Washington falls to the Amer­i­can Tal­iban

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

vi­o­lently anti-Catholic and anti-Ital­ian. In its hey­day in the 1920s, there were some 700,000 Klan mem­bers in In­di­ana alone and the Klan was stronger in the Mid­west mon­u­ments and de­stroyed as many as they could when this failed.

The ab­sur­dity of our ig­no­rance today is per­haps best il­lus­trated by the de­ci­sion last week to re­move a small plaque rec­og­niz­ing that Ge­orge Washington do­nated a pew to Christ Church in Old Town Alexan­dria in Vir­ginia, and that he and his wife wor­shipped there for some 20 years. It wasn’t a statue, but a plaque sim­i­lar to one of­ten found on park benches do­nated by a fam­ily in re­mem­brance of a rel­a­tive. Ap­par­ently, the very ex­is­tence of the plaque scared the be­je­sus out of some overly sen­si­tive and per­haps marginally un­bal­anced par­ish­ioners.

The church re­moved a sim­i­lar plaque com­mem­o­rat­ing the fact that Robert E. Lee wor­shipped at the church. Re­gard­less of how one feels about Lee, the at­tack on Ge­orge and Martha Washington is sim­ply ab­surd.

The Wash­ing­tons didn’t just at­tend Christ Church, which the church has bragged about ever since — they saved it. The church was orig­i­nally sup­ported by the Bri­tish govern­ment’s Church of Eng­land, but af­ter Corn­wal­lis sur­ren­dered to Washington’s armies, Lon­don cut off the sub­sidy. Washington per­son­ally do­nated the money needed to save the church in a new na­tion that ab­horred the idea of a govern­ment-sup­ported church and in­cluded in its Con­sti­tu­tion a pro­vi­sion guar­an­tee­ing free­dom of re­li­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to the cur­rent church rec­tor, Noelle York-Simmons, the is­sue of the plaques was de­bated and dis­cussed among par­ish­ioners for more than a month. She would not say if there was any dis­agree­ment with the ac­tion taken, not­ing only that the de­ci­sion was “a unan­i­mous vote of the vestry” be­cause of the feel­ing that ac­knowl­edg­ing that ei­ther Lee or Washington had at­tended Christ Church made some “of our par­ish­ioners feel un­safe or un­wel­come.” “Some vis­i­tors and guests who wor­ship with us chose not to re­turn be­cause they re­ceive an un­in­tended mes­sage from the prom­i­nent pres­ence of the plaques,” she added.

She and other lead­ers of her church seem in­tent upon ig­nor­ing the many, many Amer­i­cans who have over decades vis­ited, do­nated to and, yes, even wor­shipped at Christ Church pre­cisely be­cause it was Ge­orge Washington’s church and was ad­ver­tised as such by her and those who pre­ceded her. Those in­tim­i­dated or made fear­ful by the recog­ni­tion of a man proudly and ap­pro­pri­ately re­mem­bered by most Amer­i­cans as “the fa­ther” of his coun­try be­cause he lived in dif­fer­ent times are, as we are learn­ing, un­likely to be sat­is­fied — un­til all traces of pride in our his­tory are erad­i­cated and places like Christ Church are re­placed by pub­lic park­ing lots. David A. Keene is editor at large at The Washington Times.

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