When History is Relative

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Our children are being taught a rudderless version of history. It is called “unbiased” and “fact based” but in truth it is indoctrination in relativism.  “Relativism” means there is no Truth…there is only “your truth and my truth which can be very different. And everything is acceptable because it is someone’s truth.” Everything is acceptable—everything except Christianity.

This kind of history education began when the schools stopped teaching “history.” Now it is “social studies” and the entire thrust of this study is to say that Christian countries which practiced colonization were “evil” and they destroyed beautiful civilizations.

The real truth is that while the act of taking over countries through force was wrong, Christians introduced culture and Truth to people who desperately needed it.  Christians built roads and cities. They introduced healthcare and education. And they brought the Truth of faith. Truth can be known. For example, a basic truth of natural law and the law of faith says that the killing of innocents is wrong.

In Natural History magazine in 1977, we read about the history of Mexico. The article includes a diary entry from Bernal Díaz, who was among the Spanish soldiers in Mexico. After his company was driven out of Tenochtitlán by the Aztecs, the survivors returned to witness the fate of their captive comrades. The Aztecs regularly sacrificed children and captives to their gods. Diaz wrote:

“Then they kicked the bodies down the steps, and the Indian butchers who were waiting below cut off their arms and legs and flayed their faces…Then they ate their flesh…”

The author of the article writes, “Gruesome as these practices may seem, an ecological perspective and population pressure theory render the Aztec emphasis on human sacrifice acceptable as a natural and rational response to the material conditions of their existence.” (http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/aztecs/sacrifice.htm)

The anthropologist author says the pressures, of an ecological nature, can be a valid reason for human sacrifices. Somewhere between 20,000-50,000 human sacrifices were performed each year by the Aztecs. At one point, for the special dedication of a new temple, 80,000 people were murdered in just four days.

The Spanish witnesses were rightly horrified. But in the modern era of RELATIVISM we don’t simply report history; it is rationalized. It is excused. And it is revised to present to children.

So the modern books don’t tell about this. The human sacrifices are minimized while the actions of the Spanish are emphasized and exaggerated. Important details are left out. According to a historian from that period of history, in 1531 a peasant named Juan Diego saw Our Lady of Guadalupe. She left her image on his cactus cloth tilma. And we can still see that cloth image today outside of Mexico City, which is a miracle in itself!

But beyond that, word of this image spread rapidly. The appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke volumes to the Aztec people. The image is symbolic and in the symbolism it says–the Son of this beautiful Spanish/Aztec lady is stronger than the gods of the Aztecs and the Christian religion has power and offers new life.

The people of Mexico converted in droves. Without bloodshed. There were millions of converts.

That is historically relevant information , is it not? But, because it shows beauty and love, truth and mystery–and because it is Christian—it is left out.

As I think about the Aztecs and their sacrifices it is clear that every horrific human behavior is rationalized. Take for example abortion. The killing of babies is explained. Then it is excused. Then it is legalized. Then it is promoted. And then change is very hard.

We live in a fallen world where sin abounds. But we must stay anchored to Truth which we can find in our faith. We need to watch what are children are learning and challenge relativism at every turn.

Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us. Watch over our children.

To read more about the historical facts of Mexico’s conversion to Catholicism see: Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness by Dr. Warren Carroll.

Copyright 2012 Judith Costello, MA, OCDS

 

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1 Comment

  1. Taylor Gilfillan on

    This is the danger of a post modernist approach to history, that students are taught to challenge every statement and diludes history into a series of random events, not to be judged with a modern eye. We should not have to feel guilty as Christians for spreading the word? How many of those souls are in heaven now because they were exposed to the word of Christ and were saved? Even history there is absolute truth. Certain events did happen but the rest, especially the human elements rely on speculation. The big problem is that we are dealing with people and people have an amazing ability to do good, but at the same time have a perpencity to do bad. That is why Jesus is so awesome because through him we have redemption and over come our human failings. And on the bright side in a few years some other school of thought will replace post modernism but faith remains the same. That is probably why the Catholic Church has outlasted every empire the world has known. When you are founded in the truth, like the house that was built on solid rock, you can stand firm in Christ.

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