The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has burned, and most of it has collapsed. On Wednesday, Debbie and I will be in Paris and get a firsthand look at the remains of the cathedral, an architectural marvel. There is already encouraging talk of rebuilding the cathedral, but Melissa Mackenzie notes at The American Spectator that while she watched Notre Dame burn, her thoughts were on the “rotted spiritual corpse” of the Judeo-Christian world. She writes (abridged):
Christianity gives one the structure to lead a whole, happy life and a foundation to weather the worst personal storms. And yet it’s being maligned and true adherents are viewed with suspicion. In France, Jews and Christians, both, endure increased persecution.
And this progressive march to Judeo-Christian annihilation has resulted in nihilistic secularism that substitutes empty sex for love, selfishness for family, addiction for community, consumerism for peace, loneliness for connection. For knowing so much, our generation is woefully ignorant about what matters most and has little frame within which to build a meaningful life. That’s why sad substitutes like climate alarmism, veganism, abortion, and the rest are treated as sacraments. In a post-modern world, they are.
That’s what was going through my mind while watching Notre Dame burn. People are sad and I’m not sure they can even pinpoint why. Somewhere, there’s an echo of what we’ve lost in the West. It’s in the soul of the people, but the memory of it is ephemeral. It’s a feeling of something that was important but can’t be brought to the mind and it’s blowing in the breeze over Paris.
The church can be rebuilt. I’ve read that there are detailed laser plans for it that an art historian took. The antiquities within the church may have been saved and put aside because the church was being renovated. That’s encouraging. But what is more difficult to salvage is the hardened heart, the rotted spiritual corpse.
Read more here.
More on Notre Dame from Sam Schechner and Nick Kostov at The Wall Street Journal here.