Columbus Day

Columbus lived and died a faithful child of the Church; he carried the Cross to America, — indeed, he carried it there in every sense of the phrase ; he opened the way to the conversion of millions to the Faith : and for these and other reasons it might be meet that his name should be inscribed in the roll of Catholic Saints. That concerns Rome only. But, when the act of canonization is performed, there seems no adequate reason why the descendants of English Puritans, Dutch Lutherans, and French Huguenots—still believing in those principles of civil and religious liberty for which their fathers strove — should join with any peculiar zeal in the sanctification of one whose special heavenly mission, if he indeed had such a mission, was to jeopardize every human being from whom they can trace origin, and every principle of thought or action in which they have faith. A silent acquiescence is, under such circumstances, all that could reasonably be asked of them. They are at least under no call to lead the loud acclaim.
Charles Francis Adams. Columbus and the Spanish Discovery of America.


wilson said...

Surprised that someone of the caliber of Adams would have made the error of referring to "Dutch Lutherans". They are Calvinists.

Anonymous said...

yeah, yeah we get it. you hate meds. what's new.

Lenny said...

Present-day Dutch are Calvinist. But back when the Wittenberg Reformation (Oct.31st,1517-the 1540s) was barely out of living memory, the religious situation in Europe was much more confused and complicated. Many of the emigrants from Holland to the USA in the 1600s were, in fact, Lutheran.

The author is obviously referring to the Old-Yankee stock ("the descendants of...") as the group who have no reason for Columbus-hero-worship, not present-day populations of Holland, England, or France. The Dutch and French-Huguenots, and various other groups, made substantial genetic contributions to the Colonial-American stock, as we know. Even the Swedes did. Though a small majority of the Old-Yankee stock was of course derived from England (~60%, if defined as the white-American population in 1790).

Lenny said...

The first elected quasi-national-leader of the USA was a Lutheran of Colonial-Swede stock by the name of John Hanson.

That was under the "Articles of Confederation".

Lenny said...

Frankly, if there is one thing that has defined American-nationality, historically, it would be Protestantism. That and obviously Northwest-European ancestral origins, but that goes without saying. (There was a time when both the former and the latter would have gone without saying, but times have changed.)

Many of the founding fathers encouraged the exclusion of Catholics from the right to immigrate on grounds of their being unassimilable to the society of the USA, and that political-Catholicism was a grave danger. Even many of the early colonies that were founded *on grounds of religious-liberty* specifically excluded Catholics (and Jews). President John Adams wrote more than a few times on that subject, on the need to stave off Catholicization-via-immigration and thereby deAmericanization.

It's interesting. The fact that white-protestants and unaffiliated persons of white-protestant ancestry are now a minority in the USA is almost never talked about. By my estimate, ~145million of the 200million American "white-non-hispanics" are of Protestant origin (broadly defined, incl.Mormons). Total population of the USA: 305million. "Americans" are already a minority in the USA.

Anonymous said...

According to an Italian source, Columbus was considered for sainthood but the Catholic Church ditched the idea when they found out Columbus had had an illegitimate son.