Cathedral removing Lee-Jackson windows

Windows featuring Lee and Jackson will be removed.
Windows featuring Lee and Jackson will be removed.
Stained-glass windows featuring images of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson will be removed from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

    The cathedral’s congregation, which takes as its mission to “serve as a house of prayer for all people and a spiritual home for the nation,” began mulling the fate of the windows two years ago, following the murder of nine African-Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. 
    These windows are not only inconsistent with our current mission to serve as a house of prayer for all people, but also a barrier to our important work on racial justice and racial reconciliation,” said a statement on the cathedral’s website. “Their association with racial oppression, human subjugation and white supremacy does not belong in the sacred fabric of this cathedral.”
    The two windows being removed were installed in 1953 and were sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, according to NPR.
     When first installed, the church leadership hoped to foster "reconciliation between parts of the nation that had been divided by the Civil War. Because this cathedral is the ‘national’ cathedral, it sought to depict America’s history in a way that promoted healing and reconciliation,” recounted a 2015 statement by Gary Hall, then dean of the cathedral. But the time had come to take the windows out, Hall added.
     Violence at an Aug. 12 protest that focused on the removal of a Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, “brought urgency” to the church’s discernment process, according to a statement Sept. 6.  
    Clergy members Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, the Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of the cathedral, and John Donoghue, chairman of the Cathedral Chapter, signed a letter announcing the decision.
    The windows are “more than benign historical markers," their statement explained. "For many of God’s children, they are an obstacle to worship in a sacred space; for some, these and other Confederate memorials serve as lampposts along a path that leads back to racial subjugation and oppression.”            


      Would Lee have wanted a memorial?

      Symbol of hate, oppression to fade from view

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