Our country has been stunned and horrified by the pulling down of many of our statues and the changing of names of places these few past weeks, which has never happened in such a wide-spread manner in the history of our nation. Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, General Ulysses Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, General Robert E. Lee, Junipero Serra, and John Wayne? What is going on right now that so many generations of Americans saw no reason to consider, but now today men are being driven to take these statues down or remove their names from public places? What is happening behind the scenes to move these people to do these things? A revolution is upon us!
With the logic of these men the only people we are going to find out without blame to be worthy of perfection of no sin will be Our Lord, Our Lady (conceived without Original Sin) and probably St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist (both probably born without Original Sin although conceived with it). Otherwise, even the Saints have done things wrong which they later rectified with penance, prayer, and sacrifice. How could a statue of Mary Magdalen ever be be put up if we consider her life before her conversion? There will be imperfections in the Saints that were later rectified and now they are worthy of the title of Saint and of statues in their honor. Thankfully, with God we can become the best of saints after being the worst of sinners!
But what about statues of people who were not canonized saints? Statues of people who had obvious imperfections? It is still possible to make statues in honor of those who did heroic things, things worthy of admiration, even excelled in things beyond normal human beings? Why can't we honor those people in these kinds of ways? Again, if we saw the imperfections associated with these people, there would only be statues of four people worthy of such an honor! Christopher Columbus, he founded a new world in spite of great adversity! Is this not worthy of admiration? George Washington, he founded our nation. Can he not be honored at least for doing that? Andrew Jackson fought some great battles for our nation, negotiated the Louisiana Purchase. Can he not be immortalized for those things? Generals Grant and Lee were great generals in spite of whomever they fought for. Can we not recognize their military genius? John Wayne is one of Hollywood's greatest actors. Can he not be recognized for this? Martin Luther King is honored by his people for fighting for their rights. He now has statues and city streets named after him. Even Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, and Joe Montana have statues in their honor for their athletic achievements.
But if we dig deep enough in the lives of all of these men, there will be imperfections, sins, even worse things found that will not make us proud. If the logic holds for today's iconoclasts, all of these statues should come down! Imagine if Italy, and in particular, Rome brought down the statues of all their past famous emperors, artists, and generals. No one would visit Italy. And what sins we can find in the Caesars! That is why we have statues of just a relative few Catholics in our churches, because so few have reached the heights of sanctity.
But what is going behind the tearing down of our statues and the changing the names of streets, cities, and buildings here in America? The statue destroyers have something else in mind and it is nothing less than trying to change the face of our society for their own ends. And what are their ends? Nothing less than a revolution and changing the very life of our country. Yes, there our things in our country that need to be changed, especially the continual abuse of freedom in our country with the abortion laws and the unjust defending of homosexuality. And we as Catholics have to do all in our power within the laws of our country to fight these things with all of our hearts. But today's iconoclasts are doing no such things! They are defacing, smashing, destroying the statues of men, who merited some admiration and honor for things they did for our nation, without any respect for our laws! Sadly, many of our leaders have let them do it, even supporting it!
By looking at a statue, by hearing a name of a city named after someone, it teaches us the history of our nation, even of the world. What does a statue of Christopher Columbus or city or street named after him call to mind? A man with great genius who defied many experts of his day and crossed an ocean and found a new world. Think of the millions who have to come to the light of the Faith because of his discoveries. Are we going to tear down his statues and erase his history because of some faults he may have had? Many African Americans look up to Martin Luther King, but what would happen if we centered on the many things that went on in his private life with the FBI documents to prove it? Our iconoclasts want a new history written, they want a new culture for our country, they want to destroy the past. We must fight to defend our past history!
There was a very beautiful honor given to King St. Fernando III on the occasion of his death who fought his whole life to reconquer Spain from the Muslims. When he died, the Emir of Granada, yes a Muslim, started a very beautiful tradition of sending 100 Moorish cavalrymen to travel 150 miles on foot from Granada to Seville carrying candles purest of white wax each year on the anniversary of the saint's death as a sign of his respect and esteem for the King that conquered him. The tradition lasted 240 years until Granada was conquered by Queen Isabella. Someone understood history. We do not live in an age of Faith!
Shakespeare says it so well, "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones." Let us not let these criminals destroy the history bestowed upon us but let us teach it in the light of the Truth! In the end, God is the final judge of all the things we do; Alexander conquered the world, but Alexander could not conquer himself. Caesar came, saw, and conquered but never obtained the knowledge of the Truth. The only thing that matters is what God thinks of us, "who will render to everyone according to their works." Let us then not shoot for temporal recognition but for the eternal realities of Heavenly glory where "neither rust will destroy nor moth consume" nor any iconoclast tear down!