The Visionary Activist Show

The Visionary Activist Show – July 23, 2015

Hosting Mathew Fox, Valentin Lopez Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Elias Castillo, author of great book “A cross of Thorns – the enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions.”
The tale of Junipero Serra goes to the Plutonic roots of colonialism’s intrinsic brutality. He is due to be canonized by Pope Francis on September 23rd at 4:15 pm in Washington DC, around which there is much appropriate hubbub, to encourage the Pope to re-consider.
  • Gypsy Scholar

    The proper term for the criticism that was mentioned — that the dissenters of Junipero Serra’s canonization are mistakenly attributing today’s morality and values to those of the past — is “PRESENTISM.”

    I was made aware of this term during a discussion between Alan Jones (Dean of Grace Cathedral) and Stephen Mitchell (poet and translator) at SF’s Grace Cathedral in the mid-1990s. Being that this event was around Columbus Day, I asked about the history of Spanish colonialism starting with Columbus, pointing out his manifold crimes against the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Rev. Jones, known for his liberal religious views, responded by informing me that my view smacked of “presentism;” i.e., that I was mistakenly attributing the same moral values of the modern period to the time of Columbus. It’s too bad I couldn’t have had the chance to remind the good reverend that Columbus was fiercely criticized by his contemporary Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar!

    Those of us who live in the Monterey Bay Area are familiar with this issue, as protests have been carried on for years at the area’s Catholic missions.

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