Magnificent men

It is time those Americans came to the defence of Latino immigrants, starting with the crews of Cristóbal Colón (or Christophorus Columbus as we say in Latin; or Cristoffa Combo in his native Ligurian, which carries a nice salsa beat). Someone sent me the latest fatuities from the liberal-progressive campaign to have “Columbus Day” in the United States — shifted since 1971 to coincide with our Canadian Thanksgiving, owing to bureaucratic partiality for Mondays — changed to “Indigenous People’s Day” or some such. The idea is that, rather than celebrate, several billion people in the Americas (counting both the currently living and the dead) should guiltily apologize for existing.

This would be one of the more subtle expressions of the Culture of Death; of a worldview that is, issue by issue, with absolute consistency, on the side of human extinction. It is part of a view of human history laid out in “teachable moments” of ideological indoctrination.

Tomorrow will be the actual 524th anniversary of the landing at San Salvador in the Bahamas; and thus of the permanent planting of the Cross of Jesus Christ in the soil of this New World. As a feat of navigation and daring, it was an extraordinary accomplishment; far greater in its context than man’s landing on the Moon. I know this from having been raised on the accounts of Samuel Eliot Morison: that fine New England historian whose sea-knowledge has now stood the test of further researches, through the better part of a century. His biography of Columbus (Admiral of the Open Sea, 1942), and his two-volume survey of westward European endeavours from about the beginning of the sixth century, are works with which every American (from Ellesmere Island to Tierra del Fuego) ought to be acquainted — the true, knowable histories of exploration, to confute the dark ignorance now spread through our schools.

For while the adventurers sought landfall in the Far East, the idea of intervening land could not surprise them. They knew, too, of other fates that might await them — chiefly death by drowning, death by fire on the oceanic salt, death by scurvy, by thirst, by starvation, by mutiny and panic.

They could be confident, however, while sailing off the charts, that they would never fall over the edge of a flat earth. That our planet is an orb has been known by all curious men, and mariners of every class, since Alexandria, since Babylon; most likely, before. Washington Irving’s elaborately false smearing of the mediaeval outlook is the source of this myth which remains a staple of liberal phantasy: the idea that men in 1492 thought the world was flat. He made this up from whole cloth, as much else in his pot-boiling History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828). To be fair, his intention was only to amuse an audience of whiggish suckers, already imbued with the “idea of progress.” For modern, scientistic man is prey to many superstitions that our distant ancestors would laugh at, were they present to reply. Our smug sense of superiority to them is founded upon invincible stupidity.

History is full of atrocities, both intended and unintended; the sin of Adam is written in us all. Behind the campaign of the last half-century to disown our Christian heritage is, at best, an incredibly selective account of past events. Christians, to be sure, have done terrible, unChristian deeds. But we space cadets of the New Age have easily enough sins of our own, to confess before the ultimate Tribunal. Why do we persist in these obsessive apologies, for men from times beyond our feeble comprehension?

The motive is not, as sometimes appears, racial self-hatred. It is rather an antagonism towards Christianity, and at its root the demonic hatred of Christ.

Much evil was exported (and imported) in Europe’s Imperial age, as in every other human expansion. Ours continues today through the trade in ideological perversities — the spilt milk of our abandoned religion. The lust for conquest, material greed, and the bacilli of disease most certainly accompanied our voyageurs, in centuries past. But in the shipholds, too, the precious cargo of a Kingdom not of this world.

Bold men opened, upon the high seas, “a road by which all might come and go that would, and bear our freight of worth to foreign lands.” It was a mission in which one heroic, God-fearing mediaeval Catholic, won immortal honour. For Christopher Columbus was an instrument through whom Christ saved innumerable souls, of every race and colour.