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ALEXANDRIA, VA: Historic Virginia Church Removes Plaques to George Washington, Robert E. Lee--To Be 'Welcoming'

ALEXANDRIA, VA: Historic Virginia Church Removes Plaques to George Washington, Robert E. Lee--To Be 'Welcoming'

By WARNER TODD HUSTON
http://www.breitbart.com/
Oct. 27, 2017

An Episcopal church in Virginia that counted as members both our first president, George Washington, as well as Confederate General Robert E. Lee, will remove the historical plaques memorializing both figures in order to be more "welcoming."

The vestry of Christ Church in Alexandria's unanimous decision was announced in an October 26 letter to members first reported by the Republican Standard website. The letter informs churchgoers that the plaques are to be removed to prevent people feeling "unsafe" in the sanctuaary.

Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Christ Church lives into this call, feeding the hungry with our Lazarus ministry, welcoming the stranger in our refugee ministry, and inviting all to worship with us. The plaques in our sanctuary make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome. 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.

The letter, signed by 13 members of the governing council of the church, goes on to insist that the eras in which the two famed men lived are "much different than our own." The letter continued:

We understand that both Washington and Lee lived in times much different than our own and that each man, in addition to his public persona, was a complicated human being, and like all of us, a child of God. Today, the legacy of slavery and of the Confederacy is understood differently than it was in 1870. For some, Lee symbolizes the attempt to overthrow the Union and to preserve slavery. Today our country is trying once again to come to grips with the history of slavery and the subsequent disenfranchisement of people of color.

"Many in our congregation feel a strong need for the church to stand clearly on the side of 'All are welcome -- no exceptions,'" officials insisted about their whitewashing of church history. "Because the sanctuary is a worship space, not a museum, there is no appropriate way to inform visitors about the history of the plaques or to provide additional context except for the in-person tours provided by our docents."

Church officials went on to explain that both plaques are being removed because the two occupy opposite areas of the sanctuary and would "unbalance" the aesthetic look of the church if only the Robert E. Lee plaque were to be removed.

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George Washington's Virginia church taking down his memorial

By Max Greenwood
https://www.msn.com/
October 27, 2017

A church attended by George Washington will take down a memorial to the nation's first president, a move church leaders say is intended to make the place of worship more welcoming.

The Washington Times reported Friday that Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., will remove memorials of Washington and former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which stand on either side of the church's altar.

"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."

Washington began attending the church soon after it opened in 1773, and bought a pew there. He attended for more than 20 years, though he appeared more regularly at Pohick Church, southwest of his estate at Mount Vernon.

Christ Church's decision to remove the statues comes amid a national debate over whether Confederate statues and monuments should be taken down. That debate resurfaced in August after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., turned violent.

While that debate has focused primarily on Confederate memorials, President Trump suggested shortly after the Charlottesville protests that taking down some memorials would eventually lead to statues of Washington or Thomas Jefferson being removed as well.

END

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