“That was kind of bold. It was mostly just disappointing.”
Two signs displayed outside of Christ Church Cambridge were vandalized on the last day of March. Both signs, which appear to have been slashed with a knife, had rainbow-stripe backgrounds and displayed the text of the Episcopal Church Baptismal Rites:
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.
Christ Church Cambridge has a long history in the area—the parish was built around 1760, was attended by George and Martha Washington during the American Revolution. The church is also known for its activism and community support initiatives, such as a decades-long weekly meal program for the houseless.
Interim minister Kate Elledge says that the signs had only been installed a few weeks prior in anticipation of the renewal of Baptismal vows. At 9am on March 31, the signs were observed still in their original condition. By 1pm that afternoon, they had been slashed.
Christ Church Cambridge is located on Garden Street, a busy road with many passersby.
“The churches in Harvard Square are lucky in that there’s still foot traffic, which for most churches in the United States … that just doesn’t happen anymore,” Elledge explained. “So we can actually put something up with the reasonable expectation that somebody walking by might read it, which is great. But I guess that means somebody walking by might take an X-Acto knife to it.”
That day had also been notably warm, sending more people outdoors than usual.
“[T]hat was kind of bold,” Elledge noted. “[I]t was mostly just disappointing.”
The incident was reported to local authorities.
Babi Oloko hails from new New Jersey and is currently pursuing a BA in literature and art history at Harvard University. She writes art reviews, personal essays, and fiction pieces for various publications. You can find more of her writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Harvard Crimson, and Unpublished Zine.