There was a day, not too long ago, when a church would have been proud to claim George Washington, the first president of the United States and “father of our country,” as one of its first members.
That day has passed.
At Christ Church of Alexandria, Virginia, where the motto is “All are welcome, no exceptions,” the board of vestry has decided it can no longer tolerate a plaque dedicated to the memory of its most famous member, George Washington.
That’s right, George Washington himself was one of the founding members of Christ Church, which is affiliated with the Episcopal Church USA. He purchased pew No. 5 when the church opened in 1773 and attended for more than 20 years whenever he rode north from Mount Vernon to do business in town.
But on Sunday, the church announced it will soon be removing a memorial plaque placed along the front wall in Washington’s honor, saying he has become so controversial that his plaque is “chasing away would-be parishioners,” the Washington Times reports.
The Episcopal Church USA has given itself over to a “Mother Earth” form of Christianity that preaches tolerance and inclusivity for everything accept what some might consider traditional, biblical Christianity.
The Christ Church of Alexandria is so inclusive that it does not have a single male pastor listed on its website. All four are women. One of them, the Rev. Ann Gillespie, is a former Hollywood actress who recently closed a sermon with a new version of the Apostle’s Creed.
It starts out, “I believe in God, our Mother Bear, source of all being,” and it refers to the Virgin Mary as “the bad-ass womanist liberation theologian, Mary.”
Watch video of Rev. Ann Gillespie, an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church USA and assistant rector at the church co-founded by George Washington, recite her version of the Apostle’s Creed:
As best one can tell, this “creed” was concocted by a lesbian woman named Sarah Moon, who is a member of a United Methodist Church in Toledo, Ohio.
Moon declared in a September 2014 blog post she could no longer bear to recite the Apostle’s Creed, so she rewrote it and came up with her own “Feminist Apostle’s Creed,” also referred to as the “Womanist Apostle’s Creed.”
“For a church that claims to be inclusive, the Christ Church of Alexandria proves in practice to be anything but inclusive,” said Michele Bachmann, a former Republican congresswoman from Minnesota who has recently started a new ministry to the United Nations.
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“George Washington and Robert E. Lee were two of the finest Christian men of integrity our nation has ever produced. Does this congregation today boast men or women of finer character?” she asks. “Both men willingly laid down their lives to protect the honor of our founding principles.
“They weren’t ashamed to fight to gain and secure our freedoms,” Bachmann added. “The very same freedoms this church esteems so lightly.
“I’ll gladly take the Washington and Lee plaques and find for them a permanent home of honor where the truth of their heroic exploits will be told for generations.”
The Episcopal Church USA’s website indicates that liberation theology and social justice, Earth worship and being inclusive take priority over the traditional Christian missions of trying to live a holy life and sharing the gospel.
In fact, Rev. Gillespie in her sermon states her belief that all of Christ’s teachings are inherently “political” and that includes taking a stand for the “oppressed” such as Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who decided to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
While acknowledging “friction” over the decision to remove George Washington’s plaque from the church, along with another dedicated to Robert E. Lee, the church’s leadership said the plaques are relics of the past and have no business in a church that proclaims to be inclusive to all races, creeds, genders and sexual orientations.
On Oct. 22, 2012, “the Right Rev. Shannon Johnston, Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, approved our request to perform same-gender blessings,” the Alexandria church boasts on its website.
“The plaques in our sanctuary make some in our presence 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,” the church leaders said in a letter to the congregation that went out last week.
Jan Markell, founder of Olive Tree Ministries and host of a nationwide Christian radio show for evangelicals, said the move by the Alexandria church is just another case of the religion of leftism taking over the pulpits of America.
“So some folks don’t come back to the church services as they feel unsafe or unwelcome. And all because of a plaque?” she asks. “Maybe the congregation just isn’t friendly! Have they ever thought of that? Like all things Episcopal, this church has experienced a 25 percent decline, and I suspect it hasn’t got the slightest relationship to a George Washington plaque. It’s because there are truth seekers in all churches today that have been driven out over liberalism.”
What kind of church takes out the history of George Washington?
Markell said only a politically correct, lukewarm church that has lost its zeal for the gospel.
“And a lot of church attendees have had it with leftist lunacy and liberal politics driven by pulpits,” she said.
“This church wipes out probably the last vestige of patriotism and likely celebrates diversity, multiculturalism, and same-sex marriage. Even though this is all the trend in America, a lot of people flock to a church to escape this madness. They can find a sound church down the street that will sing hymns and patriotic songs near July 4 and make George Washington proud. He has left the building on this site in more ways than one.”
To the church’s credit, there were some members who were offended by the decision. The church’s Facebook page lit up with parishioners expressing both pro and con. Some praised the church for a “courageous” stand, while critics compared leaders at the Episcopal church leaders to the Taliban or the Islamic State.
Church leaders said they debated for a long time, and the Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, the rector, said in an email to the Washington Times that the vote by the vestry was unanimous. The plaques will come down by next summer, when leadership determines another place for them.