Easter Week saw the 850-year-old Notre Dame cathedral in Paris partly consumed by flames, which may or may not have been ignited by anti-Christian terrorists.
“The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” declared Harvard University architecture historian Patricio del Real.
But with French President Emmanuel Macron pledging to rebuild Notre Dame within five years, and with donors quickly pledging more than a billion dollars for its restoration, another question has arisen.
As Wall Street Journal columnist Dan Henninger put it, will political forces demand that this church built by Christian Roman Catholic faithful be rebuilt today to reflect modern Political Correctness by including other religions and beliefs?
The pressure to do so would demand equal space inside not only for Protestant and Orthodox Christian beliefs, but also a place for France’s fast-growing Muslim population.
This Progressive egalitarian idea of “sharing” religious space appeared in antiquity. When the Greeks occupied ancient Israel, ruler Antiochus Epiphanies insisted that the Jewish Temple include a statue of the Greek deity Zeus to worship. Pigs were sacrificed on altars to Zeus.
This “abomination of desolation” sparked a revolution led by Judas Maccabeus that liberated the Jewish people from Seleucid Greek rule. This victory, and the miracle of the long-burning oil that helped re-consecrate the Temple, is remembered in the “Feast of Lights,” the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.
Judas, like Jesus, grew up in the Galilee. Several of Jesus’ disciples had typical Maccabean names. The Maccabean symbol was the palm tree, which may be why supporters threw down palm branches before him as Jesus rode into Jerusalem before his crucifixion and resurrection.
But now the pagan progressives are back, proposing more abominations. Consider the “gods” and faiths they might now try to impose on Notre Dame:
(1) Marxism and its near-identical pagan cults such as Socialism, Nazism and Fascism. We too easily forget that these “ideologies” are actually fake religions that claim to control the keys to history and human destiny. Marxism and its near-twin socialisms sought to replace faith in God with the “humanism” that the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “the religion of man,” with humankind as the measure of all things.
Marxists believe that an elite of superior humans will usher in “heaven on Earth,” a new Garden of Eden, in which a new god (the state) will create a redistributionist paradise. Their pseudo-scientific predictions have always failed.
As the old saying goes: when someone loses faith in God, he does not believe in nothing. He believes anything, any crazed cult such as Marxism. America today has as many non-churchgoers as it does Roman Catholics – roughly 20 percent of our population.
(2) Science … or Scientism, the cult that worships science and the priesthood of white-robed scientists as an ideology that can objectively determine how and what people should believe. Genuine science is open-minded, always allows reconsideration of any theory, and modestly admits that its realm is empirical, the physical but not metaphysical universe. Scientism is dogmatic, authoritarian and silences those outside its “consensus” (a meaningless term, as Galileo showed). Politicized “science” is scientism, the opposite of what real science tries to free humankind from.
(3) Gaia, the ancient Greek “Earth Mother” goddess. This is a pseudo-religion of environmentalism. Worshipped by watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside), this is the cult of global warming. Nobody should be surprised to learn that “Earth Day” began on the 100th birthday of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, and has been celebrated on this murderous dictator’s birthday ever since.
(4) Wicca, the religion of witchcraft. President Bill Clinton imposed Wiccan chaplains on our military while his wife Hillary ran the coven at the heart of the Clinton “New Covenant.” Many leftists tried to attack President Donald Trump by casting witchcraft spells against him, just as an earlier stoned-head leftist generation tried to use magic to “levitate” the Pentagon.
Thousands of such “religions” – from the Nation of Islam (whose leader recently described himself as Jesus) to the Temple of Satan – would be installed in the restored Notre Dame to make it truly “inclusive.”
The reason for Europe’s “bare ruined choirs,” its churches full of tourists but empty of worshippers, happened largely because its governments imposed state religions. American freedom of choice has kept our religions vibrant, despite the left’s effort to denigrate and destroy religion.
We should keep leftist statist dogma out of the renewed Notre Dame, and exorcise this abomination from our churches as well.
Lowell Ponte is a former Reader’s Digest Roving Editor. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other major publications. His latest paper co-authored with Craig R. Smith, “Protecting Your Wealth in Today’s America: How You Invest Your Savings Requires New Thinking,” shows how to rethink several areas of investment to protect and grow your savings in our new schizophrenic politics. For a free, postpaid copy, call toll-free 800-630-1492.