Politics and Monuments

Bill Neinast


Lutherans, beware!  You may be next. You may have to rewrite and then forget your history.

All of the publicity about the 500th anniversary of The Reformation may upset some Catholics.  The media coverage  will bring back memories of Martin Luther, a Catholic priest who broke his vows and established a following that reduced the reach of the Pope’s control and influence.

This may upset only a few Catholics.  In today’s politically correct environment, however, if anyone feels uncomfortable about something the majority is doing, the majority must bow down and remove anything that the few say is making them uncomfortable.

So if a few Catholics say that any mention of Martin Luther makes them sad, mad, or uncomfortable, any reference to him must be obliterated.  That means the Lutheran church will have to be reincarnated as something like The Other Church or, maybe, The Lite Catholic Church.

This bit of tongue-in-cheek commentary was prompted by the latest bit of political correctness idiocy. 

This deepening extremism has now invaded Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia.  George Washington, the father of our country, was one of the first members of this Episcopal church when it opened in 1773.  He worshipped there for more than 20 years.   Subsequently, Robert E. Lee was a parishioner. 

Currently, the leaders of that church plan to obliterate the memory of those men from its sanctuary. 

These leaders say, “The plaques in our sanctuary make some of those present feel unsafe or unwelcome.  Some visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they receive an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques.”

Washington is objected to because he owned slaves.  Lee has to go because he is the most recognizable leader of the Confederate States of America.

I lived in Alexandria for three years and drove through “Old Town Alexandria” every day on my way to the Pentagon.  On that route, the tip of the  555 feet tall Washington Monument in the nation’s capitol can be viewed.

If a plaque of the nation’s first President has to be removed from a church because it upsets a few, how can that massive obelisk in his honor that stands just a few miles from the church be allowed to remain?

If the Washington Monument has to go because it honors a slave owner, what about that monument to Thomas Jefferson that stands just a few feet away?

Jefferson was a slave owner too.  So can he continue to be honored?  

If his monument has to go, what about those documents he authored?   Shall all known copies of the Declaration of Independence be burned and history books be rewritten to delete any reference to that sacred document authored by a slave owner?

The same questions will have to be asked about our Constitution.  Certainly some of those who affixed their signatures to that guarantee of our independence and freedom were slave owners

So here’s the perspective.

If a few objections to a plaque of George Washington result in its removal from that great man’s own church, is it too far out to believe that a few objections to the name of Luther could require renaming the Lutheran church? 

The purpose of all these questions is to demonstrate the slippery slope that is being greased every day to provide more momentum.

The worst part of this is identifying those who pushed us onto this slope.  Unfortunately, to borrow a phrase from the old POGO comic strip, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

We sat idly by while leaders of various stripes acceded to the demands of a few.  The time has come to say, “STOP!”  If we do not stand up and say halt, we may find ourselves trying to stop the renaming of Washington County and Washington on the Brazos.   


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