In their latest attempt to rewrite history, radical leftists are demonstrating at Pepperdine University for the removal of a statue depicting Christopher Columbus, who is credited with having discovered the Americas. Leading the charge is an organization called “Waves Against Columbus” which appears to be closely associated with the campus’ Black Student Association. To these students, the presence of the statue is “a celebration of racism and genocide.”
This isn’t the first time that protesters at Pepperdine have demanded the removal of Catholic-American figures from their campus. In 2015, students successfully petitioned the removal of a mural depicting Father Junipero Serra -- who was recently canonized for his outstanding works of spiritual and physical charity with American Indians.
According to The College Fix, university president Andrew Benton has announced that the statue will be relocated to the school’s campus in Florence, Italy.
The statue was originally donated to the university by representatives of the Columbus 500 Congress in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas by Columbus and his crew, an event which sparked celebrations throughout Latin America.
In an effort to combat widespread anti-Catholic sentiment during the turn of the last century, many Catholic and Italian-American organizations – such as the Knights of Columbus – pushed for the construction of monuments commemorating his achievements, as well as the establishment of a national holiday in his honor.
In the words of the statue’s donors, the presence of the statue was “meant to honor the good attributes of Columbus’ life.” And indeed there are many.
Columbus’ True Face
Rather than being a genocidal maniac who wanted to nothing but to exploit the natives, as some historic revisionists assert, Columbus was a pious and generous man. In his view, the eventual profits of his journey were not for himself, but for the recovery of the Holy Land from the hands of the oppressive Muslim rulers. As he indicated in a letter to the monarchs of Spain:
“I hope to God that when I come back here from Castile. . . I will find a barrel of gold, for which these people have traded, and that they will have found the gold mine, and the spices, and in such quantities that within three years the Sovereigns will prepare for and undertake the reconquest of the Holy Land. I have already petitioned Your Highnesses to see that all the profits of my enterprise should be spent on the conquest of Jerusalem, and Your Highnesses smiled and said that. . . even without the expedition they had the inclination to do it.”
Columbus reiterated that sentiment in correspondence with Pope Alexander VI:
“The enterprise must be undertaken in order to spend any profits therein for the redemption of the Sepulcher and the Temple Mount unto Holy Church.”
Fr. Bartolome de las Casas, dubbed “protector of the Indians,” said this of Columbus:
“He observed the fasts of the church most faithfully, confessed and made communion often, read the Divine Office like a churchman, hated blasphemy and profane swearing, and was most devoted to Our Lady and to the seraphic father St. Francis...”
In regards to allegations of slavery, Ben Broussard, a writer for Crusade Magazine also sets the record straight:
“Slavery was already widespread among the native Indians when Columbus arrived. Columbus was insistent on the fair treatment of the Indians, a policy which gained him many enemies as governor of Hispaniola. Bartolome de las Casas, a Spanish friar who worked for the protection of the Indians, is quick to excoriate his fellow Spaniards in their grave abuses, but is filled with nothing but respect and admiration for Columbus. The mass subjugation and importation of Africans to the Americas did not begin until a generation after Columbus’ death.”
An Attack on History
The reality is that without Columbus’ discovery of the New World, there likely would not be a Pepperdine University. Indeed, all of the amenities which modern students enjoy, such as an abundance of food, education, healthcare, transportation, etc. might not even exist in the Americas.
Ultimately, this attack on Christopher Columbus – in spite of his marvelous feats of discovering and bringing civilization to the Americas – is nothing more than an attempt by the left to rewrite history in the image of postmodern "tolerance." This attack on Christian culture is part of a larger neopagan movement that seeks to erase the benefic role of the Catholic Church and Christian Civilization from history.
Taking Action for Truth
In response to this attack on a great Catholic man responsible for the discovery of our beloved land, TFP Student Action is launching a petition to preserve the statue. All readers are invited to sign the petition to Pepperdine University:
St. Junipero Serra, pray for us!
All the North American Martyrs, pray for us!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!