Idaho Church to Remove Robert E. Lee from Stained Glass Window in Sanctuary

Confederate General Robert E. Lee honored in stained glass window at Cathedral of the Rockies of Boise, Idaho. In June 2020, the church announced that it was removing Lee from the window. | Courtesy of The Cathedral of the Rockies

An Idaho church has decided to remove Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a stained glass window in its sanctuary that also features George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

The leadership of the Cathedral of the Rockies, a United Methodist Church congregation located in Boise, announced the decision to change the window, which dates back to 1960, in a recently released statement.

“The Gospel of Christ Jesus compels us and our Baptismal vows embolden us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves,” stated church leadership.

“Our pastors and staff have spoken and speak against systemic racism, study to understand, and work with leaders of color to listen and learn.”

The church board went on to note that they came to the decision following “considerable prayer and deliberation,” labeling the Lee image “divisive and hurtful.”

A “Black Lives Matter” banner outside of the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise, Idaho. | Courtesy The Cathedral of the Rockies

“We believe this section of our window to be inconsistent with our current mission, to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” they continued.

“Further, such display is a barrier to our important work resisting evil, injustice, and oppression. Symbols of white supremacy do not belong in our sacred space.”

The board conceded that “there are people of goodwill who may disagree with our decision,” but added that they hoped “what unites us in Christ is greater than our differences.”

The Rev. Duane Anders of the Cathedral told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday that the window was first created to help welcome southerners who moved to the area.

“The only documentation we have from the committee that chose this in around 1958,” explained Anders, “said that it was a nod to inclusion for the southerners who had moved to Boise.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboskii