Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo

It is has been two years since the French offices at magazine publisher Charlie Hebdo was attacked by two Islamic terrorists, killing 12 people.

“Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) was the chant shortly afterward, as thousands of people stood in symbolic solidarity with the “rag that has nothing to lose in the afterlife for the laudably simple reason there is no afterlife.”

Today, however, most of those bandwagon riders have fallen by the wayside.

They are not Charlie Hebdo (Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo) and all that is left are comments like those coming from writer Douglas Murray, who complained in a recent article,

Most of the people who said they cared about the right to say what they wanted when they wanted, were willing to walk the walk—to walk through Paris with a pencil in the air. Or they were willing to talk the talk, proclaiming “Je Suis Charlie.”  But almost no one really meant it.

Well, of course, almost no one really meant it, especially if they shared the same secular worldview as those who wrote and satirized at Charlie Hebdo.

Secularism offers no real reason to mean anything, since it is predicated on nothing for its ultimate explanation for life.

All its author’s and cartoonists did was insult and make fun of anyone and anything that they found did not measure up to its meaningless standard.

One of its most infamous targets of disdain and indignity was Islam, and especially its founder, Muhammad.

The Muslims finally had enough of Charlie’s provocation and retaliated on January 7, 2015 with a hail of gunfire.

Of course, there is no justification for killing anyone over words and pictures, but there is no justification to provoke anyone to anger, just for the thrill or callousness of doing it either.

From the Christian perspective, it is one thing if a person is upset by the truth; it is something wholly other to engage in the humiliation, defamation, or agitation of another person, just to “piss them off.”

“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person,” wrote the Apostle Paul (Col. 4:6).

Charlie Hebdo was not about the propagation of the truth, because it had abandoned that approach to “journalism” the moment it kicked God out of its business equation.

“Charlie Hebdo has no need of God….” wrote its authors.  Well, if you think you do not need God, then whatever happens happens.

And what has now happened to Charlie Hebdo, and the rest of those who self-identified with its demise, only makes perfect sense.

It stood for nothing, not even free speech, and now it is has fallen for nothing.

All it took was a couple of Islamic thugs with bigger guns to shut it up, just like it is in all cases when there is nothing but brute force to change the people’s attitudes and thinking about a given ideal.

There are better ways to overcome Islamic tyranny, brutality, and deceit, and secularism is not one of them, much less the kind of secularism that Charlie Hebdo promoted.

It is something to keep in mind the more society turns its back on God.

Because by turning its back, all it is doing is opening the door to more of what we saw in Paris in 2015 at the Charlie Hebdo offices.

The secularist will either submit to the Islamist by force, despite claims that there is “no compulsion in religion,” or by whimpering concession.

It is better, therefore, to seek God and what he has to say about fighting Islamism, than to spurn God and fight Islamism with tacky cartoons and stupid bylines that will only get you killed or enslaved—for nothing.

About the Author

President, Christian Apologetics Project PhD Candidate, Northwest University (2018) MA Apologetics w/ Honors, BIOLA University (2005) ThM, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2003) MDiv, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2000) BA Pastoral Ministry & Bible, Baptist Bible College (1992)

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