What About Fires Closer to Home? | Sojourners

What About Fires Closer to Home?

Why do we act as if a building "over there" is more sacred than our own black, immigrant, and refugee churches?
The Notre Dame Cathedral, in Paris, France, caught fire on April 15, 2019. Pedro Mar/Shutterstock

JUST WEEKS before the fire, I was in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, walking around the exterior and enjoying the architecture and ornate sculptures depicting stories of the Christian faith. I didn’t go inside, and I may never have the chance because of how long it will take to rebuild Notre Dame. The iconic wooden spire and roof are gone, as experts try to assess how to support the remaining structure and make it safe. There is international support and money to rebuild, because it appears a tragic accident has destroyed a place that is considered sacred even to those who consider themselves secular.

And that is why so many of us should keep going back to why the burning of three black churches in Louisiana didn’t fill 24-hour news cycles or make us—me—stop and turn on the news.

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