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Monday, November 29, 2021

Debasing The Cathedral Of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris ablaze in April 2019:
[photo by Philippe Wojazer/Reuters]

Apparently, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is going to be "restored" in a way that will destroy the historical and faith-based significance of this touchstone of Western Civilization (emphases mine):
Fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral is being turned into a 'woke theme park' with renovators adding a 'discovery trail' and 'Christianity for dummies' exhibits, critics have claimed. 

Under new plans, confessional boxes, altars and classical sculptures will be scrapped for trendy art murals, with sound and lighting effects creating 'emotional spaces.' 

A 'discovery trail' will lead visitors through various chapels, with an emphasis on Africa and Asia, and scripture will be beamed onto the walls in various languages, including Mandarin. One of the sanctuaries will even be dedicated to the environment. 

Maurice Culot, an award-winning Paris-based architect, told The Telegraph: 'It's as if Disney were entering Notre-Dame. 

'What they are proposing to do to Notre-Dame would never be done to Westminster Abbey or Saint Peter's in Rome. It's a kind of theme park and very childish and trivial given the grandeur of the place.'...
Read the rest HERE.  Worth your time

******Robert Spencer comments — accurately, in my view (emphasis mine): 
But to rebuild the cathedral back exactly the way it was would require the faith that built it in the first place, and that is long gone from France and much of the rest of Europe as well. The new Notre Dame will stand as a monument to the new faith of a Europe that has lost a sense of itself and of its own purpose. Those who visit it will be introduced to the trivial concerns and hysterical propaganda of the early twenty-first century, and if they had any familiarity with the old cathedral, they’ll gain a new understanding of why France in the early twenty-first century was in such a state of decline. The new cathedral will sing of France’s loss of itself and of its nerve. But it probably won’t do so for the 850 years that the old cathedral stood.
Over and over during the past several years, I have asked myself, "Why is Western Civilization so determined to trivialize and deprecate itself and, as a consequence, commit suicide?"  Robert Spencer has answered that question.  

We need a Twenty-first Century Great Awakening!

Additional reading: What was lost and saved from the Notre Dame fire (Apr 16, 2019).


  1. This is a logical progression. Christianity in Europe is a hollowed-out husk, and its great churches are tourist attractions devoid of any real spirituality, with God appearing only as some accidentally-not-eradicated vestige of the past.

    Europeans--even in their post-Christian age--appreciate the culture around them, including their churches, church music and other artifacts of Christianity. Christopher Hitches has written some excellent commentary on the Bible as literature and he treasured that book as a foundation of so much secular literature.

    I leave it to others like Mr. Spencer and his ideological adversaries to argue over whether this constitutes a decline, but it is in keeping with Europe's modern, post-Christian culture.

    The west, including the US is entering a neo-pagan age.

  2. I thought it was from the "The Bee" when I read about it over the weekend. An interesting history:

    The 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State declared that cathedrals remained the property of the state and smaller churches that of the local municipal government..

    Those public authorities had to hand over the buildings to religious organizations (associations cultuelles) representing associated formed of laymen, instead of putting them directly back under the supervision of the church hierarchies.

  3. Even back in the day when churches had the power to intimidate people into professing belief and attendance, I dunno how pious the typical nominal Christian really was. Our current openly secular population may not have that different an inner live from our 18th century ancestors'.

    1. @ Jez: "...when churches had the power to intimidate people into professing belief and attendance"

      imo, that, along with churches climbing in bed with royalty are probably the main factors in the decline of Christianity in Europe.

      Jesus did not preach coercion, and he left to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar.

    2. It took a corrupt priest like Torqumada to really suck up to royals to begin the auto-da-fe's of Spain...

      ...purity can be such a curse! Just ask today's 'cancellers' over at Twitter.

  4. Jez stated... "I dunno how pious the typical nominal Christian really was."

    I think that's pretty much today too. I'm not too sure many here or anywhere else would embrace a new "Great Awakening" either.

    To ask people to set aside their will to emulate and follow a crucified savior seems a pretty heavy lift.

  5. The paradox of belief is that it's not all that important that people ardently "believe" in G_d so much as they believe that there are still those who DO believe. That way, they will still act as though they believe for the believer's sake...(cross themselves, take communion, say "G_d Bless you", etc...)

    1. They'll believe that it's still "politically correct" to follow the "social norm."

    2. Indeed. Many an atheist, agnostic, lapsed (fill in the blank) and religiously apathetic have appreciated and even praised the positive influences religion imparted on society.

    3. I like to find positive things to learn from religion, but there's a lot I find distasteful about the old fashioned social expectation of belief and conflation of religion and morality.

    4. Every age suffers its Pharisees

      Having said that, we should live our values. Also, I do not see the conflation of religion and morality. Each religion does have its morality. Perhaps what you mean is a religion claiming to have an exclusive lock on THE Morality. If so, I agree with you. There are all kinds of systems of morality outside of God or religion

    5. SF,
      Many an atheist, agnostic, lapsed (fill in the blank) and religiously apathetic have appreciated and even praised the positive influences religion imparted on society.

      Oriana Fallaci comes to mind. An ardent atheist, she was also a defender of the church because she believed that without Christianity we'd never have had glorious works of art, including architecture. In her view, Western Civilization was produced by Christianity, and we should therefore honor Christianity, an honor we can have without believing the tenets of Christianity.


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