For generations immigrants have come to America, in awe of the ideals that we uphold. Ronald Reagan saw the the Unites States as a “shining city upon a hill.” At the heart of America is our capitol, Washington D.C. , famed for its impressive structures and awe inspiring monuments. Central to its view of itself at the heart of its Capitol, America needed a National Cathedral.
The idea for a national cathedral is as old as Washington itself. In 1791, when Congress selected the site to be the capitol of the United States, President George Washington commissioned Major Pierre l’Enfant to design an overall plan for the future seat of government and it included a national church.While it took more than a century to begin, the foundation stone was laid on September 29, 1907 and after 83 years of construction, the Cathedral was finally completed in September 1990.
So there it is, in the heart of a city that is the heart of a nation, rose a Cathedral helping to define a country calling to out to all. Come. See.
On second thought, let’s not go there. ‘Tis a silly place.
Did you know that one of the grotesques that adorn the facade of the National Cathedral is none other than Darth Vader himself? Yes, that great literary figure of the 1970’s, Darth “I am your father” Vader.
No, I am not making this up. You can see for yourself at the Cathedral website.
I suspect that one day, long after we have received our fair share of Divine retribution, a future archaeologist will uncover the Cathedral in a bid to understand the ‘great people’ that once inhabited this place. They will want to know what we were like and what lead to our downfall. One of my fears is that upon this discovery and many others like it, they will think that we were a profoundly un-serious people not up to the challenges of our day. My other fear is they might be right.