“There is much to condemn about the methods of these early missionary enterprises in America.
“In general, there was too much conflation of God’s ways with European culture and a wanton disregard for the welfare of the native population. But we must not ignore the fact that the settling of America was a religious mission as much as it was a business opportunity.
“It was also a quest for religious freedom.”
Randy Petersen, The Printer and the Preacher, Nelson Books 2015 (p. 13-14)
I am weary of sorting history like we sort laundry . . . or is it more like recycling? What we find useful (for our cause) we keep. What doesn’t fit the blame and shame picture we want to portray, we disgard. History includes some awful mistakes, some so evil and more intentional than we want to admit. But history holds a lot of good and inspiration; some really ugly people and some we owe a great debt to.
I disagree with taking down monuments or erasing names of less honorable events or people. In my thinking, without the reminders, we may miss the warning signs of slavery or genocide happening again. By seeing reminders of a war that not only divided our nation, but our families too, maybe we can keep it from happening again.
I will acknowledge the wrong.
Please allow me to celebrate the good, as well; particularly the freedoms unique to America.
I’m proud to be an American.
Many are still flocking to our shores–some with far from honorable reasons–but many because they anticipate a better future. Can we be both welcoming and wise? I certainly hope so. But honestly, we need the voice of both sides to reach that balance.
I am thankful to the men and women who created our history, and for those who are, now, growing our history.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord . . . (Psalm 33:12 NIV”