Bible Community Mission

May 24, 2014

Bible quote in the burned out Bible Community Mission rubble.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Fire, specifically arson, occupies a particular place in Detroit’s history as discussed in this article.

Burned out Bible Community Mission building in Detroit, Michigan.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The article is not quite a year old, Detroit is in bankruptcy, and the fires continue to burn.

Some broken quotes from the burned out Bible Community Mission in Detroit, Michigan.

Copyright 2014 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

As per the article, Detroit “averages approximately 14 arsons per day” and “with more than 80,000 abandoned buildings spread across 139 square miles, Detroit is a fertile ground for arsonists.”  The article provides the statistics as well as details regarding the cultural legacy of Detroit and fire and the more recent economic and social incentives to burn properties.

Emile Durkheim uses the term “anomie” to describe a sense of alienation-a condition in which people feel so disenfranchised, marginalized, and disconnected, that the normal rules of society no longer apply. What difference does it make if setting fires in this manner is against the law?  Alternately, Karl Marx’s Conflict Theory tells us that one of the resources for which groups will struggle is power.  In a city where individuals may have an overpowering sense of powerlessness, the ability to create a fire and destroy a building can make one feel quite powerful as after all, learning to harness fire for human purposes was arguably one of the major milestones of civilization.  Using fire as it is now in Detroit almost certainly represents a regression.

It is also vitally important to not forget the firefighters’ perspective.  Detroit has attempted to offset its debt by cutting pensions, positions, firehouses, and equipment.  In short, all that is needed to mount a credible response to this situation.  Yet these individuals answer the call and attempt to stem the tide of those waves of fire.

Who will rebuild the church?

Take care.

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