Over the past few weeks, a small but vocal group of Alaskans have jumped on the monument toppling bandwagon.
A few online petitions are calling for the removal of statues in Juneau and Anchorage which celebrate William Seward and Captain James Cook – both of whom left a monumental mark on Alaska.
Around the country, angry mobs are pulling down or defacing statues of Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, past presidents and the Founding Fathers. The unifying theme is that all these men represent European and American history, which many on the left despise as racist, misogynistic, colonial and white.
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They also hate the fact that many of them professed to be Christians.
It’s true that these figures were men of their times, and did not adhere to our rapidly changing contemporary views about sexuality, gender, race and multiculturalism, many of them were also men who helped advance the Judeo-Christian culture that gradually secured religious freedoms, the end to slavery and greater equality for women.
The end game for the anti-monument mob is to eradicate our shared history and culture.
While they weren’t all Christians, they helped promote a worldview that founded hospitals, orphanages, schools and the modern university system around the world.
They weren’t perfect saints, but they were inspired and motivated individuals who shaped the course of the modern world. To suggest that every monument to a morally imperfect man should come tumbling down, is to condemn just about every statue ever erected.
Martin Luther King, Gandhi and many indigenous cultures also had shortcomings and flaws, but they too are part of our heritage.
The end game for the anti-monument mob is to eradicate our shared history and culture. We can update plaques and erect new monument, but the blind rage against our forebearers must be resisted.
They got some things wrong, but so have we and we can learn from their mistakes and insights.
The writer is Publisher of the Alaska Watchman.