- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 5, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

CORRECTION: In a column dated Oct. 29, 2017, I incorrectly noted: “The vestry of Christ Church in Alexandria, however, is not capable of grappling with such complexities. Truly, pearls before swine. After all, it is so much easier just to obliterate painful history than to understand it and learn from it.”

In point of fact, pigs are so much more intelligent than the vestry of Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, which has decided to tear down memorial plaques to George Washington and Robert E. Lee.

I retract this unfair comparison to swine and would like to issue a formal apology to hogs — both wild and domesticated — all over the world for my insensitive thoughtlessness.

As Sir Winston Churchill famously noted, “Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

The vestry of Christ Church are more like cats, only dirtier and less agile. But they do look down upon people, such as George Washington, Robert E. Lee and any of us who would honor the memory of those two great American generals.

So much for “forgiveness,” I guess.

“Forgiveness is for losers. God can forgive them, but we shall hold them in contemptible judgment for eternity!”

These people really should be run out of church. A church, by the way, built by the hands of beaten slaves.

What about that? Unlike an antebellum house that has been bought and sold many times since the abolition of slavery, Christ Church in Alexandria is still owned, operated and occupied by the same community that beat slaves into building the church building for white people in the first place.

What of the slaver blood on their white hands?

Why not tear down the church to its slavery-stained foundation? After all, it is a far greater monument to slavery than a couple of marble plaques chiseled long after the end of slavery.

And what of all those grubby green bills that flow into the church’s glittering gold plates every Sunday? They bear the face of George Washington.

Does this great and pure vestry burn those wads of cash in the church yard every week to demonstrate their condemnation of slavery and all the slavers from history? Or, better yet, do they split the proceeds of their weekly collection with Meade Memorial Episcopal Church, just a few blocks away?

Meade Church is the still predominantly black congregation that was created after the Civil War when Christ Church segregated and opened “an Episcopal Church for colored persons,” according to the Meade history webpage.

Separate but equal, perhaps? Or does the vestry of Christ Church prefer to just look the other way?

Now that the Christ Church vestry has formally acknowledged their racial hostility these past 200 years, parishioners of Meade Church should picket the grand place and demand real reparations.

So much of this insanity is based in the catastrophic ignorance of the American Taliban dressed in church frocks who want to heap undeserved virtue on themselves by tearing down monuments and markers to great men from history.

Earlier this week, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly drew criticism for suggesting the Civil War resulted from the inability of people to compromise.

This, of course, is entirely accurate. But it sparked hysterical stupidity from knee-jerk nitwits who instantly spun the remark into somehow meaning Mr. Kelly supports slavery. What?

Putting aside the fact that President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in Southern states, remember the date it was signed: Jan. 1, 1863. That was after the Battles of First and Second Manassas and the bloodiest of all, Antietam in September 1862.

This is not to say the Civil War was not about slavery. Slavery was an undeniable component of that vicious conflict. But it is important to remember that even the Great Emancipator himself would have made just about any compromise he could in order to preserve the Union. And, indeed, his views on race would fall far, far outside the mainstream acceptable views of today.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds,” Mr. Lincoln said in his second inaugural address.

If only. If only.

Charles Hurt can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @charleshurt.

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