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Old French Bigot Kills Himself at Notre Dame

A far-right writer in France was apparently so upset about the legalization of same-sex marriage in that country that he decided to kill himself — at the altar at the Notre Dame cathedral, for crying out loud. And this was after saying that he thought people needed to take dramatic action to stop the progress he feared so much.

A far-right writer and activist shot himself dead in front of the altar of Paris’s famed Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday, shortly after calling for “spectacular” action to protect France’s identity.

Police and his publisher confirmed the man’s identity as Dominique Venner, 78, a long-time essayist and activist linked with France’s far-right and nationalist groups…

In a final essay on his website Tuesday, he railed against France’s adoption of a law legalising gay marriage and adoption, urging activists to take measures to protect “French and European identities”.

In a possible reference to his suicide, Venner wrote: “There will certainly need to be new, spectacular, symbolic gestures to shake off the sleepiness… and re-awaken the memories of our origins.”

So there you go. But guess what? It isn’t going to stop all the things you don’t like from happening. Freedom and equality doesn’t reverse itself just because some bigoted nutball decides to off himself. Nor do I think we should cheer about this. It’s tragic. But his dramatic suicide do anything to change the reality that he opposed human rights and equality.

Comments

  1. kevinalexander says

    He was probably terrified that France would change for the better and didn’t want to live to see that.

  2. erichoug says

    Notre Dame was one of my least favorite parts of my trip to France. The entire Ille De Cite is nothing but a tourist trap and inside the church it’s like one of those creepy religious supply stores except it smells like an old parking garage.

    But, the Gypsies were entertaining. I actually gave one 5 euro’s to both take the curse off me and also to give me her sign telling me I was cursed and that I had to pay her 5 euros to have the curse removed.

  3. yoav says

    One more example of how the teachings of the abrahamic religions harm their follower’s life. While I agree with Ed that this is a tragedy at least he didn’t follow the standard fundi idea of “spectacular, symbolic gestures to shake off the sleepiness… and re-awaken the memories of our origins.” which generally involves killing other people.

  4. Trebuchet says

    Ed, the last sentence is borked. I think you meant “But his dramatic suicide won’t do anything to change the reality that he opposed human rights and equality.

  5. Abby Normal says

    If you are so driven by hate that you feel you must resort to violence and killing, this is the way to do it. I think it’s a shame. But his life, his choice.

  6. omnicrom says

    I’m certainly not going to be mourning his passing. Nonetheless, what a waste of a life.

  7. blf says

    As I said over at poopyhead’s: “Teh Gay is amazing! An imperialist, terrorist, fascist, and Islamophobe is also so afraid of them he enters a well-known landmark dedicated to, well, ah, imperialism, terrorism, fascism, slavery, Islamophobia, homophobia, and anti-semitism and shoots himself in protest at the French no longer being any those.”

  8. gingerbaker says

    So there you go. But guess what? It isn’t going to stop all the things you don’t like from happening.

    That’s an unfounded and dangerous assumption to make, Ed. You simply do not know whether the valiant sacrifice of this courageous moral man will have the effect you assert. In fact, this act of martyrdom may well have made an enduring and positive contribution. Even if the effect is small, it may still be effective.

    We simply will not know how enduring and positive that contribution and others made in future will be until these are more data points. I, for one, applaud the this selfless act of moral rectitude by Dominique Venner, and I will staunchly defend the right of any and all far right-wing, nationalistic assholes patriots who are serious about their anti-gay convictions to make similar contributions for the benefit of generations to come.

  9. says

    I’m sure Venner’s writings and activism in life were on occasion loathsome and worthy of contempt.

    His final deed is pitiable (although surely awful for Notre Dame & any visitors – both devout and tourists).

  10. David Marjanović says

    and re-awaken the memories of our origins.

    *giggle* nos ancêtres, les Gaulois *giggle*

    Doesn’t Catholic doctrine state that suicides go to hell?

    It also states that Notre Dame has been desecrated by this act and needs to be reconsecrated. Stupid Venner, the Catholic Church is on his side on this isssue!

  11. voidhawk says

    I think he’ll find the French origin, at least of the latest republic is:

    “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” Which should clearly preclude banning people from having the liberty to marry the person they love? Mon dieu, but he was stupid.

  12. CaitieCat says

    How tragic and pathetic do you have to be to take your own life in futile protest over other people gaining the right to be happier? I feel for his family.

    How long until some new version of Ratzi the Nazi comes along to name this guy a sainted martyr of the church, killed by ravening homersekshuls?

  13. Artor says

    “Doesn’t Catholic doctrine state that suicides go to hell?”

    IIRC, it also teaches that if you die in church, that’s a free ticket upstairs, disregarding whatever other balance there might be. I don’t know if this is official doctrine, but in one story I heard, it played a part in the murder of Thomas Becket.

  14. dingojack says

    Artor – That maybe so, but it didn’t ease the mind of Robert I the Bruce (1274-1329).
    Dingo

  15. says

    It doesn’t surprise me to hear that Venner was a great fan of Yukio Mishima. But did Mishima’s suicide do anything to turn Japan away from what he considered to be its decadence? Nope.

  16. says

    I will add that in recent weeks, two unemployed workers have publicly committed suicide in protest of France’s economic conditions. Venner had to up the ante to draw attention: doing it in Notre-Dame in front of 1,500 tourists helps.

  17. says

    I’ve been skimming through French articles about this guy and keep finding interesting tidbits. For instance: although Venner said in his last letter that Notre-Dame was a symbol that he “respected and admired”, he was not a Christian, but rather a pagan of the Neo-Nazi variety. Here’s a paragraph from an article in Le Monde (my clumsy translation):

    Just recently, he explained that “Christianity was not a religion of identity, but universalist.” Which, in his view, didn’t pose a problem as long as Europeans dominated the world. “Since the second half of the 20th century,” he added, “they are dominated. In these trials, a universal religion gives them no collective aid.”

    Venner was all about defending “The West” against inferior races and civilizations, and was relentlessly, fervently anti-immigrant. He said that each people should flourish where it originated and stay there. In recent weeks, although participating in anti-marriage protests, he kept trying to remind people that immigration was the REAL problem.

  18. says

    Oy, blockquote fail. Here’s how it ought to be:

    I’ve been skimming through French articles about this guy and keep finding interesting tidbits. For instance: although Venner said in his last letter that Notre-Dame was a symbol that he “respected and admired”, he was not a Christian, but rather a pagan of the Neo-Nazi variety. Here’s a paragraph from an article in Le Monde (my clumsy translation):

    Just recently, he explained that “Christianity was not a religion of identity, but universalist.” Which, in his view, didn’t pose a problem as long as Europeans dominated the world. “Since the second half of the 20th century,” he added, “they are dominated. In these trials, a universal religion gives them no collective aid.”

    Venner was all about defending “The West” against inferior races and civilizations, and was relentlessly, fervently anti-immigrant. He said that each people should flourish where it originated and stay there. In recent weeks, although participating in anti-marriage protests, he kept trying to remind people that immigration was the REAL problem.

  19. says

    “Nor do I think we should cheer about this. It’s tragic.”

    Should I feel bad for not feeling bad when an asshole proudly and stubbornly goes to the grave an asshole?
    I would’ve prefered that he’d seen the light, abandoning the asshole that he was and that he spent the remainder of his life trying to undo the ugly darkness he’d spent most of his life promoting, making the world a better place for all.
    But since he didn’t, it’s still one less asshole.*
     
    * My ‘Word of the Day Calendar’ word: “Asshole”. It’s not a very good calendar.

  20. laurentweppe says

    Doesn’t Catholic doctrine state that suicides go to hell?

    &

    One more example of how the teachings of the abrahamic religions harm their follower’s life.

    &

    How long until some new version of Ratzi the Nazi comes along to name this guy a sainted martyr of the church,

    &

    it also teaches that if you die in church, that’s a free ticket upstairs, disregarding whatever other balance there might be.

    Dominique Venner was pagan…
    Damn these prejudices religious nuts who jump to a conclusion without looking it up [/sarcasm]

  21. says

    “No suicide vests filled with explosives, please.”

    Well, only if he promises to leave the remote with us while he attends his “Shuffling off” party with his other hateszgruppe pals.

  22. Pen says

    This is the same chap who used to believe that the French belong in Algeria but not the other way around, hell no!

  23. laurentweppe says

    This is the same chap who used to believe that the French belong in Algeria but not the other way around

    He’s not alone: my mother once told me that, in her youth, she had been staunchly pr-French Algeria, until one day when she assisted to a reunion of nostalgic of the colonial empire. Basically, what most people present wanted was to use France’s nuclear stockpile to genocide the algerian population and repopulate the country with settlers once the radiation level had fallen: this was what people from the french far-right were saying during the early 60s when they believed themselves in front of a friendly audience.

    Suffice t say, it was enough to turn my mother from strongly pro-french Algeria to pro-algerian independance in less than three minutes. But this story is for me a personal reminder of the disgusting urges which drive the self-proclaimed “über-patriots”.

  24. Ichthyic says

    He said that each people should flourish where it originated and stay there.

    so we should all be living in Africa.

  25. bmiller says

    Isn’t France a melange of peoples and immigrants from over the centuries? And isn’t the very concept of “France” itself somewhat modern (helped along by a centralizing Etat) and France consists of dozens of dukedoms, counties, principalities, etc?

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