Before the smoke had cleared, the rich were offering millions, and the critics were writing about what else should be done with their grossly expendable wealth.

The first I read argued that if people weren’t more upset about racially motivated arson cases, then they were #problematic. Since then, I’ve browsed headlines falling in the category of shifting focus about mourning the effects of the blaze. They examine the “deafening silence” of those who weep for Notre Dame but say nothing of desecrated sacred spaces for indigenous people, the lamentable state of the Catholic Church and its inability to keep its clergy from sexually assaulting people, and all the ways Jesus would’ve spent money on people instead of monuments.

Medievalists, historians, and architects wrote the second type of article rebuking the mourners, warning people that these churches weren’t meant to last, and because Notre Dame is one of the most well-documented structures, we can rebuild it. Don’t cry. We can fix it.

Continue reading “Without direction, or malice”