Virginia Church to Relocate Plaques Honoring Lee and Washington

A Virginia Episcopal church will relocate a pair of plaques that paid tribute to Confederate General Robert E. Lee and President George Washington, CNN reports.

The plaques paying tribute to Lee and Washington were displayed on either side of the altar at Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., but after the events in Charlottesville, the church has decided to relocate them.

“After the events in Charlottesville, those conversations came more to the forefront, they became more intense. It became clear to the vestry — the governing body of the church — that we needed to take these conversations more seriously” the church’s rector, Noelle York-Simmons said.

York-Simmon’s comments come amid the growing debate over the placement of Confederate monuments and statues in public places, The Hill informs.

The debate was reignited in August when a group of white supremacists and nationalists gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Lee. The demonstrators clashed with counter-protesters, causing parts of the normally quiet college town to descend into chaos. One counter-protester was killed when a driver plowed into her.

Washington National Cathedral, which is also an Episcopal parish, voted in September to take down stained glass windows honoring Lee and Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, The Hill adds.

“The Chapter believes that these windows are not only inconsistent with our current mission to serve as a house of prayer for all people, but also a barrier to our important work on racial justice and racial reconciliation,” the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s Bishop Marianne Edgar Budde, the National Cathedral’s chapter chair, John Donoghue, and dean Randy Hollerith stated in a letter.

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