There are some things you can truly count on. The sun rising every morning, crazy shoppers on Black Friday and whenever tragedy strikes some Quiverfull Evangelical somewhere is going to invent some sort of elaborate but not entirely rational conspiracy theory surrounding the event. Usually the theory related back to the fact that God is usually punishing some people group.
They insist on doing this, even in the face of the fact that many times the most simple explanation for an event is the correct one.
Unless you’ve been out of touch in the deepest reaches of the planet, or just living under a rock I’m sure you’ve heard by now of the fire that swept through one of Europe’s most famous landmarks, the Notre-Dame Cathedral in France. The church was undergoing some renovation work and it appears at this moment that the fire that took out the roof and attic areas is connected to the renovation.
The cathedral dates back to 1160 and is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. Filled with treasures going back hundreds of years. Important from not only as a church, but as a historical monument, the building had meaning for many. Many around the world are in mourning over the fire.
So I was curious when the good Patriarchs of the Christian Manosphere would start inventing reasons for the burning. Reasons that do not involve the facts of tinder dry ancient wood mixed with possible construction snafus. I didn’t have long to wait.
Almost immediately after the fire was out and photos were posted showing no real damage to the alter or the gold cross plus the still flickering votive candles we were treated to Evangelicals wild claims. Some said that the cross being unburnt and the candles unmelted meant that God had supernaturally intervened, refusing to accept that the fire was some 200 feet above the alter and candles and that heat rises.
Doug Wilson did not disappoint. He posted yesterday, poking at the other conspiracy theories while stopping just short of throwing his own blame. Doug blames the people of France themselves for the fire. He thinks it is symbolic of the atheist nature of France.
First Doug claims people got stupid about it right away:
The fire that devastated Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burned for twelve hours, but the fire wasn’t even out before some people started being stupid about it. Most of the world was simply in shock as they watched one of the most magnificent buildings in the world go up in flames. But there were some who were on the spot with hot takes that were not really all that helpful, as in, it had to have been a deep conspiracy, or Muslim terrorists did it, or we shouldn’t feel all that sorry because of the Roman Catholic denial of sola fide, or that we need always to remember that churches are people, not buildings.
He is right about one thing. Conspiracy theories in the immediate aftermath are very unhelpful. They serve merely to divide people.Then Doug says he thinks that the authorities were too eager to rule out Muslims and terror, apparently not realizing that on the same day a 2,000 year old mosque considered to be the third most important one in the world also burned that day. Let’s all just blame the Muslims, in Doug’s world that’s what he would do.
Doug spends a lot time tap dancing around conspiracy theories before coming to the conclusion without directly saying it that the unGodliness of the French is the real reason that the church burned.
And so, without developing this in greater detail, I simply want to say that modern France is in desperate need of a massive revival, a religious reformation that will put all prior reformations in the shade. That is their only hope. Their current aggressive secularism is simply their approved way of keeping the wood of the roof extra dry.
We don’t know the final cause yet, we may never fully know, but somehow I doubt it’s some sort of punishment by God. Who deliberately burns their own house?
The simplest explanation might actually be what happened here. Not divine judgement.
Let’s see how many of the Pat Robertsons and other Good Christian Patriarchs try to blame the citizens of France for the fire.
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