In the following article, Illinois Family Institute author Laurie Higgins responded to Mary Yeboah's statements in opposition of jointly celebrating Columbus Day & Indigenous People's Day. Particularly, Yeboah opposed Columbus Day. https://illinoisfamily.org/education/wheaton-illinois-school-districts-wokest-board-member/
I am very disappointed that the Illinois Family Institute would publish this article. This article has numerous red herrings and examples of ad hominem. Even the title betrays the ad hominem when “woke” is portrayed in a negative context. I'm not here to discuss whether "woke" is bad or not though, as that would be yet another red herring.
Rather than sifting through the article to point out all the logical fallacies, I’d like to share my views on the following:
1. The false equivalence of the MLK comparison
2. The idea that Columbus Day should be celebrated
1. The false equivalence of the MLK comparison:
The author compares MLK with Columbus and states that it's hypocritical to say that Columbus shouldn't be celebrated despite his problems, but that MLK Jr. should be. She provides a false equivalence because, unlike Columbus, the failures of MLK are not on the methodology for that which they accomplished, but on their private life. Columbus' failures were intrinsically involved with his conquest, including enslavement, theft, genocide, forced conversions, and dehumanization. We have MLK day, not Malcolm X day, because of the different means by which they both sought to end the oppression of non-white people. Intrinsic in MLK’s methods was non-violence, in stark contrast to Malcolm X.
2. The idea that Columbus Day should be celebrated:
I find it difficult to believe that people are actually defending Columbus Day with what we know now. There are many things that conservatives should defend against the extreme left, such as defending many religious freedoms & unchecked abortion (while I support the ability to abort when the life of the mother is seriously at stake), but defending Columbus Day is not one of them. Defending religious freedom is diametrically opposed to Columbus’ forced conversions, I might add. If one wants to oppose unchecked abortion, which is bent on dehumanization, doesn’t it make sense to oppose genocide & dehumanization of people more generally? If we don't, the left can easily see our hypocrisy.
When people have slaves, rape & beatings are also documented here & young girls (i.e. 9-10) were some of the most sought-after slaves. I am thankful for the current & historic movement of Christians against slavery/human trafficking, and for those that went before us like William Wilberforce, and even the abolitionist founder of Wheaton College. For anyone who considers themselves against slavery, why would they ever be pro-Columbus when slavery played such a significant role in what he did?
Criminal penalties for not doing what the Spanish wanted in Columbus' conquested territory including lopping off limbs. For those conservatives who are completely against Sharia Law of Islam for it’s similar criminal penalties, as I am, doesn’t it make sense to not support such practices?
Many conservatives are Christians, as I am. For any Christian conservatives, defending any conquistador like Columbus is a bad witness & turns people away from Christ. We need to distance ourselves and our Bible from anyone who would say, “Convert or die” or “Convert or accept slavery.” It’s completely against religious freedom. It's against the free gift of the gospel in Scripture & the love that Scripture heavily emphasizes (Matthew 22:36-40; 25:31-46; Luke 10:25-37; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:14; etc.). Columbus wasn’t a true evangelist; he was worse than those Jesus spoke about in Matthew 23:15. Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” Please stop turning people away from Christ with the indefensible. Please thoughtfully consider how herd bias may be impacting the opinions of others in support of Columbus Day. Please consider this matter in terms of Scripture instead of the political tradition you find yourself in, abiding by Sola Scriptura, a foundational element of the Protestant Reformation. Please don't turn people away from Jesus needlessly.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
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