Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

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Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission
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The Junípero Serra statue at the Old Santa Barbara Mission was decapitated and splashed with bright red paint between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

An edhat reader captured these photos while walking along the Mission early Monday morning. It appears the photos were taken before staff at the Santa Barbara Mission had arrived or were aware of the vandalism. The statue has since been fully covered.

Junípero Serra was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco. Santa Barbara's Mission was founded on December 4th, 1786, two years after Serra died. He planned to build this mission, raising the cross at the Presidio of Santa Barbara in 1782. Successors of Serra carried on his wishes in building Mission Santa Barbara.

Serra was beatified in 1988 and canonized in 2015, because of his religious devotion and missionary efforts. He was largely credited with bringing Catholicism to California while it was under Spanish rule.

However, Serra is viewed as controversial by many historians in the mission's oppressive treatment of native people. "By law, all baptized Indians subjected themselves completely to the authority of the Franciscans; they could be whipped, shackled or imprisoned for disobedience, and hunted down if they fled the mission grounds. Indian recruits, who were often forced to convert nearly at gunpoint, could be expected to survive mission life for only about ten years," according to PBS

Two years ago, just days after Serra was raised to sainthood, vandals toppled statues and painted "Saint of Genocide" on a headstone at the Carmel Mission where remains of the missionary are buried.

Last November, red paint was splashed across the front door of Mission Santa Cruz. 

And just last month, another statue of Serra was vandalized in Mission Hills across from the San Fernando Mission. The statue's hands were painted red with murder written on the monument, reports the LA Times.

Santa Barbara Police officers were later on the scene. It's being reported there may be video footage of the incident, although this has not yet been confirmed.

Edhat will update this article with any further developments.


Junipero Serra statue at the Santa Barbara Mission before being vandalized (Facebook)

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a-1506060645 Sep 13, 2017 01:07 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Or, instead of shutting it down, making it like old times were the deleted comments would go somewhere else and you could look at them if you want. Now, you can only see what comments were deleted, not actually read them.

a-1506060645 Sep 13, 2017 12:59 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Gads, shut up the lot of you! Roger simmer down. Everyone picking on him, stop. You're all just a bunch of people on computers getting worked up over what someone types. Think about it. Just breathe and get on with your day....please!

Flicka Sep 13, 2017 12:56 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Calling Roger a bully is so far off the mark it's unbelievable. He is simply refusing to be bullied and prepared to stand up to those making disparaging remarks about him here.

a-1506060645 Sep 13, 2017 01:39 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

And yet, FLICKA, no one has had more comments deleted than Roger himself. Why would that be if he is so beneficent? Methinks his fans like to overlook his mean streak.

oops Sep 13, 2017 10:38 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Eastbeach - the only thing blurry is your tacit approval via linking it somehow to the Boston Tea Party. The fact is that that a criminal vandalized a statue on private property.....is it ok to go inside the gates of Oprah's, Kevin Costner's or Ellen Degenerous estate and deface property that you don't agree with. How about we all get together and reduce their carbon footprint for them in the name of righteousness (leo Dicraprio)

EastBeach Sep 13, 2017 10:23 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

The line between vandalism and righteous protest are often blurred and subjective. An example is the Boston Tea Party. At the time, Samuel Adams argued it was a principled protest, not the act of a lawless mob. But even the colonialists' most ardent supporters in Britain were shocked.

SBPaul Sep 14, 2017 03:33 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

The Boston Tea Party was a response to taxation that was happening currently. Your loose understanding of historical events and their context is the reason this statue should stay up.

ZeroHawk Sep 13, 2017 09:35 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

not going to argue with anyone here, as that is just pointless online. I fact, why do so many of you try to argue with others while online? Do you really think you're accomplishing ANYTHING? You're not. Other than getting yourselves worked up. Fact. Serra enslaved and did torture the Chumash. Fact, they did force Catholicism on them forcing them to forget their culture and heritage. Fact. Robert E Lee confederate statue and Serra are different...but not by much. Do I really give two turds about his statue and someone making a statement? Not at all. I go to bed the same and wake up the same tomorrow. If the person or persons that did this, are Chumash, would you change your tone then? Have a great day folks....don't fight too much with each other...there are bigger things out there to fret over...

oops Sep 13, 2017 09:33 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

What does rape have to do with a statue on private property being defaced by criminals? Roger, you hijack these stories for your own opportunity to pontificate.

Roger Sep 13, 2017 06:37 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Actually Rex bought up the priests protecting other priests from being prosecuted for child molestation and protected by the Catholic church in fact several child molesting priests have been protected allowed to live out their days in the Santa Barbara Mission. I hijacked no thread as another first spoke this this before I did but you may blame me as I am sure that most things in your life is someone else's fault.

NostraChumash Sep 13, 2017 09:39 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Laughing... Poor, ignorant child..there's no such thing as a "peace pipe"... That comes from you believing old western movies. Columbus didn't discover "america" & this isn't India.

ZeroHawk Sep 13, 2017 09:31 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

don't fall for this jerkface and his taunts....you're bigger than that man. this guy is nothing but a coward. You see, in the digital age, guys like him, think they are big and brave hiding behind a computer monitor acting like a passive aggressive child. I've dealt with people of this low brow caliber for decades.

Roger Sep 13, 2017 08:53 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

I guess I am Anti Catholic when it comes to Priests protecting Priests who sexually rape little children and I do practice what I preach. I hate rapists no matter what so called faith they claim to be I can feel the hate I have for rapists flowing in my veins like a quiet river flowing through my mind. The sad part about it is I'm a god damned catholic of course I'm white too and I'm ashamed of what the white man has done to all the other people of color maybe this is my hell...

Roger Sep 14, 2017 11:33 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

It's kind of a pretty red paint like someone had to mix it up like that to get the perfect color I don't think they bought it in a store it's kinda Animal House ish to me not my style...There might not have been so much to say about it if the picture was covered up like other news sights...I am very strongly against and very sensitive to the subject of sex crimes.

Roger Sep 14, 2017 07:38 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

I did not say everyone is bad I'm sure the Pope is a good guy my Uncle got a scholarship too Notre Dame damn lawyers wish there was an Island around somewhere...I don't think all cops are bad where did I say that? And how come I have to read this comment twice? Oops was manipulating the situation must be someone's mother OK a paragraph is OK but did you have to write a book?

SBPaul Sep 14, 2017 05:05 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

I completely understood what Oops was getting at. The whole stating your beliefs thing is all well and good. Perhaps you can consider being respectful of the fact that not everyone thinks all cops are bad or the criminal justice system is completely unfair or that tearing down statues is an act of vandalism. When you only hold yourself accountable to being completely honest all the time you will find yourself over spoken and lacking perspective. Not a personal attack. Just an observation. Thanks for all the good that you do on here. But remember not everyone is gonna agree with you and you may find it beneficial to consider their opinion. For every rape that you want to wave around and point a finger at you have literally hundreds of scholarships to catholic universities (my brother got one and certainly could not have afforded to attend University) How about the rescue mission? And yes I have read Christopher Hitchens and agree with his sentiments on religion. I just don't bad mouth an entire group of people because of issues that occurred with a select group. If you use that logic we would be in wars everywhere and be making enemies with everyone. The kind of scenario you paint our current leadership out to be. Just a thought to ponder over some coffee or something.

SBPaul Sep 14, 2017 05:05 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

I completely understood what Oops was getting at. The whole stating your beliefs thing is all well and good. Perhaps you can consider being respectful of the fact that not everyone thinks all cops are bad or the criminal justice system is completely unfair or that tearing down statues is an act of vandalism. When you only hold yourself accountable to being completely honest all the time you will find yourself over spoken and lacking perspective. Not a personal attack. Just an observation. Thanks for all the good that you do on here. But remember not everyone is gonna agree with you and you may find it beneficial to consider their opinion. For every rape that you want to wave around and point a finger at you have literally hundreds of scholarships to catholic universities (my brother got one and certainly could not have afforded to attend University) How about the rescue mission? And yes I have read Christopher Hitchens and agree with his sentiments on religion. I just don't bad mouth an entire group of people because of issues that occurred with a select group. If you use that logic we would be in wars everywhere and be making enemies with everyone. The kind of scenario you paint our current leadership out to be. Just a thought to ponder over some coffee or something.

SBPaul Sep 14, 2017 11:14 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

One of many definitions of Preach: to advocate or inculcate in speech or writing. You have expressed your sentiment on many occasions. Some I agree with. This is pretty hard to stomach. Its not just about religion its about idealism. Everyone has their own brand. Some let it play out with time others try to make it pertinent to any situation that might fit their prerogative and ignore the rest. I appreciate your informative posts on police activity as well as many other comments. I just don't wanna see the good old Roger Dodger handle that I love and I am sure we all do, discredit it's fairly objective coverage of local issues. I would not have commented if this had not gotten so one sided from someone on Edhat I truly appreciate. I have lived in the south and been to bible beating churches... You can look up the power team and have a good laugh. Idealism is not the path to tolerance and that is all I am saying. You can poke at any religion but the reality is that religion is just a practice. Good people will do good things, Bad people will do bad things. One way to get good people to do really bad things is religion and I think you could see how pouring red paint on a statue is probably not a good thing for our city and that historic monument. I think you want to do right but consider the consequences.

Roger Sep 13, 2017 09:57 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

What do I preach? I'd really to know because I'm not a preacher and I have always stated my beliefs here and been accepted What do I preach?

Flicka Sep 12, 2017 02:29 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

The Confederate statues were put up long after the Civil War, up to the 1930s. It was a way of intimidating Blacks during the Jim Crow period. "We are bigger and more powerful than you are."

Roger Sep 15, 2017 12:52 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Of course I no nothing of racism I'm just a dumb ass from NorthWest Indiana just a hair South of Chicago so if we are going to speak all huffy and puffy of where we are from and how ignorant everyone else is New Orleans has NOTHING on the space between Gary and Chicago the Glorious Arm Pit of Chicago...I believe the Native Americans over the White man priestly bunch anyway and I still like the colorful picture.....The Blessed Pink people have always played control games with people of other colors...White is so bland.

SBPaul Sep 15, 2017 12:17 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

So when was the statue at the mission put up? No one even knows what Junipero looked like. It was put up to celebrate someone who did something a specific group glorifies while another group feels it is a sign of oppression. No native american in their right mind looks at the mission as anything other than the first wave of the white invasion and enslavement. You don't know what you are talking about with the confederate statues. And having lived in New Orleans for many years and observed the racism and segregation there I can speak to it from first hand experience. Happy you feel so empowered to share your lack of perspective in public. One day you may figure it out but thats not my job. At least I can say all this and still show my handle.

SBPaul Sep 14, 2017 03:22 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Not entirely correct. Actually very much not correct. Many of the confederate statues were donated years after because there were more important things to do after a civil war. (Something we will get to see or feel again if we keep this up) The junipero statue was placed up for the same exact reason the confederate statues were. To celebrate a leader who made decisions that society now shuns and has evolved from. I know this kind of vandalism looks really ugly in your home town... maybe you should stop inflicting your opinions on towns with people who have no desire to hear yours. The people in the south have a right to sort out their statues and I think we can do the same... you seem to just want to ignore the fact that we also have statues that can be taken as symbols of oppression. If you can come up with a way the mission was built that did not involve enslaving native Americans I am sure some anthropologist would love to hear it. Just like how all confederate statues where built in the 20th century. You can fact check yourself I don't have the time.

a-1506060645 Sep 12, 2017 02:39 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Exactly, and this is why it is NOT the same thing as this vandalism of the statue at the Mission. Not sure how some people here equate these two events. This statue wasn't erected to intimidate or frighten Native Americans.

SBPaul Sep 12, 2017 12:30 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

I remember saying to someone that if they think its ok to tear down statues of Robert E Lee then they should have no problem with someone tearing down statues of Catholic Priests. I was stating this for satirical effect. The sick/sad thing is someone really thinks that defacing a statue is somehow going to change the fact that history has and always will be defined by the winners. We should learn from our mistake. When we start taking down history (as controversial as it may be) we begin a process called censorship. That mission building has just as much blood sweat and tears of Native Americans. Those you are in favor of this act of vandalism should consider petitioning the city to take down the mission all together. After all its a symbol of oppression... Sigh I can't wait to see that in the next city council meeting minutes.

a-1506060645 Sep 12, 2017 01:35 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Fully agree. And why, pushing their "logic" to its obvious conclusion, why don't they just all move out of California and revert the land to the natives ? Come on P.C. people : do it !!

Roger Sep 12, 2017 01:18 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Not to long ago someone tried to torch something on the property so perhaps they are trying to say something I suspect someone in the comments most likely someone condemning the comments so they won't be suspected...

NativeofSB Sep 12, 2017 11:37 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

I hope there is video footage, and I hope they catch who did this. I am disappointed to hear the comments by some of you supporting this act of violence. No one has the right to damage or destroy someone else's personal property.

a-1506060645 Sep 12, 2017 12:16 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

I agree with Nativeofsb. This was vandalism, plain and simple. It wasn't a "protest," not a "resistance," not anything other than a crime. Have your opinions about the subject matter of the statue, fine. But to tout this as some kind of heroic act or something is just sad. Look at the other story about the men who were caught tagging in Goleta. Amazing the difference in comments.

Roger Sep 12, 2017 11:12 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

I wasn't joking maybe it is a weird twisting of gods will why else would catholic priests rape children? and the catholic church does make Al Capone look like romper room...Al Capone did not rape children. I got raped too killed my molester no joke and he looked worse than this guy too bad sometimes rapists rape the wrong kid...The Catholic Church is a criminal institution and that is No Joke ...And it always has been.

a-1506060645 Sep 12, 2017 10:34 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Roger: Sexual abuse of any sort is a terrible crime. Why anyone insists on making jokes about it is beyond comprehension. Maybe think twice next time before making light of such tragedy. Just sayin'...

yin yang Sep 12, 2017 10:20 PM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Roger knows of what he speaks about. Welcome to Edhat. You'll figure it out if you stick around. He's definitely not joking or making light of terrible crime.

Flicka Sep 12, 2017 09:59 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Roger, The church hides all the sexual abuse because they don't want to dirty their reputation of being a saintly bunch, God's representatives here on earth. Hiding what was done by a priest is one thing but moving them to another parish to repeat their actions is heinous.

Roger Sep 12, 2017 09:42 AM
Junipero Serra Statue Beheaded at Old Mission

Maybe he didn't torture or enslave people maybe he was a good old boy...But currently and in the recent past there have been many instances of Sexual Abuse by priests in thy blessed Catholic church many right here in Santa Barbara and if that wasn't true though it is why did the Catholic Church pay all those settlements? And why to this day does the Catholic church protect Catholic Priests who are sex abusers most of children? Are not children important? Or are Catholic children meant to be abused by Catholic priests some weird twisting of Gods Will?

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