More enabling of religion by NBC

Two quotes from this evening’s NBC News in their report on the fire in Notre Dame:

From Richard Engel, describing how the interior of the cathedral was not damaged as severely as the outside:

“But in the interior, fire met faith, and faith won.”

Seriously?

From another correspondent describing how firemen ran into the church to save the various dubious relics:

“The rescuers did God’s work.”

Not “one might say that the rescuers did God work,” but the simple declarative sentence above.

93 Comments

  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    How was faith inside the church? What if faith was on the roof and lost? How do we know where faith is? I guess we accept faith on faith.

    • Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Luckily heat rises, so the interior was below the worst heat. We can thank physics, not faith.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Witch! How dare you use witch words like “physics” in the matters of faith!

      • BJ
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Ummmmm, no. Faith flows downward as heat rises, so faith protects things below. Look into it, sheeple.

        • Mark R.
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

          Say that to the heretics in hell!

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            Where is that proof on the thermodynamics of heaven and hell? Oh, look, I’ve typed out the search terms. Funny that!
            And over to Snopes, doing the work of … many, with multiple conflicting results. I like the application of the Stefan-Boltzmann law and the chemistry of sulphur to demonstrate that “temperature of heaven, 525°C. Temperature of hell, less than 445°C.”

    • DSG
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      it appears that nbc thinks that Faith is a “flame-retardant” So is that what Trump wanted to be dropped on the church from the world famous Fox and Friends Flying tankers?????? There is no problem that Trump wont “tweet-a-fix” for……Too bad Trump did not summon his SPACE FORCE to put out the fire with a “faith-ray”

      • Taz
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 12:05 am | Permalink

        Flame Activated Ignition Terminating Helper

        I think Dupont makes it.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          [like]

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Thank g*d we know who is doing g*d’s work. That would be man as always. Also we know who is paying for it.

    • Roger
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      That’s okay there isn’t anything better to do with billions of dollars.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        I’m waiting for a French comedian – absurdist, I suspect – to suggest putting a collection box in the rebuilt Notre Dame to collect for The Donald’s taxes.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I’ll gladly grant broad poetic license. But Christ Almighty, fellas, rein it in a tad.

    We’ll know we’ve made real progress when some tv correspondent has the gumption to say, “If there is a deity, allowing Notre Dame burn appears to be circumstantial evidence he/she/it isn’t Catholic. Live from Paris, back to you, Lester.”

    • murali
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      I remember the time when a CNN newscaster asked a woman if she thanked God for saving her from a tornado. I think she told him that she did not believe in God. That was funny.

      • Historian
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        I recall the reporter was Wolf Blitzer. He was flummoxed by the response. It was a great moment.

  4. Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see who pays for the reconstruction. Fire insurance, of course?
    And, God was paying the premiums! GROG

  5. Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    The firefighters were doing God’s work? I didn’t know God did that kind of stuff.

    “And on the eighth day He ran up a ladder and sprayed foam all over the place” Genesis 2:4

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha. And he looked upon the foamy landscape and said “This landscape looks foamy” and it was good.

      • BJ
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        “This landscape looks like the party I had with Kevin Spacey and Brian Singer and it was…weird”

      • Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        That’s how the Seven Seas originated.

    • BJ
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      A crucial word was left out of the King James edition: his.

      “He ran up a ladder and sprayed his foam all over the place”

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        My mind immediately went there as well….but I resisted.

        • rickflick
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          Mental self redaction.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:25 am | Permalink

          Resistance is useless!

      • Mark R.
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Well, apparently his foam worked with Mary. 😉

        • BJ
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

          not if it was spermicidal.

  6. Bill Fish
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Ha…God burnt down Notre Dame as punishment to the Pope for his wishy washy handling of the pedophle crisis. Note: He saved all of the artifacts and the organ. God had to have intervened as the candles on the alter were not melted even though there was a very hot fire in front of them.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      Well, God’s intelligence gathering is no more accurate than usual. Notre Dame is owned by the French government, like all (?) other historic edifices.

      If God wanted to punish the Pope he should have set fire to the Vatican instead. 🙂

      cr

  7. James Walker
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t god do his own work? Lazy.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      🙂

    • Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      And it wasn’t even the sabbath.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, if it were the Sabbath, you could at least let Him off easy for punishing people for picking up sticks.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          No, no. The people were punished for picking up faggots on the Sabbath. Sticks is just a euphemism.

          • BJ
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

            That.

            Is.

            Amazing.

            If Jerry ever does a “Comments of the Year” roundup, this better be on it.

          • rickflick
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

            😎

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            Hey, I’ve got faggots in the fridge for dinner tonight! Yummy!

            • Jenny Haniver
              Posted April 17, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

              My comment #15 below was meant to be a direct reply to yours here. Template goof again.

    • Mark R.
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      He made everything in a week or so and then just said, “fuck it”…I think Gary Larson wrote a comic about it.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      He has’t got a union card, or insurance to work as a certified roofer.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Why hasn’t he got a union card or insurance policy? See? Lazy.

    • Zetopan
      Posted April 20, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      “Why can’t god do his own work?”

      Because gawd is only really skilled at destroying things (“acts of gawd”) so gawd’s people always have to do any actual work.

      This is why gawd always needs money! Note the monetary donations from people, gawd can’t make money grow on trees anymore than it can make fig trees bear fruit out of season.*

      *https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+11%3A12-25&version=NIV

  8. rickflick
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    There must be some kind of condescending appeasement toward religion upheld as a standard among large news organizations. Management reminds newscasters at the end of the yearly meeting that 75% say they are Christians. Let’s not blow it.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      I wish that were true. Sadly, I think Christian religion is so embedded in culture as a way to virtue signal your goodness, that people just can’t stop themselves. They’re the equivalent of kids who scorned you with, “you’re not going to get any presents from Santa” simply for changing the lyrics to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to “Santa Clause is Going to Bite Your Bum”. Hey – it got big laughs in grade 1!

      • rickflick
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Could be. I’m guessing, though, there are a substantial number of atheists among broadcasters. They are simply expected to bite their tongue and pretend along with their audience.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          As there always are (atheists everywhere biting their tongues). I’d be the worst presenter. Besides not being perky, I’d end up in a clip on John Oliver for saying something inappropriate or getting caught on camera making a “ugh” face.

          • BJ
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            That sounds like exactly the kind of broadcaster we need, but not the one we deserve.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

              We need Kif from Futurama.

              • BJ
                Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

                “Well, Notre Dame is burning. *sigh* I guess they’ll try to put out the fires, but…”

                *Zapp Brannigan bounds into frame*

                “Don’t worry everyone! Zapp’s here to save these erotic spires! Water bombs, away!”

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

                And Kif: “Ugh”.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

                BJ : (at comment posting depth limit)

                “Don’t worry everyone! Zapp’s here to save these erotic spires! Water bombs, away!”

                Please tell me that “water bombs” isn’t another American euphemism for something unspeakable involving the Tangarine Shitgibbon and Putin’s Компромат videotapes.
                Time to use a teabag.

          • rickflick
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            I’d love a non-perky-atheist presenter. Maybe you should apply?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

              I’ll keep my eyes open for job ads for “non-perky atheist presenters”.

        • Mike Deschane
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          I would be more inclined to believe that broadcasters, meaning the audience facing talking heads, would be believers, given the intellectual requirements for the job (I know, stereotyping here.).

          I would agree, on the other hand, journalists, tending to be more intellectual, would tend toward the non-believer side.

          • Tom B
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

            Far too many reporters produce completely credulous pieces supporting antivaccination and/or alternative medicine for me to believe journalists are intellectual “non-believer” types. They go in for pure woo far too often to get that much credit.

  9. Andrew Walls
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see how the repairs and reconstruction are financed. Obviously, the cathedral draws a lot of tourist euros into Paris, but, at the end of the day, the building is a church which, I presume, is owned by the Church. Will the secular government of France candidly describe their investment in reconstruction as an economic choice to derive more tourist dollars from believers?

    • murali
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      It is not so much a question of religion but one of reconstructing a building that is part of our cultural heritage.

    • Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      It has already been pointed out that all cathedrals in France are owned by the French government, with smaller churches owned by municipal governments. A strange system, but the Catholic Church is just a tenant at Notre Dame.

      • alexander
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:55 am | Permalink

        Not really strange since you have the strict separation of church and state in France (unlike the UK, or even Germany!). So the Church cannot act as a land-owner, and it solves the problem of keeping up church buildings by the government.

    • Historian
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      I have no idea what the actual cost of reconstruction will be, but the Washington Post has reported that large donors have already pledged $700,000,000. I don’t think money will be a problem.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/04/16/yesterday-notre-dame-burned-today-people-around-world-raised-millions-rebuild/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.921e39eaf838

      • Mark R.
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Priorities seem to be a problem here. So much money is wasted on things that don’t really do a lick of good for a healthy world future. I’m all for rebuilding, but how about matching funds…every euro spent on the cathedral is matched for helping other social problems France faces? Money…

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          So much money is wasted on things that don’t really do a lick of good for a healthy world future

          There is a healthy world future? Why wasn’t that on the news this evening? It’s pretty big news.

        • Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          Social problems, unlike reconstruction, cannot be solved merely by throwing money. France has tried (and many other countries as well).

  10. Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    These replies have made my day.

  11. BJ
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    The rescuers did people’s work, for people. I feel like saying shit like this belittles what they did. Damn it.

    • rickflick
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Exactly so.

    • A C Harper
      Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:30 am | Permalink

      Had the firefighters refused to turn out because “God can sort out the fire in his own place” they would have been roundly criticised.

    • Posted April 17, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

      When things like this come up and Christians say “thank god”, I rely “actually it was the skilled fire-fighters”. They then say “but God inspired them and called them to their profession”.

      In other news I might ask why God doesn’t inspire rapists not to commit rape, Christians say that would be infringing their free will.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Dan Dennett thanked Goodness for his heart surgery…the people who were on the team that saved his life.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that is a strange, but common phenomenon. Patients thank the “Father” after a successful difficult operation, instead of thanking the surgeon and his/her extensive training and years of experience.
        And when a surgeon has the guts to point that out, they will say “But it was the Lord who blessed -or even guided- your hands”.
        You simply can’t win.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          instead of thanking the surgeon and his/her extensive training and years of experience.

          Don’t forget the persnickety, attention-to-detail dogged persistence of medical statisticians flogging away at trying to improve survival rates in (that particular disease) by 5%, decade on decade. For decades.

  12. murali
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised that people have not attributed the putting out of the flames to a miracle.

    • alexander
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      Some did! You will be surprised by the numbers of Catholics who take all this religious nonsense serious! Fortunately the number of Catholics is decreasing, but the superstition among the remainers is increasing. The same is true for the other Abrahamic religions, they all are turning more conservative.

  13. Andrew
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    God’s work? God is a fireman? I gotta buy that Paris fireman’s calendar for my mom!

    • BJ
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      You might find a few Adonises within those pages…

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        And some Venuses. And maybe even a few Sapphos and Ganymedes.
        I’m trying to think of an actual Greek Pantheon gender re-assignment case. I’m sure there’s at least one in Ovid.

        • Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Not exactly in the pantheon, but on Earth.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caeneus
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiresias

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            Ah, you can always depend on the Greeks to have got there first.
            Odds on the Greeks having stolen the stories from the Babylonians? Evens, I’d say.

            • Posted April 18, 2019 at 1:32 am | Permalink

              The flood story has been “stolen” this way. There are strong arguments that the same is true for the Bellerophon story.
              But I do not understand why we should declare myths “stolen” with zero evidence.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted April 18, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

                Well, there is some evidence linking the Cyprian cult of proto-Aphrodite with parallel tales of a Babylonian goddess. And there are (to my eye) also archaeological parallels between Cyprian “cult-statues” of proto-Aphrodite and a class of early Fertile Crescent statues known as Kilia figurines. Basically, there is form for such transfers, and while the individual cases may not be as watertight as Utnapishtim’s Ark, a modus operandi does emerge.
                Which doesn’t make the Greek-Babylonian thing in the least bit unique. Fertility goddesses the world over tend towards the bum and tit. People talk to their neighbours ; ideas diffuse ; occasionally trader-types come along and travel further than normal (how did Shetland or Alpine soapstone non-utilitarian artefacts get to Southern England?)
                The unusual thing about the Greeks and Babylonians is that they used writing.

  14. David Harper
    Posted April 17, 2019 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    According to e report in this morning’s Guardian, the cathedral was within 15-30 minutes of complete destruction, as the flames spread towards the wooden frameworks within the two bell towers. It was saved by the courage and tenacity of the firefighters, who put their own lives at risk to keep the fire away from the towers:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/16/notre-dame-came-15-to-30-minutes-close-to-complete-destruction

    I hope that those firefighters are properly honoured by the French government for what they did on Monday night.

    • Posted April 17, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      It also says that there is concrete in the vaulting. I wonder how old it was.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        The Romans had concrete. Most people forgot it some time after the fall of the Western empire (volcanic ash from Pozzolano on the outskirts of modern Naples was an important component in Roman recipes, particularly ones that set in sea water). It started to come back into use through the 16th and 17th centuries. By the time of the substantial rebuilding work on Notre Dame in the 19th century, it was common enough, though expensive because of the fuel required to make it.

        • Posted April 18, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          The Romans didn’t put the concrete in the roof of Notre Dame though. Not unless the church is older than we think.

          I think it’s most likely 19th century concrete unless there have been more recent repairs.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted April 18, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            The frequency of use of concretes increased from near zero in the 14th century to being unremarkable by the early 19th century. The use of slaked lime mortar was probably never forgotten by masons, but the cost (in several senses – getting a speck of quicklime in your eye is an experience you’ll remember) of making lime mortar is non-trivial, which is why ashlar masonry has much thinner mortar courses than brickwork. Of course, bricks themselves are almost as fuel-hungry as mortars, so the appearance of brick as a major construction material in the early 1500s-ish also marks a significant step up in industrial consumption of fuel.
            Not all limestones are particularly pure, but if you’re making lime-mortar, you use what is close to hand. If your limestone (from that pit, there) is moderately clay rich, with the right sort of clay, and you burn it to make mortar and get a particularly strong mortar … you’re going down the pathway which leads to developing concretes. For a mason working on this site, then moving on to the next site with a different lime source, you’ll probably not be particularly bothered. If you get to the point of specialising in making mortar in one area (supplying several masons) you’re going to get much more bothered by it – et voila, some people start making concrete.
            The church had multiple episodes of patching throughout that time, with there being a big one in the early 19th century.
            Most of these big places are in almost continuous patching up from the day after the acceptance signature from the client to the opening ceremony and stay like that forever after.
            As, indeed, Notre Dame is – on the continuum from soldering a patch in the lead to excavating new foundations.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted April 17, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I’ve no doubt they’ll get a “Légion d’honneur”, and deservedly so.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      TTBOMK, there’s still one firefighter in hospital.

  15. Jenny Haniver
    Posted April 17, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh, my Lanta! Mr. Brain’s Pork Faggots! They’re for real!!!! Not some droll British satirical confection. That’s priceless. I had no idea. I’m agape. And you can pick them up right in the grocery!!!!

    I’m so astounded that I must give the link to the Tesco product description, even if I’m posting so late that few if any readers will see it. https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/282049626.

    “.. the same passion & love goes into creating each hearty dish, Making Mr Brain’s traditional recipe the nation’s favourite faggots!”

    This made my day. My thanks to you and Mr. Brain.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted April 17, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      This comment was supposed to be a response to gravelinspector-Aidan’s comment about Mr. Brain’s Faggots in the thread to #7,posted April 17, 2019 at 2:43 pm.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 18, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      “Pork products” – a fine euphemism for eating the bits that less refined palates turn their noses up at.
      There’s a haggis in the fridge too – a several times a year treat. Two day’s eating each.

      • rickflick
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        I have a wonderful family recipie fruitcake in the fridge. I’m always tempted to indulge in it’s succulent sweetness, but restrain myself heroically until there’s a special occasion where I can share it with friends.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted April 18, 2019 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        The website https://www.barelyedible.co.uk/is also a crazy delight. I bookmarked it. The UK has a surfeit of odd and phenomenally revolting canned and boxed food products. Most of those disgusting delectables that the man tasted were so gross as to make me retch just reading his comments and seeing the photos.

        Interesting that Mr. Brains Faggots in sauce fared the best in taste of meat products, such as Westlers Canned Hamburgers, and Goblin Meat & Gravy Pudding. He thought the faggots tasted pretty good, especially with the sauce.

        I notice that the final taste test for products that even he can’t stomach without heaving is to offer them to his dog and cats. The dog will eat anything; the cats are the final arbiters and insofar as I can determine, they have evolved taste buds and won’t touch any of that slop.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

          Poorly trained cats. Almost tautologous, that.
          Does EN_US do brawn … or isn’t the “euphemism” headcheese. Yes, I thought so.You probably don’t want to know what “headcheese” means in much EN_GB, but it’s certainly not a delicious pork product. Brawn, on the other hand, will put hair on your chest. Whether you want it or not.
          I’ve tried to explain down at the Polish Deli, but they can’t seem to find a supplier of some of the more “challenging” Scandinavian delicacies. Or maybe they don’t want to find one?
          You won’t be surprised to learn that I’m typing this while watching a programme called “Dissected – The Incredible Human Hand”, and they’re just getting onto the muscles of the thumb and I’m feeling quite peckish.
          The literature of “survival cannibalism” (arctic explorers, plane crashes, that sort of thing) talks of a quite specific sequence in which people eat bits off bodies. For unsurprising reasons, they tend to start on less recognisable bits – buttocks, hams – before they get onto bits like the head or hands which people have to struggle to deny the identity of.
          It is definitely lunchtime!

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          “Iceland Doner Kebab Pizza, a fusion food nightmare for a quid” Ohhh, where is my nearest Iceland. That is almost worth a trip to the pub, to appreciate in it’s full inadequately-cooked gory.
          No, that wasn’t a typo.


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