If Charlie Hebdo insists that nothing is sacred, how can it then insist that their own lives are sacred? Of course Charlie would say that I am equivocating. We take “nothing is sacred” in a literary sense, not in a literal sense. Even if Charlie mocks everyone, it’s understood that it maintains an underlying respect for the lives of the very objects of its mockery. But is that so? What if a person’s religion is more important to them than their own lives? On what basis does Charlie declare human life more sacred than religion?
I will tell you on what basis everyone is [rightly] declaring human lives more important than religious beliefs: on Christian principles. To mock the gods of the Persians or the Egyptians or the Romans meant death, as it does in Islam. Only with Christianity did respect for the human person become enshrined in religion itself (as in “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”). Jesus himself taught freedom of religion, and respecting human life became an act of religion itself. But secular France has cast off religion….
“Night will not fall on our country; we will light a candle…” one Frenchman said. A candle to whom? Candles are a Christian tradition symbolizing prayer to God, but you say you don’t believe in God. Night has already fallen on France because you have extinguished the Christian principles of reason and social order. You have already chosen anarchy, and do you now fault extremists for acting on your principles? “This is an attack on freedom…” another said. What freedom? If you mock the very idea of “truth,” what is the basis of your freedom? You have proclaimed murder licit (euthanasia, suicide, infanticide, and abortion)—on what basis do you now claim that the killing of these 12 men is wrong?
We can and must condemn these murders, but we can only do so on the basis of Christian principles. Secular France cannot defend itself from anarchy and social collapse if it denies a power, a truth, and a law higher than itself. It will have to engage the subjective irrationality of radical Islam on its own terms. It cannot claim that it follows a law higher than the terrorists. France has sown the wind. It will reap the whirlwind.