What site could be more sacred, what sight could be more sorrowful, what monument could be more metaphorical than reality itself, than the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral? What more warning do we need than the flames from a fire in Paris, from a church desecrated during the French Revolution and nearly destroyed, today, by an apparent combination of nature and negligence?
The fire symbolizes the fragility of life. The fire symbolizes the probable future of France, where life reverts not to the state of nature but to an unnatural state: a nation-state with few Catholics and no Jews.
The fire symbolizes years of spiritual neglect and national denial. Years of fighting fires with words of outreach, instead of words of outrage. Years of “Je suis” (“I am”) without an hour for “J’Accuse…!” (“I Accuse…!”).
The hour is past due for Frenchmen—for all free men—to see the fire next time. That fire will not be a response against evil but a reflection of it. Not a reaction by the victims of injustice but an inferno set by reactionaries. Not a call to liberty, fraternity, and equality but a war cry to incinerate the last vestiges of Christendom.
Today’s accident is tomorrow’s act of intention, unless France awakens to the present danger.
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