It will be noted in the title I have joined this solidarity movement – but here my solidarity comes with the caveat: oui et non! [yes & no].
Yes in solidarity against terrorism and for freedom of expression but no to several things: No – to glorifying unbridled and juvenile mockery of persons and religions; no – within this relentless media bombardment of repeating the names of the terrorists over and over: they should not have their names, which are drenched in blood, repeated.
They should be in truth named as they have chosen [chose one]: betrayers of faith, terrorists, murders, thugs, haters and let their actual names be forgotten.
If we calmly step back and look at history as dispassionately as possible there is not a single religion extant on the earth today which has not had its period of extremism within its own ranks, an extremism which often spills over and impacts surrounding peoples.
It took centuries, for example, for Catholics and Protestant Christians to move from violent hostility to cranky tolerance to ecumenism.
Similarly it took the horror of the Holocaust to quicken Christians and Jews to begin an authentic rapprochement, to understand the enormity of hatred in lives stolen and betrayal of the very essence of being a human person created in the image and likeness of God.
Again stepping back from the terrorist slaughter in Paris we observe within Islam the ongoing, centuries old internal warfare.
Attacks by Muslim extremists on non-Muslims garner enormous press worldwide but as tragic as the number 12 dead in Paris is it pales in comparison to the tens of thousands of Muslim men, women and children slaughtered by their own co-religionists.
Yes no one is crying out in solidarity with those victims: I am Muslim!
Satan is the great divider, liar, hater, fear monger and in particular since 9/11 he has been, at first blush, rather successful at spreading within the human family division, lies, hatred, fear and it would appear his greatest region of success is within those pockets within a particular religion pre-disposed to listen to him.
Two obviously did in Paris.
Again it is a matter of calm perspective.
There are currently 7 billion men, women and children living on earth of which, combining our Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim brothers and sisters close to 4 billion believe in the one true God who revealed Himself first in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures.
Of the remaining 3 billion people the vast majority adhere to some form of religious faith as hallmark of their lives.
Therefore, compared to the 2 in Paris, the vast majority of the human family live lives that are peaceful, family oriented, considerate of their neighbours, dutiful citizens of their homeland, working, playing: in a word being authentically human.
It is this basic fact that real people so immensely out number the 2 and those of their ilk that terrorism will NEVER achieve its objective, extremism will ALWAYS ultimately fail.
Truth is more powerful than any lie, hence JE SUIS CHARLIE!, resonates because the pen is not only mightier than the sword but also mightier than weapons of mass destruction.
Authentic faith enables and ennobles authentic love and charity is love in action.
Love is more powerful than hate and love is life-giving and endures beyond the clutches of murdering terrorists for whom death is definitely prelude to a judgement by the very God who is Love they betray by their hatred.
Let us not just say Je suis Charlie, rather let us be absolutely sure there is not within our hearts any form of ranker or hatred, any desire for vengeance, any rejection of another human being for any notion whatsoever.
Islam will heal when all our Muslim brothers and sisters love one another.
Our human family will heal when we all love one another.
Love Himself, born anew this past Christmas day, who laid down His life for us, for there is no greater act of love, tells us to love one another as He loves us.
Love is mightier, love is stronger, love has no limit to its reach, love understands, forgives, reconciles, helps, renews, strengthens, gives hope, is the vessel of true peace.