(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)
May 1, 2019 — It is a shame that the Norte Dame Cathedral had such a tragic fire. In 1964 while stationed in Germany, a buddy and I spent five days in Paris playing tourists. We took a tour boat ride down the Seine River and saw Notre Dame in the distance, which at the time was the largest church I had ever seen. It was not until 2017 that I actually walked into the cathedral. Outside I was fascinated with the gargoyles and inside the rose windows. Other than the windows, I was not impressed with interior and put off by the ATM machine that was inside.
I do not understand what all the fuss is about because the main structure was not destroyed, nor were the rose windows.
Now, if the world lost one of the following, it be it would a tragic loss of architecture and sensory experience: York Minster in York, England, which is built on Roman ruins; The massive Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, where American GI’s took rifle practice in the nave; Florence Duomo in Florence, Italy, that has the wonderful subtle white, pink and green façade and inside the dome.
Lastly there is St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome with the square designed by Bernini to exterior and interior archeicture designed by Michelangelo, Barmante, Maderno and Sangallo The Younger. The exterior and interior are an overpowering visual experience.
My words are not really about churches or cathedrals but donations that are given to replace what was lost and donations that are not given. As I write this, donations of about $1 billion have been pledged to rebuilding Notre Dame, which will take at least 10 years.
Because of this spike in giving, the three African American Churches that were recently destroyed in Louisiana have now received $1.5 million in donations, which is embarrassing; it should be about $20 million.
What our giving billionaires should really concern themselves with when giving is not to a destroyed edifice but to those estimated 16 million children in our country that only have one meal each day, if any.
To feed all the children in the U.S. with three balanced meals each day would cost $1 per child.
For $1 billion we could possibly feed all the starving children in the world for years to come.
Do-gooders should learn how to do good instead of getting their names in media and print.