Today I had the pleasure of having lunch with my daughter at a popular Texas-style, Mexican restaurant. As I was enjoying my spiced tofu on a bed of lettuce, black beans and brown rice…two Muslim women walked in…
I had just been talking with my daughter about Pope Francis’ statements regarding the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish Deli massacres in France. Like most Westerners, I am angry at the fact that several whack-jobs felt entitled to take their thwarted view of justice into their blood-stained, cursed hands. No one should have to die for having insulted anyone’s loved ones.
What the terrorists did was inexcusable… and in my estimation, they deserve the worst fires and tortures from within the belly of hell itself. But with that said, I have to agree with the Pope’s statements regarding the Charlie Hebdo catastrophe.
Basically Pope Francis said that freedom of expression has its limits, and that if his own assistant cursed his mother to his face, that he would probably give him a (papal) punch.
The point of Pope Francis is simply that, you cannot insult and ridicule what is most precious to people, and expect to not get “hit” with some sort of retaliation. Unfortunately, all social groups (whether Secular or Religious) are filled with nut-cases that are incapable of rationalization, restraint and/or tolerance.
There is no forgiveness for what the terrorists did…and I hope they burn in hell forever.
On the other hand, there is no legitimate excuse for Charlie Hebdo’s constant provocation of religious sentiments on the grounds of “free speech.” The real issue here is not “free speech,” but secular bully tactics that are rooted in an intense hate for anything religious. One could conclude that Secularists like the folks at Charlie Hebdo, seem to be operating under a strategic, covert obsession with provoking religious fanatics in order to be given an opportunity to seem more rational than them.
They are like children who are obsessed with eliminating bees altogether, who in order to justify their extermination, get out of their way to throw stones at any and all bees nests… so that when they get massively stung, they can claim that bees are irrational creatures who only think about war and abuse. Interestingly, just as honey comes from bees, so the greatest and sweetest acts of philanthropy. Generally, all religious traditions seek to share the divine righteousness that a godless world lacks.
Freedom of speech in the West, protects the right to express oneself through satire. In America, even pornography is protected as free-speech (go figure that one out)… but, there are limits to those freedoms in order to avoid a self-destructive, anarchist society. If the Charlie Hebdo cartoons are simply “satire,” then why don’t they regularly print cartoons that insult Darwin or Karl Marx? If they are a “satire factory,” then why don’t they ridicule everyone equally? I’ll answer that for you…. because they HATE religion and will go to any length of vocalized harassment and ridicule in order to dissuade secular-minded persons from considering a religious path as a way of life.
As a way of promoting homosexual marriage in 2013, Charlie Hebdo published on its front cover a depiction of the persons of the Holy Trinity in a threesome, homosexual orgy. Did any Christians go into the Charlie Hebdo offices in order to shoot them up? No… but if some nutcracker would’ve done so, it would’ve been as a result of a terrible provocation, and not because those darn Christians are so violent.
The Secularists that defend Charlie Hebdo’s “satire” as free-speech, cannot understand why religious people get offended when they get out of their way to trample on religious figures. Its so simple that an explanation is really not necessary… but here we go…
Look… I understand that to Secularists (of all kinds), Jesus, Muhammad, and Moses are figments of (what they consider to be) our over-imaginative, fantasy-prone, primitive minds… But to us, these “figments of our imagination” are real. Actually, they live through us as we strive to live in accordance to their teachings. The founders of our religions are more dear to us than our closest family members.
To a devoted, religious person, insulting the founder of their religion, is worse than to insult a person’s mother to their face. And in spite of that, most religious persons (including Muslims) restrain and tolerate the constant harassment and persecution perpetrated against us on a daily basis through the media and surrounding culture.
Before we left the restaurant, I handed the Muslim ladies a hand-written note that read:
“Dear Sisters: Thank you for the courage of living and practicing your Faith in the public square. Your devotion and modesty reminds me of the days of the early Church, when we took God’s Word more seriously. May our common prophet, the Lord Jesus Christ be praised, and may Habibi, the Messenger of Islam, be respected! Peace! Trinitysyracuse.org”
Oh yes… almost forgot… and it seems I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Charlie Hebdo’s co-founder Henri Roussel also thinks that the latest mockery of Islam was an unnecessary (and foolish) provocation.
Respectful disagreement between people is natural, but true tolerance is an ability that only the wise learn to acquire and put into practice.