In honor of the dead at Charlie Hebdo

This medieval drawing of Mohammed (on the right) showing his entrails to Dante and Virgil (on the left) is from one of the earliest surviving illustrated manuscripts of the Inferno, dating from the third quarter of the fourteenth century (1350-1375)

Scott Ott writes over at Pajama Media in a post entitled  “It’s International Share a Picture of Mohammed Day …”

The goat-goading Muslim swineherds who emptied their AK-47 magazines into the bodies of French satirists today, send a message to you: Shut up. Sit down. Be afraid, and stand aside as we take over the world in the name of our slavemaster. Shaitan Akbar. Praise Satan. (I don’t care if they pronoun Shaitan as “Allah,” we all know whom they serve.)

Years ago, a Jewish friend asked me about my newfound faith in Jesus Christ. After hearing my salvation story, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said quite sincerely, “Is there really a God?” It was a combination of hope and disbelief. After years of rehearsing the rituals that tell the story of the one true God who saves and redeems, she seemed taken aback that He might really exist, care, love, send the Messiah to deliver the broken and needy from oppression, as she knew he had promised.

Years later, in a phone call, another friend confessed, with profound shock, that she had begun to believe that there might actually be evil in the world — not just mistakes, or misunderstandings, or bouts of misguided passion, but pure evil that lives, and moves, and strikes.

What my friends were reluctant to believe, history cannot disguise.

Yes, there is a God.

Yes, there is evil.

Though God loves us, we fear the Lord, in the sense that we are overwhelmed with wonder at his power, his love and his faithfulness toward us.  We stand in awe of him, and bow before him, offering praise and thanks. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

Shall we also fear Satan, and those who act in his name?

No, because the power of God within us is greater than the power of evil.

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9 Responses to In honor of the dead at Charlie Hebdo

  1. EPMS says:

    Mrs Gyapong, I disagree with you on many issues but I admire your journalistic commitment and appreciate your willingness to open a forum to a variety of points of view. You will be richly rewarded, I say that with no doubt.

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    Thank you for posting the picture!

    I have no particular desire to offend Moslems who pursue the path of peace, but the violence that occurred in Paris is intolerable and needs to be met with an increase of that which its perpetrators seek to suppress.

    I’m not an artist. Can anyone draw a cartoon of Mohammed with devil’s horns, tail, and trident, reigning over Hell? That should cause the perpetrators of these acts to go ballistic!

    Norm.

  3. William Tighe says:

    “‘Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? ‘I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish’.” Luke 13:4-5

  4. John Walter S. says:

    Well! If I were in a position where my job is t o have an opinion and just about anybody can read my opinions and know where I work, I wouldn’t provoke an entire demographic who has historically been hostile to anyone critical of what they believe. That’s just common sense.

    But in the case of Charlie Hebdo, I find it hard to sympathize with people who insults the Holy Trinity, the Church, and everything associated with what we Catholics consider holy. And don’t talk to me about God not needing to be defended, God doesn’t need our love either, but it is right to defend and love Him and all that is associated with Him.

    This isn’t just some sinners who had a tower collapse on them, these are people who actively sticks the middle finger at people they don’t like, and that includes the Roman Catholic Church. It is, indeed, the wrath of God who has taken the life of those people, because He is master of Life and Death. He says when you go, and He works through any people He wishes, just as He worked through the enemies of Israel to castigate them for their infidelity to His Covenant.

    You have all these “I am Charlie” people, but do these people really care? They only care because they don’t want anyone telling them to shut up, and that includes God; many of those people indeed find the notion of God repulsive in the public square, but they’re perfectly fine if your religion is hidden in a bushel basket. There is an obvious dissonance in the notion that religion is a private matter but then you’re suddenly an extremist if you follow the exhortation of your religion to strike at the unbelievers and those who insult your religion’s prophet, which is undoubtedly a public act. (The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. )

    Meanwhile, those Christians in Iraq are forgotten. They spent Christmas the way the Holy Family spent theirs, as refugees in a foreign land, cold, hungry, and uncertain about their future, while murderers prowl about. I am one with the Iraqi Christians, Charlie Hebdo can burn with Mohammed.

  5. EPMS says:

    If you value freedom of speech, you have to accept that this freedom includes the right to ridicule a religion, including your own, and even the idea of having a religion. If this freedom does not seem important to you, if you feel that those who ridicule and reject religion, or at least your religion, should be punished, you are lending support to the way of thinking that has left the Iraqi Christians in their current state of peril. I gather that the next edition of Charlie Hebdo will feature a cartoon of Mohammed wearing a “Je Suis Charlie” T-shirt, and that seems right to me, to depict a religious leader declaring “Not in my name” when confronted with hate and violence. Further, I think that the “speech code” proliferation around religion in certain areas of life, while purporting to protect the sensibilities of those who practise religions other than Christianity, is actually motivated by a rejection of all religion. Better not to get mixed up with those people.

    • John Walter S. says:

      I am becoming for skeptical of freedom of speech if it means freedom to hurt other people, since words can have an effect as deleterious as force of arms. I am also skeptical for the reason that freedom of speech, I suspect, is closely aligned with moral relativism wherein no one is right or wrong/everyone is right or wrong making freedom of speech for everyone to be a more important freedom than the freedom to say what is true and what is right.

      I think a pope, Pius IX, wrote in an encyclical Quanta Cura “The only freedom of religion exists for the practice of the right religion, that is, the religion which worships the true God, Jesus Christ” and by gum, it only made sense to me when I compare what he wrote to the milquetoast sort of response priests and bishops have towards anyone who challenges our religion. It then troubles me that subsequent popes would say something about religions having equal dignity and such, which perhaps was misunderstood as “They’re all the same anyways, let’s all just get along.” by many well-meaning but naive clergy.

      Now. You could say reason why the Iraqi Christians are in the situation they are in isn’t because of ISIS, but the sort of lack of preparedness to contend with a foreign people (Arabs) with foreign religion(Islam) for when the time came that they would all be murdered or expelled if they don’t convert. Let us examine: From 1890’s to 1925, Assyrians had been subject to genocide in the same manner that Armenians have been annihilated by Islamic Turks. After that, they lived side by side with Arab Muslims, and until last year, there was relative peace, but it’s not a real peace; they, like Copts in Egypt, were and still are treated like 2nd-class citizens, and those who became successful in society were looked with envy, as if they did not deserve what they earned. This is because even if you think all religions are equal, at least Islam does not think so, and it has been the case that Muslims behave differently as a majority than when they are a minority.

      When ISIS came, the Christians were not helped by their Muslim neighbors. They were even surprised when they saw people they did business with, people they thought were their friends, families they knew, marching in support of ISIS. No, it’s not like what western liberal media portrays, ISIS isn’t just some lunatic fringe, these people have implicit support from people who nod their heads when talking about religious freedom and freedom of speech. This is why those refugees don’t want to go back to Mosul- how could they trust anyone there ever again?

      So, I am skeptical of “Freedom of Speech” because it seems like a “First World Problem.” What would you do with people from the Third World bring their way of dealing with the filth Charlie Hebdo peddles? You can’t just “dialogue” with men intent on killing you for having what they think is the wrong opinion, and at best the way the Western Church, which has been immersed in the silly, effeminate secular culture for a long time, doesn’t know what to do about ISIS, and can only pray amidst the Islamification of Europe. Pope Francis seemed frustrated about the issue of the Iraqi Christians back when he was publicly interviewed, but he expresses the sort of softness Westerners have towards war, the sort of ineffectual sentimentality that won’t budge the sort of brutality ISIS and the Charlie Hebdo attackers stand for.

      But again, I say that those with common sense do not provoke people who have shown again and again their propensity for violence. To support Charlie Hebdo because they were some sort of “martyrs” for free speech is just absurd, because I am willing to wager that Marxist groups like Charlie Hebdo, when in a position of power, would censor their enemies easily just like how Muslims would behave differently if they are the majority in a society. It makes the notion of free speech a farce, if not just a nice mind trick that someone will turn into a weapon for their own end, and those who think so highly of the freedom of speech can’t say anything when their religion is defamed and their religious leaders slandered, wrongfully discrediting claims they make.

      You don’t support blasphemers even for the sake of a supposed freedom of speech, and you have to meet people who brutalize your people with equal or greater force.

    • John Walter S. says:

      By the way, as a historical note.

      The first genocide in modern history occurred at the Vendee region of France. It was perpetrated by the Republican French government in the name of the revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality and brotherhood resulting in the deaths of 450,000, out of a population of around 800,000. Some of those Vendean peasants didn’t just lay down and die, they fought, with some successes, but they ultimately lost against a larger, better-equipped, and popularly supported Republican army.

      Ironic that all these people are now crying about freedom of speech and the right to not die for drawing cartoons when they don’t even acknowledge the Vendean genocide for what it is. After all, we know who the winners of that war was, and the winners get to write history.

  6. EPMS says:

    Christians killed plenty of heretics and non-Christians in the name of Christianity, once upon a time. The lucky ones had the opportunity to save their lives by converting. We eventually rejected that approach, along with lesser legal coercion. Do you regret this, JWS?

    • John Walter S. says:

      Those heretics and non-Christians were disturbers of order and their killings, like with the application of Capital Punishment, were justified. I still believe Capital Punishment is justified, and by extension, any justifiable act of sensible and controlled violence against enemies of the faith, who tend to be aggressors rather than victims of Christendom. It is similar to the right to defend oneself with sufficient force- it is inherently violent, because you destroy the other person’s capacity to deny your God-given right to self-preservation. In fact, it would be a moral act at times to do violence against what is wrong that we may uphold what is objectively righteous.

      The only reason the Church apparently now rejects the violent approach at all is because arms of popes and other clergy were twisted by a secular worldview supported by a majority of the population (Again, we can always pinpoint disorder in the world to an instance of disobedience and rebellion, starting from Satan himself.) some time around the Protestant Reformation, and then more manifestly during the French Revolution when the individualism fostered by the Reformation turned out to be nothing more than pretext for autolatry. They won with force of arms, not dialogue. Can you really imagine a Pope forming some sort of army without expecting the Italian government to come in and arrest him? It already happened during the 19th century. We lost. So clergy are forced, or rather, conditioned to be peace-loving peace-makers who say nice-sounding words but are otherwise freely ignored and mocked if so desired, like the many monarchs of Europe. They’re just there as a conversation piece, like ancient coffee table books no one reads.

      So if you say that the rejection of the approach formerly taken by the Church is legitimate, then it is legitimate to say that might does make right, and you can pretty much shove any worldview down anyone’s throats if you threaten them with enough force and punish them sufficiently in their failure to comply. You don’t even have to support some conservative ideology to practice such a thing; All American children are required to get spoonfed whatever facts and historical revisionism some committee in some undisclosed location decided children needed to learn, and who knows what their worldviews are, nevermind the assumptions of their good intentions? The part where violence comes in is this: if the society at large choose to, for example, believe the sky is orange, and it’s normal to have two fathers, what happens to the child in that system of education who was raised and oriented towards an orthodox view of the world, that is, raised to see what the Church sees? He’d be a pariah. And that’s just fine, right? He’d have no chance to earn or contribute, because the default mode is to talk compromise.

      Am I not allowed to resist this?

      I don’t know, I’ve always thought the Church could’ve established a good parallel society to the crummy one outside, but bishops and priests hate to have the Church be portrayed as a ghetto, that they ended up drinking the Kool Aid and passed the punch along and now we’re supposed to be “Je Suis Charlie” since we’re all secularists now, since we benefit so much from secular values of non-judgmentalism, playing nice-nice, and practical godlessness.

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