Voltaire – a frenchman – is the author of one of my favorite quotes – a defining quote in my political opinions.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.
This love of liberty is almost obscene to a great number of people in this world. If you say anything in contradiction to the status quo – anything inflammatory of public senses – anything uncouth in its reality – anything even in opinion that doesn’t match another, you’ve not only offended someone, you’ve threatened them … Apparently.
This is perhaps the most true when it comes to Islamic extremists who think satire about their religion is worthy of death.
As sad as I am for the loss of a dozen lives in Pairs at the newspaper Charlie Hebdo this week – and aggrieved and angry that I am that it’s 2015 and we still must defend liberty with our lives because some people are still so small minded… as awful and as unworthy as this situation is – I’m grateful that there is a silver lining.
This one is my favorite:
People holding up pens in symbolic support of the written word, freedom of expression and liberty. It’s sad and it’s beautiful.
And here is the silver lining: people are taking action in response to this brutality. People of the world are saying “Enough!” to Islamic terrorism against freedom. They’re saying it’s wrong. They’re calling a spade a spade. And the crowds are growing.
“Je Suis Charlie” means “I am Charlie.”
If you see this around social media it’s someone saying that what these men did is wrong. What they believe about freedom is wrong. And that the pen is truly mightier than the sword. Ideas matter. And good ideas will permeate and take root.
Hold up a pen. Use the hashtag #jesuischarlie. Value freedom. Stand up against those who would strip you of life and liberty because you think differently.
Do these things because you are Charlie.
I am Charlie.