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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Still Standing

When I saw this photo of a statue of the Virgin Mary at a fire-engulged trailer park in Sylmar, California...



...it so reminded me of having seen photos of cathedrals in Germany, after a bombing raid destroyed whole cities. Take the famous Dom in Cologne, seen below just after a devastating bomb run.

There it stands, defying all odds, amidst the utter destruction all around it.



I tell you, sometimes there is no explanation. You just have to believe.

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10 Comments:

  • It's likely no divine intervention. The Allied bombers deliberately aimed to save monumental buildings if they could. Of course back in those days there was no such thing as precision bombing, so they frequently failed. Don't take my word for it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Nov 19, 05:51:00 am GMT-5  

  • You are Petra, [Cephas, Rock] and on this Rock, I will build my church; and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Wed Nov 19, 07:16:00 am GMT-5  

  • @ruth anne adams
    That's a metaphor. It shouldn't be taken literally. Or are you suggesting it's not possible to bomb a church building?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Nov 19, 09:27:00 am GMT-5  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Wed Nov 19, 11:49:00 am GMT-5  

  • Ruth Anne: The official name of the Dom is Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria.

    Anon: The Dom was not unscathed in the raids. As for targeting, legend has it that bombers actually used the Dom as a reference point to hit other targets, but couldn't bring themselves to destroy it. Certainly other churches were not spared elsewhere, most notably the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin.
    That the men "couldn't bring themselves to destroy it" is consistent with faith and free will (both of which are miraculous).

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Thu Nov 20, 12:41:00 am GMT-5  

  • That the men "couldn't bring themselves to destroy it" is consistent with faith and free will (both of which are miraculous).

    Yes, but the opposite, a willingness to destroy it, would also be "consistent with faith and free will." So it doesn't add anything to speak of free will in this context.

    As to whether free will is "miraculous," well, that doesn't add anything either. We don't know whether free will exists (it's an article of faith), and if at some point we could prove its existence we would be able to do so because we would understand it, making it as (un)miraculous as the rest of existence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 20, 04:39:00 am GMT-5  

  • Yes, but the opposite, a willingness to destroy it, would also be 'consistent with faith and free will.' So it doesn't add anything to speak of free will in this context.

    To me, thoughts are not free will in the sense that they force their way without summons. Actions on thought complete free will. Decisions were made at many different levels in this context.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Thu Nov 20, 01:28:00 pm GMT-5  

  • To me, thoughts are not free will in the sense that they force their way without summons. Actions on thought complete free will.

    So? That doesn't invalidate anything I said. Destructive actions would have been just as consistent with free will. Just ask the Catholic Church. God will judge you on your actions, and punish you for your sins (i.e. bad actions), precisely because you committed them out of free will.

    You, chickenlittle, seem to think that good actions only are the result of free will. Well, would that it be so! Then there would not be sin, we could do away with Heaven, Hell, catechism, and Dante's literature.

    Decisions were made at many different levels in this context.

    So what?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 21, 06:10:00 am GMT-5  

  • Destructive actions would have been just as consistent with free will.

    Yes, such actions would have been, had they occurred.

    You, chickenlittle, seem to think that good actions only are the result of free will.

    Did I imply that? Look, we’re both saying that Allied bombers deliberately aimed to avoid. The question is why? You seem to say it was a goodwill gesture “to save monumental buildings if they could.” I'm saying the men were motivated by faith and freedom of choice, perhaps for some of the very reasons you mentioned: sin etc.

    Yes, but the opposite, a willingness to destroy it, would also be "consistent with faith and free will."

    Which faith would that be anyway?

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Fri Nov 21, 03:23:00 pm GMT-5  

  • The Dom image is most certainly post-war, albeit pretty early. As thr Germans withdrew across the Rhine, they blew up what bridges they could, failing only at Remagen. There "the bridge went four inches into the air off its pillars and then came down again, damaged but intact", or so the story goes at the museum there. Wikipedia has more on that.

    As chickenlittle pointed out, the Allied bombers indeed used landmarks such as churches for orientation, in Cologne the Dom, and in Operation Gomorrah against Hamburg, the Michel. Many of these chruches did sustain damage, and a deliberate attempt to spare such monuments was then technologically impossible.

    By Anonymous madcynic, at Thu Dec 04, 12:19:00 pm GMT-5  

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