The PJ Tatler

One of the more infuriating stories I've ever written...

…is this one, about how the Episcopal Church is wasting millions of dollars vindictively suing eight Virginia churches. One of those churches, the Falls Church near the nation’s capital, was the worship home of George Washington. This isn’t one of those “Washington slept here” stories. According to a pair of historical markers in the area, Washington was elected a vestryman at Falls Church in October 1763, and later selected a vestryman in the Fairfax diocese. A vestryman is an active leader in the governing of a church or group of churches — think deacon or elder. If Falls Church was abiding by the New Testament’s rules for church leadership at the time, and there is no reason to assume they weren’t, then George Washington attended that church for years and was a member in good standing. He helped lead it, probably provided funds for buildings and maintenance, and probably played some role in selecting its pastoral leadership and in other decisions the church made over the years. I’ve been a deacon; it’s a lot of work. One historical marker in the area also says that George Mason attended Falls Church and was also a vestryman there. The first president and the man most responsible for the Bill of Rights were major figures at the Falls Church. That church is currently a thriving community, and it is part of American history.  But it’s being sued by its own church leadership.

That church is under sustained assault from the Episcopal diocese to which it belongs because the members have chosen to exercise their freedom of association and freedom of conscience. Millions of dollars have been wasted, and if the diocese prevails, the father of freedom’s church might end up a mosque or a bar or something else, desecrated one way or another. Absolutely infuriating.