LIVING FOR HISTORY?
Washington DC Mayor Mariel Bowser’s committee applied for the removal, relocation or contextualization of the Washington Monument along with … up to 152 other “persons of concern” … that do not fit within the decision-making prism of the DC FACES Committee (District of Columbia Facilities and Commemorative Expressions). The object of this committee is to review “assets in DC that carry the name of relevant figures, in order to ensure those individuals reflect contemporary DC values.”
What are those values? How lasting are they? The DC FACES “disqualifying histories” include: “participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities and violation of the DC Human Rights Act.”
These historical events and persons, in context, should be important to remember. They set the stage for where we are now. Without understanding real and complete history, we miss the growth and change in a person’s life and in the life of our nation. The FACES Committee also puts emphasis on the good or the bad in a highly subjective fashion. Others are missed in receiving the honor or the disgrace which they deserve.
Listen to God’s own words in Joshua 3 and 4 regarding the crossing of the Jordan River at flood stage. “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you…take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people…This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that He will certainly drive out before you (your enemies)… The ark of the covenant stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground … Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes to serve as a sign among you… when your children ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that these stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever… He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” (Joshua 3:5,6,10, 17; 4: 5-7, 24).
Monuments and statues are memorials of what has happened. Some are even monuments of God’s work through His people, in spite of their brokenness, as seen in Joshua 3 and 4. They were not intended to simply be trophies of man’s work or perfection. The removal of these monuments would erase great accomplishments and many significant events in our nation, just to satisfy some current “politically correct” notions.
Fortunately, Congress has much more authority than the D.C. FACES Committee. Congress should stand firm to preserve our monuments, many of which glorify God in the forming of our nation and the challenges we have faced over the centuries.
Our children need to understand how God has had His hand working in and through us. Are we committed to living with true history in order to learn and grow from it? Or are we living for history, attempting to change it and pretend it somehow supports the ever changing ethics and values of historical revisionists?
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