Bonjour! I have had a long think about “Je Suis Charlie” and have come to the following conclusions…
1) Murder is wrong and is always the fault of the person doing the murder, not the victim.
2) “Charlie” was publishing deliberately rude and offensive material. Morally, I don’t agree with this.
3) Legally, I don’t want offensiveness banned as it is in some cases in the UK.
Though I would never want to publish something just for the sake of being offensive (at least I hope I wouldn’t), I can’t possibly agree with the Papal statement because, as this article argues, it amounts to justifying violence if offense is felt. God has allowed those who mock him some time to change their minds. Because God has said that we should leave vengeance for Him, we can’t judge or act in violence against others who mock. What was Jesus’ reaction to mockery?
So, as a Christian, though I don’t want to be mocked, and I don’t want people to mock the Almighty, partly because it offends Him and partly because it is not wise, I expect it to be tolerated, especially in earthly kingdoms that do not conform to His standards: we are part of a fallen world! The other problem with banning being offended is that everyone starts using it to silence anything they don’t want to hear: differences of opinion, truths that upset people, etc etc and we end up not being allowed to say anything! Worse, even the most brutal regimes allowed the “freedom of speech” to say nice, polite things about them- it is the freedom to give offense which is the litmus test of whether there is any real freedom. In conclusion: morally “Charlie” has produced filth, but as a matter of should they be allowed to – “yes”- it’s the price we pay for being able to offend people e.g. with the gospel… it can be a difficult message to accept, and to some people it is considered blasphemy and to others foolishness!
So I can’t quite stand in solidity with those saying “Je suis Charlie” but I can be totally supportive of the right not-to-be-murdered: being rude or silly being no excuse for the murderers! Feel free to disagree- go ahead and offend me (but don’t expect me to publish offensive comments)!