Jill Duggar’s husband, Derick Dillard, stirred up a little controversy by wishing his fans a “Happy Columbus Day” in a recent blog post. He proceeded to turn his holiday greeting into a sermon by comparing Christopher Columbus’ accidental discovery of the Americas to Christianity, and his words failed to impress some Duggar family critics.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard recently embarked on their own journey far away from their homeland — earlier this summer, they headed to Central America to work as missionaries. However, judging from the latest photos that Jill and Derick shared on the Dillard Family blog, it looks like they’re currently spending time with Jill Duggar’s family in Arkansas. While they take yet another break from their long-term mission trip, Derick is using his blog to practice his proselytizing by writing about the joys of Christianity. However, it probably wasn’t the best idea to compare his religion to a controversial holiday like Columbus Day.
“Today we celebrate the day Christopher Columbus first landed in the Americas,” Derick wrote. “It may be no surprise that 523 years later, these two continents look very different, in more ways than one.”
Jill Duggar’s husband quickly transitioned from giving a history lesson about how Columbus’ trip across the ocean blue in 1492 changed the Americas to explaining why he thinks it’s important for America to stop changing. According to Derick, Americans shouldn’t look beyond the ideas set forth in “an ancient book” because this is exactly what Satan wants them to do.
“I am grateful, however, that we serve a God who never changes,” he continued. “One common fallacy in this ‘post-Christian’ American movement is that the Bible and Christianity is a passing fad from a culture of yesteryear, and that we, in our postmodern thinking, have to look beyond an ancient book if we ever hope to progress as a society. And that is the very thing that any perceived enemy of God (the Bible calls him Satan), whose nature is the very opposite of God (e.g. deceptive, a thief, a murderer, prideful, a destroyer, etc…) would have the American people to believe.”
“The truth is that someone or something cannot change if it’s already perfect.”
“If you really want to discover something amazing (in keeping with the spirit of Columbus Day), open a copy of God’s word and prepare to have your mind blown,” the last sentence of the blog post read.
A link to the blog post was shared on the Duggar Family Official Facebook page, which is where Jill Duggar’s parents keep fans updated on all things Duggar. It inspired a pretty intense debate among the family’s Facebook followers, with come commenters asking why Derick failed to mention the indigenous people who suffered after Columbus’ arrival in America. Others commented that Christopher Columbus doesn’t deserve to be celebrated because of the terrible atrocities he and his men committed against the natives. However, one commenter defended Derick by telling his critics to read their Bibles instead of articles about the explorer.
There has been a movement to turn Columbus Day into a “passing fad from a culture of yesteryear,” to quote Jill Duggar’s husband. Poll data shows that most Americans don’t really care about Columbus Day, and numerous cities have renamed the holiday Indigenous Peoples Day. Salon reports that the most fervent defenders of the holiday on social media tend to be white supremacists.
Perhaps Derick was feeling inspired by Columbus because he and Jill Duggar have something in common with the explorer. According to Smithsonian, Columbus wasn’t just searching for spices or gold — he was a Christian who was dutifully spreading the gospel. Unfortunately for the natives he and his countrymen encountered, the good word came with a terrible price — they were enslaved and raped, and their population was decimated by disease.
Jill Duggar and her husband aren’t quite as controversial as Columbus, but they have faced their fair share of scrutiny for embarking on a mission trip that many see as a pointless waste of other people’s money. According to the International Business Times, Jill and Derick have been criticized for asking their fans for donations and treating their mission trip in Central America more like a vacation than a serious venture. They’ve returned to the United States at least three times since their trip began this summer, and they’ve failed to disclose exactly how they’ve been spending their donors’ money.
The couple seemed ill-prepared for the highly-publicized trip — instead of taking Spanish classes back home, they’ve been taking them overseas. Jill Duggar also didn’t finish earning her midwifery certification until after they left.
Some donors have reportedly started requesting refunds because they’re so unhappy with the way Jill and Derick have handled things. And to make matters worse for the couple, they’re probably having a hard time finding souls to save. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, the population of Central America is over 95 percent Christian already.
Do you think Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard should give up on their mission trip and stick to sharing their religious views on their blog? They might still stir up controversy on occasion, but at least they wouldn’t be thousands of miles away from their family and living off of donations that might be withdrawn.
[Featured image credit: Jill Duggar/Instagram]