the zany and pathetic world of government education
Published on October 11, 2013 By lulapilgrim In History

Student indoctrination: Celebrate Columbus Day by putting him on trial

          Bob Kellogg     (          Friday, October 11, 2013         

Just in time for Columbus Day, a left-wing education group is offering a lesson plan which has students putting Christopher Columbus on trial for murder.         

The Wisconsin-based Rethinking Schools offers teachers a role-playing lesson titled "The People vs. Columbus, et al." A summary of the textbook in which the lesson appears reads:

“Why rethink Christopher Columbus? Because the Columbus myth is a foundation of children's beliefs about society. Columbus is often a child's first lesson about encounters between different cultures and races. The murky legend of a brave adventurer tells children whose version of history to accept, and whose to ignore. It says nothing about the brutality of the European invasion of North America.”

Rethinking Columbus (textbook cover)Rethinking Columbus was first published in 1991. The latest edition includes handouts to conduct a classroom “Trial of Columbus.” In an interview with OneNewsNow, Ben Velderman of Education Action Group says the lesson portrays Columbus as an evil European who brought death to millions of Native Americans.

“... The larger point of the exercise is really to get students to see that the European system – the economic system, private property – really inspired the greed that led to the slaughter of these Native Americans,” says the EAG communications specialist. “It’s really a backdoor attempt to poison the kids’ minds against capitalism.”

He says it's hard to determine just how many educators are using this lesson, which condemns rather than commemorates Columbus.

“Rethinking Schools is really not a small outfit. They’ve been around for a while; they’ve published a lot of material, and they’ve really gotten into the bloodstream, so to speak,” he observes. “Their ideas are out there and I’m assuming they’re pretty widely used.

Velderman says parents who discover that their children are being exposed to this indoctrination should express their concern to the principal and school board members.

- See more at:

on Oct 11, 2013

Government schools indoctrinate by having unwary student's role-play a lesson titled "The People vs. Columbus, et al."


Is this role playing lesson what they call "progressive education"? Progressing towards what?



on Apr 02, 2014


Your link is chock-full of lies.

That Native Americans were oppressed and slaughtered by Spaniards is false. Historical facts prove it was the English settlers in the New World and not the Spanish who had this attitude.

What are the true historical facts?

The vast majority of the people in Mexico and in Central and South America is a whole new race of people formed by intermarriages between Catholic Spaniards and Native Indians. The Spaniards considered Native Indians equal to themselves to such an extent they intermarried. By contrast, in North America where the English  had settled, there is no new race of people.  Instead what we have are "Indian Reservations" where Indians are set apart from the rest of society. This is traced back to the attitude of the Protestant English who did not consider them equal to marry. The history of the American government in regards to treaties made and broken with the American Indians is appalling and shameful, but their oppressors were English Protestant, and not the Spaniards.


At that period of time in the 16th century, Spain and England were commercial, colonial, political and religious rivals. Elizabeth 1 sent her pirates (buccaneers Sea Dogs) to prey on Spanish colonies and shipping. They were knighted for their exploits which included killing  and enslaving Spanish settlers in the Caribbean, Florida, and elsewhere.   

These lies were originally the product of English and Dutch political propaganda motivated by nationalism, colonial rivalry as well as the Protestant religious fanaticism against Catholics.







on Apr 02, 2014

To contend that there was no brutality toward native peoples perpetrated by Spaniards is probably a bit of a stretch.  Brutality was the natural order of things in those times.  Just the way it was.  Whether Columbus was personally responsible for brutality is a different question.

Besides, the reason he's celebrated is the success of his voyage in discovering the New World (who actually discovered it is a different argument), during which he could only be brutal to his own sailors, if he was any more brutal than any sea captain of the time.

'Rethinking' Columbus at a grade school level is just a propaganda exercise.

on Apr 11, 2014

Besides, the reason he's celebrated is the success of his voyage in discovering the New World (who actually discovered it is a different argument), during which he could only be brutal to his own sailors, if he was any more brutal than any sea captain of the time.

Columbus was brutal to his own sailors? Have you any facts for making this assertion?


'Rethinking' Columbus at a grade school level is just a propaganda exercise.

Exactly! And there is a lot of that going around. By "that" I mean there is an emerging, systematic purging of anything Christian and propaganda to unwary, uncritical thinking school children is one of the ways this is achieved.



on Apr 11, 2014

Columbus raises a Cross in Hispaniola and miracles follow

April 25, 2013

An account of several miracles indirectly attributable to the discoverer of America is given by the Count de Lorgues in his “Christophe Colomb.” The following relates to a cross which he erected in Hispaniola, at Fort Conception:

Nautical chart of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.

At the beginning of April, 1495, Columbus visited for the second time the Royal Plain, where the year before he had paused in admiration, blessing God aloud in the presence of his soldiers, and thanking Him for making known a land so beautiful. After the submission of Guarionex, the chief of that part of the country, the Admiral had received, in the terms of the treaty, authority to construct a fort at the entrance to this magnificent region. Wishing to pay honor to the sign of salvation in this charming place, he ordered the mate, Alonzo de Valencia, to take a troop of twenty men, and with this escort, consisting principally of sailors and carpenters, to cut down a fine tree which he had marked for making a Cross. The trunk, cut square, formed the shaft, and the largest of the boughs was laid transversely for the arms. It may have been eighteen or twenty palms in height. This great Cross, conspicuously tall, was erected by the Admiral on a hill at the base of the mountains, from which might be seen over an immense expanse the most superb view of this superb plain….

The landing of Columbus, painting by Albert Bierstadt

During the prosecution of the works, having no priest or church at hand, he made his daily prayer before this Cross. He there assembled, morning and evening, the workmen and soldiers. He said his office regularly beside the sacred symbol…. Fort Conception is that spot in Hispaniola where he spent the longest time…. Moreover, he wished to sanctify this privileged place by building a church for the daily celebration of three Masses….

When the revealer of the globe, in reward of his discoveries, had been torn from his government, loaded with chains, sent to Spain, the Spaniards, following his example, continued to assemble there to say their prayers standing. One day the Cross, invoked with honest faith, wrought a miracle. Some persons were cured of a fever by touching it. Other sufferers were attracted to it, and recommended themselves earnestly to God. Many of them were cured. The Cross was called the True Cross, for it was distinguished by working miracles.

Columbus at Rabida. Painting by Eduardo Cano de la Peña

The name and the wonders of the True Cross were noised about. The Indians, oppressed by the Spaniards after Bobadilla’s assumption of office, having observed the respect paid by their masters to the sacred symbol, determined to destroy it. They came in force to the assault, and fastening strong cords of twisted fiber to the shaft of the Cross, tried to pull it down; but in spite of their numbers all their efforts were unavailing. The Cross defied their strength and stood immovable. Discontented by their ill success, they tried to reduce it to ashes. Gathering large heaps of dry brushwood, they surrounded them at night with faggots of inflammable material to a great height and set them on fire. The flames broke out with violence. The cross soon disappeared in fire and smoke. The idolaters with their priests, the Bohutis, retired well pleased. But next morning they saw the Cross standing in perfect preservation amid the smoking heaps. Not even the color of the wood was changed, except that at the foot it was slightly blackened, as if a lighted candle had been applied to it.

+1mFtdRtjKYBmN4ZN2zI6MP61jT/wAH+9/SneGf+Pi7/wCuYq5WUSeZtmnrGvl4obcxb47jiN0UqDk4Hvwaq3NlLeMi3EhM0OATtIUH1+ldRc/8jBYfQf8AoJqtrH/IKn/3WrNuyKvc567SVLyFvMIJJRm7Y+lWLWQi7gDR8lxwcYUD/wDVTrv7tn/1xH8qLf8A4/U+q/yNNMRBpaX0tw7pIGgaR32yjcn3ien41Br0NlfyQyXdzNpsoBzthMqy9OQRyPxqfQv+Pef8P5mrTf62T/eq18QH/9k=" alt="" width="621" height="473" border="0" />

“Cruz de Parra. A replica of the cross set in this place by Christopher Columbus, December 1492.”

Deterred and dismayed by this miraculous manifestation, they fled trembling, and afraid that they had incurred the resentment of the Cross, which they were persuaded came from Heaven. Nevertheless the vindictive violence of their Bohutis made them return to the attack, to try to cut it down with their hatchets of sharpened stone and the knives which had been procured by exchange from the Spaniards. The wood offered an unusual resistance, and they observed that the moment they had chipped off a fragment the cavity was filled in immediately, and their work had to recommence. Their frantic obstinacy gave way before this new wonder. Bethinking themselves that their united strength had been unable not only to pull down the Cross, but even to move it, and seeing the Christians paying reverence to it, they from that time prostrated themselves before it.


To these prodigies was added another, permanent and seen by all, which became each year a greater subject of astonishment, namely, the complete preservation of the wood, which, without my coating of tar or chemical application of any kind, defied the damp and the heat, which in that climate produce rapid decay. The Cross was not fissured or warped or worm eaten. It might have been just set up. Fifty eight years after it had been erected it was as perfect as the first day. Another wonderful effect made a deep impression upon the people of that part, and it was to see the Cross standing safe, untouched by hurricanes and whirlwinds, which had torn from their place and flung down to the earth trees and houses all around.

Christopher Columbus

The miracles increased in number and notoriety. Oviedo, who was Governor of San Domingo, though hostile, as we have seen, to Columbus, attests that the miraculous Cross, which at the time he wrote, 1535, was standing inside the Cathedral, had been erected by Columbus himself at Fort Conception.

The Cross of Parra, also known as the Columbus Cross, is part of the original cross erected by Christopher Columbus in Baracoa, Cuba on December 27, 1492.

The Cross of Parra, also known as the Columbus Cross, is part of the original cross erected by Christopher Columbus in Baracoa, Cuba on December 27, 1492.

In 1553 the Cathedral was blown down in a hurricane, the chapel of the True Cross alone escaping. The whole town was a heap of ruins, except the Franciscan convent; but many of the inhabitants had in their houses or on their persons a relic of the True Cross, and of these not one was injured. The population had to seek another home, and the Cross is heard of no more. Rome had never publicly sanctioned the devotion to this True Cross, but an all-sufficient reason would seem to be the desire to avoid all clashing with the more ancient claims of a far holier TRUE CROSS. The miraculous cures seem well certified—Father Knight’s translation.


John O’Kane Murray, Lives of the Catholic Heroes and Heroines of America (New York: P.J. Kenedy, 1882), pp. 177-178, fn.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 276

on Apr 12, 2014

Lula -

My point was that it would only be possible for Columbus to be brutal to his sailors, not that he actually was - they were the only people to be brutal to on the crossing.  I wasn't claiming he was brutal to anyone, though what was considered normal discipline at sea in the 1400's might not pass EEOC muster these days.

on Apr 16, 2014

Yes,  now, I see what you meant. Thank you for the correction.

To me, a creature of 21st century comfort, just being on one of those ships at that time was brutal!!!

We know Columbus kept records and journals of his journeys and explorations. A majority of his letters, as well as those of his sons and contemporaries still extant.

Columbus was a Third Order Franciscan and for him the Catholic spirit permeated all aspects of life and was central to the mission of exploration. Historians have typically shied away from the Catholic aspects of Columbus' journeys and that is what interests me most about him and his discoveries.  





on Oct 15, 2014

Don't rush to judge Columbus, anthropologist encourages


PROVIDENCE, R.I., October 13 (CNA/EWTN News) .- The controversies surrounding Christopher Columbus are sometimes misplaced and should not overshadow Columbus’ Christian motives in his voyages,  a scholar of religious studies and anthropology has said.

“In recent times, Christopher Columbus has become the symbol for everything that went wrong in the New World, so much so that it has become difficult to celebrate the holiday commemorating his discovery of the New World,” Carol Delaney, a visiting scholar of religious studies at Brown University, told CNA Oct. 10.

“I have been dismayed by the lack of knowledge about the man by those who are rushing in judgment against him and changing the day that commemorates his extraordinary achievement.”

“While we may not agree with the scenario that motivated Columbus, it is important to understand him in the context of his time,” she added.

Delaney, who holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago, is author of the 2011 book “Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem,” which examines Columbus’ religious motivations for his voyages.

Her book warns against misjudging Columbus’ motivations and accomplishments “from a contemporary perspective rather than from the values and practices of his own time.”

In her view, some criticism “holds him responsible for consequences he did not intend, expect, or endorse” and blames him for “all the calamities” that befell the “new world” he was once celebrated for discovering.

Columbus has been a major figure for Catholics in America, especially Italian-Americans, who saw his pioneering voyage from Europe as a way of validating their presence in a sometimes hostile majority-Protestant country. The Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world, took his name and voyage as an inspiration. At one point in the nineteenth century there were efforts to push for the voyager’s canonization.

In 1892, the quadricennial of Columbus’ first voyage, Leo XIII authored an encyclical that stressed Columbus’ desire to spread Catholic Christianity. The Pope stressed how Columbus’ Catholic faith motivated his voyage and supported him amid his setbacks.

In recent decades, some critics have stressed the negative aspects of Columbus’ voyage and European colonization of the New World, noting that European colonists’ arrival brought disease, violence and displacement to natives. Columbus Day holidays and parades have drawn protests from some activists.

Some U.S. localities have dropped observances of Columbus Day, while others have added observances intended to recognize those who lived in the Americas before Columbus sailed.

Delaney, however, questioned interpretations that depict Columbus as a gold-hungry marauder who did not care for the natives.

She said Columbus was motivated by the belief that all people must be evangelized to achieve salvation and by the belief that he could ally with the Great Khan of Cathay and secure enough gold to support an effort to retake Jerusalem.

“There was no intention of taking land or enslaving the people of the Khan, ruler of one of the greatest empires at the time,” Delaney said.

On his first return voyage to Spain, Columbus brought several natives who were not enslaved. Rather, they had been baptized and educated.

“One became his ‘adopted son’ and translator on future voyages, two were adopted by the (Spanish) king and queen,” she said.

After Columbus’ ship the Santa Maria ran aground on his first voyage, Columbus left 39 men on an island in the Caribbean with special instructions.

“He told them they should not go marauding, should not kidnap and rape the women, and should always make exchanges for food and gold,” Delaney explained.

“When he returned with more ships and people he found that all of the men whom he'd left
behind had been killed. Unlike the priest who accompanied him, Columbus did not blame the natives, but his own men; clearly, they had disobeyed his orders.”

Delaney acknowledged that Columbus on later voyages enslaved some natives who resisted Christianization. At the same time, he also punished his own men who perpetrated misdeeds against the natives.

The scholar has also questioned uncritical treatments of the Spanish friar Bartolomeo de las Casas, who is sometimes compared favorably to Columbus.

While las Casas is now remembered primarily as a defender of the rights of native Americans, she said this came later in life. The friar also owned slaves, endorsed slavery, and operated plantations. He also helped suppress a native rebellion

Columbus never owned slaves and yet is “reviled and blamed for everything that went wrong in the Indies,” Delaney said in her book.