did say this quote in a journal entry: “I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvellous Presence.”
What we do know is that Christ calls everyone to forgive as Christ has forgiven us, as according to Numbers 14:19. We all are guilty and fall short of the Glory of God. It is important to remember that we have all done things that have separated us from heaven. That is until Christ came and died for us, even Christopher Columbus! Some events in history have scorned many Americans: the World Wars, Vietnam, the Ku Klux Klan, 9/11 terrorist attacks and more. The point is that we will always have people who hurt us or try to hurt those around us because we live in a fallen world. God is our go-to when things like this in life come up. So, this Columbus Day 2016, whatever is bothering you or whatever is bringing you down, take it to the Lord. From 1492 to 2016, oppression will be around. Make sure to go to the One who is greater than all!
If you want your student to learn truths like these on Columbus Day 2016 and all throughout the year, consider enrolling at Enlightium Academy. Enlightium is a fully accredited online private Christian school that allows students to work at their own pace with a flexible schedule. Our affordable tuition, individualized curriculum, and simple admissions process maintains the advantages of a home school education while also preparing students for college. Additionally, Enlightium offers record-keeping and has worked with families in all 50 states to meet state requirements. Feel free to call us at 866-488-4818 if you have any questions about transferring to Enlightium.