Blessed is the man, who sits not in the company of mockers.
(Psalm 1:1 – parsed and paraphrased)
How repugnant is this thoughtless stampede to self-identify with those journalistic mongrels at Charlie Hebdo. Or these pompous European and North American scribes, pontificating their right to blasphemy and chafing at the bit that their corporate masters are pixelating these cartoon images of Muhammad or the Entities of other Faiths. Or even of obtuse Crusaders, whose antipathy to Islam drives them into the arms of their secularist adversaries. True Christianity ought to have no interest in choosing between radical Islamists and radical secularists; the equivalent of a Stalinist-Hitlerian choice.
Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie Hebdo.
I have little interest in mourning the loss of these hate-mongers, whose ideological ancestors added fuel to the bonfire of that theater house, the French Revolution through their rabid rhetoric and caricatures. Those Jacobins were the dogmatic atheists, who drowned men, women and children of faith in the River Nantes. Those Jacobins were the dogmatic atheists, who attempted to abolish religion and/or set up their own. Charlie Hebdo is direct descendent of those bloody sans-culottes (a glorified French term for trailer trash).
I take no interest in celebrating these Scumbags of the Pen, who proudly proclaim their irreverence for everything; who exult in reducing all things that make life worthwhile down towards the level of their crass vulgarity and self-loathing. Were they to take residence up in my country, they would be spearheading the trampling over indigenous grave site, just for a lark.
These are not heroic protectors of free speech and freedom of expression, or martyrs for Western values and liberty against the ‘Islamist hordes’. They are ironically, the very threat to those values; by bringing into further disrepute in the minds of the commons, the virtue and value of such liberties.
Those bloated and self-serving ambassadors of the Pen, who bleat maudlin accolades to these venomous Jacobins forget a historical reality. Even were it true that the right to free expression was an inalienable right, (although that terms loses meaning and rational foundation if one denies Nature’s god), it is still subject to the consent of the governed; another facet of Western social contract theory. And if one chronically abuses that right, tramples on other human and civil rights (News of the World), fabricate stories and facts in the name of a cause (Rachel Jacobs), fails to or long delays publishing stories which might undermine one’s editorial position (Climategate), repeat the talking points of politicos, or who allow false accusers to hide behind the burka of press anonymity (Rolling Stone UVA Gang Rape); and thereby offend too many constituencies; how long and strong do they think that that consent will be sustained. It is little wonder that Western governments are becoming emboldened in encroaching upon journalistic privilege, when the commons have little reason to care and resist.
By the end of the Roman Republic, some of most eloquent rhetorical flourishes concerning the virtues of the Roman Republic were provided by Cicero and Cato the Younger. However, such proclamations had long rang hollow as their self-seeking and self-aggrandizing colleagues had betrayed their primary noblesse oblige duty to the commonweal and to their less endowed neighbors. Those elites found themselves without allies against the military autocrats, as the impoverished commons sat on their hands in schadenfreude revenge. “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.”
Take heed, oh ambassadors and champions of free expression!
How peculiar that so many members of the media are of so little refinement not to comprehend that the literary genre of satire, the sole artistic innovation of the ancient Romans, is not that pubescent gratuitous vitriolic venom and insult of Charlie Hebdo. Their is not the scathing moralisms of Juvenal, nor the epitome of English satiric wit in Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”. Theirs is a parody of a parody of satire. Theirs is the trailer trash humor of the sans-culottes.
Satirists of the ages; arise from your graves and ashes and avenge these desecrators and saboteurs of the genre!
Indeed, it would have been far more appropriate for a terrorist squad of aesthetes, headed by Stephen Fry, to take out Charlie Hebdo for such, such bad taste. Not that any should take pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Blasphemy is not a right. It is a necessary lesser of two (we)evils; since its definition has been and is subject and prone to the abuse of inflation. However, for France, which has legislated laws against sexist and anti-gay insults, or verbal insults between spouses; to tolerate the anti-Semitic, anti-theistic, virulent venom of Hebdo irreverence, it indicts itself of High Hypocrisy. It can only rankle their immigrant and alien minorities and inspire new recruits for the type of terrorist acts that took out Charlie Hebdo
But perhaps, I can propose to the ‘Islamist hordes’ that instead of avenging the secularist irreverence of the West by counterproductive acts of bloody murder; perhaps your plutocrats could create a company that produces toilet paper, which contains the scriptural contents of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”. Consider the sales in a global population of 1.6 billion Muslims, who would find it such a great privilege to ass-wipe a symbol of great secular reverence.
And let us see how long the French would uphold that Right to Blasphemy.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
© Copyright Johnny Hutchinson 2015