According to Adam Gopnik, at the New Yorker, many of my readers and I hate cathedrals.
Well, he alleges that we oppose “beautiful new airports and efficient bullet trains” (not cathedrals, exactly) for the same reason that “seventeenth-century Protestants hated the beautiful Baroque churches of Rome” — as “luxurious symbols of an earthly power they despised.”
Hmmm. Disagreeing with Gopnik is a hate crime?
Americans have more than enough cause to oppose big, intrusive government. We know how it works (often not very well), we know how unfair it is (often quite unjust), and we have a traditional alternative ready at hand (Constitutional liberty).
Cluelessly, Gopnik just sees a pig-headed hatred of government that leads to a hatred of some really nifty things.
He should reconsider. Perhaps what we have is a love of liberty and justice. And that precludes some nifty things from being conjured up in certain ways.
I bet Gopnik agrees. Go back to something like a cathedral. Take Teotihuacan. The Aztecs sure made some impressive buildings. Big public works projects. But for the purposes of blood sacrifice? At the cost of constant imperial warfare and imperial rule?
Same with some dream projects. No doubt taking a billion-dollar train to a trillion-dollar airport would be cool. But I’d rather spend my money in other ways. And is it really right to tax somebody else for my luxuriant transports?
No more than robbing Peter to pay Paul . . . even to build a cathedral.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.