I took a few days off to visit my son in Washington, D.C. (Above – the Washington Monument as seen from the National Museum of African American History.)
Sometimes we get the impression that the only thing going on in D.C. is political scandals and divisive polarity. But as seen above, in art, everyone can get along – political opponents as well as the living and the dead!
But D.C. is also home to many people, and has interesting neighborhoods which offer many amenities not available in my hometown.
It has fantastic museums and restaurants. (Above, “Drift” by Matthias Pilessnig at the Renwick. OK, maybe too hard to imagine, but I liked it the first time I saw it several years ago.) (Below, the ceiling at the White House Visitor’s Center, which is rich in history, but doesn’t get the attention it deserves).
Of note on this visit, we went to the National Museum of African American History. Honestly, I think every American should visit this museum. Especially for those who feel America is the greatest country on earth. That greatness – specifically the vast wealth of our nation – was originally built upon the blood of the slaves – the nation would not have attained its power and wealth without the evil of slavery. There is an inestimable debt owed all those slaves who died to make America great. They planted the seeds but never got to eat the fruit of America’s greatness or prosperity. The Orthodox Church claims to be built on the blood of the martyrs – America was built on the blood of the slaves (I’m not taking anything away from the patriots who fought a war for Independence – but they too benefited from the institution of slavery.)
The building looked to me like the bows of ships, slave ships to be exact, but the gold color of the building made me realize the cargo was gold – but only to the slave masters and their families. The slaves were not given their share of the wealth for they were not even valued as human beings.
The museum portrays the true “Paradox of Liberty” – while the leaders of the colonies were declaring freedom and independence for themselves, they were enslaving an entire people, and didn’t want to see the inconsistency in their thinking. They were happy for the chance to become wealthy while enslaving others to maintain their lifestyles. For me, the museum was emotionally painful – to note the human willingness to sacrifice others because of greed. A sinful and shameful way of life by people claiming to be Christian. We cannot be a Christian nation as long as the shadow of slavery and racism darkens our hearts. Christ told us to “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). We would be a Christian nation if we did that. Below, a cross from a slave’s grave. Christ said we have to take up the cross in order to follow Him.
A little political (or photographic) trickery for those who embrace their end of the country’s political polarity. Note in the first photo below the Christmas tree is the right of the Capitol dome:
But wait, now it is to the left of the Capitol dome:
And now it has disappeared:
My prayer is that we believers will stop looking at the faith through polarity of the political right and left and instead will view politics through the eyes of Christ. We are to pray for our political leaders (1 Timothy 2:2), but we also remember Jesus is Lord, not Caesar.
You can view all of my photos from this year’s visit to D.C. at Washington, D.C. 2017. (Above, a hall in the Smithsonian Castle). There are a couple of older collections of photos at Washington DC 2015 , Washington 2013, Washington 2012 , Washington 2010 and Washington 2008. It helps in visiting D.C. to have a son who is a long time resident and a Smithsonian docent.