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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

St. Junipero Serra: defender of indians, mission builder and American founder

I decided after reading some interesting things about St. Junipero Serra who was recently canonized a saint by Pope Francis to do an article about Junipero. I made some interesting discoveries. First and foremost the allegations that he butchered and murdered native Americans and created atrocities against them is false. Its a fantasy, another one in fact created by liberals, pushed by Chicano Marxists and that has been used to smear Christians and the white man. Nothing new.

The left loves to romanticize about the American Indians make it look like they were happy and peaceful until whitey came and made them all miserable. Granted that there have been atrocities here and there which was wrong. But many of the tribes in fact were starving miserable at constant war with each other and were stone age nomads the majority of whom lived an intolerable existence.

Interestingly many of them preferred living under the white man's rule even if the particular white man was despotic than live in constant war and famine. A good example of this was the Mission in Santa Fe. At first it was a positive uplifting for the natives but Spanish government and Spanish Officials began to persecute the natives and exploit them despite protestations of the church against this. In the end the tribes drove the Spanish out only to find themselves massacred by the Comanche and Apache tribes. Then there's the fact that the natives were unknowingly infected with diseases from Europe which they never built a defense too. Ten years later, The Spanish were welcomed back with open arms by what remained of the population.

This brings me to another subject. The church and attrocities. In truth the Catholic church opposed genocide and exploitation towards the natives. This includes Father Junipero who was constantly at odds with Spanish soldiers and the governors who viewed the Indians as sub human. But Junipero and the church had nothing to do with it.

Please understand in the 18th century Spain was not a democracy it was a monarchy. In fact its kings like nearly all kings in the world at the time ruled like dictators with very little to restrain them. Even the church couldn't escape it. To The Spanish rulers, the indians were no different than Spanish peasants on their estates back home in Spain. They were subjects ripe for labor and exploitation. Same thing, different location. The church had to obey. But they did all they could to at least ease problems. Spain's government was also top heavy with draconic bureaucracy that not even the Soviet union or the state of New Jersey couldn't top off. They couldn't do anything right there was kleptocracy, corruption, bribery inefficiency and other problems everywhere. It was one of the big reasons Spain lost her empire and suffered serious decline after the 16th and 17th century.

In fact one thing that escapes the leftists is that Junipero did defend them from the Spanish. He Even went as far as excommunicating the governor, Rivera y Moncada for crimes against the natives. Father Junipero gave shelter to an indian who took part in an uprising against soldiers. Despite being a raider he sheltererd him in a makeshift chapel. Its something the church does for people even fugitives and he came to Fr. Junipero for sanctuary. But Rivera wanted to arrest him and despite protest from Junipero and despite having claimed sancturary even though under church and secular law this was a serious crime, he was taken. Junipero Serra was so outraged he had him and the soldiers involved excommunicated and sent copies of it back home to the King and to the Pope. This caused Rivera to lose favor with the crown and his peers.

To a Catholic back then excommunication was worse than death. You were condemned to hell when you died, you could not be sheltered from the church, you had to be seperated you could also have your property taken away or sometimes put to death. People like Rivera had to do serious penance to overcome this and find favour again. No one knows if he did but we do know that Rivera's political and army career came to an end at that point. All we know of him is he had the lowly job of protecting travelling settlers on highways in Mexico until he died.

Junipero also opposed constructing a mission in San Francisco. The Reason because the natives were resistant to conversion. Junipero had no desire to have to deal with converting natives peacefully or any other means who did not want to. He knew it would just lead to bloodshed and not get anything done. The mission was built anyway.

Junipero also did not always have control over what went on in the missions. There was no telecommunication at the time so if the Spanish did things that were wrong in the mission then he couldn't do anything about it. He could only write letters or be  anywhere at one time.

That in mind there were a few controversial things done although it should be pointed out that Fr Junipero was a Franciscan monk and the monastic orders at the time were very harsh and strict. The Carmelites and the Benedictines even stricter. I recall reading Caedfael as a boy in school for a report and these guys were brutal to each other. They used to flog each other, they fasted for long periods, you talk about mortifying the flesh, these guys were experts. Also at the time the Catholic church took the view that to atone for certain sins venial or mortal you had to make yourself suffer this includes things like whipping fasting donating most of your money to charity and so on. Purchasing indulgences that is buying forgiveness for sins commited or that might be commited in the future also were used. This made the church rich and discouraged bad behavior on a few occasions but unfortunately lead to problems such as corruption and greed. Which as we know also lead to the Protestant revolts of Luther and Hus.

But Junipero did things that we would frown upon. He did support corporate punishment for rule infractions. He also supported flogging and stocks for natives who tried to runaway. When a native joined the mission they did so looking forward to food and conversion to a new religion. Some did so from curiosity, others were desperate from hunger war or other problems. But there was hard work, there was harassment by soldiers there was also certain rituals and penance that were harsh that the natives did no like. Also families were segregated.

The primary purpose of the missions other than conversion was to assimilate them into Spanish rule and bring the natives in the 18th century from the stone age. To us the idea of integrating into a society thousands of years ahead of us is exciting but it would require learning new technology, new skills, new social cues and society etiquette that the natives balked at. One famous painting of Junipero shows him as an old man teaching native women how to make clothes. Most of these women wore nothing but a thong around their genitals and nothing else and to Junipero, a moral man as well as a celibate priest that was unaceptable. But some of them weren't used to wearing clothes or shoes or doing things like farming or sewing or building.

A few times there were indians forced into the mission by the authorities. One way was by arresting a native and sending them to the mission were the family would follow them or falsely claim they were baptized when they were not really. Many of them also did not understand religious and political ramifications of accepting Christianity in New Spain and were blind about what was expected.

Many did run away and many times they were punished. Junipero Serra himself in a letter that survives even offered to provide the shackles and recommended that an offending fugitive be shackled for a month. Some of the subordinates under Junipero were known to use harsh punishment. Also the Missions in addition to labor recruitment also did seem like slave plantations but they weren't. That's not to say they were worked too hard and that was problematic.

And while many natives who were baptized lead productive lives as subjects of Spain most of them died. The overwhelming majority of them to diseases like Measles, small pox and Diptheria. But new discoveries found that one of the other reasons was the spanish diet at the time which sadly isn't much different from our own. In Spain and New Spain the average person ate diets that were high in carbohydrates but low in fruit and vegetables and animal protein which were a contributing factor for fatalities, Indian and Spanish. Unfortunately knowledge of nutrition was as scant and sparse as the knowledge of disease. No one had any idea that microscopic organisms existed then and neither did they that a loaf of bread at the supper table was all one needed or about vitamins and minerals.

The Harsh monastic discipline and hard work also did not help either. With the end of Spanish rule in the 19th century, the Mexican government secularized the missions leading to an even greater disaster with clergy losing control. Socialism not spiritual faith was probably the only other thing that did the Indians worse. The missions thereafter were a disaster. In the 1800s witness accounts showed that Native fatalities were higher. One account from Santa Barbara noted that bones would be exhumed from graves to make way for new bodies.

The Mission system ended in 1831. The land that had belonged to the church as well as land belonging to local tribes was seized by the Mexican government and given to soldiers and bureaucrats. The Natives again suffered this time under government kleptocracy.  The missions themselves either became ranches or local parishes. Most were abandoned until after the Mexican-American war when they were taken over by Pioneers.

Junipero Serra died in 1784 at the age 70. He was buried in Carmel California which was recently vandalized by occupy wall st. following his canonization by Pope Francis. His legacy was not perfect. The left however overexagerates his legacy. Thanks to St Serra The natives of California managed (though not painlessly) to assimilate into modern times and were given shelter and food as well as a chance to learn important life skills. It also brought the gospel to the west coast. But that's not Junipero's only legacy


Junipero Serra in fact is one of America's founding fathers of the United states of America. Under Serra's guidance the California missions funded the American revolution. Spain entered the war on the side of America to check British imperialism as well as an empire hostile towards Catholics. St Serra and General Washington corresponded with each other with the saint offering Washington and his men blessings, best wishes and prayers. Junipero Serra and the California missions contributed greatly.

With that in mind the statue of Serra should be kept in the US Capitol. It doesn't violate church and state now that he's been canonized. In fact as a founding father he should be kept in the capitol. All the other statues of Californians can be kept there with him. Junipero was as important to our founding as Hayim Solomon, general Laffayette and Benjamin Franklin. He might have had a minor part but he played a part in making America the great nation it once was.

Saint Junipero Serra to a liberal is a religious kook, a fanatic, a capitalist stooge and an enemy of the people. No Wonder! He spread Christianity and helped found the greatest nation in history, a shining city on a hill that has perpetuated liberty freedom and prosperity all throughout the world. The left hates him for it. America drifts far from its Christian roots of George Washington kneeling in the snow at valley forge, of in God we trust and the mission founding of Fr. Junipero towards anarchy godlessness and socialist oppression.

Latin America too has forsaken its ecclesiastical underpinnings for godless Marxism and the latin population suffers for it. Today's Hispanics are far from being Hispanic aside the fact that they speak the Spanish Language. Today they have gone back. Socialism has murdered far more than any alleged by a bloodthirsty conquistador or any Mission and murders greatly in areas of latin America it is practiced. Many young Hispanics embrace godless materialism and communism like the gringos have and have gone backwards to the days of primitive savagery.

A Latino Immigrant from Venezuela who fled Hugo Chavez once observed, "Too many Americans seem to have this misconception that all Hispanics are god fearing Catholics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the population of Mexico and central and/south America are a few generations removed from head-chopping indios, cannibals and rain forest dwellers killing other tribes over hunting grounds." And by the way, they are much like European socialists who abuse themselves and others and who have murdered over a hundred million people through use of a communist state.

Through it all its good to know that the inhabitants of the new world can return to the fountain of wisdom that is God's holy word and to the traditions and teachings of the clergy saints and martyrs that perpetuated its wisdom in this once bleak ignorant and dark corner of his created world. Men like Saint Junipero Serra, a defender of human life, rights and dignity, a church father and a father of America.


Anonymous said...

Its not the white man's fault. The native americans were killed off by diseases and by all kinds of things. It wasn't the church that murdered them it was the governments of the powers that invaded.

Anonymous said...

There were no crimes committed against the natives. There were problems between the Spanish and indians but the missions were good for the natives. Juniperro Serra and the priests did not harm them at all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this article. Very good! Are you a Roman Catholic Brian?

saintofgenocide said...

Junipero Serra is not only a murdering pedophile he is also a founder of the most racist and fascist nation in history. Usa of kkk

mainestategop said...

Said the barbaric supporter of socialism the most genocidal system there is.

Anonymous said...

It happened because of the Spanish government not the church. Spain during the 18th century was a bloated buracracy almost like a socialist country. The government was corrupt and even the church was oppressed. They were the ones attacking natives. The church protected them. I urge people reading to rent the movie the mission. It was made in 1986. Robert De Niro is in it. Even though ABC rated it as one of the top 100 classic movies its still not known. Its based on the true story of how the church protected the dignity and life of the native Americans against the Spanish and an apathetic Europe.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes! another criminal from the beast of revelation. Francis is beginning to look more like Stalin

mainestategop said...

Okay can we please keep Anti-catholicism down to a very very bare minimum? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Did Michael Voris or any other people who are catholic do videos about this? If so please post them. Thanks god bless.

oldfartrantssucks said...

If it were up to oldfartypants for instance the left would put all our children into concentration camps to make them atheists and commies.