Church George Washington Attended Removes Plaque Honoring First President

By Tre Goins-Phillips

October 28, 2017

INJOThe centuries-old Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, is removing two plaques — one honoring former President George Washington and another for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — because the memorials make visitors “feel unsafe or unwelcome.”

Never mind the fact that both Washington and Lee were frequent parishioners of the Episcopalian church, The Republican Standard reported. Alas, the church’s board voted unanimously this week to rip out the plaques, which indicated where the two men often sat when they attended services.

Initially, the church was only considering removing Lee’s plaque, but later added Washington because he, too, owned slaves (at a time when everyone owned slaves). Here’s the church’s statement, in part:

Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” 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.

Many in our congregation feel a strong need for the church to stand clearly on the side of, “All are welcome — no exceptions.”

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Photo: Getty Images

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