Je Suis Charlie [We Are All Charlie Hebdo]

Photo by JulianColton, Wikimedia

Photo by JulianColton, Wikimedia

If any idea becomes too sacred for discussion or critique, we are all endangered. It’s a sad day when anyone is murdered for shining the light of reason in dark places. If ideas cannot be discussed critically, truth is imprisoned and decapitated by dogma. I live in a nation where the profession of journalist is one of the most dangerous jobs around. If we cannot protect, globally, those willing to examine ideas, opinions, facts, activities, without reservation, we risk losing more than our heads – we risk losing our minds, and our liberty. Philosopher CS Pierce said those who love truth are destined to agree. 

So, what’s the point – how is this my problem?  This quote from pastor Martin Niemöller (1971 version) helps us grasp our duty:

When the Nazis came for the communists, I did not speak out; As I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I did not speak out;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
As I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
As I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Editorial cartoonists around the world today, January 8, 2015, are standing up against intolerance, in solidarity with each other. We all need to stand together, regardless of profession. (Type the date into the search field to see some of their efforts.) It should be noted that at least one Muslim recognizes the danger and is calling for solidarity, as well.n-CHARLIE-HEBDO-570