Here in the United States, I know plenty of people who feel very strongly about hot-button issues like same-sex marriage / adoption, abortion, freedom of and from religion, climate change, evolution, you name it. The most worked up I’ve seen them, though, is when they’re angrily protesting wherever they felt their message would be best communicated. You might get some violence, but for the most part people just get loud.
Well, on the other side of the Pond, Dominique Venner a right-wing essayist and military historian, has set the bar in the same-sex marriage debate by taking out a shotgun and blowing his brains out near the altar of Notre Dame Cathedral around 4:00 PM on Tuesday.
A far-right writer and activist has killed himself at the altar of Paris’ famed Notre Dame Cathedral, after calling for “spectacular” action to protect France’s identity.
Police confirmed he was Dominique Venner, 78, an essayist and activist linked with France’s far-right and nationalist groups.
In a final essay on his website, he railed against France’s adoption of a “vile law” legalising gay marriage and adoption, urging activists to act to protect “French and European identities”.
In his suicide note, he called for the greater need for words to be backed up with action, and hoped that his suicide would “shake off the sleepiness… and re-awaken the memories of our origins.”
I honestly can’t say I feel too badly about any of this. I’m pretty surprised that I’m hearing this in a place like France, and adding onto it the fact that it happened in the Notre Dame cathedral … but this man’s suicide was his own choice. And it was a damned foolish one. As his last act among the living, he decided he’d show the nation that he felt so strongly against allowing same-sex couples to marry that he’d end his own life just to send the message. Bold, yes … but staggeringly stupid. I suppose we should be thankful that he only chose to take his own life, and no one else’s.
Meanwhile … the British House of Commons has approved same sex marriage, and it’s going to the House of Lords next!