Words. What do they mean? Nothing, in 2017!
At Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, the Episcopal Church where George Washington once worshiped with his family, the plaque which marks the pew in which he sat is being removed. Why? According to church leaders, "the plaques in our sanctuary make some in our presence feel unsafe." It is unclear, at least to me, what danger these plaques pose to a person's safety. One assumes they are securely attached.
However, in 2017, hurt feelings are conflated with personal safety, and the fact that George Washington owned slaves (whom he freed) is, apparently, all that matters. The same church leader said that "some church visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they recieved an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques." and went on to say that "Many in our congregation feel a strong need for the church to stand clearly on the side of 'all are welcome- no exceptions.'"
Are all welcome, though? Are those welcome who are proud of our founding fathers who freed us from the biggest empire in the world so that we may take on this experiment in liberty? Who protected our right to do insane things like scream at the sky to protest the president? Despite the significant faults that came with being men of the time, the documents they created protected equal rights for everyone, even these weirdos. Do I feel welcome in that church? Not particularly (it is no coincidence that I recently left the Episocpal church after generations of family involvement).
The church says that the plaque will be displayed elsewhere within the church in a place of "respectful prominence" leaving sane people to wonder what the point is at all. If the plaque is a danger to others, it should be removed. If it's an inanimate object celebrating a man who put it all on the line to ensure the birth of our nation, it should be displayed. When the confederate monuments began to come down at the hands of angry mobs, there were those of us who warned that it would soon be an outright assault on our history, and that the founding fathers would soon be in it's crosshairs. That was in August. How quickly these things come to pass.