Analysis Of Junipero Serra

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Junipero Serra: A man of altruism or malice?

“Remember my child; this is for your own good.” Serra would say to his children as one of his assistants flagellates them.” Those are the painful words that come to the mind of many Native Americans whenever they think of Junipero Serra, a man who was characterized by whipping himself and many Indians whenever they ran away from the missions. Although quite a controversial character, he is also remembered by the Catholic Church as an ambitious and devout Franciscan missionary, who was a key element in the creation of the Mission System. It’s been estimated that about five thousand Native Americans were converted by the time of Junipero’s death. Due to Junipero’s success and persistence on
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Hackel have in common is that all of them shared concern about Indian’s welfare, in spite of their view on what was the appropriate way to handle the situation. Junipero Serra, who had the single purpose of convert Indians, thought that they were as child who needed to be Christianized in order to find god and go to heaven where they would rejoice for eternity. On the other hand, Gregory Orfalea thinks that Indians were better off at the missions than by themselves since the Mission System offered them food, a roof, and security. Meanwhile, Steven W. Hackel considers that the only thing the Missions did was destroy an entire culture. The only arguments that make sense to me are the one coming from Hackel. Although Indians were not forced to be baptized and live in Missions, the pressure of doing so must have been tremendous. Suddenly, they were surrounded by strangers who were accusing them of being naive and immoral. On top of that, the padres were giving them food and shelter in exchange of their conversion and work. In a way, Junipero Serra and the other Franciscans manipulated the Indians by offering them what they wanted. Nonetheless, Junipero was also controlled and influenced by the Inquisition. The Catholic Church made Junipero believed that the only way to save others from the eternal flames of hell was by making them renounce to their gods and immoral ways. He thought that by drastically changing …show more content…
The inquisition created quite an intolerant and fearful environment for many peoples from the fifteenth to nineteenth century, including Serra. It encouraged citizens to report heresies to the inquisition, which mostly included sexual misbehavior, witchcraft, or any belief contrary to Catholicism. Additionally, the Catholic Church believed that it was their duty to spread Christianity and convert people, which made an especially hazardous situation for Jews and Muslims. They were forced to choose between staying in their country and renouncing to their beliefs. Consequently, Junipero grew up believing it was his moral duty to evangelize as many persons as he could, even if doing so meant that other humans would have to renounce to everything they were. After all, he was only a medium of the church to expand their religious empire. The extermination of an entire culture, tradition, and religion is an event that will not be forgotten by history. However, Junipero Serra is not the only one to blame. He wanted Indians to convert to Catholicism because he was thought that was the only thing a person was supposed to believe in and if they did not, there was no place for them in the world. The Indian genocide was a reflection and consequence of the intolerance humans being have had towards people that is

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