Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Christopher Columbus: Crusader, Millennialist, Missionary, and Abolitionist

 

It turns out Christopher Columbus set out to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims — Crusader. This is documented in his writings and in his agreement with Queen Isabella.

He was convinced the end of the world was imminent as indicated by the mass death of the Black Plague, and that Jesus was coming back to save the world — Millennialist.

He considered his voyages his religious mission and he set about to baptize the indigenous peoples he found so as to save them from slavery (the baptized could not be enslaved) and save their souls — Missionary and Abolitionist.

Oh, and he was also a Franciscan monk.

I’m taking this from an interview with Carol Delaney, cultural anthropologist, and author of the highly acclaimed, Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem: How Religion Drove the Voyages that Led to America.

But, go ahead and take down his statues ye of woke moral superiority. Just count me out of your Brave New World.

Edit: I should add that Carol Delaney isn’t Catholic and isn’t even religious. Do not be discouraged from watching the interview just because it’s a Catholic program. She is not defending Christopher Columbus out of some sense of religious loyalty. She’s defending him based on what he wrote — and, even more — because she admires the man for his character. Remember when character used to count? Yeah, those were the good old days.

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  1. GFHandle Member

    This just proves how awful and unwoke he was. I won’t even bother to list the awfulnesses here.

    • #1
    • July 3, 2020, at 12:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    This just proves how awful and unwoke he was. I won’t even bother to list the awfulnesses here.

    Yeah, it’s like I always say of Donald Trump: he’s a terrible, bad racist. Terrible. Just look at those African American unemployment numbers pre-COVID. 

    • #2
    • July 3, 2020, at 12:37 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor

    And we have two senators who think Columbus Day is not all that important a holiday and want to replace it with Juneteenth. Seriously?!

    • #3
    • July 3, 2020, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist: Christopher Columbus set out to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims

    Islamophobe!!

    😉

    • #4
    • July 3, 2020, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Barfly Member

    But he wasn’t oppressed! And he wasn’t colored! And neither is Bad Orange Man! Don’t you get it?

    • #5
    • July 3, 2020, at 2:03 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Stina Member

    Last summer I read the account of the conquistadors who traveled from Tampa Bay to Mexico City. One of the things that stood out to me was how seriously the author took his faith. We don’t treat them that way in history. We act like their faith was a battering ram used cynically for manipulation.

    But no, they were real believers wanting to make the lives of the people they encountered a little better.

    It was a great eye opener to me.

    • #6
    • July 3, 2020, at 3:36 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Frank Zamboni is more important to the USA than Columbus.

    • #7
    • July 3, 2020, at 3:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Most of these people who are trying to cancel Columbus could not find the men’s room. He was one of the great navigators of history. He did get longitude a bit wrong but no one else knew the diameter or circumference of the Earth. Morrison’s biography, that he wrote after following in the wake of Columbus in the Harvard Columbus Expedition yacht Mary Otis, is a masterpiece.

    https://www.amazon.com/Admiral-Ocean-Sea-Christopher-Columbus/dp/0316584789/

     

     

    • #8
    • July 4, 2020, at 12:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    And we have two senators who think Columbus Day is not all that important a holiday and want to replace it with Juneteenth. Seriously?!

    I already wrote to the one in Oklahoma to tell him that his idea is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. The staff will probably write back to tell me they don’t care what I think since I live in Nevada.

    And BOTH senators are Republican. Seriously? I guess I thought they’d know better.

    • #9
    • July 4, 2020, at 12:20 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Cow Girl Thatcher

    I taught 4th grade for 24 years in two states. (I retired last fall.) Near Columbus Day, we’d read some information about him and his voyage, and what he was attempting to do, and what he actually accomplished. My point was that he knew that the earth was actually a globe, and so if he sailed west, he’d end up in India, so he could get the spices and tea. There were so many perils to sailing south, then east around the horn of Africa. I also point out that there were quite a few during that time who believed he’d fall off the edge of the earth doing that. Also, he was the first person to attempt that route, who returned and told others about his voyage. He wrote down what happened, so that is the definition of “history.” Then, we read that he actually didn’t know that he never reached India…and that’s why the name “Indians” became a noun describing native people of North/South America. Then, their assignment after we’d read our information, and filled in a map of the voyages, was to write an opinion paper. Topic: Do you think Columbus was successful or not? Explain your opinion using information from the texts. 

    It got children thinking. There wasn’t a “right” answer because it was an opinion essay. It was about your writing skills, not whether or not you liked or didn’t like Columbus. We learned some facts, then we thought about them, and then we wrote a response. The students liked it, no parent ever complained to me, and I felt like I wasn’t promoting nor condemning a figure in history for doing something that was significant.

    • #10
    • July 4, 2020, at 12:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Doormat Coolidge

    Columbus’ journals are an excellent read, if you really want to know him as more than just a caricature.

    • #11
    • July 4, 2020, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    My point was that he knew that the earth was actually a globe, and so if he sailed west, he’d end up in India, so he could get the spices and tea.

    Well, interestingly, Delaney says he sailed west because the pope had divided the Atlantic in two, giving the Portuguese the eastern half, and the Spanish (who Columbus was working for) the west. He was actually trying to reach the Great Khan of China to raise money for his crusade to take back Jerusalem. Not sure how he thought that was going to work out, but he obviously never got near China, having missed a whole continent and ocean in between him and his destination.

    I highly recommend the interview of Delaney posted above. I learned a lot I didn’t know before. 

    • #12
    • July 4, 2020, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    My point was that he knew that the earth was actually a globe, and so if he sailed west, he’d end up in India, so he could get the spices and tea.

    Well, interestingly, Delaney says he sailed west because the pope had divided the Atlantic in two, giving the Portuguese the eastern half, and the Spanish (who Columbus was working for) the west. He was actually trying to reach the Great Khan of China to raise money for his crusade to take back Jerusalem. Not sure how he thought that was going to work out, but he obviously never got near China, having missed a whole continent and ocean in between him and his destination.

    I highly recommend the interview of Delaney posted above. I learned a lot I didn’t know before.

    Eratosthenes had accurately determined the earth’s circumference and therefore longitude but it was lost in the Middle Ages.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

    He took a noon site from a well and another some miles away.

    • #13
    • July 4, 2020, at 2:03 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Cow Girl Thatcher

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    Eratosthenes had accurately determined the earth’s circumference and therefore longitude but it was lost in the Middle Ages.

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I highly recommend the interview of Delaney posted above. I learned a lot I didn’t know before. 

    I just finished listening to the interview! Very interesting and I plan to buy her book. Nothing that I have ever read told me that Columbus was trying to finance a crusade to take back Jerusalem and get it ready for the return of Christ. What a valuable thing to learn! It makes complete sense, too, knowing other things that I’ve read about him and his voyages. The timing was certainly an indicator—1492–nearing the end of a century. It’s a little like the the hysteria about the change to the 2000’s. I also did not know that the native people who returned to Spain with him were volunteers. I knew that there was a rumor among the people who lived in North & South America about the Great God who would return to visit them someday– indicating that something about Christianity and Christ’s return was hidden in their cultures, too. So, maybe they were eager to go and meet up with whomever had sent these messengers in the ships who talked about God to them. Too bad that human nature overcame the men left behind who ended up marauding, and so were killed.

    Also, I knew that many learned people had determined that the earth was not flat, and Columbus was well aware of that. Some of his crew members were still superstitious about the “dragons” and the edge of the earth, but he knew, as did many in his time, that we lived on a globe.

    • #14
    • July 4, 2020, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    I just finished listening to the interview!

    Doesn’t Cy Kellett do a nice job, too? I really enjoy his interviews. Friendly, but fearless about the questions he asks. So refreshing.

    • #15
    • July 4, 2020, at 5:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like