Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Solidarity, Unity, Humanity



I don’t watch a lot of news.  Just enough, usually, to catch up on the day’s events.  But much like during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on America I have found it compelling to watch the news following the attack on Charlie Hebdo.  I grieve with the French, the Jewish, and Muslims who have suffered great losses.  I grieve the lives of those snuffed out by an ideology which tolerates no other.

If you’ve read much here you know that I am not a believer.  I don’t believe in any kind of deity.  However, I will defend the right of others to practice the faith of their choosing. Up to a point.  When that practice crosses over to extremism, violence, and abuse I feel we all, every one of us, has a duty to oppose it.

Having watched much of what is transpiring in France – the prevailing attitudes and multitudes flooding the streets I am inspired as I was after 9/11 that the future is brighter in spite of those who would have it another way.

“Go on doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The tongue is mightier than the blade.” – Euripides

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

There will always be those who seek to silence those with whom they disagree whether by might or by intimidation.  There will always be radicals who take their ideals to extremes.  There will always be bullies.  They only win when they have achieved the silence of those with whom they take offense.  There is freedom of speech but clearly it is not free.  It comes at a great price.

I hope the time has come and will not fade away, as is the way, to unite in solidarity against this radical extremism.  I hope the time has come that people, regardless of race or religion, will stand together as humans.

No, I am not a believer, but je suis juif, je suis France, je suis Charlie Hebdo, je suis muslim.  Today I am human. Today I am a humanist.

40 thoughts on “Solidarity, Unity, Humanity

  1. $Amen$ to that, Sister! $Amen$ to that.


  2. You express my feelings too, Ruth!
    Am I right in supposing that many millions, the great mayority of the Muslims over the world, are moderate?
    And if so, is it absurd to expect a loud outcry (redundancy intended) from them?


    • No, that’s not absurd at all. I’m still waiting to hear it.


    • Perhaps it is rather like asking all Christians to apologise for David Koresh (and his ilk), or all Americans who believe in democracy to apologise for George Bush? [Okay, some should!] The psychopaths who commit these atrocities putatively in the name of Islam have already renounced their entitlement to any Muslim identity. Those who authentically bear that mantle are not accountable for those who do not. And yet what I do hear in the media, over here in England, is a great many Muslims denouncing the atrocities as just that. In my view, they have no obligation to set themselves apart from the psychopaths, as they never were together with them. We must not fall into playing the game of creating a polarity between ourselves and a whole mass of humanity, for that is precisely what the Jihadists want. That is the trap.


      • Where do you draw the line between authentically and not authentically?

        Hundreds of children were abused by priests. No one said they were not a part of the faith and the church apologised.

        Islam provides a challenge because there are many flavours and no overall head. This I think increases the numbers of radical followers and claiming they are not authentic followers falls into the not a true Scotsman fallacy.

        Liked by 2 people

        • “Where do you draw the line between authentically and not authentically?”

          I think we use the lens of contemporary morality and reason, which is what the great majority of Muslims do as regards their worldly conduct; not all are stuck in medieval and literal renditions of the canonical texts.

          Being “part of the faith” is not synonymous with being true to that faith. Hypocrisy is part of the human condition it seems, and one can hardly blame that on any teaching, as it exists outside of them.

          Are you saying that no distinction exists between a psychologically healthy take on religion or philosophy and one that is pernicious, distorted and counter to accepted behavioural norms?

          Thanks for reading my comment fellow Limey!


          • Good question. I guess the answer depends on what my take on religion odds in the first place 🙂

            What I mean could be more accurately explained as follows.

            No single individual follows their religion perfectly. Which means you can’t use the not a true follower argument because that would mean the religion has no true followers. Different people will have different shortcomings so I’d you need to draw the lounge you need to decide how much is too much.

            You then have three problem that you and I might draw the line in different places so who is right? The judgement of who is a true follower is so individual that I don’t think it’s valid.

            So I take take the view that if they say they are then they are.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, well I’m a relativist at heart so I kind of agree Limey. On the other hand, there’s a broad consensus that we can discuss, whilst not at the same time subscribing to it in its entirety.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ugg my wordage was shocking. I should pay more attention to auto correct. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    • That was my knee jerk reaction, too. And to the question of whether or not Christians or any other religions should decry similar violence from their own camp? Yes, I would expect that as well. But Hariod Brown raises some good points. And I think any outcries would be similar in nature from any camp. The slaughter of innocents is awful, but they aren’t really one of us. Anyone with the slightest conscience would naturally want to distance themselves from such atrocities.


  3. I will defend the right of others to practice the faith of their choosing. Up to a point.

    My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.

    Liked by 3 people

    • True dat, but some people have REALLY big noses. Gotta temper those swings a bit in relation to the nose protrusion length. Least that’s what me Pops always said.


    • “If Dr. Gasbarri, a great friend, says a swear word against my mother, then a punch awaits him,” Francis said. “It’s normal, it’s normal. One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.” Pope Francis

      Turn the other cheek? Nah.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope the time has come and will not fade away, as is the way, to unite in solidarity against this radical extremism. I hope the time has come that people, regardless of race or religion, will stand together as humans.

    Well said Ruth.


  5. Very well said sister, very well said.
    We create gods then kill for them, such a sad thing!


  6. “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire


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