Like finding grains of sand in my shoes long after a vacation at the beach, I sometimes discover "beliefs" in my head that were put there years ago by the government school system. I was reminded yesterday of one of those little grains of misinformation that I had managed to dislodge a little while back.
I began to realize, while looking for something on a map one day, how many places in America that bear Christopher Columbus's namesake. This piqued my interest because we all know that Christopher Columbus was a horrible person who exploited the "Indians" and tried to steal their gold, and attempted to impose his Christianity on them. So why would so many people desire to name their cities and towns after such a wicked man? Then I realized that I lived in a different age. Although those who honored Columbus were probably aware of the moral failures associated with his historic voyage, they also realized that perfection has never been an option for man. This gave them the ability to look past the ever present imperfections of the man to his crowning accomplishment/s. They also probably, and necessarily, realized that ever present imperfections were no excuse to consider all man's attempts as good.
I believe the practice today of inordinately focusing on target imperfections seems to have become a technique in the last half century or so, especially when the imperfections in focus are of the American or Christian variety. World War II has become about "Americans" dropping nuclear bombs on unsuspecting women and children; Christianity about the Crusades; etc. But the only thing this should prove is that later generations can rip any event from its historical context and examine and condemn it because of the imperfections revealed by the advantage of hindsight; all the while remaining arrogantly and purposely ignorant of the over arching good that may have been accomplished. The fact that the generation doing the condemning is also living imperfectly as sinners, their vision equally dimmed by the present, seems to be completely lost on it.
I am increasingly leery of those who are more than willing to point out past failures, but are unwilling to put their own efforts under the same microscope. Instead they would rather continuously point to the intentions of their own efforts which, by virtue of the imaginary and as-of-yet nature of those intentions, are impervious to the glare of hindsight. This is a technique also. It allows for those who would beg to differ about the projected results of their intentions to be cast as opposing the good and perfect Utopian world just beyond the horizon, a world that always has-and will evermore-existed only in the imaginations of the idealists who constantly destroy the past and present to make way for its ever illusive arrival.
Right vs Real - A longtime friend of mine has always drawn a distinction between "right" and "real". Ask a Christian a plainly-known question like "Are we saved by faith o...