The beauty of the bells: The real story of how faith came to California

Vol. 4 | No. 27 | August 2-9, 2019

A nationwide trend pushing to remove tributes to certain historical figures of U.S. history has seized on a new, unlikely target: the bells lining California’s iconic El Camino Real. The reason? The belief that Spanish missionaries — among them St. Junípero Serra — were oppressors, captors, and even murderers of California’s first peoples. On Page 10, renowned historian Gregory Orfalea examines the most common critiques of the Spanish evangelization of California and makes the case for why the bells represent a legacy of love, not oppression.

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