The murder of eleven employees of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris has grabbed international headlines. It was, indeed, an appalling act. Western media outlets went ballistic. Politicians from around the world descended on Paris and locked arms in a staged event to show their support for the media and freedom of speech. (Whether the attack was in revenge for the paper’s religious criticisms or whether it was a false flag attack orchestrated to engineer French opinion is unknown, and I won’t address that issue here.)
Political support is understandable because freedom of speech is generally viewed as a basic right. As Dr. Murray Rothbard explained, freedom of speech is actually a benefit derived from our property rights. For example, two or more individuals engage in free speech when they use their property to communicate as they see fit. Canadian politicians like to tell us that free speech is protected by the second clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, that is not entirely true because speech is not totally free in Canada as it is limited to what is allowed by politicians via the first clause of the Charter that states:
“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
The first clause is the tyrant’s “wild card” that essentially nullifies the rest of the Charter. It ensures that Canadians have no fundamental rights as eluded to in the second clause. The result is that Canadians enjoy limited speech rather than free speech due to the laws on the books that make certain non-politically correct speech a crime. France has implemented similar laws that place legal limits on the same type of speech. Even with legally limited speech, it is still possible for those on the receiving end of certain communication to be offended.
Since the days of the French revolution, the European intelligentsia have been able to attack religion without consequences. The motivation for the attack is the elite’s desire to re-engineer society so that the state, rather than the church and the family, becomes the main focus of individuals in society. When men put their families and church ahead of all else, then the elite’s plans take a back seat. It is not possible to manipulate and control a man whose primary allegiance is to his family and God, particularly when the Bible requires the enforcing of ten simple commands that trump all of other man’s laws (including “thou shalt not steal” – a direct prohibition against government theft).
In the mid 19th century, Karl Marx added fuel to the fire when he asserted that religion was nothing more than opium for the masses. In the minds of the leftist elite, Marx’s future communist Utopia would not be achieved as long as religion survived in the minds of men. As Marx’s socialist ideology gained popularity in Europe, so did a belief that religion must be attacked and destroyed. Critical Theory, developed at the Frankfurt School (and later Columbia University), ultimately became the method for doing so. Critical Theory was seen as a means to destroy not only religion, but the traditional relationships and values that existed in society. Other terms for the application of Critical Theory include “political correctness” and “cultural Marxism”.
Critical Theory requires that anything previously moral and good be constantly ridiculed and condemned; i.e., traditional religious and societal beliefs and values. The publication Critical Research on Religion claims that its “research” on religion “draws on methods including but not restricted to the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, Marxism, post-structuralism, feminism, psychoanalysis, ideological criticism, post-colonialism, ecocriticism, and queer studies” and focuses its analysis on conflicts arising from “differences of race, class, ethnicity, region, gender, and sexual orientation – all of which are shaped by social, political, and economic inequity.” Even though public universities are ground zero for these radical ideas, it is not difficult to see that these ideas have been embraced by today’s mainstream media and the political class by the way that they are constantly promoted and sometimes codified into law.
Not only do the followers of Critical Theory actively attack religion, but they also promote the re-engineering of what we accept as basic truths, what we deem as good and how we use references to Christ and Christianity in our common language. We see the outcomes of this today. For example, we are told that Darwin’s theory of evolution is the only scientific explanation on how humans developed from a primordial broth that originated with the big bang (as if the random orientation of electrons and protons somehow magically created intelligent, human life – similar to the theorem that claims that if enough monkeys randomly type keys on a keyboard, they will eventually create the complete works of William Shakespeare). We are told that we should remove any reference to the word Christ in our workplaces and schools. They even go so far as to recommend that the acronym “A.D” be replaced with “CE”. Mainstream media and public schools have been more than happy to oblige under the misguided belief that this is helping to create a more perfect society as envisioned by the leftist intelligentsia.
Consider the case of the Carleton University Students Association which in 2008 decided to pull fund-raising efforts for cystic fibrosis research because in its view, “the disease has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men.” Even though the Critical Theorists claim that one of their goals is to achieve social equality, their primary goal is to re-engineer society in a direction very different than that guided by our traditions and generally accepted moral beliefs.
Anti-religion crusaders have had an easy time applying Critical Theory against Christianity because Christians tend to be a peaceful bunch. However, it works both ways. Not only can Christians be attacked in the press, but Christians can fight back in equal measure using their freedom of speech. They are free to call out the Marxist Utopians and their plan to radically alter society and the family. They can highlight aspects of society and law that run counter to their moral beliefs. However, even then words must be carefully chosen because the Utopians have built legal prohibitions against certain types of speech (courtesy of the Charter of Rights and Freedom’s first clause, as already mentioned). However, Christians can still fight back with the all the tools in their speech arsenal albeit with state-imposed restrictions.
The Charlie Hebdo attack reminds us that the government can never pass enough laws or restrict enough speech to ensure that no one will be offended to the point of wanting to commit an illegal act. In a civil society it is expected that such cases will be rare and that the perpetrators will be punished. Christians and others still enjoy a degree of free speech which they can use to counter attacks on them. That is the way things generally work in the west. However, the ability to fight back using free speech is being diminished by the very Marxist Utopians who wish to destroy all religion and reinvent society according to their politically correct ideas. Unfortunately, the mainstream media has been very eager to assist in this twisted revolutionary plan.