Thursday, January 08, 2015

Je suis Charlie

Many years ago, I wrote a modest editorial poking gentle fun at Baptists in the town where I then lived who were hyperventilating about the nature of a school assembly program. 

Curiously enough, that resulted in a death threat --- not a threat that one would take seriously, but a threat none-the-less.

A small delegation of Baptist men appeared in my office one morning with a letter to let me know that they had commenced to pray for me on Wednesdays --- that I would see the light and become a moral leader in the community. If that did not happen to their satisfaction, their prayer was that the good lord would take me home.

I saved the letter, but eventually threw it away; and managed to outlive all the prayerful Baptists. Their church no longer exists. Even the school district has vanished.

Of course this doesn't even begin to compare to the magnitude of Wednesday's tragedy in Paris, but it's a point of reference I find useful. 

Ignorance cannot stand in the light of truth, humor, satire, mockery. And fundamentalist religion, no matter the details or the faith tradition, becomes the heart of darkness as soon as it starts to divide humanity into camps of the saved and the damned --- and to declare some worthy of death.

That's among the reasons why it's so important that everyone who cares about truth and clarity and freedom and light declare, "Je suis Charlie." Then be fearless. And tell the truth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your next to the last paragraph really sums up the troubled world that we live in. Regarding fundamentalist religion I would go one step farther. John Lennon said it far better than I can:

"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace..."