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Will Racke

The Virginia church that George Washington attended for two decades plans to tear out a memorial to the nation’s first president because the plaque could make some worshipers feel “unsafe or unwelcome.”

Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., where Washington became a founding member in 1773, will remove his memorial and a similar one to Robert E. Lee, the Washington Times reported. Church leaders say the memorials, which sit to the left and right of the altar, have become too divisive and might be discouraging parishioners from attending services.

“The plaques in our sanctuary make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome,” the church leaders said, according to the Washington Times. “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.”

The church’s decision to remove the plaques puts it at the center of a nationwide debate over the display of memorials to important American historical figures whose acts or statements didn’t comport with today’s social norms. Many groups have protested against public memorials to Confederate generals, such as Robert E. Lee, and also to transformative presidents such as Washington, Andrew Jackson and even Abraham Lincoln.

The memorials at Christ Church in Alexandria were placed at the same time in 1870, months after Lee’s death. City residents chipped in for the plaques for both leaders, whose families had for many years been generous donors to the church’s endowment.

The Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, rector of the church, told the Washington Times the decision to take down the memorials was made by “unanimous vote” of the vestry, or church leadership committee. Church leaders say the plaques will come down by next summer, but no decision has been made as to how they will be displayed in another part of the church grounds.

“The new display location will be determined by a parish committee,” York-Simmons said. “That location will provide a place for our parish to offer a fuller narrative of our rich history, including the influence of these two powerful men on our church and our country.”

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  • Brian Gore

    Probably need to remove the cross too

  • Jan Esposito Baird

    Why are we allowing our history to be erased? We would not be here today without these men! Shame on all of you.

  • dave

    Apparently the leftist idiots will not be satisfied until THEY have removed every bit of American history that THEY don’t approve of. Why should the rest of us care what THEY think in the first place? George Washington? The father of this country? Are you kidding me? Maybe it’s time to start “removing” some American history that THEY hold dear. I know! How about tearing down all the statues of Martin Luther King? Then we could sit back and watch all the riots and looting begin. After all, isn’t rioting and looting the way liberals respond when something happens that THEY don’t approve of? Kind of like after the election last year?

  • xcalybur

    I hope that church looses 2/3 of their members. This is pathetic.

  • Roy Stockdill

    As a Brit, a professional genealogist and a keen general historian, I am appalled by the mania of the Left to destroy and rewrite history. Do they not understand that it is a ludicrous perversion of thought and logic to interpret and analyse historical events from long ago with a mindset of 21st century standards and values? IT SIMPLY DOESN’T WORK! You can only ever judge and interpret history by the views and social mores that existed at the time a historical event occurred. Washington and Lee were men of their time and should be remembered and celebrated as such. I’ve been to Alexandria and consider this proposal an act of sheer vandalism and an affront to history.

  • William Klauck

    Speaking of erasing history. I find it funny that the American media along with White America doesn’t acknowledge the forgotten history of Greenwood Tulsa Oklahoma.

    • AnnMarie Mckcracker

      Shut up 🤐

    • Peter Okeefe

      I dont follow..white america?? long ago I stopped slicing and dicing people into the little color cubicles…I found it insulting to all people to not recognize individuals as such…you are a racist…correct? you should just own up to it..really

  • Peter Okeefe

    I noticed that the entire board is made up of women…could there be an agenda?? or is it just “gods will”?

  • katierose

    Of course, it is their right to remove the plaque, but sadly it does nothing to promote a spirit of unity.