More on Charlie Hebdo

My friend Lea Singh captures in this blog post why I found the criticism of Charlie Hebdo so ill-timed, even cringe-worthy. 

She writes:

 

Charlie Hebdo was no friend of Christians. Their cartoons have shown masturbating nuns and popes wearing condoms, among other things. Easy to see why Catholics have their own axe to grind with Charlie Hebdo.
But in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack, the only response that makes sense is one of solidarity with the victims and a clear show of resistance to the terrorist bully. When we skew the discussion to criticizing Charlie Hebdo and advocating for the self-censorship of journalists and cartoonists, we are letting the terrorists win.

Those guys with machine guns were hoping for exactly the kind of public reaction shown by Donohue and Toutounji. They wanted us to condemn Charlie Hebdo, they wanted us to pressure journalists to lay off Islam. Ottawa’s Rabbi Reuven Bulka said it well in yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen:

“’there’s nothing more wrong’ than the murders that took place in response to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, which is why any discussion about censorship should not take place in the wake of the attack.

“I’m really not comfortable at all with the suggestion,” he said. “What becomes dangerous here is that by doing so — and by doing so immediately — it’s almost as if we’re acknowledging there was some legitimacy to their action.

Bulka is right, and most people got that point. That’s why many newspapers around the world reprinted the cartoons, and the universal call has become “I am Charlie.”

In the face of bullies like the Muslim terrorists, we need to lay aside our ideological differences and stand united to take away the power of the bully.

 

She also goes on to make an excellent point about the dangers of state-imposed censorship.  It is going to affect us as Christians long before it will affect the obscene or blasphemous expression we find offensive.

 

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7 Responses to More on Charlie Hebdo

  1. John Walter S. says:

    A while ago, there were blasphemy laws everywhere, then one by one, they were overturned, and people now lament why the name of the Lord is taken in vain, to the point where “God” and “Jesus” are banal and desacralized words we can lightly throw around! We have become a society where we don’t flinch when we hear “God damn” or “Jesus H. Christ” and are we supposed to expect people to respect God and His only begotten Son? So what about going to church and listening to His Word? Well, since God has become our buddy now, I guess He’ll understand if I don’t show up on Sundays.

    We Christians must never, ever, ever sacrifice on the altar of Liberty and Freedom or Political Correctness just to preserve a little bit of religious freedom- it is the destiny of those who compromise their beliefs to be overtaken by their enemies when they have only victory in mind, and we see this happening beginning from the 60’s, or even earlier when we make all sorts of deals with secular governments. Now we have Catholics with distorted views of their faith, whether they believe it to be equal and just one among many other equally valid faiths, or if it is something that should be shut up and be ashamed of, or if it’s something we can modify to suit our own liking. We conform our lives to Christ and His Church, never the other way around. What would have Christ said about Charlie Hebdo? Those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness. Unless they repent, they have nothing to look forward to other than a terrible judgement for their blasphemy and failure to recognize and worship Christ.

    Charlie Hebdo, along with Islam are enemies of Christ because they profane Him and His Church and preach lies about Him- Islam denies the divinity of Christ, and Charlie Hebdo either thinks Jesus is merely a moral teacher, a socialist revolutionary, but never what the Church says, which is the Messiah, the Son of the ever-living God.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      John,

      You wrote: Now we have Catholics with distorted views of their faith, whether they believe it to be equal and just one among many other equally valid faiths, or if it is something that should be shut up and be ashamed of, or if it’s something we can modify to suit our own liking.

      Unfortunately, this is largely the result of Catholic clergy with distorted views of Christian faith as taught by the Catholic Church, or who really don’t believe it in the first place, or who believe it to be just one of many equal and valid faiths. It’s not really a surprise that the people of a parish would adopt the views of their pastors and their teachers.

      And unfortunately, there have been more than a few incidents in which Catholic clergy have given us cause for shame and embarrassment — and the scandal involving sexual predators among the ranks of the clergy, and others who attempted to shield them from exposure and from prison, are barely the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

      Yes, we need to know, and to stand up for, the Truth — beginning within the ranks of our own church. We also need to hold our pastoral leaders accountable for their actions in our name.

      Norm.

      • John Walter S. says:

        Some of those clerics are sincerely well-meaning, but very naive, and I really hate to see them become this apathetic, cynical figure who says “whatever, just keep the collection plate filled.” when some of the weak things they were taught in seminaries aren’t holding up against attacks from all over the place.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        John,

        You wrote: Some of those clerics are sincerely well-meaning, but very naive, and I really hate to see them become this apathetic, cynical figure who says “whatever, just keep the collection plate filled.” when some of the weak things they were taught in seminaries aren’t holding up against attacks from all over the place.

        Well meaning or not, the bottom line is that those clerics were not adequately prepared for ordination in the Catholic Church. Thus, their ordinations should not have happened.

        Norm.

  2. EPMS says:

    What would Christ have said about Charlie Hebdo? I think he would have treated them as he did his captors and executioners, forgiving them while rebuking those who took up the sword in his defence.

    • John Walter S. says:

      Such was His mercy even to His murderers, you’d think- but there was a purpose to it; Jesus Christ was not glorified when he was at the Cross and had the to undergo the most unjust action done to an innocent human being in all history, hence why He even called Peter “Satan” for denying His destiny to die in Jerusalem. For that He asks His Father forgiveness for the murderers, for they do not know what they do, which was to blaspheme against Him by committing violence against Him. The Charlie Hebdo people know what they’ve done, they know what we hold sacred, and they’re proud of defaming it, or else they would not still be doing it. God does not delight in blasphemy against Him, or do you think otherwise? Does God enjoy being trampled? Do you believe God is a masochist? Remember the Scriptures, and not some assumption based on a desire to conform religion with sentiment.

      Nor is Christ some divine rapist who forces His love on people who are disgusted with Him. For them, there is only Hell, because Hell is the most merciful place for those who are eternally enraged and disgusted by the notion of God. God is Love. From Him flows mercy; from it flows His justice; from that, His severity. You cannot separate a just and severe God from a loving God.

      Also, on a related note, Pope Francis said he’d punch anyone’s face if they insulted his mother, the same goes for his religion. This was in response to the questions about the right to blaspheme in context to the Charlie Hebdo story. I say, right on.

  3. John Walter S. says:

    Deborah,

    There is news from Fr. Z!

    “Reporters without border’s president, Christophe Deloire, on a national TV show sunday evening, said that his organization is working toward a declaration to be agreed upon by religions leaders and posted at the entrance of churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. The idea being to force religious leaders to accept publicly that blasphemy is a right and a right above the right of religion.”

    There is a large section in French, but there are no translations available.

    There is also an interesting link by a commentator to an essay written by Fr. Edmund Waldstein
    http://thejosias.com/2014/12/31/religious-liberty-and-tradition-i/

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