Two years earlier, I was the only Jewish member of a 15-person committee charged with raising funds to build the chapel and determine its design.
The debate that ensued over the proposed images on the chapel’s 8 stained-glass windows brought to the surface the tension between those who see America as a Christian nation and those who, like me, believe that the Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion and conscience for all its citizens.
Despite the chapel’s official interfaith name and announced purpose, some members insisted that our mission was to create a Christian church.
What I call “The Battle of Camp David” began when the highly skilled, deeply religious Christian émigré artist, Rudolph Sandon, and his wife, Helen, laid out the initial sketches of their window designs. Six of the 8 contained the denominational logos of major Protestant bodies, including the Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Episcopal Church. The seventh featured a Christian cross representing Roman Catholicism, and the eighth combined symbols of Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.