By Gus Edwards
I am encouraged to hope by recent news from the City of Alexandria that not all the citizens of our great nation have taken leave of their senses. In a supremely enlightened ecstasy of revisionism, the vestry and parishioners of Christ Episcopal Church (established 1773) have elected to remove from the church walls memorials to the reprehensible Robert E. Lee and the odious George Washington because they may cause “discomfort” to some worshipers. Both men were parishioners, with Washington having had the gall to attend services there off and on for two decades. He even owned a pew. Despicable.
But I submit that this commendable action is insufficient. If ISIS has taught us nothing else, we now know that historical monuments are among the most insidiously evil influences on the mind of man. I propose that the parishioners of Christ Church come together with the other citizens of Northern Virginia on a Great Crusade to eradicate from the face of the earth all vestiges of that which may cause some people “discomfort.”
They could march just a few blocks from Christ Church to Lee’s boyhood home, a building so infamous that it should be reduced immediately to a smoldering rubble. Then, rallying on what — for now — is called Washington Street, they could proceed with pitchforks and torches the 10 miles down what — for now — is called the George Washington Memorial Parkway to Mount Vernon, a site of such unutterable malevolence that the very name is a paean to discomfort. It must be destroyed.
Circling back then to Christ Church, itself, that wicked structure must suffer the inexorable consequences of the aid and comfort it once gave to Washington and Lee. The building must be razed, the earth beneath it salted and, ultimately, replaced by a municipal parking lot, which the city so urgently needs.
Then on to the Mother of All Discomfort — Washington, Va., “The First of them All.” That an entire town should rejoice in an appellation so steeped in discomfort is beyond all comprehension. Its residents should be reviled and driven away, their properties seized, and the town rechristened to something more appropriate and comforting, such as Sullivanton, O’Connellsburg, or Konicksville.
Above all, these actions should serve the vital purpose of preventing people from remembering that we are an imperfect nation of imperfect citizens who deserve to be discomfited by open dialog about our differences, our history, and, possibly, a way forward.
Gus Edwards lives in Alexandria and Reva