What Columbus wrought
On July 1, the Christopher Columbus statue was removed from the park named after him in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The statue was sculpted in Italy and brought to Atlantic City in 1958 for $7,000. That money was raised from many years of spaghetti dinners, raffles, and other fundraising events by Italian-American volunteers. It was their way of showing both pride in their heritage and love for America.
It was taken down within a month of other Columbus statues being torn down or vandalized in other cities.
People who hate America have many reasons to hate Columbus. They hate him for bringing Europeans to America. They are angry that Europeans settled in America and created the United States. They refuse to recognize that the United States brought more wealth, freedom, opportunity, and justice to more people than any nation in history. They condemn America for enslaving blacks. They ignore the two million white American men who fought, and the 310,000 who died, to free them. They ignore the millions of Americans who fought and hundreds of thousands died in World War II to end mass murders in Europe and China.
They also hate Columbus for being brutal conqueror. They do not understand that Columbus lived in a brutal age where those qualities were needed to survive. Columbus lived when Muslim Arabs and Turks were attacking, torturing, murdering, and enslaving Christians from Europe and blacks from Africa. Aztecs in Mexico were mass murdering men, women, and children from neighboring tribes as sacrifices to their gods. Native Americans in North America often had wars with each other. They usually began with unprovoked surprise attacks to first kill the strongest men. Weaker men, women, and children were killed or enslaved later. Many were put through cruel and painful torture before being allowed to die.
Muslim Turks and Arabs were skilled sailors with seaworthy ships. So were the Chinese and Japanese. Would they have been kinder to Native Americans if they had gotten here first? Would they have "brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal"?
Most people who hate America also hate Christians. That gives them another good reason to hate Columbus. By discovering America, Columbus also saved Christianity.
Muhammad died in 632. During the next hundred years, his Arab followers wiped out more than half of the Christian world. This included what is now Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, North Africa, Spain, and Portugal. Christians eventually halted this with the Crusades. However, when Columbus was born seven hundred years later, Muslim Turks seemed about to finish the job.
During the 1300s, the Turks drove most Greek Christians out of what is now Turkey. In 1453, the Turks crossed into Europe and conquered their capital of Constantinople. This, not Rome, had been the center of the Christian world. By the 1500s, the Turks occupied most of Eastern Europe, including Hungary, and were about to invade Austria, Poland, and southern Germany.
Before Columbus, Muslim Turks dominated the Mediterranean and controlled all the profitable trade routes to India, China, and the East. They captured large numbers of slaves each year from Africa, India, and Europe to do their work. This let the Turks pay, feed, and supply enormous armies and buy the most modern ships and weapons.
Columbus quickly changed that. He named the first island he found in America "San Salvador" or Holy Savior. Columbus knew that he had saved Christian Europe. His discoveries gave Spain shiploads of gold and silver and its own profitable trade routes to China and the East. Spain gave much of this wealth to the pope and the Catholic Church. Pope Pius V used it form a "Holy League" of Catholic nations against the Turks in 1571. A few months later, a Holy League fleet destroyed the Turkish fleet near Lepanto in Greece. It also freed 12,000 Christian slaves.
Christian armies fought and won many other battles against the Turks during the next hundred years. In 1673, the Turks were driven out of Poland. On September 12, 1683, a Turkish army was destroyed outside Vienna, Austria. Three years later, the Turks were driven out of Hungary. From that point until just a few years ago, most Christians in Europe were safe from Muslim attacks. All thanks to Columbus!