Thursday, October 15, 2020

And suddenly Warren H. Carroll mattered

So it's everywhere: Decidedly non-leftist Catholic historian and founder of Christendom College  Warren H. Carroll called Christopher Columbus out for the genocidal slave conquering racist that he was.  I've seen this now on a dozen different sites and outlets. 

Here's the Catholic film Critic Deacon Steven Greydanus shocked that such an obviously true view was held by a conservative:

The fact is, history is like movies and music: there are seldom 100% unanimous views on anything.  Long before Charlottesville, conservative historians questioned the veneration of Robert E. Lee or the government's display of the Confederate flag.  For that matter, some liberals I know have pondered if our god-worship of Martin Luther King, Jr., may have crossed a line.  For my whole life the sins of the Founding Fathers - including Lincoln - have been open for debate.  And that doesn't  count non-Catholic historians of certain Fundamentalist leanings who loved America, but weren't happy with celebrating such a prominently Catholic hero as Columbus.  

The idea that 100% of Americans worshipped Columbus (or anything American) as a god is what I call that 'Myth of Myths'.  Just like the myth that before the 1960s nobody thought war was bad or sex was fun, or Americans never admitted America's sins.  Those simply aren't true, but they become a myth which we can then use to overemphasize the sins of the past in order to destroy America, the Western Tradition, and Christian heritage and values. 

Now I admit I have not read Mr. Carroll's six volume history of Christendom.  So I can't really give an informed opinion.  But let me throw out a possibility.  The quotes of his that I've seen these last couple days suggest - suggest mind you, without having the full context of all his writings on the subject - that he paints Queen Isabella in a positive light.  His trashing of Columbus could be the result of scapegoating Columbus in order to lift up the often equally maligned Isabella.  Maybe not, but that sort of thing happens.

I'm reading a history of the Battle of Hastings.  The author in question makes it clear he would have loved Harold Godwinson, hated Edward the Confessor, and would have been scared crapless of William the Conqueror.  And his history makes it obvious.  In order for Harold to increase, therefore, almost anyone else must decrease - especially Edward who bears the sins of 1066 on his shoulders, along with William.  Is that fair?  No.  But historians will do such things.  And that includes doing it to FDR, Kennedy, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson, or any historical figure outside of America.  It could also include doing it to Columbus that the sun shine all the brighter on Isabella.   

Perhaps this isn't what Carroll was doing.  Again, I don't know and the above is pure and uninformed speculation on my part.  My point is that history is never as clear cut and cut and dry as the Myth of Myths likes to suggest.  What is likely, however, is that Carroll wouldn't have embraced the idea that Columbus bears the sins of every white person as every white person bears the sins of Columbus, and these sins are unforgivable and all defeining for not only Columbus, but the Christian Faith, Catholicism, Western Civilization, the United States and every Caucasian who ever lived.  All of which is not only implied, but increasingly stated by those who would obliterate Columbus Day in order to celebrate cultures and civilizations that did the very same things for which they condemn Columbus. 

If you think that isn't happening, read the comments in this article that Deacon Greydanus linked to.  Condemning Columbus isn't enough.  Until the Cross and the Swastika are one and the same, we will not stop.  Ever.  Until the West is dead. 

Which is why this is sort of a useless post if you think on it.  The question is why Warren thinks what he thinks, at least based on the selected  quotes making their rounds.  What is the context?  What is his primary thesis?  What is the framework in which he establishes his historical narrative?  But do we think any of this matters?  

No.  Someone who clearly does not have the reputation of a boilerplate 2020 liberal is quoted as saying bad things about Columbus.  The Global Left would have the heroes and towering figures of Western Civilization destroyed, along with their contributions to world history.  Someone who is siding with this movement, even if only a few short years ago would have defended Columbus both on Catholic and historical grounds, must now scramble to find any reason to obey the master they have chosen to follow.  So to that end, it's enough that 1) Warren is no liberal historian, 2) critical of Columbus quotes.  Nothing else matters.  Now we can support the eradication of Columbus, the celebration of anything non-Western, and all will be right with the world. 

UPDATE:  As usual, Donald McClarey at The American Catholic dips into his endless well of historical knowledge and finds what Carroll actually said about Columbus in a piece honoring the explorer.  Read it here.  I don't know if this is the context of the quotes that the good Deacon Greydanus references, or perhaps a later work where he has changed his views.  Again, I've not read him, but that is something I should remedy in the near future.  Suffice to say, the few quotes I've seen dropped by Catholics keeping up with the Left in order to prove Carroll would support the eradication of Columbus from our memories are not enough to believe Columbus should therefore be eradicated from our social memdores.  Even if that's what they're hoping they can mean.



  2. Warren Carroll loved Christopher Columbus.

    1. That's what I'm finding. It appears those Catholics running about using the quotes above have taken them out of context. Which is a shame.


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