Earlier this month, I was in Dallas for the official launch of Sojourners' next Justice Revival.
I had invited one of our regular bloggers to comment on the "desert cross" controversy--a Supreme Court case deciding the appropriateness of a cross erected on Mojave National Preserve to honor World War I dead.
As an explorer, Columbus was not the first to reach the Western Hemisphere. Native Americans had been here for 10,000-20,000 years, and Vikings and Chinese are among those others who hold prior claims. Even after four attempts, Columbus never realized his goal of finding a western ocean route to Asia. As a “founding father type figure” he never set foot in what is now considered America but landed in the present day Bahamas, Cuba, and Haiti.
As a Christian example he enacted terrible cruelties to friendly natives: assuming unlawful rights of authority; robbing and subjugating whole nations of their freedom and entire capital; allowing his men to rape, murder and pillage at will; and deliberately leading the way for the genocide of millions, considered by many to be the worst demographic catastrophe in recorded history.
So why do Americans celebrate Columbus Day?
In an age of quick and easy fame, where reality stars are more popular than actual actors, it's always refreshing to find an artist quietly making genuinely beautiful music with little to no regard for fame.