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Columbus made a profound voyage of discovery October 13, 2009

Posted by n2ition0709 in Uncategorized.
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This was taken from a newspaper column posting on This 12th day of October 2009.  Obtained from a reliable source.  Very compelling & a historical read.  Educational.  Had to be shared.

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Five hundred and seventeen years ago, three wooden ships sailing from Spain due west sighted land on Oct. 12th. This unprecedented voyage in 1492 opened the gate to Europe for exploration, innovation, commerce and cultural exchange. This event also brought the colonization and exploitation of the American continent and its indigenous population.

Against all odds, this tremendous epic was carried out only because of the personal courage, valor, perseverance, solid convictions and faith of one man: Christopher Columbus. His seamanship and cosmography was excellent and he knew with certainty that the world was round. Columbus’s goal was to find a direct route from Europe to China and India in the east in order to buy and trade goods. Columbus was sure that by sailing west around the world, he would reach his objective. Unintentionally, however he discovered a new world, The Americas.

Columbus believed he was divinely inspired and guided. He envisioned a world of free trade with the opportunity to spread Christendom. For centuries, we have honored his memory. However, recently he has been vilified and maligned by irresponsible political statements about his moral character. Even history books have been “revised” to follow “correct” trends. He has been called racist and responsible for the obliteration of Indian culture and has been unjustifiably compared and judged according to the standards of modern society. The 13th and 14th centuries were quite a different world. It is true that some of the after-effects of his discovery were disastrous and sad for the original inhabitants of the Americas. He did not enslave or kill anyone. Some of the Spanish colonists, impatient and greedy in their search for gold, introduced forced labor on the natives during his absence. Upon his return he stated “love one another as I have loved you”, “treat them with kindness and they will lead you to discovery.” Unfortunately, Columbus was not a good administrator and the settlements soon became divided, rebellious and embroiled in transcontinental intrigue. It took years to restore order. By then the native servitude had become irreversibly established.

We often forget that civilization has not always been kind and honorable. Since the predawn of history mankind, including the Native Americans, has always engaged in bloody wars, slavery human sacrifices and atrocities. All the Europeans who followed Columbus failed to see the importance of hundreds of differences of Indian cultures. To them, the indigenous people were primitive and an obstacle to their goals, competing for the land and resources and only valuable as a source of labor. They did not see them as a united people or nation. Consequently they were easily subdued with more advanced weaponry. We cannot apologize for what has been erroneous and shameful, or lament what the ancient civilizations of the Americas could have achieved, but we should learn from the past. History is relevant. It is time to acknowledge our history as something that really happened, how it affects us today and more important, how we reconcile and do better tomorrow. The desire for revenge that seems to consume us today is counterproductive.

Since the dawn of civilization people have always made war: the ancient Asian and agrarian peoples, Romans and Greeks, barbarians, vikings, Muslims and nations like Spain, Portugal, France, Russia, Germany, America, etc. The Native Americans were no exception. They engaged in the same practices of atrocities and genocide. We cannot fantasize what could have happened if we had taken other courses. Columbus was not an evil man. But a great visionary whose intentions to were to discover, explore, open new lands and trade, and above all to bring people to Christendom. He became exasperated with his contemporaries for seeking only riches, wealth and power.

His contemporary biographer, Bartolomé de la Casas accepted that he was “of good nature, kind, daring, courageous and a pious man. His great mistake was that he let others make a mockery of his aspirations and dreams. Columbus was not able to control human greed. Most of Columbus’ revisionists have chosen to ignore his “Books of Prophesies” and denounced it was a ranting of an unbalanced mind.

Christopher Columbus was not a villain. He was a great sea admiral and a magnanimous man, but a poor administrator. Those who honor his memory and celebrate his voyage of discovery on Oct. 12th should have the right to do so free of interferences by groups who threaten violence. Such groups serve a political agenda of hate, rather than promoting justice, harmony, reconciliation and the search for truth. Without this, what compelling reason do we have for promoting fairness and respecting of other views, culture and heritages?

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