Viewpoint: Debate the issues; don't destroy the statues


Vandalised statue of the great Spanish author Cervantes, in San Francisco. He spent five years as a slave in north Africa.

Vandalised statue of the great Spanish author Cervantes, in San Francisco. He spent five years as a slave in north Africa.

Michael Sean Winters writes in the National Catholic Reporter:

"History is written by the victors," we are told and of course that is true in one sense. But history is actually written by historians, and their interpretations and reinterpretations of events change. It is why a consequential historical personage like Queen Elizabeth I or Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I or Abraham Lincoln requires many biographers. It is why each subsequent generation of the peoples whose history is bound up with these great historical figures must revisit their lives and pose new questions to them. It is why, over time, we learn that their flaws were often as great as their achievements.

Statues are a part of history's account and they tend to be only slightly less malleable than historiographical changes. Sir William Francis Butler was apparently the first person in English to write out the sentiment that "it is the victor who writes the history and counts the dead," and the tale is instructive. He was referring to the unknown number of members of the Gordon clan killed in the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the last serious attempt to reclaim the British throne for the Catholic Stuarts. The United States is dotted with towns named for the victor of the battle, the Protestant Duke of Cumberland, who lent his name to mountains and to a mountain pass, as well as to Prince William County in Virginia. There are Cumberland Counties in Maine, New Jersey and North Carolina.....

To read on see: www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/distinctly-catholic/debate-issues-dont-destroy-statues


Tags: Statues, Michael Sean Winters, Junipero Serra, St Junipero Serra

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

Please support our journalism by donating today.

Donate