Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia—the city where I and my family live— announced that it will take take down a memorial plaque marking the pew where Washington sat with his family.
“The plaques in our sanctuary make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome,” church leaders said. “Some visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they receive an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques. Many in our congregation feel a strong need for the church to stand clearly on the side of ‘all are welcome- no exceptions.”
The unspoken but implied rationale is that George Washington was a slave-holder, and that this outweighs everything else. Never mind that the entire white population when he was alive believed that blacks were a lower breed of human. Never mind that it would have been literally impossible to grow up in agrarian, slavery dominated Virginia as a member of the plantation class without embracing slavery. Never mind that Washington continued to ponder the injustice of the practice, and eventually decided never again to buy or sell another slave while advocating slavery’s eventual abolition. In his will, Washington left directions for the emancipation after Martha Washington’s death, of all the slaves who belonged to him. Never mind that.
Never mind that without George Washington’s courage, leadership, aversion to excessive power and astonishing charisma and trustworthiness, there would be no United States of America.
Slippery-slope doomsayers like me and President Trump predicted that the political correctness-sparked historical airbrushing that began with the Confederate flag and spread to statues of Confederate generals and American statesmen who weren’t attuned to 21st century progressive mandates would eventually make the nation’s Founders persona non grata. We were as correct as these totalitarian and ignorant church-goers are misguided and wrong.
Not feeling safe and comfortable sitting in a church pew where the greatest American once worshiped? It is fair to say that no prominent historical figure who ever lived would be safer to sit near, stand near, work near and live near than George Washington, a man whose entire life and career was governed by a commitment to civility, gentility, ethical values and a constant quest to improve himself. And, of course, he’s dead; you can’t get more harnless than that. The church-goers are prompting, though sheer ignorance, Christ Church to reject Washington’s legacy and insult the memory of the single individual most responsible for our nation’s existence, and, by extension, the existence of the free world itself . These churchgoers should have been referred to a psychiatrist, or maybe a public library. An ethical church would have done that. A church with principles would have done that.
Not every opinion and political sentiment is worthy of respect, much less deference. The church leaders are cowardly, lacking in perspective and proportion, irresponsible and incompetent. If there is justice and sufficient spines in the congregation to build a monkey bridge, the church will lose 100 parishioners for every one ungrateful dolt it is debasing history to pander to.
The United States has a glorious history authored by many courageous, passionate, brilliant and ethical human beings. George Washington was the most indispensable of them all. Make no mistake: this is the plague on American values, heritage and history that has been injected into the nation’s bloodstream by the anti-American ideology of the rabid Left, and enabled by irresolute fools like the Christ Church leaders. The malady is potentially fatal, and it must be opposed.
If its members have any integrity and appreciation of the miracle that is the United States of America, Christ Church should be all but empty this Sunday.
George deserves better treatment than this.
39 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Christ Church In Alexandria, Virginia”
Beyond ethics dunce.
Ethics dunce is too nice.
To make everyone feel a little better, there worse examples of this phenomenon…
Not in other churches I hope. For those who believe in God and practice true Christianity, the Bible tells them, “Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” Plus, “Perfect love casts out all fear”. Something is bad wrong with churches whose members live in fear and are easily offended.
In Spain some of the churches hide the bases of statues of Santiago Matamoros, St. James the Moor-slayer, who is often shown as a knight wielding a sword, with the fallen heads of the Moors on the base. Heaven forbid the Spanish acknowledge they spent 7 centuries kicking the Moorish invaders out.
An ancestor of mine went by “Yakov the Insane” and, according to oral tradition, killed Turks wholesale in defense of his people during the Armenian genocide, becoming a folk hero. Can’t say how much of this awesomeness is true, but if only I could verify any of it, I sure wouldn’t be ashamed to talk about it. If anything I’d try to get a book made. Movie rights, everything.
R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church in Lexington, VA was recently renamed to Grace Episcopal Church (the original name). Lee had served as Senior Warden during the last years of his life while he was president of my alma mater, and the name had been changed in his honor after his death. Locals affectionately called it “St. Bobby’s.”
I was (once again) going to say something based on Lincoln’s speech at Ottawa (“They are just what we would be in their situation.”), but Lincoln’s out of style, too. Many of our countrymen have become as parakeets, living only to contemplate the beauty of the parakeet on the other side of the mirror.
Churches have become as embarrassing as the media.
So when is Nancy Pelosi going to have San Francisco renamed in it’s Native American name? How can she be comfortable being from and representing a city settled and named by Spanish Imperialists to convert or wipe out the First Americans? Are we supposed to believe Alta California was just vacant before de Anza rolled into town and set up “Saint Francis?” What about Santa Cruz, California? Holy Cross? Are you kidding me? Roman Catholic hegemony forced upon the First Americans? How can that continue unabated? Ciudad De Los Angeles? How can the Hispanic population of The Angles, creatures dreamed up by deluded old white men, allow that? Wait, they’re the descendants of the Spanish occupation, you know, the holocaust begun by Columbus? How can Jerry Brown let the state he leads be named by the Spanish invaders? How is this acceptable? How can anyone feel comfortable while this continues?
And why isn’t the Christ Church in Alexandria giving its property to the local Native American tribes so they can open a casino there? Christians settled Virginia to obliterate, or convert the First Americans. Shame on the United Church of Christ. Where is the Social Justice? Why not give the real estate to the NAACP? Why not begin the reparations themselves? Why do they need a fancy church? Whatever happened to “I am wherever a few of you are gathered together?”
Logically, there’d be something of a quandary regarding the aboriginal Americans, since they, too, tended to invade, conquer, and enslave their neighbors at opportune times.
They’re people of color, it’s different when they do it.
… I wish that wasn’t the actual argument they make.
Give it time, Bill.
“So when is Nancy Pelosi going to have San Francisco renamed in it’s Native American name?”
SanFranNan has her own set of problems to tend.
While reluctant to cite “The Blaze,” google “What’s wrong with Nancy Pelosi” (IMHO a trend, not an aberration) and behold the conspicuous absence of any Lefty media outlets taking note.
They’ll probably just need to shorten their name to “Church”, as well. Neither Jesus, nor Paul (“Slaves, obey your earthly masters…”), nor any other Biblical figure is recorded as saying anything in opposition to slavery, although they did council proper treatment by masters..
It’s properly denounced in James (as something for which God’s wrath will surely punish masters), in Revelation, and by inference, by almost every New Testament writer. Slavery was an institution associated with the hated pagan Roman empire, detested entirely by the Jews and Christians, who were often either slaves themselves or else litter better than.
It was common in the Roman Empire for a slave’s status to be fixed by the State, not by slave owners (most slaves were foreigners, often war prisoners) and to “free” such a slave would just guarantee a miserable continued existence as a slave somewhere else. Thus there were many, many situations in which the most ethical possible thing to do was to continue owning one’s slaves (either permanently or until the slave was eligible for freeman status), and to treat them as equals privately in the meantime. Paul’s letter to Philemon is specifically about such a situation. An escaped slave apparently became Paul’s disciple, his owner converted to Christianity, and Paul reunited them and instructed them to now treat one another as equals (Onesimus probably was not legally eligible for freeman status, especially if he was known by the government to have been a fugitive slave.)
Paul’s advice to slaves was to purchase and work for their freedom if possible, but to be well-behaved and obedient in the meantime. This is not just moral, but practical advice. A single act such as stealing or disrespecting a cruel master could lead to physical branding, and permanent legal slave status, ruining the chance for the slave or his descendants at freedom.
Although there seems to be evidence of disapproval, I’m not so sure there are any clear denunciations of the institution of slavery, though I’m open to specific citations. There appears to be even scholarly dispute over whether Onesimus was even actually a slave, and the suggestions on his treatment are generally regarded as pertaining to their relationship in the church, as fellow Christians.
In any case, this is all sort of beside the point I was (perhaps poorly) attempting to make. The point being that nothing short of a full-throated condemnation of all that we presently find unacceptable is sufficient to save a generally good and admirable historic figure from the long knives of today’s SJWs.
I have never really been to the USA and am an Australian of English dissent and an athiest but I am affected by this news. For all its faults the United States has one of the most civilized governments and yet many of its citizens seem to be losing confidence in that fact. Perhaps this is a consequence of not stressing the importance of the constitution and history enough at school, perhaps this kind of anti-nationalism is the intention of those intent upon undermining western democracy.
It is likely even worse or deeper than this. Most in this movement are a witting or unwitting part of abetting Alinskyite (deceptive) communism to power. They are disgruntled with the results of their choices and the society in which they made them, so they seek a false utopian undoing of it all.
Sadly and obviously, they have no historical perspective or educational background to understand or care about what they are doing.
The arguments are indistinguishable from Soviet disinformation (and I think often rooted in it). You take isolated points from a life, proclaim that those points are all that define the person, and repeat it until just plain vain people pick it up as an insight that’s more nuanced than the general rabble holds.
Wait, wait, wait, Jack. With respect, I think you’re leaving out part of the story. The church also had a plaque honoring Robert E. Lee, and had decided to remove it because worshippers felt unsafe and unwelcome with it there. There might also have been an issue of architectural balance between the two, i.e. if one was removed and not the other, things would look lopsided.
That said, I’ve been very clear in other posts where I stand on the issue of this kind of historical airbrushing. It doesn’t surprise me that the squishy Episcopalian Church, which is increasingly becoming less and less about Christ and more and more about spiritualized leftism, would genuflect to this political correctness.
I don’t think the Lee plaque is relevant: that part of the slope is already above us. Tearing down statues and memorials to heroes of the South is stupid, ignorant and wrong, but if it stopped with figures who tried to tear apart the country, the harm would be endurable and contained. The point here has always been that the Left can’t stop with that. And, as this shows, they can’t. A US that tears down statues of Lee is being petty and foolish. A US that tears down Washington, Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt isn’t the US.
Don’t these people feel at all discomfited by living across a river, from a place named after the very same George Washington, with a weird subdesignation, District of Columbus, the great murderer, infector, raper and invader? And come to think of it, what about Alexandria? Are they comfortable living in a city named after a center of learning built by slaves owned by people of color who enslaved the entire north eastern quadrant of the African continent? And they live in Virginia! Named after the Virgin Queen for God’s sake! She oversaw the expansion of the murderous British Empire and was herself a victim of the Patriarchy! Come on folks. Wake up! There’s work to do.
That’s all in good time. The only that aren’t changeable are things like “Democratic Party” and the names of elite colleges, because they have present money and power attached to them. Everything else is a potential target.
Don’t give them ideas.
It’s the District of Columbia, but otherwise your points all stand.
I think he was doing a rhetorical thing.
I agree with him; Columbia after all was named for Columbus. Just being a bit of a pedant. 🙂
Of course they can’t, especially not now that there’s political hay to be made. The left would just say this is the enlightened version of the US that has evolved beyond those old, flawed heroes. BTW, I was in NY yesterday, and happy to report that the AMNH scrubbed Teddy’s statue clean of the vandalism within 48 hours.
I don’t think the Lee plaque is relevant: that part of the slope is already above us.
It’s entirely relevant to the motivation behind moving the Washington plaque.
We’re not disagreeing. It’s just not logically relevant. If someone can’t see the material distinction between Lee and Washington, then that someone is an ignoramus.
If someone can’t see the material distinction between Lee and Washington, then that someone is an ignoramus.
Then how does this comport with your stance that removing monuments to Lee logically leads to removing monuments to Washington?
Again, wilful obtuseness pollutes the discussion.Because people are stupid and corrupt. Because people can’t see the material distinctions between Lee and Washington, or choose not to. Because once they get a taste of pwer and realize that cowards like the Christ Church administrators won’t stand up for history and the past, they will go full Soviet, and use editing the past to make it easier to control the future.
I have never said that toppling Lee logically leads to Washington and Jefferson. I said it would. Not because of logic, because even taking down Lee is illogical, just like arguing for open borders is illogical. That’s what slippery slopes are…the first step can be justified…in this case, it was removing confederate flags as state flags. That’s a defensible position. Then it was taking the fags out of gift shops at battlefields. That’s idiotic. Then it was tearing down Lee, Calhoun, Jackson, and so on. That is wrong, and illogical, but it follows the insane political correctness powoer playbook. I said Washington, Jefferson and Madison would be next. That’s their twisted logic, not mine.
So now you’re just trolling, arguing semantics, gotchas, tangential arguments, without the guts to make your own position clear. Do you think taking down George Washington memorials can be justified or not?
I deleted your Breitbart slur for your own good. Say thank you.Non substantive, insulting (to me), and meaningless. If it stayed up, I might have to do something about it.
No, my position is that taking down plaques to Washington out of fear of offending people is stupid—but given that you left out the accompanying Lee plaque in your version of the story, I am not convinced there isn’t other context that might justify their decision.
The Breitbart line was meant to be directed at dragin_dragon’s lie that Mueller is a liberal Democrat, when he is in fact a Republican. That is the kind of removed-from-reality, Bizarro-world comment one would see at Breitbart. Sadly, I am seeing more and more of those from commenters here. You should really do something about that.
“Sadly, I am seeing more and more of those from commenters here.”
No, no you haven’t. Otherwise, prove it.
“You should really do something about that.”
If you think Jack should “do something” about what could be termed “bizarro-world comments”, *you* should be careful what you wish for.
The plaques are off to the sides under the balconies. You could make an argument for architectural balance being a factor, but it would be a little weak, I think.
Here’s a photo of the sanctuary: https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/09/6f/b9/9d/alexandria-s-christ-church.jpg
Christ Church, Alexandria, where all are welcome—no exceptions*
*Except racists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, anti-immigrationists, bigots, marriage traditionalists, gender conformists, anti-abortionists, Trump supporters, dead slaveholders, and other unwoke folk. We reserve the right to define, add, or remove any excluded categories without regard to rational consistency or historical context at any time without notice. Kyrie eleison, though honestly we don’t think it’s necessary.
WaPo has the story, too. Apparently the church plans to move the plaque to a different location on their grounds—perhaps that is somewhat mitigating, but Charlottesville is nevertheless the motivating factor here.
I wonder how many members of that congregation have felt the wonder and privilege of having that plaque marking that pew. Far more awesome to imagine George and his family wide awake (you know he never slept through a sermon!) of a Sunday, rather than being in awe of a bed in somebody’s house. I wonder too how much longer it will take before there are incinerators working overtime burning up the history books — you know, the ones that talk about “The Father of Our Country.”