Tags: Religion | cathedral | church | confederate | Episcopal

Cathedral Criticized for Honoring Confederate Generals in Windows

Image: Cathedral Criticized for Honoring Confederate Generals in Windows

Washington National Cathedral (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

By    |   Thursday, 27 Oct 2016 10:24 PM

Officials at the Washington National Cathedral are facing calls to remove stained-glass windows with the images of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

The Episcopal cathedral – the sixth largest in the world and second biggest in the United States – already removed stained-glass panes depicting the Confederal flag – but is embroiled in a debate on whether to follow suit with the 63-year-old windows that honor the Confederate icons.

"How can you justify having those windows in a house of God?" Riley Temple, a former board member of the Washington National Cathedral's foundation, asked at a Wednesday night discussion at the church in the nation's capital, Religion News Service reported.

The windows were installed in 1953 with the support of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group that sought to honor the memory of veterans who fought for the South, RNS noted.

Etched in stone underneath the Lee window, is an inscription honoring him as "a Christian soldier without fear and without reproach." Under the Jackson window, it says he "walked humbly before his Creator whose word was his guide," RNS reported.

"Our history in the United States, in America, is a history of oppression through the very beginning, the oppression of native peoples, the oppression of enslaved peoples, the oppression of immigrants," said Cathy Ball, who attends another Episcopal church in Washington, urging the windows remain, RNS reported.

"If we erase every trace of that terrible history, what would we have left?"

Nadine Wedderburn, an associate professor at Empire State College in Schenectady, N.Y., told RNS the discussion is helpful.

"People can get to air their view, share their different side of the story, as it were, and begin to get at the heart of what separates and divides us," she said. "That is one step further towards the progress of healing and reconciliation."

The issue comes after more than a year of national debate over the legacy of slavery and calls to purge public places of the Confederate flag following the killings by a white gunman of nine black worshipers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

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Officials at the Washington National Cathedral are facing calls to remove stained-glass windows with the images of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
cathedral, church, confederate, Episcopal
356
2016-24-27
Thursday, 27 Oct 2016 10:24 PM
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