Visiting Holy and Hellish Places

I want to say a quick word about respect while traveling.  If you saw my video on Notre Dame I said that there were not many pictures because there were signs that said, “No photography please” around certain areas.  There were different reasons – some because some of the artwork was old and dark and flash photography helps to hurry along their destruction and others because they were “Holy” objects, or private areas.  Now that was a Holy place but the same goes for Hellish places like Auschwitz Concentration Camp.  People go there and are asked that out of respect for the dead do not take pictures of their shoes or other personal items.  What happens at both holy and hellish places is that people still take the pictures – sometimes selfies.  We need to show some respect.

At Notre Dame they have glass confessionals.  It looks like a priest’s office and that way everyone can see when they can come into to talk to the priest.  Now, there were signs up that said, in many languages that this was a no photography area.  When I was there I saw someone at confession, and it was obvious even for those who are not Catholic that some sort of ceremony was taking place.  As I moved on there were a group of tourists behind me that saw the same thing I saw and started taking flash photos, videos, selfies all of this man’s confession.  I couldn’t tell them why it was wrong because I didn’t speak their language but it showed the lack of respect people have been showing.

Tourism in most places around the world is way up.  And I have seen a lot of photos from family and friends that have shown this amount of disrespect because they didn’t understand.  I have seen selfies on the net with Buddhist ceremonies going on in the background.  I’m not Buddhist so I don’t know if it is a private ceremony like the Reconciliation that was going on in Notre Dame or not but if you don’t know then err on the side of respect and don’t take the picture.   Don’t be one of those people who video tape tours of concentration camps, preempting them saying, “They said there is no photography here so I am going to keep my camera low.”  It is disrespectful.

We were not raised by wolves.  We know how to behave.  It time we started minding our manners.  Being considerate to others is just another way of recognizing that God loves every one of us.

Peace be with you.

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