- The Washington Times - Friday, June 26, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:


The dean of the Washington National Cathedral is calling for the removal of stained glass windows that honor Confederate history.

“We do not seek to eliminate reminders of a painful past. Rather, we seek to represent that past honestly in a manner that matches our shared aspirations for a diverse, just, and compassionate nation,” the Rev. Gary Hall said in a statement Thursday.

The Washington National Cathedral installed two stained glass windows honoring Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee in 1953, and both include the image of the Confederate battle flag.

“The Cathedral installed these windows, in part, because its leadership at the time hoped they would 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,” Hall said.

“It is time to take those windows out. Here, in 2015, we know that celebrating the lives of these two men, and the flag under which they fought, promotes neither healing nor reconciliation, especially for our African-American sisters and brothers.

The reverend said the Confederate flag has no place ” in this house of prayer for all people, nor can we honor the systematic oppression of African-Americans for which these two men fought and died.”

“In the aftermath of a year of racial tensions and violence — from killings of unarmed black men by police to the shootings of nine members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston — the Confederate battle flag has emerged as the primary symbol of a culture of white supremacy that we and all Americans of good will must repudiate.”

Hall is calling on the Cathedral’s governing bodies to remove the windows and

come up with new panes that will represent “the history of race, slavery, and division in America.”

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