The Washington National Cathedral has announced it will change a few 63-year-old stained glass windows that depict Confederate flags to help jump-start a conversation about the wrongs of the racist “white church” in America.
In June of last year, the dean of Washington National Cathedral made news by calling for the church to remove the windows installed in 1953 that depict American historical scenes from the Civil War. The scenes included a Confederate solder playing a bugle before a line of field tents and a Confederate flag as well as Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
“It is time to take those windows out,” Reverend Gary Hall said last year. “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 added.
The decision comes 20 months after Cathedral officials hosted an Islamic prayer by various Muslim radical groups invited into the supposedly Christian National Cathedral. The invited Islamists included leaders of the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In 2009, both groups were identified as co-conspirators in a plan to provide funding to the Jew-hating HAMAS jihad group.
The record highlighted by experts shows that CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Texas-based criminal effort to deliver $12 million to HAMAS jihad group, that CAIR was founded with $490,000 from HAMAS, and that the FBI bans top-level meetings with CAIR officials. “The FBI policy restricting a formal relationship with CAIR remains … [but] does not preclude communication regarding investigative activity or allegations of civil rights violations,” said Oct. 22015 an email from FBI spokesman Christopher Allen.
Cathedral officials did not ask the Islamic groups for any reciprocation, not even for a polite request to the groups’ HAMAS allies to stop killing Jews for a month or two.
Reverend Hall said the original purpose of the confederate-flag windows was to promote national unity, but the window is now an immoral homage to slavery that needs to be eradicated.
No timetable or system of removal has been determined to eliminate the decades-old windows, but in the meantime Episcopal leaders say the windows can serve as a means of exploring “racial justice through public forums.”
In a press release, Cathedral officials announced the scheduling of a program called “What The White Church Must Do.”
With its recommendations clearly setting the “white church” apart from that serving African Americans, the task force report continued saying it is, “unanimous in its decision that the windows provide a catalyst for honest discussions about race and the legacy of slavery and for addressing the uncomfortable and too often avoided issues of race in America. Moreover, the windows serve as a profound witness to the Cathedral’s own complex history in relationship to race.”
“The Lee-Jackson windows call the question of race and the legacy of slavery, and instead of turning away from that question, the Cathedral has decided to lean into it,” said the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, the Cathedral’s Canon Theologian and a member of the Task Force suggesting the forum. “Instead of simply taking the windows down and going on with business as usual, the Cathedral recognizes that, for now, they provide an opportunity for us to begin to write a new narrative on race and racial justice at the Cathedral and perhaps for our nation.”
Cathedral Dean Reverend Hall is well known for his political activism. In 2014 he defended his decision to turn the National Cathedral over to Muslims on the 100th anniversary of the day the last Caliph declared war on all non-believers. It was “appropriate” to have a Muslim event in a Christian church on that day, without any comparable reciprocation, because “there have been atrocities on both sides,” he insisted.
Additionally, the year before the Muslim event, Hall arranged for an anti-gun vigil to be held in the Cathedral to highlight the shootings at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school. At the time Hall crowed, “The gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby.”
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