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The timbers of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris had been drying out for eight centuries, so when a fire started near the roof they burned quickly, lighting up the sky in a riveting and sad spectacle Monday.
The drying timbers, though beautiful before they were consumed, are a reminder of the drying out of religious faith in France, and in the rest of Europe, and to a lesser extent (possibly) in our own country.
Emmanuel - Macron - President - France - Country
Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, quickly declared that the country will rebuild one of the most famous religious structures in the world. That’s what leaders say at times like this.
Yet in the last 24 hours we’ve seen two statements that get closer to what this awful fire may actually mean. You can decide for yourself if you agree. But they’re deeper than what many are saying.
Mark - Steyn - Commentator - Monday - Night
One is from Mark Steyn, the conservative political and social commentator, who appeared Monday night on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News Channel while the fire was still burning. He described visiting Notre Dame three years ago, after attending the funeral of a Roman Catholic priest, Father Jacques Hamel, who was knifed to death in July 2016 by two Muslim terrorists while celebrating Mass.
Here’s some of what Steyn said:
Sense - Living - Faith - Museum - Art
“You do have the sense that a living, breathing faith is just becoming actually a museum, an art gallery, a storage facility. And the French who were on the streets in tears this evening, on the streets of Paris, they’re not mourning — I don’t think they’re mourning just history or architecture or art or culture, they’re mourning something else, but what that something else, post-Christian France can’t quite identify it. And that’s, that’s really the conundrum. When Monsieur Macron says ‘Oh, we’re going to rebuild it.’ Rebuild it for what? When people...
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