How Some in the Atheist Community are Responding to the Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in France

A brief post about how some atheists are responding to the fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France. At the Friendly Atheist, atheists were given the opportunity to help rebuild the monumental cathedral which is a key component of western civilization.

“The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.”

Richard Bach 

“Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.”

F Scott Fitzgerald 


The other day I watched in horror the fire that took place in Paris, which occurred at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Notre Dame is quite simply the best known cathedrals in western civilization. The 853 year old church went through many pivital events in French history. Napoleon crowned himself there, the Huguenots in the religious wars trashed it. It saw plagues in France and stored food in the French Revolution and the German invasion and occupation of France in World War II. 


How Some Atheists Responded to the Fire 

On the Friendly Atheist earlier there was a blog post about how atheists are responding to the fire at Notre Dame om France. In a post Hemant Mehta remarked about all the literature, history, architecture and culture that Notre Dame inspired or led to. Richard Dawkins did this on Twitter, I captured the tweet and inserted it above. If any atheists thought differently Mehta said the following in his post. 

“Anyone who dares to celebrate a blow to a religious monument, as if it’s somehow a win for atheists, is missing the larger picture of what this building represents. (Not that I’ve seen much gloating outside of anonymous trolls.)”

Hemant Mehta closed the post with a segment from the atheist threads at Reddit that is very much inspiring. 

Regardless of personal beliefs and convictions, regardless of religious sentiment or lack thereof. Regardless of political, economic and cultural division all well-meaning people will agree on this, it is important to treasure our heritage and honour the accomplishments of those who came before us.

We lament the loss but choose to be hopeful for the future, to trust that the people of France with their usual fortitude and determination will rebuild and restore.

We hope that the brave men and women who risk their lives fighting to contain this fire will come through unscathed and the fire will be under control soon.

This subreddit and people the world over value the contributions the people of France have made to our shared global culture.

Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid.

We trust that the Notre Dame will be restored to its former glory, in time.

The Friendly Atheist blog post ended with am opportunity for atheists to donate to the rebuilding efforts. 


A Question I Would Like to Ask…

This blog is very much concerned with atheist discrimination. In addition its also concerned with how atheists are misunderstood. That happens easily with many evangelicals. When Hemant Mehta closed his blog post giving atheists and others an opportunity to give to the rebuilding efforts of Notre Dame how many Christians expected that? How many Christians instead would have demonized or discriminated against atheists based on preconceived notions or not knowing atheists at all? My hope is that many Christians might realize that many atheists are incredible pillars of society. It also makes me want to ask another question. There are a number of atheist or secular humanist organizations. A few examples could be the Center for Inquiry, American Atheist, Secular Student Alliance, Military Association for Atheists and Freethinkers and the United Coalition for Reason. If any their headquarters caught fire or burned to the ground would Christians recognize the tragedy and would they step forward to help out and donate money to rebuild? If this makes you uncomfortable I hope you spend sometime thinking about this for a while.