Good Morning Britain viewers have defended those raising money to restore the Notre-Dame Cathedral after the breakfast show had guests on to debate whether billionaires and corporations were donating for the right reasons or simply ‘virtue signalling’.
As it stands, more than £692 million has been pledged since the iconic historical building was severely damaged by a fire in Paris. Hosts Kate Garraway, Adil Ray and Charlotte Hawkins were joined by broadcaster Edward Adoo and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to discuss whether it’s a worthy cause or just the rich “buying Christ’s blessings”.
“So you’re telling me when you’re walking down the high street and you see a homeless person, you’ve never given back…” Adoo began, before Alibhai-Brown interjected.
“I have but [if I do], my name is not in the papers. It doesn’t appear. Why didn’t they say, ‘Some of this should go to the fire service?’ Why not say, ‘Some of this should go to the homeless?’
Just over £690 million has been pledged by billionaires and corporations to rebuild the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
But the donations have been met with criticism that rebuilding the church is turning into virtue signalling for the rich.
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— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) April 19, 2019
“The whole point of this is giving back,” Adoo argued back. “These philanthropists are doing a great thing and you’re on this programme dissing them; it’s wrong. They should be respected. It’s a place of worship.”
Judging by social media, the general public agreed with Adoo.
One Twitter user, identified only as Sharon, asked: “How does anyone know what their motives are? Who cares? Who knows what they donate to other causes? Notre Dame has stood for 850 years- we come and go. I’m glad that the billionaires have donated this money.”
Dennis Sharrocks shared a similar sentiment, adding: “People can donate to any cause they wish, that’s their choice. Why and who have the right to challenge that right.”
Another wrote: “Everyone will find something to moan about, we are a nation of moaning and criticism! Let France do their own thing, if people wanna donate…let them! It’s their money! Mind your own business and get on with your own things!”
Others, while agreeing that the donations were a nice gesture, urged that “some of the money could be split between other worthy causes.”
Ryan chimed in, saying: “They’re free to give their money to whatever they wish, and I’m free to criticise them for not using it for a much more worthy cause. The Catholic Church just doesn’t need the money, the Vatican alone is worth $15billion, meanwhile 13% of France lives in poverty.”