The Cathedral of Notre Dame burns in France, an eons old symbol of Christianity going up in flames. This tragedy at the start of the holy week eerily parallels-- and portends-- the decline of Christianity in Europe and even the United States, where more people identify as non-religious than admit to being of any particular religious group.
We in the West are no longer reproducing, be it physically, morally or spiritually.
The French Revolution was in part an attempt to supplant Christianity and usher in an age of “reason.” Science would replace the Bible, the Ten Commandments, even God. We would extract beauty and meaning—and all the answers— from science alone. How has that worked out for us?
As we get ever more “woke”, we fall into a deeper and deeper moral slumber. We become ever more cynical and less content. We wander through an urban wilderness struggling to find meaning. We have been blinded, not by science, but by the absolute and unshakable faith we’ve invested in it at the expense of the divine.
In this era of radical secularism and radical Islam, watching the roof of the Cathedral collapse onto itself was analogous to watching Europe collapse onto itself. Platitudes can be mouthed, unity can be proclaimed, and money can be pledged to rebuild the stunningly beautiful 850-year-old church, but, over the allegorical long-term, we will fiddle as Notre Dame burns.
I would like to think the burning of Notre Dame, whether an accident or set deliberately, might make some of us rethink our path-- and bring about a rebirth of Christian faith this Easter season. Sadly, it is much more likely to serve as Christendom’s funeral pyre.
(Meanwhile, Peter Buttigieg, the gay two-time mayor of South Bend, Indiana, home of the University of Notre Dame, says he is proof that the city, and no doubt the university, heartily approves of homosexuality. While this has nothing to do with why the Cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire, it is illustrative of modern progressive Westerner’s demand that their acts and beliefs not only go unquestioned, but be universally celebrated. It exposes our preference for identity politics over the content of an individual’s character, and our elevation of personal pleasure and gratification above that which may have greater meaning and purpose).