Eternal rest give unto them oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen.
My heart goes out to the friends and family of those killed at Charlie Hebdo.
They died for free speech. Their offensive and provocative cartoons poked fun at everyone and everything. I have been disgusted by their artwork in the past. I am still disgusted, But today I recognised the importance of what they do.
Last year I was forced to close my wedding cake business down because of the same-sex marriage law. If I was to have said to a gay couple that I would not be able to make their wedding cake because my religious beliefs, I could have been prosecuted for hate speech.
Adoption agencies throughout the UK are now not allowed to say that children have the right to both a mother and a father.
Last month Bernadette Smyth received 100 hours of community service, a £2000 fine and a 5 year restraining order because she stood outside the Northern Ireland Marie Stopes abortion clinic protesting that life is precious.
A few weeks ago Johnathan Scott, a 19 year old Canadian was suspended from his part time job after his immediate supervisor told him he wasn’t allowed to do this, saying he should instead say “Happy Holidays.”
Yesterday 2 young men burst into an office in Paris and shot 12 people because 4 cartoonists drew a picture they didn’t like…
Deacon Nick Donnely said today that “The Charlie Hebdo massacre represents the violent collision between extreme secularism with extreme Islam.” I would agree with him on that, and also remind myself that my Lord is challenging me to love all my enemies – what ever form they take. While I can not stand alongside Charlie Hebdo in complete solidarity because of its offensive images of Christ – I believe the freedom to satirically criticise ANYTHING is a freedom this country no longer enjoys. I wonder if we did have that freedom to openly criticise – would cases like Rotherham have gone on for so long? I would tolerate criticism of my faith if I was allowed to openly criticise gay marriage. But I’m not. In France it seems they have freedom of speech much more than in the UK. Here we have political correctness.
I wonder if now, because of Charlie Hebdo I will be able to express my views without fear of prosecution? I never thought I would be appreciating the ‘right to offend’ but it seems today I am.
Je suis Charlie, and I would like to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, marriage can only occur between 1 man and 1 woman, and that abortion is murder. Or am I not allowed to say that?