Was Rolling Stone Giddy To See Notre Dame Cathedral Burn?

Written by Wes Walker on April 18, 2019

They gave a token nod to the horror of the loss before tearing the mask off and showing their true face.

Amazing how quickly the text switched from “the world watched in open-mouthed horror” to “fire has also raised important questions about the cathedral’s symbolic significance in an increasingly divided France”.

We all know instinctively exactly where this is going, don’t we? Here it comes (emphasis added):

But for some people in France, Notre Dame has also served as a deep-seated symbol of resentment, a monument to a deeply flawed institution and an idealized Christian European France that arguably never existed in the first place. “The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” says Patricio del Real, an architecture historian at Harvard University. If nothing else, the cathedral has been viewed by some as a stodgy reminder of “the old city — the embodiment of the Paris of stone and faith — just as the Eiffel Tower exemplifies the Paris of modernity, joie de vivre and change,” Michael Kimmelmann wrote for the New York Times.

Despite politicians on both sides of the French political spectrum discouraging people from trying to politicize the Notre Dame fire, it would be a mistake to view the building as little more than a Paris tourist attraction, says John Harwood, an architectural historian and associate professor at the University of Toronto. “It’s literally a political monument. All cathedrals are,” he says. For centuries, the cathedral was the seat of the bishop of the Catholic Church at a time when there was virtually no distinction between church and state. “It was the center and seat of political power not just in Paris, but in France,” he says. “And that remained the case even after the French Revolution and through successive revolutions and political power and regimes.”

They really hate the fact that some of us actually take this whole ‘Jesus’ thing seriously don’t they?

And Holy Week is such an ideal time to have this conversation about how they loathe Christianity.

What it means to be “French,” however, has obviously changed a great deal over the past few centuries. While France is still predominantly Christian, the number of practicing Catholics has fallen year after year, from 64% in 2010 to 56% in 2012, according to one census figure. The number of Muslims in France is also growing, comprising more than 5% of the population (up from 3% in 2006) giving rise to rampant Islamophobia and the birth of far-right extremist parties like the National Front, headed by extremist Marine Le Pen. A profound income gap has also led to the explosion of protests from so-called “yellow vests,” a movement primarily made up of lower-middle-class and middle-class youth on the left who have vandalized many similarly historically significant French monuments (and whose latest actions Macron was expected to comment on in a scheduled press conference, which was postponed when Notre Dame started burning). In fact, in the hours following the fire, many started blaming the accident on the yellow vests; there was also a flurry of Islamophobic posts on social media attributing the fire to Muslim extremist terrorists, despite the fact that all evidence currently indicates that the blaze was accidental. (emphasis in the original)

In this entire piece, what was it that Rolling Stone thought considered the most important takeaway?

‘Liberated’ from history and meaning, eh?

Great pick for Holy Week, Rolling Stone. How about some of your staff show up for Good Friday service somewhere and see for yourselves what it is you’re so quick to erase from history.

How are the people who see this as ‘liberation’ any better than the ‘Firemen’ in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, or the Taliban systematically destroying religious relics from rival religions?

You’re secular, and you hate the Christian faith. We get it.

But that doesn’t mean you need to go Full Taliban, either.

Get Doug Giles’ new book:

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