Charlie Hebdo, Tragedy, Art, Comedy, Provocation, Responsibility, “society” and “God”

January 10, 2015

This is a temporary post that I will revise soon. I had been planning a new series of posts which would hopefully incorporate dialogue and conversation and help me continue this blog in a way that makes sense to me. I am in a much different place than I was when I began it seven years ago and what I have to write now will not be from the same perspective of what I wrote back then nor for the same intent. Yet everything I’ve written is part of my thought and development process so I will likely incorporate much of the same topics in many of the same often contradictory ways. Anyway, with self-conscious pretensions aside, I am asking for any readers to give me a few comments at the bottom. The series I had planned works perfectly, unfortunately with some recent events.

Tell me what you think of when you hear the word “God” if you are able. Tell me what that word, concept or person means to you divorced from all social and religious expectations from without–tell me what you personally as an individual conjure up when you hear that word in church, mosque or synagogue or in the courthouse or city hall, in a song, or out in the street. If you work, live, or are otherwise affiliated with one such institution listed above and that is how I know you–and you’d rather not use your name and let your congregants and work buddies google your connection some way to your comment if it is in conflict with the party line, feel free to be anonymous.

Then (or instead) give me your thoughts on the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. So much ink (digital and otherwise) has already been spilled on this terrorist attack in such a short time but many of the points being raised are valid. What do you think about punditry, satire, art, or comedy that provocates intentionally, particularly as pertains to organized religion? Does it make a difference if the religion is one’s (or one’s culture) own or an outside religion? What about if the religion is a minority religion in a particular society or a predominantly “ethnic” (i.e. tied up intrinsically with one’s geographic birth or nationality)religion? Does society have a responsibility to police such thought or art? Does a person have the responsibility to self-censor? Just give me some general thoughts if you like.

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2 Responses to “Charlie Hebdo, Tragedy, Art, Comedy, Provocation, Responsibility, “society” and “God””

  1. The killers of the employees and guards at the offices of Charlie Hebdo are no different than any other criminal gang. They rob and carjack and commit murder, and they lie about their motives. Causing mayhem makes them feel temporarily powerful in a world that treats them as insects, like when mentally unstable loners kill to become infamous. It’s done for revenge, and out of frustration at poverty and political marginalization.

    Religion does not cause this kind of abhorrent behavior. “Religious motive” is just a mask put on by thugs to avoid identification.

  2. […] is a bit of an odd post for me in terms of format. I invited your general comments here and stated I was going to try blogging again but from a new vantage point. Here’s where I start […]

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