We’ve reached a point where it is now OK to destroy things that are out of line with your political values. Whether it’s a confederate general in a public park or a Catholic saint on church property, it’s all fair game. So if I find that plastic pink flamingos are offensive, can I take action?
How much more socialist can you get? Lenin would be sooooo proud. Yes, that’s sarcasm for those who might not be sure!
As someone with native American heritage, I understand why some people are enraged by what he did. It wasn’t enough for him to simply convert people he had to go and take away their culture and language.
It was considered normal then, but now we know that it’s terrible. There was wisdom in many of the native cultures, including how they treated children (which was much better than the euro-centric view).
My grandmother is from a converted tribe. The missionaries that came did NOT take away her language and culture --though ignorant Americans later did.
She is one of the last people in the world who can speak her language–a language with nuances and connotations that add much to it. It does often upset me, perhaps to the point of enraging me, that so many are complacent in destroying a rich heritage.
I don’t know how I would feel if I were faced with the catalyst of that loss on a daily basis. I wouldn’t destroy other people’s property…but I do wish the church would do more to reaffirm the traditions and language of a people they “converted” during a time when the literal ‘whitewashing’ of a people was appropriate.
Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the malice and snares of the Devil. We humbly beseech thee, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
Pray for us St. Junipero Serra!
Unfortunately, true. The Confederate general is a symbol of slavery to some. From what I know about Father Junipero Serra I don’t think he respected Native Americans.
Fair balanced perspective
At his time in history, did any of the ‘invaders’ respect the native peoples, anywhere in the world? It happened long ago, and I agree it shouldn’t be celebrated as the best thing ever, but likewise it was part of history and should be acknowledged, not erased.
Invaders did not, but good missionaries did. Many of the missionaries who came to the New World were very respectful. They wrote Bibles in the native tongue. Like in China they saught permission from the Holy SEE to pray Mass in the native tongue. They wrote down traditions and celebrations important to the native people and explained what feast days and principles of the faith could be celebrated. They ate the food without a mention of what they were accustomed to. They did not introduce the western idea of child rearing but allowed natives to raise their children without any corporal punishment…and allowed children their place in their culture that was far from the euro-centric idea of “seen and not heard”
St. Serra was a missionary, not an invader. Yet, in many ways, he carried the same issues that an invader did. He set out to erase the people’s culture, language, and traditions. What he did was an attempt to erase the history of an entire people. Now, in his time, this was pretty standard even among native tribes. He should not be judged by what we know today.
That said, the Church owes much to these people. Stripped of cultural roots many fall prey to alcoholism and other vices. Yet the church has done very little to ensure a restoration of native values.
It is completely understandable that people would be mad. They are faced with a person who represents the loss of their cultural identity, a tumble into a dark place and many other unpleasant things.
Please America! Stand up and fight for your Christian heritage and your great culture of freedom! You’re becoming more like Europe with each passing year. Before you know it, they’ll take your freedom of speech and religion - and your guns!
The missionaries didn’t view themselves as invaders, but they were. They felt they must convert the indigenous peoples to their way of thinking at any cost. Writing scriptures in the native tongue does not change the act of forcing change on the natives.
Not all invaders were violent…many had good intentions.
the WWII invasions of Germany and Japan to end the war had good intentions behind them…
You do bring up a good point, if history was written emphasizing the more accomodating sides of missionary works, we may not be having this discussion!
It’s probably the same group doing all of the Serra statue and shrine vandalizations, since there seem to have been quite a few since he was canonized. Unfortunate that his canonization brought immature and violent people out of the woodwork. Hope they are arrested and learn to express themselves in a more civilized manner. I really don’t have patience with people who vandalize anything because they are upset.
I think the vandalization is more aimed at disliking the church than at Fr Serra.
I believe the missionaries were sent by God to bring the good news of Jesus Christ. When we get to Heaven, we’ll see many Native Americans who were saved because of the preaching of St. Junipero.
Our “Christian heritage” should NEVER, NEVER come at the cost of another’s heritage. It is absolutely unacceptable that an entire people’s history, language, and traditions were wiped out for the sake of “Christianity”. Mostly, because it was entirely unnecessary to do so. Good missionaries did the exact opposite of what St. Serra did.
Being correct does not give one the right to lay waste to other’s values. This isn’t about secularism but about a people who were VERY wronged and are trying to gain back something that they may not be able to.
Do you know what it’s like to try to save a language? Do you know what it’s like for someone to grow old and watch those able to converse with her in her native tongue die one by one? Do you know what it is like to desperately try to save recipes, traditions, and ideas of something that society doesn’t value? Because the arguments you’d make for Christianity can be applied to these native Americans. What happened was wrong and people have done very little to remediate it. Europe did not have this sort of issue. It’s totally different for people to try to reclaim their heritage.
Unfortunately, we’ll also have to trust to God’s mercy the many people who were driven to drink and made other terrible choices based on the loss of their culture directly because of how St. Serra handled things. Evangelization is a good thing, but many of the things that came with St. Serra’s mission were very bad for native people. Again, given his time, he cannot be held liable, but we know now that erasing an entire history and culture doesn’t benefit anyone.
I’m very sorry to read about the experience of the Native Americans and I think they were grievously wronged. I hope they manage to save their traditions and especially their language. It can be done. The Welsh saved their language and it now flourishes.
Native American culture can flourish and be Christianised. I once visited a Catholic Church in Vancouver that was in a reservation. It had Native American art and other cultural artefacts; it was beautiful.
People shouldn’t blame St Serra for the things that came with his mission. He did a lot of good - he brought the Blessed Sacrament to the Indians and taught them the Gospel. The Saint isn’t responsible for the actions of the civil government.
Serious question then, what do you suggest that we do?
Having grown up myself in the 1970s, I was never part of the world that wanted to eradicate Native American culture and all I’ve ever seen are attempts to preserve it or even put it on a pedestal. Some of these attempts have been misguided, but the good intention was usually there.
We are not Native American, but my father had a great interest in the tribes that used to be around where he grew up, and he read many books.
My buddy right now is working at a hospital in Acoma, a beautiful but sadly poor place that I like to visit.
I contribute economically where I can. I agree with a number of the Native American protests and activist actions as long as they aren’t rioting or vandalizing, which they usually are not (I have a general objection to any kind of destruction or violence in the name of “protest” no matter who is doing it).
We can’t turn back the clock 100 or 200 years and un-erase the culture. Those of us living today didn’t even have a hand in erasing it and largely never supported erasing cultures, because socially we were taught that cultures should be preserved (unlike the people 100 or 200 years ago who were taught differently in line with the thinking at that time). We can’t un-canonize Fr. Serra.
So what exactly are we supposed to do? Take down all his statues and all the historic missions (which won’t happen anyway because of the tourism draw) and be ashamed of history and pretend it didn’t occur?
This is exactly what the cultural Marxists want you to do; they want to drag St Junipero through the mud and tarnish the legacy of the great missionaries who saved thousands of souls. If I was an American, I’d want to erect more statues of St Serra and the other North American Saints!
The Church should begin to do many of the things you speak of. Get artifacts, further the study of the language. And unfortunately, it wasn’t just the civil government that did harm. The ideals that St. Serra himself held did. Again, understandable, but not right.