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.