Thank God the Pope said what he did about Charlie Hebdo. He said it’s wrong to kill in the name of God, but it’s also wrong to insult people in the name of secularism.
I love the Charlie Hebdo demonstrations. They are a beautiful show of respect for human rights, defense of free speech and solidarity with the suffering families of magazine staff gunned down by terrorists.
Their message is powerful: You can’t kill people just because you don’t like their ideas.
Even if their ideas are disgusting: Charlie Hebdo depicted the holy texts of the major religions as toilet paper rolls, drew Mohamed as a porn model and repeatedly prints vulgar pictures of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
American commentators tend to admit that Charlie Hebdo publishes some very unsavory things, then add: “I may not agree with everything they say, but I will defend to the death their right to say it!”
Good ! Now apply that principle to religious speech, not just religion-hating speech.
Don’t defend Charlie Hebdo’s hate speech if you won’t defend someone else’s faith speech.
“I am Charlie Hebdo” says the popular slogan.
I know the outpouring of support for Charlie Hebdo is in large part a response to the lives of the 12 staff members lost in the terrorist attack. Good again. They are precious lives and deserve to be honored.
So do the lives of the dozens of Christians killed since Christmas.
Can they be Charlie Hebdo? Can we honor their lives, too?
The real Charlie Hebdo magazine once featured a caricature of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit sodomizing each other. We may disagree, but we will defend to the death their right to say it.
Can Kevin Cochran be Charlie Hebdo? He was the Atlanta fire chief who was fired for his views on homosexuality.
Will we defend Kevin Cochran’s right to say what he believes about homosexuality? Why not?
Can pro-lifers be Charlie Hebdo?
The actual Charlie Hebdo featured a cartoon calling for creches in public places – with a picture of the baby Jesus in a toilet.
Fort Meyers, Fla., charges abortion sidewalk counselors as loiterers for sharing information about abortion with people.
If we defend Charlie Hebdo for the baby Jesus in a toilet, can’t we defend pro-lifers promoting respect for real babies? Can sidewalk counselors be Charlie Hebdo?
Brendan Eich, a brilliant web entrepreneur, resigned under pressure as chief executive of Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox web browser, because in 2008 he had he donated $1,000 in support of Proposition 8, in which California voters defended the way every major religion and most of humanity defines marriage.
Charlie Hebdo magazine featured Pope Benedict elevating a condom instead of the Eucharist, and, later, Pope Benedict resigning to be with his gay swiss guard lover. They feature Pope Francis dressed like an erotic dancer in Rio, “soliciting the clients.”
Can Brendan Eich get as much respect as Charlie Hebdo? Can we defend his right to free speech, too?
Remember the principle: Defend even the speech you disagree with.
Many times, that means defending those who challenge secularism.
Let us be Charlie Hebdo, too.