Tell Governor NewsomReplace U.S. Capitol's Serra statue with Native leader

Posted: July 6, 2020

Father Junípero Serra was an 18th-century missionary who spread Christianity throughout California -- and who historians say often mistreated Native Americans.

Serra is said to have viewed Native peoples as children, often imposing corporal punishment -- and the mission system he created became even more violent with time. When the Catholic church made Serra a saint five years ago, it was over the objections of 50 different California tribes.

Despite this legacy, right-wing archbishops like Timothy Dolan and José Gomez are defending Serra's memorials and attacking Serra's critics. We need to listen to indigenous voices instead: Christians can remember our history without glorifying colonial violence. 

Serra's statues are coming down across California, but one of the most prominent remains: Right in the U.S. Capitol, where each state picks two people to lionize in the National Statuary Hall Collection. While Serra certainly did some good things, Native leaders have spoken, and there are just too many problems to honor him in the Capitol building.

Let's show California's leaders that right-wing bishops don't speak for grassroots Christianity, and call on them to replace the Serra statue with indigenous representation!

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