Public education may be crumbling in many of our cities, but if American schoolchildren are still taught history at all, they probably do know that on this day, five hundred and twenty five years ago, Christopher Columbus (they will not know that this Hispanicized Genoese sailor, born Christoffa Corombo, knew himself as Cristóbal Colón) made landfall in the Western hemisphere. He promptly set about the task of bringing the gifts of Spanish law, religion, language and culture to the new realm he claimed in the name of the Spanish sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella. To put it another way, he began the enslavement and brutal exploitation of the indigenous Taino people. This, combined with new European diseases, led eventually to their complete disappearance from the earth, along with many other peoples of the New World.
Columbus did not discover America, there were people living here. And in fact the Vikings were the first Europeans to arrive on these shores, but that too has become a dangerous starting point for any discussion. This week, rather than going into the negative of why we are still celebrating Columbus, why don’t we come up with an operational plan on how we make these American shores a better place for all of us to live. Don’t just talk about it. Do something.
Read: James 1:27
Scripture Readings for 19th Sunday after Pentecost – October 15, 2017
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:1-14
Psalter Reading: Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23