For those not familiar with the Ten Commandments, let’s start with the first commandment, “Thou shall not Kill.”
Of course in Judeo-Christian morality, nothing justifies the killing of innocent people, and anyone that claims to believe in God and does such a thing is nothing more than the agent of evil (the devil). There is little doubt that anyone that believes that they can murder because their
religion was offended will have a very steep climb into the gates of Heaven, to say the least. As Pope Francis recently said, killing in the name of God is a perversion of religion.
It appears now, however, that the media, is now attempting to make the slain employees of Charlie Hebdo champions of freedom of speech. Although on a lower level it is true that these cartoonists believed and engaged in publications under their right of freedom of expression, but the story does not end there. The deeper question is did they, the cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo, have the moral right to publish obscene cartoons of religious figures?
As one philosopher once states, freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. With freedom comes the collateral obligation of responsibility and moral virtues. Because without those two components there can be no true freedom, but only chaos.
With freedom comes responsibility. Does anyone in the name of freedom of speech have the moral right, the sensibility, to engage in sacrilegious speech and publication against any one’s faith, no matter how, misguided and foolish that faith may be? No answer is no.
The bigger debate, which has not been addressed by the media is the why should anyone be allowed to engage in sacrilegious speech and press against anyone religious figure. No matter how foolish and comical those religious teaching may or may not be.
As a Christian and specifically, a Roman Catholic, I have witnessed the relenting Christian, and more specifically, Catholic bashing. This bashing is common place in Hollywood movies, television, talk show hosts, “artists” comedians, and the press. This bashing is often outright false, obscene, pathetic and sometimes pornographic. I too, am saddened and sensitive to these blasphemies against my Church and my God. I can sympathize with the followers of Muhammad who feel the same sadness when their faith is unfairly bashed.
My position is this: the murderers are fully responsible for what they did and should be treated with the full force of the law. Nothing justifies the killing of innocent people for acting foolishly and publishing obscene material. However, although they had the legal right to publish obscene portrayals of religious figures, they certainly do not have the moral right to do so.
Charlie Hebdo’s obscene portrayal of religious figures has zero redeeming value. If people want to debate the redeeming values of Islam or the lack of redeeming values of this religion, that is a fair an honest debate that no one should be allowed to sensor. However, no one in a civilized society should believe that portraying any historical religious figure in obscene pornography depictions is either wise, or morally acceptable.
This is the real debate, something that the politically correct “talking heads” in the media have refused to address.
It is unwise and morally unacceptable to portray any religious figure obscenely and call it art or freedom of express. The publishing of filth serves no legitimate purpose, has no redeeming values, and is certainly not moral or virtuous.