The accidental fire at Notre Dame Cathedral was both shocking and saddening, and played into a much larger picture about where the world is headed.
For the superstitious, (a group that I could not deny my membership of), experiencing the hellish inferno, in real-time thanks to social media, had a much larger significance than an oily rag or electrical short circuit. After all, there have been plenty of oily rags and electrical renovations at the cathedral over the course of the last several decades.
No, this blaze, which occurred on the first day of Holy Week, and just six days before Easter Sunday, looked like a warning. A message. A little slap on the wrist.
You see, the faithful of the world have been turning on one another in increasingly ferocious ways over the course of the last 50 years, with an uptick in violence beginning to show signs of a crescendo just as Notre Dame suffered her mighty, fiery loss.
Outside of Paris, France has been inundated with incidents of vandalism at Christian churches in 2019, with literally hundreds of documented attacks. In New Zealand, a crazed gunman opened fire on peaceful Muslim parishioners. And, in retaliation, coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka targeted Easter Sunday congregations at several churches – an attack claimed by ISIS as one of their own.
Amid all of this chaos and cataclysm, President Trump has a message of hope.
President Trump on Thursday called for religious unity and tolerance in the wake of a series of deadly attacks in recent months across the globe aimed at Christians and Jews.
Speaking less than a week after an attack on Jewish worshippers at the Chabad of Powaysynagogue in California, Trump said violence and terrorism against people of all faiths must end, and that “all civilized nations must join together in this effort.”
“We will fight with all our might and everything in our body to defeat anti-Semitism,” the president said during a speech in the Rose Garden to honor the National Day of Prayer.
Trump paid tribute to those killed and injured on the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka and the Muslims killed in a mass shooting in New Zealand earlier this year. He also cited the burning of three black churches in Louisiana and last year’s shooting spree at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
And while many of these incidents have occurred overseas, patriots the nation over must remember that we in America have the freedom of religion, and the freedom to pursue our happiness. We mustn’t judge other religions based solely on the extremism festering in their darker corners.
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