Up. Up, and Away !

In a little notice corner of he garden near the Sacré Coeur is a stature commemorating the execution of the chevalier de la Barre who is said to have kept his hat on his head as a procession of monks passed by.  When the royal police arrested him for disrespect of the Church, they pulled out his tongue, cut off his hand, burned off parts of his body, and then to top it off, they began to torture him.  This "exemplary" death inspired Voltaire in his campaign against religious fanaticism.  As I spoke of this story to our Vendéens, a gentleman from Algeria who joined us for a moment said simply "We need a Voltaire in my country, too!"  It's no small irony that the really statue of la Barre was removed in 1929 because its presence was deemed inappropriate so near the holy shrine of the Sacred Heart.
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This page last updated on 5/30/2003 11:22:10 PM.