Just days after Notre Dame was nearly incinerated, wealthy French families pledged close to a billion dollars to restore that magnificent monument to European Christianity — several times the anticipated cost of the restoration.
French secularists who’ve been at war against religion since at least Voltaire were furious. First, the yellow-vested thugs protested that the money would be better spent on them, er, I mean on social justice. And anyway, how dare wealthy families be wealthy, and how dare they remind us of it by parting with some of their wealth, and how dare they do so voluntarily?
Then, even worse, the establishment weighed in. French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the historic Catholic church should be rebuilt “consistent with our modern, diverse nation.”
Architects — a profession devoted to foisting buildings that constitute a form onto a public that wishes their form would honestly follow their function — knew what Macron meant. They promptly suggested adding an Islamic minaret.
Presumably this political correctness will also dictate elements of Protestantism (which, as a Protestant, I suppose I should welcome but don’t), Judaism, Hinduism, paganism and — why not? — Satan worship.
This isn’t because the establishment likes Protestantism, Judaism, Hinduism, paganism or Satan, mind you. It’s because they hate Catholicism. And their hatred of Catholicism isn’t on doctrinal grounds, so don’t take it personally. Someday, if Satan worship wins out over Catholicism, they’ll hate Satan too (though ironically it will then be too late to do them any good).
No, their hatred of Catholicism is simply because they hate real religion and, despite some shortcomings, Catholicism is a real religion. The reason they hate real religion is that it threatens their personal religion of secular socialism.
It’s the same reason that all socialists from Lenin to Pol Pot have hated real religion. In the end, they believe, there can be only one religion. They aim to make it theirs and they intend to be the high priests. They don’t intend to share their authority with God.
So religion has to go. There’s no better way to destroy it than to require believers to acknowledge that their belief is no better or worse than competing beliefs. In other words, demand apostasy.
Surrendering one’s belief is surrendering one’s faith. Religion is thereby reduced to a civic club like the Elks, which frees up room for the religion of secular socialism.
Appropriating the symbols of a faith as a way of defeating it has a long history. Ancient Christians appropriated the pagan Pantheon — one of the remarkable engineering feats of Rome — and made it into the peculiar church it is today.
Christians later built their own remarkable structure, the Haglia Sophia of Constantinople. Perhaps in a case of poetic justice, the Muslims who conquered that city and renamed it Istanbul converted it into a weird mosque.
Both conversions were obscene desecrations. But of course, that was the idea. Just as that is the idea in forcing Catholics to share Notre Dame.
People have monuments to their faith, from the Western Wall to the Taj Mahal. We people of faith may all look the same to secular socialists — like superstitious fools who are blind to the demonstrated, or I should say soon to be demonstrated, glories of Godless socialism — but actually we’re all different.
As always, secular socialists want to make us all the same and equal in the eyes of our overlords. They want to make us all zero.
(Published May 5, 2015 in the Aspen Times at https://www.aspentimes.com/opinion/should-notre-dame-include-a-mosque/)