Author Kenton Long
On Wednesday this week, two radical Muslims armed with AK-47s gunned down 12 employees of the Charlie Hebdo weekly magazine offices in Paris, France. The planned attack was carried out in revenge for Charlie Hebdo’s satirical cartoons regularly depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad in irreverent and derogatory light.
France and western nations mourned the senseless murders, and praised the “courage” with which the publication’s contributors steadfastly “defended free speech,” despite overt threats from the radical elements of the Muslim community.
“Je Suis Charlie!” (We are Charlie!) cry the crowds in loving support of the slain Charlie Hebdo victims.
But, do not count me among the “Charlies.” The Charlie Hebdo magazine is no hero of mine. The victims are no heroes of mine. Neither are heroes of free speech or courage.
Have you seen Charlie Hebdo cartoons? I have. Charlie Hebdo is a secularist left-wing weekly magazine publishing cartoons and articles slandering Jews, Catholics, Muslims, religion in general, and French politics. Most the cartoons are not so much vile as they are irreverent.
The act of steadfastly creating volumes of irreverent—if not hateful—religious satire is not an act of courage, but an act of mean-spiritedness, pride, prejudice, fear, and ignorance. An act of small-minded and small-hearted men. When the entire focus of a publication is dedicated to contemptuous condemnation of people of faith, I charge such persons are feeding their egos—in effect, raising themselves on a cloud of intellectual superiority. Gloating. Boasting. Worshipping the “god” of reason, intellect, and science. I see only “heroes” of hypocrites and intolerance hiding behind the banner of free speech.
You poke the eye of the pit bull, and you are surprised when it rears back to bite? If you are going to play with fire expect to get burned. No, they didn’t deserve to die; they were victims of a heinous and cowardly terrorist attack. Charlie Hebdo was a fool for not providing additional security for employees and property at their place of business, especially in light of the fact the office was fire-bombed almost four years ago! Arrogant fools—perhaps assuming the government would protect them. Tragic and costly assumption.
The right to free speech is a God-given right. The leftist secularists would have you believe government has given you this right. It has not. In fact, the government is charged only with acknowledging and protecting this God-given right for individuals. However, this God-given right does not mean the government is charged with protecting you from your own foolishness. You must take responsibility for your actions. If your actions provoke others, you must be prepared to defend yourself. The government protects your right to “poke the pit bull’s eye,” but it’s not the government’s job to caution you, to sooth the pit bull’s rage, or prevent the bite.
The government is charged with providing legal recourse after the bite.
Stupidity, like hatred, is a right far too often abused.
For their tragic deaths the Charlie Hebdo victims have my sympathy and prayers, but not my admiration nor my respect.
I don’t worship free speech for the sake of free speech; I worship our Heavenly Father whom has given it us.