The Washington National Cathedral will remove two stained-glass windows from its church— one honors Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the other depicts Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
The cathedral’s leadership decided this week to take down the windows after considering whether the windows, which were installed in 1953, were an “appropriate part of the sacred fabric of a spiritual home for the nation.”
"We have concluded that these windows tell an incomplete and misleading account of our history," the cathedral says of the move. "We are committed to finding ways to offer a richer, more balanced expression of our nation's history."
The cathedral first considered removing the windows about two years ago after a mass shooting at a church in Charleston, S.C., but officials from the cathedral reopened the discussion after violence in Virginia in August.
"The recent violence in Charlottesville brought urgency to our discernment process," the cathedral's leaders said Wednesday.
The church decided that the windows, which were sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, are inconsistent with its mission and also "a barrier to our important work on racial justice and racial reconciliation."
The windows show Jackson kneeling and reading the Bible and Lee on his horse at Chancellorsville.
"These windows will be deconsecrated, removed, conserved and stored until we can determine a more appropriate future for them. The window openings and stone work in the Lee-Jackson Bay will be covered over until we determine what will go in their place."
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/BrianAJackson
Publication date: September 7, 2017