Charlie Hebdo: Distinguish Respect for Others and for Life

My latest from the Truth and Charity Forum:

There is a time and a place to discuss the differences between religions and even advance Catholic claims to subsistence in requirements of salvation. That is the purpose of interreligious dialogue. It is a work of charity and even of evangelization.

We gain little by demeaning all of Islam because of the radicals. Such a tactic may very soon work against Christians, whom the secular culture is starting to view as radicals in ourselves. I hope that by distinguishing between hateful, violent terrorists and the ordinary lives of the Muslim faithful, we will also teach others to distinguish between the true message of love and salvation offered by Jesus Christ and some of the more twisted versions out there.

We do not want the angry secularist to say, “See, all you religious people are violent and hateful.” We want to live in a culture where the earnest atheist can speak with respect to the earnest Christian and the earnest Christian can speak with respect to the earnest Muslim. This is an application of the Christian truth that all men are created in the Image of God.

So in regards to Charlie Hebdo, we can mourn. We can protect our citizens. But we should not fall to the level of the attackers and let them turn us into people as hate-driven as they are. A sincere and respectful environment is the only way to witness to the truth of Christ and proclaim His message as we are called to do.


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