Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thoughts on Notre-Dame

I had mixed thoughts about the fire at Notre-Dame. On one hand it’s a beautiful historic building that’s significant to the French culture and religious people around the world. On the other hand, it’s just another burning building.

As a former firefighter I’ve seen a lot of buildings burn. Believe me, if it’s your house it’s more tragic than some church in France. However, my experiences taught me about not becoming too attached to things. Some families would be grateful just to have gotten out alive. After all, stuff is just stuff. People are important, not things.

At the end of the day, Notre-Dame is just a thing. Even Christians are taught that a church isn’t the building they meet in but the group of people who meet in Christ’s name. Even devote French Catholics have to admit that Notre-Dame was more of landmark/tourist attraction than a functioning church.

Most of the industrialized world has been becoming more and more secular. That’s the trend. Like it or hate it, that’s the way things are going. Churches in general are becoming relics of the past. The church I went to as a kid is now a secular music venue. Times change.

I’m sure France is looking to rebuilt Notre-Dame out of its significance as a historical building rather than as a place of worship. You don’t hear about tens of thousands of parishioners who will no place to meet. That’s because it barely functioned as a church. There’s probably a handful of elderly pensioners who will have to find something else to do with their day.

Personally, I’m happy nobody, firefighter or civilian, died in the fire. That’s the important take away for me.



  1. True. It was a beautiful old building, but its still just a building. The money spent on it could easily be spent on more important things.

    1. I guess helping the poor or saving the planet just isn't exciting enough.

  2. Since the had been working on that building, a lot of the valuable stuff had been removed while renovation was going on. So, a lot of the artifacts were actually saved.

    1. Most of the artifacts were already out of it and a lot of the building was saved anyway. Not as bad as it first appeared.