A couple weeks ago, Catholic essayists and bloggers spent time defending Christopher Columbus against outright calumnies that portrayed the explorer as a rabid cross between Torquemada, Hitler, and Genghis Khan. They also devoted time to defending him against woke erasure, evidenced by the growing effort—already adopted by various jurisdictions and with pending legislation in Congress—to eliminate “Columbus Day” and re-(un)christen it as “Indigenous People’s Day.”
It struck me that we should not look at Columbus Day in isolation. No, it’s rather the beginning of an almost three-month cultural flagellation feast for liberals.
Columbus Day merely starts it. After imbibing visions of a Rousseauean paradise in the Americas disturbed only by the arrival of Columbus and his evil Hispanidad, Americans are being prepared for the next attack. In some ways, all the hoopla over Columbus Day is merely a dress rehearsal, priming the pump for an eventual assault on Thanksgiving.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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After all, who really observes Columbus Day? Gone are the days when kids traced figures of Columbus to put on school windows, and our “best and brightest” schools have certainly already indoctrinated their “critical thinkers” into identifying the many sins of the Genoese sailor. Those children are certainly instead learning to respect the “dignity” and “values” of the Aztecs as they peacefully extracted the beating hearts of their enemies.
Let’s face it: Columbus Day is a day off for schools and governments, a sales opportunity for stores, and is pretty much ignored by everybody else. Which is why a bait-and-switch to “Indigenous People’s Day” probably won’t get noticed by anybody except the next generation, whom public schools will rear in further antipathy to their nation’s origins.
A similar frontal assault on Thanksgiving is probably far in the future, only because we still have some social customs (gluttony and football) connected with it and because there’s still a generation with some visceral sense of the need to give thanks (although to whom those sentiments are directed is increasingly vague). We probably need another generation of “Nones,” properly “educated” in the racism of the American founding, before the animus toward Columbus Day gets directed at Thanksgiving. In the meantime, various Native American extremists will certainly engage in performance art to keep us aware of why we should be ashamed of that national holiday.
For the “Catholic Left,” that always tends to promote the latter at the expense of the former, they likely are also uncomfortable with the Feast of the North American Martyrs on October 19. Clearly, Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brebeuf, et al. were all involved in “cultural genocide” against “Native spiritualties.” I wonder, following the 2022 papal apologies tour of Canada, how long until the North American Martyrs will go the way of Junipero Serra and Pierre-Jean De Smet.
After a stopover at Thanksgiving in order to lecture the deplorables of the dinner table about your “right to choose” and “gender identity,” it’s off to consumer land on Black Friday (now extended, in various permutations, to additional buying days through the following Monday). Oh, and you slackers (aka “essential employees” when the elites need you) who thought it might be a day of family and rest, get to your jobs by 11:30 Thursday night so we can open for “Midnight Madness.”
Getting through consumer weekend now leads us on the path to the worst holiday of all, the feast-that-dare-not-speak-its-name: the “C” word. You will see more semantic gymnastics here than a politician who wants to promote abortion without using the “a” word. It’ll be “winter holiday” and “December 25.” We’ll wish people “happy holidays” and “Yule.” But never, ever, ever say the “Christmas” word. Or print it. Or pass it on to anyone. Or acknowledge it on any public document.
December 25 is a particularly worrisome time because, with a month’s run-up to “C-day,” there are still all sorts of retrograde places that refuse to be blacked out. They put up manger scenes, write “Merry Christmas” in public, and do all sorts of other extremist things that threaten our democracy’s commitment to rigid separation of church and state.
Luckily, the “winter solstice” happens to come into the mix and—along with eroticized celebrations of Halloween (provided costumes are sufficiently lewd but not otherwise culturally appropriating)—today’s cultural arbiters obtain some relief amidst the deluge of pre-modern “celebrations” starting October 12.
Once Christmas is in the rearview mirror, well, it used to be just coasting down into the new year. Now, however, we can end these three months of beating on ourselves with a January 6 crescendo. With the Catholic bishops of the United States having ceded Twelfth Night in the name of “pastoral accommodation,” the void can now be filled with “Insurrection Day.”
So, as we enter this particularly sad time of the year, when we recall all the baneful moments of American history and trace it all back to the woes wrought by Christianity, I trust my fellow Catholics will “accompany” their depressed leaders as they seek to free Americans of this cultural ballast.
It’s inhuman to have to endure this.
[Image Credit: UW-Madison Library Archives]