Why 'Je suis Charlie' should give Christians pause

by Nick Eicher

Posted on Monday, January 19, 2015, at 3:55 pm

It’s been a little more than a week since the killing of the Islamic terrorists who stormed the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in France and killed 12 people, including a police officer who was lying on the ground, begging for his life. In the aftermath of the attack, many people held signs or posted on social media saying, “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie.” They were standing in solidarity with a publication that has been as much anti-Christian as it is anti-Islam. 

This week, I asked John Stonestreet of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview whether it was right for a Christian to proclaim Je suis Charlie?

“I’m not going to post that on Facebook. I’m not going to claim that,” Stonestreet said. “I want to march against Islamic terror, but not for the sort of thing that we see out of Charlie Hebdo.”

He said the publication had a vulgar, offensive, nihilist worldview that was “about at the thought-provoking level as an episode of South Park.” One illustration in Charlie Hebdo pictured the Trinity in an explicit sexual act.

“It was a very difficult time to say this because it’s not like we’re trying to say, at any level, what happened in the offices of Charlie Hebdo was any less horrific than what’s being reported,” he said. But Christians should have a robust understanding of all worldviews so that when horrible things happen, they don’t just react out of emotion. 

“Christian’s can’t just define themselves by what they’re against,” he said.

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Nick Eicher

Nick is chief content officer of WORLD and co-host for WORLD Radio. He has served WORLD Magazine as a writer and reporter, managing editor, editor, and publisher. Nick resides with his family in St. Louis, Mo.

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