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    10 Things People Get Wrong About Columbus

    10 Things People Get Wrong About Columbus
    By Ben Broussard

    Every Columbus Day is the same: Christopher Columbus is attacked. His statues are desecrated. Public monuments in his honor are threatened or removed. Every year, more states and cities change Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” or “Native Americans’ Day.” And left-wing professors smear the once-revered hero who discovered America in 1492.

    Should Columbus be vilified instead of honored? Was he really a villain? Should we believe these attacks on his good name and character?

    This post will debunk the most common lies about Columbus.




    Myth #1: Columbus was sailing to prove the world was round.


    Everyone in Columbus’s time knew the earth was a sphere. This fact was known since antiquity. Scholars disagreed about its size. Based on the known world, Columbus underestimated it by one fourth.

    In the late nineteenth century, enemies of Christianity spread the lie that medieval men believed in a flat earth. They claimed that because people in Columbus’s time were religious, they were therefore crude and ignorant. These enemies wanted to discredit the Church by portraying it as the enemy of science. But Christopher Columbus, a deeply religious man, would be the first to disagree.

    Myth #2: The Indians lived in peace and harmony, ruined by Columbus and his fellow Europeans.


    History tells us otherwise. War, slavery, cannibalism, and sexual immorality were all common practices among the Indians. As the Spanish would later find out, human sacrifice and infanticide were the norm among other Indians, like the Aztecs. The Aztecs slaughtered upwards of 20,000 in a single day sacrificing many of their enemies by removing their still-beating hearts.

    On Columbus’s second voyage, he brought the first of many Catholic missionaries. These men tried to convert the Indians from their barbaric pagan practices. Many missionaries suffered martyrdom to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Myth #3: Columbus brought slavery to the New World.


    Slavery was widely practiced by the Indians when Columbus arrived. Reading Columbus’s log, it is clear he insisted on the fair treatment of the people he encountered. Upon his first meeting with the natives on San Salvador, Columbus concludes, “I recognized that they were people who would be better freed [from error] and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force.”

    The mass importation and subjugation of Africans did not begin until long after Columbus’s death.

    Myth #4. Columbus was responsible for genocide, deliberately wiping out millions.


    Genocide is defined as the deliberate systematic and widespread extermination of a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group.

    Yes, many Indians died in the initial contact with Europeans. However, any talk of deliberate extermination on the part of Columbus is a lie. Columbus always treated the natives fairly, even when some of his contemporaries did not. Indian conquests among themselves had been going on long before the arrival of the Spanish. Columbus actually helped to establish the foundations for the fair treatment of the conquered.

    The real culprit of so many deaths, however, is tied to the next lie.

    Myth #5: Columbus and his men deliberately spread diseases.


    Wait…weren’t people back then crude and ignorant? If they did not know if the world was round, how did they know how to spread disease? No one knew what a germ was until Louis Pasteur discovered them in 1870, over 350 years later. Columbus and his contemporaries could not have deliberately spread diseases they themselves did not understand.

    Myth #6: Columbus was a philanderer.

    This allegation was first made 200 years after Columbus’s death, and has been repeated ad nauseum. Columbus had jealous rivals who would have taken advantage of any sign of marital impropriety to defame him. On this point, however, his enemies are silent.

    Columbus’s first wife died shortly after the birth of his first son, Diego, in 1477. After he moved to Spain, he married Beatriz de Arana in 1487. His son Fernando was born the following year. All evidence indicates Beatriz de Arana was Columbus’s lawfully wedded wife. Some of her relatives served aboard Columbus’ ships.
    Columbus lived out the Catholic Church’s teaching on chastity in one’s state in life. In Columbus’ own language, sins of impurity would consign souls to eternal punishment.

    Myth #7: Columbus didn’t discover anything. He died thinking he had found Asia.


    Yes, the Vikings and others before him came and visited these lands. However, to discover means to uncover, or make known. The illiterate Vikings never wrote about or told others of their travels. Knowledge of cartography, navigation, and wind patterns in America did not exist until Columbus came and discovered. The Indians were ignorant of the extent of the lands they occupied and the world at large. Columbus deserves credit for establishing lasting contact between the continents.

    On his third and fourth voyages, Columbus wrote about finding something new. He spent his last voyage trying to find a passage between North and South America. Though his name was not given to the continent, it’s a lie to claim he died thinking he had found Asia.

    Myth #8: What Columbus did was nothing special. Anybody could have sailed west to the Americas.

    Only after Columbus opened the way did others have the courage to sail to the Americas. What Columbus did was risky. He spent years finding money for the voyage. Despite many obstacles, he never gave up.
    He firmly believed it was his God-given mission to explore new lands and bring the light of the Gospel. His first prayer on reaching land was:

    “O Lord, eternal and omnipotent God, Thou hast, by Thy holy word, created the heavens, the earth, and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy name; praised be Thy majesty, who hast deigned that, by means of Thy unworthy servant, Thy sacred name should be acknowledged and made known in this new quarter of the world.”

    Myth #9: Columbus was sailing to become wealthy, seeking gold, spices, and other valuables.

    Yes, Columbus sought gold and other valuables, but not for personal gain. After he founded La Navidad on the island of Hispaniola on December 25, 1492, he writes:

    “I hope to God that when I come back here from Castile, I will find a barrel of gold, for which these people have traded, and that they will have found the gold mine, and the spices, and in such quantities that within three years the Sovereigns will prepare for and undertake the reconquest of the Holy Land. I have already petitioned Your Highnesses to see that all the profits of my enterprise should be spent on the conquest of Jerusalem, and Your Highnesses smiled and said that even without the expedition they had the inclination to do it.”

    The Muslims were finally pushed out of Spain in 1492.

    Columbus sailed for a much higher goal than wealth. His greatest unfulfilled desire was to reclaim Jerusalem and the Holy Land where Christ shed His most precious blood.

    Historian George Grant concludes: “Christopher Columbus wasn’t sailing to find a New World, but to find a way to rescue the old.”

    Myth #10: Columbus died a pauper in a Spanish prison.

    Columbus had considerable wealth as he approached death. On May 20, 1506, the Vigil of the Ascension, Columbus, a third-order Franciscan, lay on his deathbed in his apartment at Valladolid, surrounded by his fellow Franciscans and his sons. As the friars chanted Compline, his last words echoed those of Christ on the cross: In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum. Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

    The Real Target: Christianity


    Christopher Columbus is treated as a scapegoat. The real target is Christianity, which formed Western civilization. Christians and all men of good will should have no qualms about celebrating Columbus Day. We need to fight back, giving due honor to this great man who spread the Gospel and civilized a hemisphere.

    In a letter after Columbus’ first voyage, he gives us the best reason to continue celebrating:
    “Let Christ rejoice upon earth as he does in heaven, to witness the coming salvation of so many people, heretofore given over to perdition. Let us rejoice for the exaltation of our faith, as well as for the augmentation of our temporal prosperity, in which not only Spain but all Christendom shall participate.”


    Bibliography:

    Jeffrey Burton Russell: Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus And Modern Historians, Praeger Publishers, 1997.
    José Maria Iraburu: Hechos de los Apóstoles de América. Gratis Date, 2003. https://docplayer.es/13211342-...
    Lawrence Keeley: War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage. Oxford University Press, 1996.
    Ann Ramenofsky: Death by Disease. Archaeology, Mar/Apr 1992.https://web.archive.org/web/20...
    Fr. John Hardon, SJ Christopher Columbus, The Catholic. 1992.http://www.therealpresence.org...
    Clark Hinckley: Christopher Columbus: A Man Among the Gentiles. Deseret Book, 2014.
    Pope Leo XIII: Quatuor Abeunte Saeculo (On Christopher Columbus). https://www.papalencyclicals.n...
    Xavier Donald Macleod: History of the Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in North America. p. 1-3. Virtue & Yorston, 1866.
    Carol Delaney: Columbus’s Ultimate Goal: Jerusalem.https://www.amherst.edu/system...
    George Grant: The Last Crusader: The Untold Story of Christopher Columbus, Crossway Books, 1992.
    Roselly de Lorgues: The Life of Christopher Columbus: From Authentic Spanish and Italian Documents p. 541-543. Catholic Publication Society, 1870. https://archive.org/details/li...



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    Re: 10 Things People Get Wrong About Columbus

    Libros antiguos y de colección en IberLibro
    Rebuttal to the Lies about Columbus

    Phillip Mericle


    We are at the end of the 16th century. The Habsburgs reign in Spain and from there extended their Catholic Empire over the world. With globe straddling territories and victorious armies Spain was hated by Protestants. Facing defeat on the battlefield, these Protestants turn to the pen to try and defame their hated Catholic enemies.

    In the Netherlands printing presses churn spreading tales of Spanish “infamy” with no bother to adhere to reality. That old ill-informed habit of denigrating Spanish accomplishments persists to this day, finding a curiously modern incarnation in the controversy surrounding a non-Spanish figure: the Genovese sailor Christopher Columbus, who was, nonetheless, sponsored in his trips by the Spanish Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.

    Modern day propaganda is trying to destroy his good reputation

    Today, it is becoming increasingly popular to depict Columbus as an archetype of colonial wickedness. He, who once was venerated in schools, is now defamed for a whole host of alleged crimes. Influenced by this defamation campaign, many Americans are replacing Columbus day with “indigenous peoples” day. Often he is blamed by extension for all the atrocities committed by later explorers. Personally, he is depicted as a gold-crazed madman.

    But, these stories are false. Like the Black Legend of the Inquisition, an investigation into the actual documents of the period reveals a startling different story. Further, these myths are not only perpetuated in our days, but they are actually increasing indicating no regard for intellectual integrity.

    From newspapers to blogs the story that Columbus “sailed in 1493 and stole all the he could see” continues to spread with ever more virulent permutations. Like a snowball traveling down the mountain, a single lie gains in size and momentum as other untruths and exaggerations are added to it, until the myth becomes entrenched in the public imagination and people assume it is truth without question. It is a sad testament to the low intellectual level to which our modern times have sunk in respect to truth.

    Few researchers could claim Columbus was perfect; he was not, but to unquestioningly subscribe to the myths surrounding him is to buy into a highly ideological lie that holds historical truth subservient to ideological agendas.

    Responding to myths

    Today, I respond to the following myths slandering the name of Columbus readily found on the internet.

    Myth 1: “ Columbus never set foot on America.”

    Columbus' landing on Hispaniola in America

    Response: On Columbus’ 3rdand 4th voyages he landed in Central and South Americas. Thus, Columbus can rightly be said to have discovered “the Americas,” regions previously unknown to Europeans. To anyone else but North Americans, the three Americas – South, Central and North – form an ensemble with many points of unity: it was inhabited by Indians and was colonized almost at the same time by Europeans.

    This general process started with Colombus discovering the Isle of San Salvador in 1492 and it is more than logical that the discovery of one part of the New World should be considered the discovery of the whole.

    The difference is that most of Central and South Americas were colonized by Catholics, while North America was initially colonized by Protestants. Hence, it is understandable, therefore, that the Protestants would induced North Americans to believe that they are different and superior to their Central and South American brothers and the only ones who deserve the title of Americans. It is based on this pride and lack of objectivity that this myth took root.

    Myth 2: “Columbus brought violence and disease to the Indians.”

    Response: The Native Americans were used to warring, committing genocide, enslaving and even practicing cannibalism long before Columbus. The word ‘cannibal’ itself is a derivation of the name for the Carib tribe, the same that give the Caribbean its name. Therefore, it is completely out of reality to attribute all these evils to the Europeans who set foot in the Americas.

    Disease was an unintended side effect of Spanish contact, and would have occurred regardless of who traveled between the Europe and the New World. Indeed, it is not difficult to understand that since the Indians had not developed resistance for the habitual diseases Europeans had, when the latter arrived in the Americas their diseases produced devastation among the Aborigines.

    Out of context sentences

    There are also “quotes” reinforcing other myths by taking single sentences of Columbus’s writings in an attempt to portray him as a monster. From racist to child trafficker, Columbus is accused of a whole host of atrocities relying on “citations” from his journal to prove the point.

    A sketch showing the Indians as cannibals, an actual fact

    All one must do is look at the original documents written by him and his record keepers to see that these depictions are egregiously false.

    The book The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 ives us the texts. Edited by a Yale professor it is translated and freely available in multiple formats here. The following citations are from its 1906 edition.

    The following are some of commonly quoted lines to prove Columbus was evil:

    Myth 3: Columbus offended the Indians, based on the quote: “Savage cannibals, with dog-like noses that drink the blood of their victims.”

    Response: Alleged to be Columbus’s description of natives, in reality this was Columbus’s recording the description given by Taino Indians about the cannibal Carib tribe. Columbus himself dismissed these claims as exaggerations until he and his men came across a village of cannibals and found body parts of men being cooked. (pp. 138, 157, 174, 183, 290)

    Myth 4: Columbus despised the Indians, based on the quote: “For with fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them.

    Response: This entry is presented to try and depict Columbus as a power-hungry conquistador evaluating potential Indian victims. In reality this was Columbus relating to the Monarchs how establishing fortresses to protect trade routes did not seem necessary because the islands seemed quite safe. Later experience proved the natives could be quite war-like, but this initial observation is still misquoted to try and paint him as a ruthless conqueror despite his explicitly friendly gestures towards the Indians. (p. 114)

    Myth 5:“ [He] sold children into sexual bondage.”

    Response: This particular falsehood would be laughable were it not so egregious. The lie has its origin in a letter Columbus sent back to Spain wherein he states:

    There are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls ; those from nine to ten are now in demand, and for all ages a good price must be paid.”

    An appalling indictment. However, citing this quote out of context removes one absolutely vital component of the text: It is explicitly Columbus complaining to the Monarchs of this atrocity. His very next paragraphs states that these traffickers “did not deserve water in the sight of God or the world.

    Far from engaging in such activity, Columbus tried to suppress this behavior on his return to Hispaniola, and begged the Monarchs that more upright men be sent as colonists. Despite this, there are actually those who cite this quote out of contextin an attempt to create the narrative that Columbus somehow approved of child exploitation. Anyone who bothers to read the text they are citing can see this through this falsehood. The mendacity of those who persist in spreading this lie is staggering, particularly given how easily the truth is verified. (p. 378)

    The real & forgotten Columbus

    A monument to Columbus in Madrid

    Given the falsehoods spread about Columbus, it is worthwhile to note the behavior that actually characterized this great explorer who is at the center of so much controversy. The 1906 translation of Columbus’ voyages show us the following:

    • Columbus was consistently the only restraining force over his otherwise lawless men, forbidding them to pillage or steal from the villages abandoned by the Indians (pp. 125, 131, 132).
    • He forced his men to free several Indians that they wanted to enslave. (p. 219)
    • He consistently affirmed and demonstrated that the expansion of the Kingdom of Christ, not the acquisition of riches, was the primary objective of his expeditions. Even his enemies admitted this, merely asserting that he did not do a good enough job (pp. 142, 160, 180, 187, 192, 253, 207, 355, 361, 412)
    • Columbus insisted that his men do no harm the Indians and that they treat the natives well (pp. 158, 175, 180, 191). In his eyes the natives were subjects of the King (p. 187), and he expressed great admiration for them (p. 196)
    • When the natives attempted to give him gifts, Columbus insisted that they be given something in return since it was unjust to take something valuable for nothing in return (p. 192).
    • When cannibals attempted to capture some Spaniards, it was Columbus who restrained his men from killing in defense, commanding them to frighten the Indians away. They would also free several natives captured by the cannibals who were being kept as sex slaves and future meals. (pp. 291-293).
    • Columbus received tribal dignitaries of a local chief, refused their offer of supplies and gold, and then sent them away gifted with clothing. (p. 298)
    • Columbus urged that any gold be obtained through fair trade and not through plunder, which he feared would bias the natives against converting to the Catholic Faith. (p. 416)


    The man who emerges from the original documents written by Columbus is radically different from the revolutionary narrative about him. Seeing as these myths can be so easily refuted by the free and open translations, the mendacity of the myth-spreaders becomes apparent.

    Those who would perpetuate these slanders in the face of such obvious evidence are, at best, guilty of grave ignorance. More realistically, they are culpable of intellectual dishonesty.

    Society deserves honest representation of facts rather than ideologically motivated distortions. Those who spread these lies about Columbus are following a revolutionary agenda and build their foundation upon falsehoods. Simply put, if they are willing to lie about such obvious things, what can be believed about anything else they say?




    The voyages of Christopher Columbus




















































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    Última edición por Hyeronimus; 10/10/2023 a las 01:18

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