A Capitol Hill faith community is responding to a bout of vandalism targeting its social beliefs with contemplation, a chuckle, and, of course, clean-up.
“I find myself grateful that their message did not target a group of individuals based on race, orientation, or identity, using derogatory terms for injurious purposes,” The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason, Dean and Rector at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral writes about the MLK Day graffiti vandalism.
“In the hours since seeing this early this morning, I find myself prayerful—for those whose lives are filled with such hatred that they can justify desecrating a church, for this community that we might bring the fullness of our hearts and souls into this call to be the Body of Christ (even when some in the world choose to hate us), and for this nation whose political discourse seems to condone acts such as this vandalism as justifiable in the course of partisan disagreements.”
The tagging done in black paint marred the cathedral’s
limestone wall with a message stating “MARXISM = COMMUNISM” and “communism is the sworn enemy of Christianity.” In 2018, a $10.5 million project to complete the structure’s walls with limestone left unfinished during the Great Depression was wrapped up.
St. Mark’s is the seat of the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia and is known for its progressive causes and welcoming gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer parishioners.
Even with the damage, Thomason says the spray paint message brought an unexpected reaction at the 10th Ave E cathedral — laughter.
“And if I am honest, I am a bit amused by the graffiti—as if the perpetrators think they will have accomplished something by doing this,” he writes. “We are a community that holds a broad swath of political opinions, and we are the richer for that diversity.”
You can read more of Thomason’s response here.
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