For Consideration: A Thought for Columbus Day

Source (

Jack Keswick, “Columbus, the West, and the Myth of the Noble Savage

The enemies of Columbus convict the West with having introduced violence to the New World, a “Native American” idyll in which indigenous peoples lived in total harmony with one another and nature.

This, though, is a Big Lie.

I think we would be more at peace with our own history, more able to build our our virtues and correct our vices, if we began with affirming that we are all sinners who fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Not just Europeans are sinful but also Native Peoples (strictly speaking, other native peoples, but I digress); not just Christians but Muslims; not just you but me too. We are all sinners which means we are a tragic mix of virtue and vice, of noblity and meanness of spirit. We are all of us both selfish and altruistic. And we are always moving between these extremes.

No one has a corner on moral goodness but no one is the sole cause of wickedness in the world.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory