The Washington National Cathedral has decided to remove two stained glass windows honoring Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson
The Washington National Cathedral will remove two stained glass windows honoring Confederate generals as they are acting as a ‘barrier to our important work on racial justice and racial reconciliation’.
The windows being removed depict Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson commanding an army and looking through binoculars with a Confederate flag in one of the windows.
Removal of the windows has been in discussion since the racially charged shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, two years ago.
The shooting occurred when a white gunman, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, shot and killed nine people at Emanuel AME church during a bible study meeting.
But other events such as the clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville over the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee pushed their decision.
Other establishments and universities have been debating removing statues and memorials of Confederate figures since the protest as well.
In the next few weeks, church leaders will have opportunities for parish members to express their views and feelings
In a news release signed by Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith and John Donoghue, the cathedral leaders acknowledged the ‘people of goodwill who disagree with our decision’ and others who ‘have been hurt or confused by the amount of time it took us to reach it’.
But the cathedral chapter believed that the windows were inconsistent with their current mission to serve as a house of prayer for all people.
The recent violence in Charlottesville brought urgency to their decision, voted on Tuesday, but the cathedral does not think removing the windows will solve the problems of ‘white supremacy, anti-Semitism and other forms of hate in our nation’.
Scaffolding surrounds a work area where stained glass windows depicting two iconic Confederate generals are being removed at the Washington National Cathedral
Discussion about removing the windows started two years ago following the tragic shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina
Those issues still remain important tasks for the cathedral and they will continue to ‘combat intolerance and foster reconciliation with renewed urgency’.
The cathedral does not yet know what will replace the windows but the windows will be deconsecrated, removed, conserved and stored until the church leaders can determine a more appropriate future for them.
In the next few weeks, church leaders will have opportunities for parish members to express their views and feelings.
Cathedral leaders do not yet know what they are going to replace the windows with but they said the windows will be stored until they can determine a more appropriate future for them
They said: ‘We promise to listen carefully to all who are willing to share to continue to hold the entire Cathedral community in prayer as we strive always to see each other as beloved children of God.’
A monument to Confederate veterans has been removed from Los Angeles’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
In New Orleans, a statue of Robert E. Lee was removed along with three other monuments dedicated to Confederate figures.
A worker illuminates stained glass windows depicting two iconic Confederate generals that are being removed at the Washington National Cathedral
At the University of Texas, statues of General Robert E. Lee and other prominent Confederate figures were removed from a main area of campus.
Last month the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, proposed removing two Confederate monuments from outside the courthouse.
And in Baltimore, four monuments including a Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson statue and one dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland were removed.
Stained glass windows inside the Washington National Cathedral where two other windows depicting Confederate generals are to be removed
Plaques honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee were removed from outside St. John’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, New York last month as well.
And on Friday, Dean Gail Greenwell at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati called for the removal of a plaque honoring Confederate general Leonidas Polk and a stained glass window of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
A parish council is going to take up the Dean Greenwell’s request.
Cathedral leadership thought the Confederate windows were acting as ‘a barrier to our important work on racial justice and racial reconciliation’
A work area is roped off around the stained glass windows that are going to be removed
One of the stained glass windows depicting two Confederate generals that has been scheduled to be removed
Members of the media gather around the stained glass windows depicting Confederate generals before their upcoming removal