Terror in France Highlights a Hard Bargain

The horrific acts of terrorism that took place last week in France serve to heighten the current, violent chapter in a bitter and ongoing struggle between those, on one hand, who believe human beings are inherently free, and that our freedoms must be recognized, respected and defended; and those, on the other hand, who believe we should not and must not be entrusted to determine the courses of our own lives.

These two views are diametrically opposed. And the extremists who committed murders at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were attacking not only individuals, but freedom itself. For without freedom of expression there is no freedom of thought, and vice versa. These are indelibly intertwined human rights from which all others flow.

They also seem the hardest to honor, because one man’s undeniable truth is often another’s egregious insult. Tolerance of this difficult reality is part of the bargain. It is a hard bargain, indeed, yet one well worth respecting and defending.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s