The Hypocrisy of Notre Dame.
The fire at Notre Dame cathedral has highlighted everything that is hypocritical within the modern world. From the priorities of the rich to the agenda of the Catholic church, the fire has shown just how horrific the modern world can be.
The fire damaged cathedral was surrounded by people ‘mourning’ the building which will no doubt take years to rebuild. Many of these members of the public, Parisians or otherwise, were reduced to tears. In a matter of days around half a billion euros, this number passing the one billion mark soon after was raised to rebuild the medieval cathedral, with some companies donating 100 million apiece.
There are an estimated 3000 people living on the streets of Paris. A fraction of the money donated to the rebuilding of Notre Dame could rehouse all these people and build a brand-new refugee camp in Calais to replace ‘The Jungle’ with some money to spare. A city as wealthy as Paris and a country as affluent as France shouldn’t have this problem with homelessness, but Notre Dame has shown that a building has more of a place in the hearts of Parisians than their fellow citizens.
One theory as to why such an enormous amount of money has been thrown at Notre Dame by wealthy individuals and companies is that it is more beneficial for them. Notre Dame is a world-renowned cathedral, which brings with it lots of attention. What better way to boost your global profile by openly stating you have donated millions of euros to the restoration of a beloved church. After all, a lot more people seem to care about this more than actual humans being forced out onto the streets to suffer and go hungry. There are a lot of good people in this world, but a lot of those with the most wealth tend to care more about public approval than using their money to help others.
This attention that the wealthy care most about has been evident since the horrendous events in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. According to google trends, searches about Notre Dame outnumbered those searching for information on the attacks on Sri Lankan churches. This is despite the fact almost 300 people died and hundreds more were injured in the latter. The wealthy European country is unfortunately seen to be far more interesting than a colossal loss of life.
The truth is there are many areas of the world which are in desperate need of financial support and frankly Notre Dame is not one of them. I am an admirer of history and particularly medieval architecture but prioritising it over the welfare of actual human beings is horrific. The distribution of wealth worldwide is criminal, to say the least. If people continue to give money to the renovation of a church whilst homelessness and other forms of suffering and poverty continue to plague their own streets, then it shows that we are very much heading in the wrong direction in which cold hard capitalism and right-wing values will strange out every remaining drop of humanity.
This story was published in Viewpoint Weekly, we publish stories and send our readers a weekly digest to give you new and unique perspectives on politics, history and culture. If you enjoyed it, give us a follow.