Talk:Spanish missions in California

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Use of "Father" as a priest-title is unacceptable in Wikipedia[edit]

In Wikipedia, the names of priests should not be preceded by the title Father. Note this guideline concerning use of Father as a title:

Father

Use the Rev. in first reference before the names of Episcopal, Orthodox and Roman Catholic priests. On second reference use only the cleric’s last name. Use Father before a name only in direct quotations.

(Religious titles | Religion Stylebook -- http://religionstylebook.com/entries/category/religion-and-culture/titles) Mksword (talk) 19:29, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Use of the term Father or Father-Presidentes in this case is historic. During the time of the Californa Missions existence Father was the proper term. Notice in the section itself individuals are references as The Rev.. I would argue that the first entry is actually wrong because here in California we are taught and we allways say Father Junípero Serra never Reverend Junípero Serra.
Robert.Harker (talk) 20:28, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
I went to the public library and checked the print encyclopedias there. Every one of them has an article about Junípero Serra. In the following-listed encyclopedias, the Junípero Serra articles do not contain the word "Father":
I found two enclopedias wherein the Junípero Serra article does contain the word "Father":
I submit that the older Catholic encyclopedias use the word "Father" because of their explicit affiliation with Catholicism. Mksword (talk) 23:25, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
Surprisingly, WP:SECONDARY sources are preferred by Wikipedia, not tertiary sources such as other encyclopedias. There are plenty of secondary sources that use "Father" when discussing Serra and the California mission system:
Because of this, I don't see any problem with Wikipedia using "Father" to establish somebody's historical title, then using their surname after that. Binksternet (talk) 00:25, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
The title "Father" connotes that the priest is religiously superior to others who are not accorded that title (notice that a priest directly addressed as "Father" may reply with "Yes, my son"). Further, only the priestly denominations afford that designation; the non-priestly denominations do not. Using exalting titles like "His Eminence" or "Father" for clergy of only a subset of the Christian denominations is inequitable. Albert Barnes (a theologian and Presbyterian pastor) wrote the following in his notes on Matthew 23:9 : "[T]he word 'father' also denotes authority, eminence, superiority, a right to command, and a claim to particular respect. In this sense it is used here. In this sense it belongs eminently to God, and it is not right to give it to men. Christian brethren are equal." (Source: Notes, Explanatory and Practical, on the Gospels by Albert Barnes, page 260.)
I am not referencing encyclopedias as sources for the content of a Wikipedia article. Rather, I examined the encyclopedias to establish what the standard practice is in religion-neutral encyclopedias. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; it's not a newspaper, TV station, or radio station. Encyclopedias require a higher level of neutrality than what may be acceptable in popular media. The universal practice in religion-neutral encyclopedias is to not use "Father" as a title for priests, except when it occurs in a direct quotation.
A doctorate is a recognition of objectively proven mastery of an academic (or professional) field. It is customary to address a person who has earned a doctorate as "Dr. Xxxxxx". Yet, in Wikipedia articles, the title "Dr." or "Doctor" is normally not prefixed to the names of persons who have earned doctorates. Example Wikipedia articles: Albert Einstein, Henry Kissinger, Stephen Hawking, Milton Friedman, Richard Feynman, Bertrand Russell, James Watson, Luis Walter Alvarez, William Shockley, Glenn T. Seaborg, Ernest Lawrence, Wilhelm Röntgen, Ivan Pavlov, Andrew Wiles, Hendrik Lorentz
Mksword (talk) 06:41, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Contested source[edit]

The writer Gregory Orfalea is used as a source for what I consider to be questionable claims about the causes of indigene population decline. Readers should note that Orfalea is not a professional historian. WCCasey (talk) 04:29, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

Can we downscale the claim, or do you think it is totally fringe and has no room in the article whatsoever?--Ymblanter (talk) 08:27, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
While he's not a professional historian, he's written a book about Juniper Serra that has been credibly received. Not every source is going to provide pleasing info. Considering the other sources provided, Orfalea's info is balanced and is not given undue weight. His statements about Serra's treatment of indigenous natives stand up when compared to the many purposeful acts of spreading smallpox and mass murder committed against Indians in the mid-West and elsewhere. Orfalea confirms in the article that neophytes under Serra's authority were tracked down and beaten for leaving the mission, a common punishment in that time. He also acknowledges rape and instances of murder. You could add those to the article to give it more balance. — btphelps (talk to me) (what I've done) 10:46, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

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