I don’t want to hate the haters. But it’s hard.
The terrorist attacks in France last week have to shake me up. Each time a new atrocity like this occurs I get a bit more hit – I’m beginning to take them personally. It’s getting more and more difficult not to hate the perpetrators because more and more they’re hitting closer to home.
The Ottawa and Quebec attacks last fall were personal to us as Canadians and it should be easy for us to hate the haters that offend our pride in freedom and peace.
Paris is farther away on the globe but very close to our faith. I don’t know Charlie Hebdo or any of the satirists in Paris killed last week. I don’t know if I would have laughed at their humour. But if I understood French better than I do, and if I “got” their jokes I probably would have used their cartoons as sermon illustrations. You see, I didn’t know these people but I do know a very good satirist whom I talk about every week and so I take the Paris attack personally.
Christ was a fantastic political satirist. How else do we understand lines like “the last shall be first?” How else do we understand a story about a farmer leaving 99% of his stock unprotected to look for 1% that has gone missing? And Christ was killed because people with power (and little understanding of that power) either didn’t get his humour or, if they did get his jokes, didn’t like being pilloried by them.
One of the last words spoken by The Christ as he was being executed for his cartooning of the political powers was “forgive.” I am told this week’s issue of Charlie Hebdo will include that word as well, along with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed crying. (http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/jan/13/charlie-hebdo-cover-magazine-prophet-muhammad)
I don’t want to hate the haters. But it’s hard. Christ did not hate those who hated him. He forgave. It’s hard.