About Christopher Columbus Day

“It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) to sail to the Indies.”

By Kerby Anderson

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today is Columbus Day. While this is a holiday for many, it is an opportunity for all of us to look back on the life and exploits of Christopher Columbus.

I guess we should begin by acknowledging that Columbus Day today is not your father’s Columbus Day. Not so long ago Christopher Columbus was revered as the man who discovered the Americas and opened up the continent to settlement.

Today he is often portrayed in a negative light as a man who came for gold and glory and brought the evils of the slave trade along with diseases that decimated Indian populations.

Whatever one thinks of Columbus, I would hope that fair-minded people should not blame him for actions that took place after he discovered the New World. Blaming him for those who brought the slave trade or for others who spread smallpox is certainly not a fair assessment of his contribution.

Often missing from any analysis of Columbus is his Christian convictions. He said:

“It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) to sail to the Indies.”

He also wrote what he called a Book of Prophecies, which were a compilation of passages from the Bible that he believed informed his mission of discovery.

One of the pervasive myths surrounding Columbus was that he wanted to prove the earth was round. In his song, “They All Laughed,” songwriter Ira Gershwin wrote, “They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the earth was round.”

Actually, scholars centuries before Columbus knew the earth was round. His error was that he depended on incorrect estimates of distance and geography.

Perhaps it is fitting to end with the famous joke about the similarities between Christopher Columbus and the U.S. Congress. He didn’t know where he was going, and didn’t know where he was when he got there.

And he did it all with borrowed money.

The fact that we are here in America is due in part to an explorer who miscalculated, was fortunate that he found land, and did all of it with a government grant.

Kerby Anderson is host of the Point of View Radio Talk Show, and serves as President of Probe Ministries. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and Georgetown University (government).

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Source: Texas Politics

About Christopher Columbus Day

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