France is holding huge rallies for free speech after the Charlie Hebdo murders, but they have arrested a comedian for his antisemitic speech. Now the Pope, while condemning the terrorist attack, is underscoring that mocking religion is wrong in itself. Issues of free speech are apparently more complicated than is often assumed.
Meanwhile, the sold-out new issue of the satirical magazine that was attacked makes clear its distinct ideological position, namely, a militant atheism. The editors say how they laughed when the bells of Notre Dame would be rung in their honor, and that those who say “‘I am Charlie’ need to also know that that means, ‘I am secularism.'” The point is, both the terrorists and their victims are iconoclasts.
After the jump, Stephen Richert, while condemning the killings and insisting that he is not blaming the victim, argues that freedom of speech is NOT the primary value of civilization and that leftist iconoclasts and Islamic iconoclasts have more in common than either of them realize. [Read more…]