Christopher Columbus and Fake History

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 09/12/2017 Under: All Articles (313 Hits)      

Once the target of anti-Catholic sentiment, Columbus is often slandered by those who misrepresent his legacy.

Driven in large part by political correctness and partisan academics and activists, it has become fashionable in recent years to criticize Christopher Columbus and the holiday named in his honor. A closer look, however, reveals the famed explorer to be a man of faith and courage, not a monster.

Many of Columbus’ modern critics rely on a warped and politicized reading of history, and it is not the first time the explorer has endured such attacks. When a resurgence of anti-Catholic bigotry erupted in early 20th-century America, Columbus was a favorite target then as well.

Despite animus among some groups today, the majority of Americans view the explorer positively and with pride. In a K of C-Marist poll from December 2016, 62 percent of Americans expressed a favorable opinion of the explorer and 55 percent said they were in favor of Columbus Day, the holiday named for him. By contrast, fewer than 3 in 10 view Columbus unfavorably and only 37 percent oppose the holiday named for him.

Nonetheless, there have been political efforts to strip Columbus of honor, and the question of whether to continue to recognize Columbus Day is under review in many places. Some states and municipalities have removed the explorer’s name from the holiday or eliminated the observance entirely.


Unfair attacks on Columbus, past and present, should not be allowed to obscure the truth about the man, his voyage and his motives. Born in Genoa, Italy, Columbus was a deeply Catholic explorer who was willing to go against the grain. He believed he could reach the shores of Asia by sailing a mere 3,000 miles west across the Atlantic. Such a passage would establish faster and easier trade routes than were possible through overland travel or by sailing south and east around Africa.

Scholars of his day calculated the distance to the Orient across the Atlantic at well over 7,000 miles, out of practical range for ships of the day. Those who were skeptical of the admiral’s proposal did not hold that the earth was flat, as popular myth has suggested, but rather that it was much larger than Columbus believed. Despite his miscalculation, after 10 weeks Columbus did indeed find land — not the outskirts of the Orient, as he went to his grave believing, but an entirely new continent.

Later, as a nation began to coalesce out of the American colonies, its leaders recognized the admiral’s legacy. “Columbia” served as an informal name for what would become the United States of America. The eventual designation of the nation’s capital reflects the esteem the founders had for the Genoese explorer.

Beginning in the 1840s, waves of European immigrants swelled the ranks of Catholics in the United States, and along with that came an increasingly anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant backlash from the Protestant majority. Catholics were subject to discrimination, slander, ridicule, anti-Catholic propaganda and sometimes mob violence.

It was within this hostile climate that Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882. He and the founding Knights chose as the Order’s patron Christopher Columbus — one of the few Catholics considered a hero of American history. Father McGivney believed the explorer represented both Catholicism and patriotism at the very root of America’s heritage, thereby symbolizing that faithful Catholics also can be solid American citizens.

A decade later, as the Order celebrated its patron on the 400th anniversary of his discovery, President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed a national Columbus holiday. He called for “expressions of gratitude to Divine Providence for the devout faith of the discoverer, and for the Divine care and guidance which has directed our history and so abundantly blessed our people.”

Colorado became the first state to establish Columbus Day in 1907, and others soon followed. In 1934, with strong urging and support by the Knights, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress made Columbus Day a federal holiday, mandating its first annual observance on Oct. 12, 1937.

Columbus statue  This statue of Christopher Columbus, dedicated by Italian-American residents in New Haven, Conn., was erected in 1892 in Wooster Square Park. In 2004, restoration of the statue was partially funded by the Knights of Columbus. 


As the 1992 quincentenary of Columbus’ arrival in the New World approached, vocal opposition to Columbus was heard from partisan and revisionist historians and activists who were often critical of Western civilization as a whole. That year, the city of Berkeley, Calif., changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, and several other municipalities have made similar moves, often explicitly as a means of dishonoring Columbus.

In response to one such initiative in Baltimore, Eugene F. Rivers III, founder and president of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies, published an op-ed article Dec. 2, 2016.

“To celebrate one cultural group does not require that we denigrate another,” he wrote. “Rather than renaming Columbus Day, why not add another holiday, Indigenous Peoples Day, to Baltimore’s calendar in honor of Native Americans?”

The 20th century ended with criticism of Columbus and Columbus Day in certain quarters, just as the early 20th century had seen similar opposition.

When the Ku Klux Klan was revived in 1915 and targeted Catholics, Jews and minority groups whom they considered a threat to the nation’s “Native, White, Protestant” identity, one of their targets was Columbus.

The Klan opposed the observance of Columbus Day, trying to suppress celebrations of the holiday at the state level. Klan members published articles calling Columbus Day a “papal fraud” and even burned a cross at a Knights of Columbus observance in Pennsylvania.

Today, one can still hear echoes of anti-Catholic prejudice in the modern attacks. For some, Columbus’ sponsorship by Spain and introduction of Christianity and Western culture to the lands he discovered make him immediately suspect. The new wave of anti-Columbus attacks go so far as to say that Columbus intended nothing good.

“These criticisms primarily charge Columbus with perpetrating acts of genocide, slavery, ‘ecocide,’ and oppression,” explained Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute and author of 1492 and All That: Political Manipulations of History (1992).

 Nonetheless, a closer examination of the record reveals a different picture.

“The dominant picture holds him responsible for everything that went wrong in the New World,” wrote Carol Delaney, a former professor at Stanford and Brown universities, in her book Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem (2011). In her opinion, “we must consider his world and how the cultural and religious beliefs of his time colored the way he thought and acted.”

In a 2012 Columbia interview, Delaney further explained that Columbus found the native peoples to be “very intelligent” and his relations with them “tended to be benign.” He gave strict instructions to the settlers to “treat the native people with respect,” though some of his men rebelled and disobeyed his orders, particularly during his long absences, Delaney added.

Columbus’ voyage made the Old and New Worlds aware of each other for the first time, eventually leading to the founding of new countries in the Western Hemisphere. Diseases inadvertently carried to the New World by the Europeans caused the greatest number of casualties by far, killing some 90 percent of native populations according to some estimates.

“There were terrible diseases that got communicated to the natives,” Delaney said, “but he can’t be blamed for that.”


According to Royal, arguments against Columbus by modern critics often constitute a “new, contemporary form of the ‘Black Legend’” — anti-Spanish propaganda dating back to the 16th-century that stereotypes Spanish explorers as uniquely cruel and abusive.

The writings of Bartolomé de las Casas — a 16th-century Spanish Dominican priest, historian and missionary — exposing the abuse of the native peoples are often cited in an effort to impugn Columbus. But while de las Casas lamented the suffering of indigenous people, he also admired and respected Columbus for his “sweetness and benignity” of character, his deep faith and his accomplishments.

“He was the first to open the doors to the ocean sea, where he entered the remote lands and kingdoms which until then had not known our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his blessed name,” de las Casas wrote in his History of the Indies. While cognizant that Columbus was human and made mistakes, de las Casas never doubted the explorer’s good intentions, writing: “Truly, I would not dare blame the admiral’s intentions, for I knew him well and I know his intentions are good.”

According to Delaney, Columbus “fervently believed it was the duty of every Christian to try to save the souls of non- Christians,” and it was this passion that “led him on a great adventure, an encounter such as the world has never seen.”

Not surprisingly, popes since the late 19th century have praised Columbus’ mission of evangelization. Pope John Paul II, while celebrating Mass at a Columbus monument in the Dominican Republic near the 1992 quincentenary, said the crossshaped memorial “means to symbolize the cross of Christ planted in this land in 1492.”

In a speech to the young people of Genoa in May, Pope Francis talked about how a disciple of Christ needs the “virtue of a navigator,” and he pointed to the example of Columbus who faced “a great challenge” and showed “courage,” a trait he indicated was essential to becoming a “good missionary.”

As it did a century ago, the Order is defending Columbus today. When Colorado lawmakers weighed a bill to repeal Columbus Day as a state holiday earlier this year, the Knights of Columbus helped lead the opposition. Recalling the Klan’s earlier efforts to oppose Columbus Day, the K of C noted that the measure was not a progressive step but rather “regressive as it takes us back to what the Klan outlined in the 1920s in order to promote ethnic and religious resentment.”

The Knights of Columbus has defended its patron from unfair attacks, urging that he continue to receive official recognition as a man of faith and bravery. Columbus represents the kind of heroic courage and religious faith that inspired the establishment of the United States. Although he surely holds special meaning for Catholics and for Italian Americans, Columbus is a figure all citizens of the New World can celebrate.

For this reason, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in his annual report this year, “We will continue to defend the truth about Columbus and Columbus Day.”

written by Gerald Korson for Supreme Columbian

40 Days for Life Fall Campaign 2017

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 09/13/2017 Under: Culture of Life (167 Hits)      

Our nation -- and our world -- need prayer.

In just a few days, we will enter the largest 40 Days for Life Campaign ever -- in 375 cities!

Find your location and sign up for hours now!


No one grows up wanting an abortion ... and your presence offers hope for women who feel they have no other option.

Even if you "see" no results, your prayers are there in solidarity with those baby boys and baby girls who are losing their lives just a short distance away from where you stand.

Though the world would stand ready to abandon these children, your prayers guarantee that they are not alone and not forgotten at that moment.

There is no peace inside of an abortion facility.

The abortion industry survives on the despair of secularism, which claims we can do whatever we want to whomever we want. Without God, we can place our will over others and appoint ourselves as the judge of their value.

That is the topic of the newest 40 Days for Life podcast episode, which discusses the power of prayer and the sterility of secularism:


We also break down the recent claim from Iceland that they've "eradicated" Down syndrome. Of course, all they have done is abort those who have it.

There are consequences to secularism ... but there are also consequences to prayer!

From September 27 to November 5, use your rights to give the joyful, silent witness of the love of Christ at otherwise despairing places.


Find your location and sign up for hours now!


Ava Maria University Scholarship

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 09/11/2017 Under: All Articles (183 Hits)      

Ava Maria Univ Scholarship AdHOW TO APPLY:

 ? Must complete the online scholarship application at:

  **Apply early! A limited number of scholarships will be awarded


In addition Ave Maria University Seeking Volunteer Football Scouts:  Do you enjoy high school football?  Would you like to help young Catholic men have an opportunity to attend an authentic Catholic university and play football?  If so… Ave Maria University (AMU) could use your help!  AMU is developing a scout network in Michigan to help identify Catholic football players from all schools (public / private / Catholic) in this area.  Generous scholarships are available.

 For more details, please contact Dr. Gary Jackson, Michigan Scout Coordinator, at or 734-516-9615. 

Archdiocesan Vocations League Memorial Mass

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 09/11/2017 Under: All Articles (188 Hits)      

KC EMBLEMIn November of each year, there is a Memorial Mass hosted by the Knights of Columbus Detroit Archdiocesan Vocation League (DAVL).    This Mass is in remembrance of the members of the Knights of Columbus, their spouses, families & friends who have been called to be with God the Father. This year’s Memorial Mass will be held at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. The Seminary is located at 2701 Chicago Blvd. in Detroit.

The Memorial Mass is open to all Knights of Columbus members, their families & friends. Also attending are the Priests and Seminarians of Sacred Heart Major Seminary.  Following the Mass, everyone is invited to attend breakfast and a short program. The seminarians who are not on assignment that day are also invited to share breakfast with us.

This is a great way to experience the seminarians, their backgrounds and their experiences while attending the Seminary, as well as to follow their call to the religious life. A free will donation of $10.00 per person is suggested.

We pray that you will be able to schedule time to join us in this special Mass in remembrance for those who have gone before us. This is the 25th anniversary of this Memorial Mass. If you are interested in attending the breakfast, please RSVP by Friday, October 28th to Robert Garstka at 586- 484-0781 or by email at

Names for the memorial plaque can be obtained by contacting Robert Garstka.  Plaques start at $25.00 per line to a maximum of 4 lines for $100.00.  An application for Memorial Plaques is linked below.

Michigan Knights of Columbus

Detroit Archdiocesan Vocation League

Memorial Plaque

A beautiful and lasting rememberence is to have your loved one enrolled in the Knights of Columbus Vocations Committee Memorial Society Plaque, which now hangs in the Chapel of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. The application process is open until October 22, 2017. The application may be opened here; Memorial Mass Application.

Fraternally in Christ,

Kenneth B. Unterbrink  State Deputy                     Wayne Slomiany State Vocations Director

Jeff Gapczynski  DAVL Chairman                              Bob Garstka DAVL Memorial Mass Chairman

Membership Proposers Incentives

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 07/03/2017 Under: All Articles (472 Hits)      

 Membership Proposers


 July, August, September, October



August – All Proposers - $5.00 Gift Card per

 Gift card 5


August – Proposers in a drawing for one of Ten $50.00 checks

 50 bucks

September – Same as August


October – all proposers with five or more new or Reactivated Members

A Knights of Columbus Pen & Pencil Set  pen & pencil



Proposer Pin     New State Incentives:


   July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018


  All members who recruit a new or reactivated member will recieve a specially designed Proposer pin.


Every month of this Fraternal Year that Michigan attains 250 or more new or reactivated members, the names of 50 proposers will be drawn for a

 Polo shirt

K of C "Catholic and Proud" polo shirt!

New Members Advocate Program

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 06/26/2017 Under: Council (248 Hits)      

 Do you want to retain more of your new members?

 Do you want to have more active members?

 Do you want to have more 2nd & 3rd & 4th Degree members?

 Do you want your new members to recruit more new members?

 Do you want to activate more of your old members who you haven’t seen in a while?

 Do you want a program that you can easily adapt to your council?

Then our new advocate program can help your council.

                            To view the Power Point presentation

                            of this new Retention program

                            click the logo to the right .......................> 

                            for link that will take you to

                            Retention Resources on our State website    

                            then look for Advocate Retention ppt     

Ex Perience of Lifetime logo 

  There are also many helpful items to help you initiate this program at Retention Resources including; Advocate Retention info sheet, Advocate Retention Council Activites list, Advocate Retention feed back survey, Shining Armor Award info & Advocate Retention new member questionaire.

45th Annual March for Life Washington, D. C.

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 08/28/2017 Under: Culture of Life (182 Hits)      

 On Thursday January 18, 2018 the Michigan K of C will be leaving for Washington DC for the 45th Annual March for Life. What makes this even more worthwhile is that we will be staying an additional day allowing us to have guided tour of St. John Paul ll Shrine along with Mass afterwards. We hope that many of you that have attended in the past & for those of you that are interested in attending will make the trip with us. Please see the itinerary below. God bless.

 Michigan State K of C Agenda

 Departs: Council 788 5300 N. Grand River Ave. Lansing:  5:00 P.M., Thursday January 18, 2018

 Departs:  St. Mary Church 14200 E. Old U.S. Hwy. 12 Chelsea:  6:30 P.M., Thursday January 18, 2018

  Arrive:  Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington D.C.

               7:30 A.M. Mass, Friday Jan. 19, 2018

 Meet:  March staging area:  11:30 A.M., Friday January 19, 2018                                                                      

 After March:  Depart for Hampton Inn, Old Towne Alexandria, VA                                                                   


Saturday, January 20, 2018 there will be transportation,


to the Tour of  St. John Paul ll Shrine at 2:30 P.M. including Holy Mass at 4:30 P.M.


 Cost for Hampton Inn:  $109 per room per night plus tax for up to 4 people

 Reservations:  CALL HAMPTON INN DIRECTLY at 1-703-329-1400

 Rooms Reserved under Michigan State Knights of Columbus                                                

 Place Hotel reservation on your credit card                                                                                             

 Cost of Bus:  $165.00 per person                                                                                      

 Depart: Hampton Inn:  8:00 A.M. - Sunday January 21, 2018

 Estimated Arrival:  Chelsea – 6:30 P.M.  Lansing – 8:00 P.M.

 Make check for bus payable to: Michigan State Knights of Columbus

 Mail to: Tim & Cindy Donovan - 4074 Cemetery Rd. Fowlerville, MI 48836

 Phone Inquiries:  517-214-5120 or 517-763-5621  Email

 Deadline for Reservations:  December 15, 2017

March D.C.

July Columbian Available Online

Published by: Dane Jurkovic On: 06/28/2017 Under: All Articles (452 Hits)      

This issue of the Michigan Columbian is made available for viewing in two formats below. A Flipbook version that needs no plugin to read or a PDF version that needs a plugin. We suggest using Foxit PDF reader over Adobe reader.

-- Michigan Columbian July 2017 (Flipbook) --   OR   -- Michigan Columbian July 2017 (PDF) --

View previous Michigan Columbian issues here