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Charlie Hebdo Was Their Friend

A French reader tells me something I didn’t know about Charlie Hebdo and the role the dead cartoonists played in French life:

Just a word as a French reader (thus, as yet free from the ‘trigger warning’ US hell; and happy to be part of a Left not completely consumed by silly ‘culture wars’).

A big chunk of the outrage and horror, which I completely feel right now, at the murder of the Charlie cartoonists and columnists stems from a very simple fact, that I’m not really seeing reported in the Anglo press: we’ve known the guys all our lives. They were institutions, but of a very special kind; ie, they were just as essential to (as in ‘part of the ontological essence of’) France as, say, the New York Review or NY Times (or TAC, maybe, a few decades from now) to the USA, but they were also people with whom you’d be laughing once a week: in a way, more close family than distant journalists. They were an Aufhebung, as Hegelians would say, of the great journalist, the magnificent singer you’ve listened to your whole life, and the funny uncle whose snarky, irreverent and borderline jokes would, willy-nilly, enthrall you. I get that people on your side of the pond plainly didn’t know them, but please try to keep in mind the intimacy many French felt for these cartoonists when you want to gauge our public mood.

As far as the ‘nasty kids’ and ‘useless provocations’ anathemas go, I’d like to yell that it’s not true, or at the very least offer some extremely important proviso. First, any Charlie reader, and I mean any, would, time and again, choke on a cartoon (even the cartoonists themselves, sometimes). Which, in and by itself, would school you: you’d learn to turn the other cheek, you’d learn to feel others’ pain at being offended, you’d learn lo let go of your pain at being offended, and, last but not least, you’d learn that, sometimes, the only offense was to your vainglorious self. Sure, on the whole, that made for an unholier-than-Thou and a leave-no-holy-cow-unskewered weekly: “bête et méchant”. But, for the reader, it was also a weekly lesson in humility and humanity. (All the more nowadays. Ross Douthat’s column was really great in that respect.) And if you really couldn’t swallow it, well, easy-peasy: you could always turn the page, and, if your anger was not yet quelled, you only had to stop buying Charlie for a few weeks, long enough for your wrath to abate. Then the fun could begin anew. (I’m just going to point out here that so it was for lefty me; and so it was for a number of conservative and traditionalist friends: Charlie at noon, Barrès before bed, you’re in for happy dreams.)

One last thing. It’s always fun to import others’ problems for homeland media consumption and cockfighting, but lest it be forgotten, translation is never easy, ever the least when you’re translating humor. Cultural boundaries notwithstanding (the drawing part of the cartoon), no Charlie cartoon would be complete (nor understandable) without its label and dialogue, written in French, written for French readers, written for people who could get the French quips, quotes, gags and rhymes. So please don’t go jumping all outraged about how it’s all so scatological and such if you didn’t get the joke, because there might just still be one right there under your nose. The Charlie team surely did (and hopefully -those left- will again) test many limits, but it also has something to do with a very central notion and tradition for French humor, that of the “bon mot” (I’m sorry but I don’t think I can do it justice if I try to explain it, so I’m leaving it a that French phrase). Those most ‘sensitive’ cartoons were always also a form of dancing in the face of madness, a politeness of despair, a puncturing of the buffoonery that our wihsful Schwarmerei is. Is it that no Charlie cartoon was ever lame or an utter failure? There sure were some, as cartoonists also get tired, angry, unimaginative, or rushed when the publishing line nears. Or should we believe that there never was a New York Times paper so devoid of content or replete with nonsense that it wouldn’t have been better left unpublished?

43 Comments (Open | Close)

43 Comments To "Charlie Hebdo Was Their Friend"

#1 Comment By Pilgrim On January 10, 2015 @ 7:09 am

Yes, I’ve read Cabu appeared in children’s programs in France. A couple of these guys were part of the fabric of life, growing up.

#2 Comment By T.S.Gay On January 10, 2015 @ 7:28 am

“…dancing in the face of madness, a politeness of despair, a puncturing of the buffoonery of the wishful thinking that our Schwarmerei is….”. This can’t be created easily. Such a profound loss.

#3 Comment By JB On January 10, 2015 @ 7:28 am

The French reader makes a good point. Many people who don’t ever read or care to buy Charlie Hebdo are saddened because they’ve known these cartoonists for so long. My wife and her friends – in general adults who are in the 30s and 40s – are terribly saddened by the death, for instance, of Cabu who they knew from a kid’s TV program in the 1970s. Cabu was kind of like a Jim Henson from his Sesame Street days. What kind of a**hole murders a dorky nice quiet guy like Cabu?
Art Goldhammer, who writes a pretty darn good blog on French politics, writes about the Parisian tradition of no-sacred-cows satire called, “gouaille” in an op-ed for Al Jazeera America:
[1]
Goldhammer makes an interesting point – the Charlie Hebdo writers & cartoonists wanted to mock and lay low ALL sacred cows. The last thing they would have or could have imagined was they would be transformed into a sacred cow by virtue of being murdered for exercising their freedom.

#4 Comment By CatherineNY On January 10, 2015 @ 8:50 am

I get the role these cartoonists played in French culture, although I think the “friend” aspect is being overplayed in the wake of the horrific murders. Publications of this nature have long been a part of the French cultural and political scene (Le Père Duchesne was a forerunner of Charlie Hebdo. At least those attacked by Charlie Hebdo are not guillotined soon afterwards.) That said, I am glad they are not part of our culture. I would not like to have to brace myself to see a magazine on my newstand with a cover showing the Three Persons in the Blessed Trinity having sex with one another, or the Pope consecrating a condom. The guys at Charlie Hebdo were not just aiming to offend everyone so as to create some kind of ideal state of open-mindedness in France. They had their own agenda — purging religion from every corner of French life, imposing socialist economic policies (Charb was a communist, not that there’s anything wrong with that) — and were willing to compromise other people’s freedom of speech. And, as I commented before, I can envisage no constructive result from their anti-Muslim cartoons. We have a different idea of the uses of satire and of free speech in the Anglo-Saxon world — one that is less nihilistic, thank goodness. So, I get their role in French life, and I can read French well enough to get some of the jokes, but I’m not ready to go all “Je suis Charlie” just yet.

#5 Comment By Sam M On January 10, 2015 @ 8:53 am

Oddly, seems to me that someone arguing that the cartoons were indefensible would write an almost identical column. To be clear, I’m not talking about defending the shootings, but rather discussing the cartoons.

If this magazine was analogous tithe NYT, French Muslims equate to the poor rube, outside elite culture, who has neither the institutions nor the cultural capacity to reply in kind. It’s like a NYT column poking fun at white trash. Could they defend that by pointing out that they make fun of Harvard Business School grads, too?

And the notion that they were equal opportunity offenders who hold nothing sacred seems an odd argument to make to American traditionalists. What if instead of Josh Barro’s offending tweet, Rod had opened the NYT to discover a cartoon of Jill Abramson in a graphic, lustful embrace of Jesus Christ?

It’s legit to point out that, “que sera” is a French attitude. And people moving to France should live with it. And people who resist it through violence richly deserve the fate that befalls them. But the “nothing sacred” attitude of French is exactly what traditional, religious Americans diagnose as their problem, no?

#6 Comment By TugboatPhil On January 10, 2015 @ 9:43 am

Your comment on the translation of material being written by French, for French consumption reminded me of a phrase I once learned, and still don’t understand.

I was in port, in Toulon, France, two years in a row in the early 80s. The USO set up a list of French Navy families that would host American sailors for a Christmas dinner in their homes. I took advantage of this and had a great time.

Fast forward a decade and I had the chance to host a French high school student for several weeks in the summer. It went so well the first time that we did it again. The second student was quite a jokester and was always asking questions about American humor.

It came time to say goodbye and all the host families met the bus to say our farewells. I asked my student for a phrase I could say to him on the bus, that would get the entire bus laughing. I’ll not attempt to write the French version, but he said the translation was, “And my ass, is it chicken?”

Well we said goodbye and put him on the bus. I waited until everyone else was aboard and grabbed the door before it could be shut. I stepped up on the driver’s platform and shouted the phrase. They all erupted in a rowdy laughter.

There is just no translating some humor from one language to another.

#7 Comment By lancelot lamar On January 10, 2015 @ 10:12 am

It must make you feel good, Rod, to have readers who are such good writers themselves, and so insightful.

Your French reader has really helped me to understand the French culture, nation, and people and the impact these terrible crimes have had on them.

#8 Comment By Niccolo Salo On January 10, 2015 @ 10:27 am

Remember that these paragons of free speech collected 175,000 signatures to have the FN banned.

Remember that these paragons of free speech fired one of their own for “anti-semitism”.

It seems that some cows are more sacred than others.

Charlie Hebdo had many Marxists and communists on staff, pushing to rid France of tradition in favour of mass immigration.

That certainly did not work out too well for them in the end, did it?

Taunting those who play by different rules seems to have backfired in their faces as well.

#9 Comment By isaacplautus On January 10, 2015 @ 10:32 am

At issue here is whether we have a right not to be exposed to things which offend us? On the surface this seems like a no brainer. But there are times when certain spaces need to be carved out with limits on what you are allowed to say. For instance, I wouldn’t want some of these cartoons to be displayed prominently where my nephew can see them. I think Brooks had it right when he said “Most societies have successfully maintained standards of civility and respect while keeping open avenues for those who are funny, uncivil and offensive.”

Of course if you’ve ever driven through East Tennessee you know that the South handles these sorts of issues better than anyone. Offended by the porn store? Don’t close the store down, just build a giant cross right next to it:

[2]

#10 Comment By CatherineNY On January 10, 2015 @ 10:32 am

Interesting how Jean-Marie Le Pen has chosen to pronounce on the affair — this from today’s Le Monde: “Aujourd’hui, c’est “nous sommes tous Charlie”, “je suis Charlie”. Eh bien moi, je suis désolé, je ne suis pas Charlie. Et autant je me sens touché par la mort de douze compatriotes français dont je ne veux même pas savoir l’identité politique, encore que je la connaisse bien, qu’elle soit celle d’ennemis du FN qui en demandaient la dissolution par pétition il n’y a pas tellement longtemps.” In short, he says he is desolated at the death of twelve compatriots, and would rather not even know their political identity — but in fact knows it very well indeed, and that it is that of anarcho-Trotskyites and of people who recently demanded by petition that his party, the Front National be dissolved. And that therefore he is not inclined to “battle for the spirit of Charlie.” Clearly, he is not shy about speaking ill of the dead. I wonder how his remarks will be received in France. My guess is that they will strike a chord with a reasonably large segment of the population who are outraged and terrified by the killings, but did not find themselves in tune with so far left a publication. I do not envy the French this moment. I think national unity is likely to be fractured, not enhanced, by the dreadful events. The details of the Charlie Hebdo killings are horrible. Those of the events in the kosher grocery are equally appalling — the brave man who grabbed the terrorist’s gun, only to have it jam; the people who huddled together in a freezer to escape the killer. Scenes from a nightmare, but one not likely to end just because the three gunmen are now dead. Prayers for France and for all who may be threatened in the future.

#11 Comment By MartianObserver On January 10, 2015 @ 11:00 am

Mr Dreher, I you might be interested. A French tumblr user, feeling betrayed by all the US tumblr users attacking Charlie Hebdo, wrote a stirring defense of the magazine and a scathing critique of the SJWs:

[3]

#12 Comment By Ron Burgundy On January 10, 2015 @ 11:17 am

Rod,

This is Charlie Hedbo:

[4]

TRIGGER WARNING

#13 Comment By Alan Breedlove On January 10, 2015 @ 11:29 am

What is the reader’s point? That you Americans can’t understand what we French are feeling because you don’t understand how important Charlie was in French cultural life (I agree with him, I don’t!), yet we French have the pulse of American life with your silly culture wars and microaggressions? He seems to be saying, you don’t know me but I know you, so let me bring you up to speed you ignorant Yanks. What a pompous ass.

#14 Comment By Mark Hamann On January 10, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

I agree with the reader who sent this in. People need to learn to handle being offended. Blasphemy is nothing more than a microaggression in the religious realm.

#15 Comment By Karl On January 10, 2015 @ 1:37 pm

Charlie Hebdo did not skewer all sacred cows. That is a lie. For if they did so, then they would be in jail on hate speech laws. Charlie Hebdo is a far left themed publication. They never skewered the left.
[5]

[6]

#16 Comment By Glaivester On January 10, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

Does anyone else think that that picture of Cabu looks like Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor of Doctor Who)?

#17 Comment By Glaivester On January 10, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

Or should we believe that there never was a New York Times paper so devoid of content or replete with nonsense that it wouldn’t have been better left unpublished?

I think he is overestimating how much the sort of people who criticize Charlie Hebdo as “nasty kids” actually revere the New York Times.

My response to his statement is “Oh, they publish an issue like that 5, 6 times a week.”

#18 Comment By heartright On January 10, 2015 @ 2:51 pm

[7]
[Translation of Charlie Hebdo cover:] “The Pope in Paris: The French too, are assholes like negroes.”

Nice friends.

#19 Comment By JR On January 10, 2015 @ 3:10 pm

“Or TAC” the same TAC whose front-page article whines about how mean people are to the poor defenseless Muslims & equivocates on the attack? Spare me

#20 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 10, 2015 @ 3:27 pm

It’s far from the salons of Paris, where ideas seem merely academic, to the French warplanes dropping ordinance on people’s heads in foreign lands, that don’t contain copies of Charlie Hebdo.

An American general, after WW II, forced German academics to the concentration camps, to see where their free expression of ideas had led others, that freedom without responsibility still has consequences for the lives of others.

To my mind, award winning cartoonist Joe Sacco has it right:

[8]

#21 Comment By Al On January 10, 2015 @ 3:32 pm

Sir, you are preaching to the choir. In any sense it is not most people in the West that you need to explain the parable of the the snarky uncle you get to admire as time goes by. The issue at hand is ,can part of your population learn to not pay attention and especially not to kill this proverbial snarky uncle? What is being French and how does that apply to the Kouachis ? If not ,could there be an identity crisis France needs to reflect upon?

I could produce an effective counter argument to your first paragraph as seen through the eyes of an open, sans frontiers society where both the Hebdo and the Kouachis could get exonerated in theory . One would say ,well everything goes and there should be freedom of speech the West cannot exist without it and that freedom is to be expressed in many forms and shapes. The other side would say ,this is our reliogion and it strickly forbids any representation of the profet. How would one go by and solve this intractable problem . One cannot have it both ways. The fabric is made of fibers ,woven over time ….

I ask all those questions to my self because I am disgusted by all of this

#22 Comment By Boots K. On January 10, 2015 @ 3:37 pm

Years ago, there was an art exhibit in New York where the Virgin Mary was covered in elephant dung, and the infamous “Piss Christ” depicting a crucifix in a container filled with urine, along with other outrageous works of art, were displayed. Was it atrocious? Yes. It was a noxious punch in the face to every person of faith and even those without. There was picketing and the weeping and the gnashing of teeth, but the show went on. No one was assaulted or murdered. There is no need for “self censoring”. Freedom of speech and expression is our right. I refuse to allow a religion that seems populated by murderous, fanatical freaks from the fourth century to dictate what I may and may not read think or feel. Charlie Hebdo must be a rallying cry for all of us. Enough now, enough.

#23 Comment By Reinhold On January 10, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

Apparently, as Euronews reported, Charlie Hebdo made a point of teaming up with a Turkish periodical called Leman (a similarly critical cartoon publication), precisely to show that Muslim countries are not all equally repressive. They were also firmly critical of Hollande’s military adventurism of late. Of course, Islamists are not known for their subtlety.

#24 Comment By M_Young On January 10, 2015 @ 5:28 pm

“I would not like to have to brace myself to see a magazine on my newstand with a cover showing the Three Persons in the Blessed Trinity having sex with one another, ”

I laughed at that one, despite myself. It was so well done (particularly the ‘Holy Spirit’ as the Masonic All Seeing Eye/Sauron”) and its being the cover of the “homo-marriage” edition.

Somehow the ‘Cathos integralistes’, whom Charlie Hebdo seems to go after more than Muslims, didn’t feel the need to wax the editorial staff.

#25 Comment By JB On January 10, 2015 @ 5:37 pm

ha ha lol!
et mon cul, c’est du poulet!
on Long Island, they’d say “getthefuggadouttahere!”
little French lesson here:

#26 Comment By JB On January 10, 2015 @ 7:03 pm

My post was in response to Tugboat Phil’s who said “And my ass, is it chicken?” (in French: et mon cul, c’est du poulet?) to the French guests on the bus. Must’ve been a very funny moment.

#27 Comment By Rich On January 10, 2015 @ 7:22 pm

So it’s kind of like Jerry Lewis was assassinated?

I’m sorry, but I have no sympathy for someone who mocks others and then gets stomped by someone who has a different honor code than them. If they pulled that crap back in early 19th century America, they would have gotten the Preston Brooks* treatment.

*Congressman Preston Brooks severely beat Congressman Charles Sumner with a cane for insulting Brooks’ cousin in a speech. During the speech, Senator Stephen Douglas said, “This damn fool is going to get himself shot by some other damn fool.”

The members of the French newspaper were just such fools.

#28 Comment By CatherineNY On January 10, 2015 @ 7:44 pm

I recommend Phil Lawler’s piece: [9]. I think

#29 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 10, 2015 @ 8:09 pm

“there was an art exhibit in New York where the Virgin Mary was covered in elephant dung, and the infamous “Piss Christ” depicting a crucifix in a container filled with urine, along with other outrageous works of art, were displayed. Was it atrocious? Yes. It was a noxious punch in the face to every person of faith and even those without. There was picketing and the weeping and the gnashing of teeth, but the show went on. No one was assaulted or murdered. There is no need for “self censoring”. Freedom of speech and expression is our right. I refuse to allow a religion that seems populated by murderous, fanatical freaks from the fourth century to dictate what I may and may not read think or feel.”

But on the other hand, the noxious display wasn’t at a mosque built near the Twin Towers, with attacks going on that kill thousands of our countrymen. There is this little thing of context, because violence is not happening in a vacuum, or just one place, nor is hostility just an abstraction.

There are imperial invasions and occupations, coups fomented and regime change. There has never been a time that empire has been free, nor any time there was not rebellion against it. As Gen. McCrystal put it, “We seem to have killed an amazing number of people” – in their own countries.

Religion doesn’t matter as to which one it is, to echo Dwight Eisenhower, except to provide a rallying strength for those rebelling, from Massada against Rome, to Luther and the German princes against papal imperialism, to Stalin returning to Russian Orthodoxy when facing defeat from the Nazi Blitzkrieg. Nor the German Wermacht itself, invoking “Gott mit us” against the Allies – or Japan refusing to surrender to a land invasion because of the divinity of the Emperor. Or American Indians and their religious Ghost Dance that the United States Army became so fearful of at Wounded Knee.

No, even were they mostly Zoroastrians, that religion would be used to invoke the support of the Deity to throw off foreign oppressors.

Even in 1776, Providence was said to be on the side of violence against the British King, seen as a despot.

#30 Comment By Chris On January 10, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

“Does anyone else think that that picture of Cabu looks like Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor of Doctor Who)?”

Yes that struck me immediately.

#31 Comment By Glaivester On January 10, 2015 @ 9:00 pm

Niccolo Salo:

I posted about it before, but you might like my [10], which refers to that very petition.

#32 Comment By Glaivester On January 10, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

I agree with the reader who sent this in. People need to learn to handle being offended. Blasphemy is nothing more than a microaggression in the religious realm.

Honestly, I am not particularly bothered by the cartoon of the Trinity having sex. I mean, I find it offensive, but I am not particularly upset that someone decided to publish it. That’s a stain on their soul; it doesn’t hurt me (I have my own stains on my soul – fortunately God has cleansed them), and God certainly avenge Himself on the cartoonist (or, one hopes, forgive and save him) in His Own time.

What I am upset about is that people act as if the guy who made the cartoon is some sort of hero because his colleagues were killed by terrorists, or as if somehow we should stand in solidarity with such scum, rather than merely affirming their right to exist.

#33 Comment By redfish On January 10, 2015 @ 11:33 pm

Rod, please read this opinion piece.
[11]

Once again we are ruled by a Dictatorship of Grief. Ever since the death of Princess Diana, we have been subject to these periodic spasms when everyone is supposed to think and say the same thing, or else.

As for freedom, here’s an interesting thing. The French Leftist newspaper Liberation reported on September 12, 1996, that three stalwarts of Charlie Hebdo (including Stephane ‘Charb’ Charbonnier) had campaigned in their magazine to collect more than 170,000 signatures for a petition calling for a ban on the French National Front party. They did this in the name of the ‘Rights of Man’.

You, like me, may dislike the National Front greatly. But lovers of liberty simply do not seek to ban parties they do not like.

#34 Comment By Chris On January 11, 2015 @ 12:03 am

“I agree with the reader who sent this in. People need to learn to handle being offended.”

Does this extend to exposure to things which some traditionalists find morally objectionable like SSM or more generally homosexuality? If we demand that free speech be respected despite religious objections, how does this relate to our working boy’s advocacy for relogious conservative’s right to discriminate against LGBT persons based on their offended religious and moral scruples? Rods adbocacy for this position is essentially the same as those of the trio who attacked Charlie Hebdo: namely that religious feelings require special consideration that trumps the rights of others. The difference is only a matter of degree.

#35 Comment By JonF On January 11, 2015 @ 7:45 am

Re: Nor the German Wermacht itself, invoking “Gott mit us” against the Allies –

This is a bit of of an Internet myth. The grain of truth in it is that German armies from time of Friedrich Barbarosa’s Crusade on used “Gott mit uns” as an insignia. It was traditional, somewhat like “E pluribus unum” or “God save the Queen”.
Also, Stalin did not “return to Russian Orthodoxy”. He lifted the persecution and trotted out the Church as a symbol of Mother Russia, hoping to rally Russian nationalism since people were not willing to fight for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

[NFR: Stalin was as much of a Christian as Breivik was, which is to say, no Christian at all, just one who used Christianity when it suited his nationalist warmaking ends. — RD]

#36 Comment By Eliana On January 11, 2015 @ 11:09 am

Both the terrorists and the magazine staff in Paris operated on the principle of being as offensive and shocking as they could possibly manage to be.

One group used words and pictures to shock and offend. The other group used weapons and extreme violence.

The magazine staff with their middle-school-nightmare-style of irreverent ridicule were like the school jokester kids.

The terrorists with their personal interpretation of Islam that made it not so much a religion to them as a tribe or gang,
so that they sought to belong to it by militantly, violently patrolling what they saw as the borders of its ‘hood, were like the school gangster kids.

The jokester kids relentlessly taunted the gangster kids, among many others. The gangster kids reacted like gangster kids.

Civil society is like the school staff here,
just trying to figure out how to keep the school safe and functioning and people moving forward, amid all the taunting, disrespect, bullying and glorification of violence that permeate the air.

The school staff has its work cut out for it.

#37 Comment By Carol On January 11, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

Maybe we are not Charlie Hebdo at all:

news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/10/…we-are-not-charlie-hebdo

#38 Comment By Matt On January 11, 2015 @ 2:40 pm

Rod,

Commenters Niccolo Salo and Scott McConnell have both pointed both something curious. That Charlie Hebdo fired someone for making fun of a relative of Sarkozy (presumably an Anti-semitic comment) and championing a petition to, I think i have this right, remove FN from the ballot box. I don’t read French so Im having trouble researching these incidents myself. Id love to read a post by you on it or be forwarded english links where I can read the details for myself.

#39 Comment By MaxV On January 11, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

Those most ‘sensitive’ cartoons were always also a form of dancing in the face of madness, a politeness of despair, a puncturing of the buffoonery that our wihsful Schwarmerei is.

Really? So that’s what that cover cartoon of Jesus sodomizing God the Father while being sodomized by the Holy Spirit was about, dancing in the face of madness?

Glad we cleared that up.

#40 Comment By Reinhold On January 11, 2015 @ 11:30 pm

“[NFR: Stalin was as much of a Christian as Breivik was, which is to say, no Christian at all, just one who used Christianity when it suited his nationalist warmaking ends. — RD]”
Islamists are precisely militias that use Islam to “nationalist war-making ends.” Some of them are believers, but many of them just want fascistic, decadent power (mass murder, rape, enslavement, etc.).

#41 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 12, 2015 @ 2:19 am

“[NFR: Stalin was as much of a Christian as Breivik was, which is to say, no Christian at all, just one who used Christianity when it suited his nationalist warmaking ends. — RD]”

Josef Djugashvili attended seminary, to prepare for the priesthood, and won poetry awards in his early youth. He’s not the first nor last religiously trained person to do evil.

The point is, that political leadership often finds religion useful to its cause, until it doesn’t. That use is almost always to justify violence.

#42 Comment By Glyn Tutt On January 12, 2015 @ 10:52 am

So is Charlie Hebdo a publication which;

a) Was promoting left wing rational ideology in order to ridicule any notion of a civilised right wing perspective?

b) A bunch of far left wing thinkers, journalists and artists who just had a lot of fun publishing material that would offend any traditional conservative view of French and global society?

c) A publication seen as extreme and irrelevant by an overwhelming majority of free-thinking Frenchmen and women?

d) A publication that, in a state who’s religion is ‘Secularism’, is seen as being something that should be protected by tax payers, most of which will not vote for a left wing President, Senate or National Assembly and are even contemplating voting for what they see is far right, but in the Anglo-Saxon world most would consider a moderate right-wing political party called the FN?

…. or….

e) All of the above?

Murder is Murder. But the ‘free press’ needs to also have a sense of what is right and wrong otherwise the majority of us will stop supporting it though purchasing their output….. which is what happened on 2 occasions in the history of Charlie Hebdo.

For those of you wishing to get a copy of this week’s issue – not worries; The company lawyer told the French nation last week on Tuesday evening that instead of the usual 43,000 copies they would normally print, this weeks’ copy will have a run of 1,000,000.

Why? Because bad news sells newspapers.

#43 Comment By Glyn Tutt On January 13, 2015 @ 7:10 am

UPDATE ON THIS WEEK’S PROPOSED CIRCULATION OF CHARLIE HEBDO.

They have decided to print 4 million copies in over 30 languages.

With a front cover depicting a Muslim caricature saying ‘Je suis Charlie’.

How original.

….. think of the revenues – 1000 time more than the usual circulation. I’m interested to see how well it does at the newsstands.