Restricted Debate Should Lee Chapel be Renamed?

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Hoseman

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The building was conceived, designed, and built to be a Christian chapel and Lee attended that chapel to worship Christ. Since Lee's death the space has been distorted and re-arranged such that the pews no longer face the Cross of Christ, but reversed to the image of Lee in the added sanctuary containing Lee's reclined image. Mrs. Lee intended that sanctuary containing her husband's image to be an addition to the back of the chapel, that her husband might continue as a congregant in perpetuity.

Yet what's happened is that visually the chapel became a place to worship Lee. No foreign visitor would think otherwise. The Lee's wouldn't be happy with the chapel being absconded into what appears to be a Lost Cause shrine.

But things are gradually being corrected. The circus ring of Confederate jacks were removed from the "sanctuary" a few years ago (and rightly, for Lee himself discouraged display of the jack). Black students -- actually all sorts of students -- on the campus resented the appearance of Lost Cause imagery on their campus, and spoke up about it. With the study of history no longer burdened by agenda - the open-source internet containing reams of un-edited period documentation available to all - folks find Lee's actual last command to his soldiers as the Confederacy collapsed: become good U.S. citizens.

Lee certainly didn't want to be worshiped, merely respected, and by rights the chapel should be returned to that device.
You obviously have never been to see the place and have no earthly idea about what you are talking about. The chapel is upstairs and resembles any other church I have ever been to in my life. It is not in any way a shrine to Lee. It is a shrine to Jesus Christ and it is crazy to me that you would try to twist this into something that is not and never has been.
 

byron ed

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...I notice nobody is talking about worship here - either the Lord or Lee.
And yet in the very first sentence of your cite (Confederate Veteran vol 7, 1889) the place is called "...this Mecca of our Southland..."

We have eyes, meh. The place is visually a worship space to Lee, and any foreign visitor would see it as such without reading any plaques. After all, what other CW hero memorial do you know of that has pews?

In any event the place does not need defending, and no one has asked for that. It is what it is. What possible motive can there be in denying the obvious? Is there some injustice in simply seeing what the Lee Chapel is? Is anyone being slighted in any way?
 

James N.

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...where is the Crucifix or any reference to Christ then?
In case you don't know this either, many Christian denominations, especially those of Southern bent, frown on such displays as Papist; the Church of Christ springs immediately to mind, and I know there are others. (Southern Baptist?) In the North, the now-disappeared Puritans (which became Congregationalists) did too, as well as Quakers whose meetings are totally devoid of decoration. Since Lee Chapel is non-denominational, perhaps that has something to do with it.
 
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byron ed

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I don’t think that every single Christian church has these.
Yet Christian churches don't instead have pews facing the image of a civic hero, either.

Apparently the University itself is now reverting to the structure's original name as a church, while still officially maintaining that it is not designated as a place of religious worship. Quite the little dance they are having to perform.
 
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byron ed

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In case you don't know this either, many Christian denominations, especially those of Southern bent, frown on such displays...
...as if they would allow the image of a civic hero but not one of Jesus. So after all this is not a typical practice for any denomination. Here the image of a civic hero is positioned before pews, which in usual circumstance is the layout reserved for adoration of a Deity. How many other CW war hero statues have pews before them? This is a valid observation, no agenda to it.
 
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The place is visually a worship space to Lee, and any foreign visitor would see it as such without reading any plaques
I guess you would count me as a foreigner, and I can tell you, I never thought that.

I may add that the Lee Chapel is not the only church named for a military leader. Our national icon, the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) in Berlin, albeit being named for a ruler and military leader, not for a saint, always was and to this day still is a place of worship. And not Kaiser Wilhelm is worshipped there, but of course our Lord Jesus. But it is also a memorial lest we forget that "War is hell"
This is the church before and after WWII:
09_be_gedaechtniskirche_schwechtenbau_um1900_akg_1_765x715-14a83b787b14e95g84405f2f0594b4f6.jpg
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09_be_gedaechtniskirche_ensemble_r_rossner_2008_1_981x715-f9b6ee28c8f9f86g44ecb20331e0b233.jpg
 

Viper21

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I guess you would count me as a foreigner, and I can tell you, I never thought that.
Some folks are gonna believe what they believe, regardless of the facts. The history of the Chapel, & photos of the chapel at the time of Lee's death (pre-addition), have been shared in this thread. It's pretty obvious that agenda is more important than facts to some folks.

Lee Chapel & Museum, is a beautiful place. It has remained relatively the same since the addition was added to, house the Recumbent Lee. I hope it remains in it's current state for generations to come.
 
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