A conservative commentator who sometimes serves as guest host on The Rush Limbaugh Show appeared on Fox News Monday night, giving his reaction to the heartbreaking fire that badly damaged the historic, 800-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. But Mark Steyn, dicussing what he called “one of the glories of Christendom” on his own Steyn Online site, appeared to somehow blame the people of France for failing to appreciate the significance of the Notre Dame fire.
Claiming that polls show that France has now embraced “secularism,” the 59-year-old Steyn told Fox host Tucker Carlson, “the French are even by the standards of the modern Western world among the most Godless people,” as quoted by Media Matters For America.
In fact, recent data from the European social survey of 2014-2016, and reported by The Guardian newspaper, shows that among young people aged 16 to 29, religion in general is on the decline in Europe. But France is by no means the least religious country in Europe.
According to the data, young people in France are the eight-least religious among European countries, with 64 percent of French 16- to 24-year-olds saying that they identify with “no religion.” But as a whole, the French people are more religious than the country’s youth alone.
According to demographic statistics published by World Population Review, about 66 percent of the French population identifies with a Christian-based religion, while 9 percent identify with a Muslim faith. Other religious groups command much smaller percentages of the French population, while only 28 percent say they have no religious faith or affiliation.
Among young people in Europe, citizens of the Czech Republic are the least religious, with 91 percent of the 16 to 29 age group saying that they have no religion, according to the stats published by The Guardian.
In his interview with Carlson, Steyn also claimed that the neighborhood around Notre Dame was “a Muslim suburb.”
“There is no sense of Christianity outside of the walls of that cathedral,” Steyn said. “When Monsieur Macron says we’re going to rebuild it – rebuild it for what? When people talk about oh the heart of France has died – what is in the soul of France? What is this?”
Tucker Carlson guest Mark Steyn reacts to Notre Dame fire by calling the French "godless," bringing up terror attacks committed by Muslims, bemoaning that ND is in a Muslim neighborhood and saying theres no christianity outside the walls pic.twitter.com/NCNl6OyJzY— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) April 16, 2019
French President Emanuel Macron took to Twitter to mourn the Notre Dame fire, writing, “Great emotion for the whole nation. Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people.”
While the damage to Notre Dame Cathedral is likely to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to repair, a French fire official late Monday said that the historic structure somehow avoided “total destruction,” according to a CNBC report.