Monday, February 23, 2015

Does the Pope Speak for You?

A man mocks religion.  He mocks Jesus.  He mocks Mohamed.  He mocks the Pope.  He mocks faith, and the very notion that any idea should be above approach.  He stands up for what he thinks is right, trying to make the world a better place.  He knows he's putting his own life in danger, and he does it anyways.

On the 7th of January, Charlie Hebdo died a hero.  He was gunned down by religious extremists, along with fifteen of his supporters.  Twenty-two others were injured.

The perpetrators were Muslim.  I do know that your average Muslim would not have committed these murders, but I don't know if your average Muslim is prepared to condemn them.  I'm positive the Christians I know would.  I do know one Christian who would not.  This Christian defends these murders.

Here's what the current pope had to say the day after Charlie Hebdo was buried:
“If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,”
(Then throws a fake punch)
“It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

No.  That is not "normal".  It's not "normal" to punch someone because you don't like what they have to say.  That would make you an asshole.  To say that about a hero the day after he was buried for saying something you find offensive is unforgivable.

At the time he spoke those words, he also stated that killing them is no longer the Catholic policy.  Additionally, days later he tried to justify himself by explaining that he wasn't trying to say that he thought they should be killed, just that they shouldn't have said things that would make people want to kill them.  I don't know how you can interoperate his statement any other way than, 'They had it coming.'

Before his death, in response to his death threats, Charlie Hebdo said, "I am not afraid of retaliation.  I have no kids, no wife, no car, no credit.  It perhaps sounds a bit pompous, but I prefer to die standing than live on my knees."

I think it's important for reasonable people to understand that belief without evidence is not just a silly thing most people do.  Charlie not only agreed, but was willing to die for it.  I'm not as brave as Charlie.  I'm lucky to live somewhere I don't have to be.

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