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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Washington Post's John Kelly responds to criticism


The stained-glass window at the Washington National Cathedral which honors General Stonewall Jackson/Wikimedia Commons  
The stained-glass window at the Washington National Cathedral which honors General Robert E. Lee/Wikimedia Commons
John Kelly isn't as placid as he comes across most days in his column in the Washington Post.

Here he is responding to criticism about his suggestion to add "some sort of sign" at the Washington National Cathedral to explain the presence of stained-glass windows devoted to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, windows Kelly labels "niches":

The fact is Lee and Jackson chose to take up arms against the country they had sworn to protect. Now, you may decide that this makes them men of honor. Fine. And you may believe that lots of people had slaves back then – the old, “Hey, everybody else is doing it” defense. Cling to your weird Lost Cause cult as tightly as you want. But don’t inflict it on the rest of us by having your womenfolk sneak overly pious memorials into Northern churches. (Emphasis added.)

The Washington National Cathedral is a "Northern" church?  It says "national" in the title.  Hmmm. 

Do you think Kelly would endorse "some sort of sign" at the Jefferson Memorial since Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, too? How about a sign at the Custis-Lee Mansion at Arlington National Cemetery where General Lee lived with his wife, Mary Custis Lee?

President George Washington owned slaves for most of his life.  Should signs be posted at the Washington Monument and at Mt. Vernon?  At Washington Circle?  Post notices of apology at entrances to Washington, D.C.? 
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Anonymous said...

Yep. It's the NATIONAL CATHEDRAL, so it's right to honor people from all parts of the country, including the South.

Patricia Leslie said...

I thought that was rather weird and exclusionary of Mr. Kelly to make that claim: the NATIONAL Cathedral is a Northern church. Sounds like he has not forgotten and is a wee bit sensitive to others who may differ from him.