This week in the news — and it was a very busy week — Notre Dame Cathedral was severely damaged by fire. It was saved from total destruction by the many fire crew members who, at great risk to life and limb, managed to save the two towers of the cathedral, and most of the artworks and artifacts kept there.

Notre Dame is one of the great architectural achievements humankind has ever devised. The artworks contained in it count among some of the finest in Western civilization.

It will come as little surprise to anyone that some of France’s wealthiest families leapt to pledge fabulous amounts of money toward the cathedral’s restoration.

And yet.

And yet.

How far could that money go to save the sanctuaries and cathedrals given to us by our planet? Or to level out the inequities generated by the accumulation of such vast sums to begin with? To feed the bodies — the human temples — of people who are starving every day?

Today’s episode is dedicated to Notre Dame and its rescuers, and to the other cathedrals, temples, and sanctuaries, human-made and nature-made, that one finds on this beautiful planet.

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