An Idaho congregation of the United Methodist Church has removed an image of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a stained glass window.
First United Methodist Church of Boise, also known as the Cathedral of the Rockies, held a deconsecration service outside last Friday to remove the Lee image.
Those in attendance at the service of deconsecration included Cathedral pastor the Rev. Duane Anders, Bishop Elaine Stanovsky of the UMC Greater Northwest Episcopal area, Phillip Thomson of the Idaho Black History Museum, and Church Council Chair Susie Pouliot.
“We believe continuing to have a window that includes Gen. Lee, who led the Confederate army in a war that was fought over slavery is inconsistent with our mission as a church and our values as Christians,” stated Pouliot, as quoted by the UMC Oregon-Idaho Conference.
“We cannot have a banner above our door that says, ‘all means all – you are welcome here’ and continue to have a symbol of white supremacy in the form of Gen. Lee’s visage just a few feet away.”
In an interview with The Christian Post, Anders hoped that the decision to remove Lee and eventually replace him with a different historical figure will send a message of anti-racism.
“We have all participated in one way or another in systemic racism,” said Anders. “It’s time to take action to live as anti-racist. This is a step toward anti-racism. We continue to listen and learn from each other.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski