I just posted this on Facebook and wanted to share it here. I look forward to everyone's thoughts and reflections:

Over the past two days, my heart has been aching for the staff of Charlie Hebdo, for the people of Paris and for the people of France. A terrible blow has been inflicted. How else to describe the targeted slaughter of nearly all of the members of a paper's senior editorial staff because of the cartoons they drew?

The cartoons of Charlie Hebdo are often wise and very funny. They are also, frequently, tremendously vulgar and offensive. There is something ugly, or at least extremely uncomfortable, about seeing these cartoons where what many hold sacred is dragged through the dirt. Of course, these images often prompt reflection and are a powerful tool in the satirist's toolkit. Still, I can understand why Muslims (and Christians and Jews) would be deeply offended by some of the paper's work.

It is in the nature of animals - including the primates known as humans - to react violently to protect that which they hold dear. Dogs may snap when a treasured toy is taken by a stranger. Mother bears will kill when their cubs are threatened. We are not so different. It is only with the application of the will and the grace of God that we can root out the seeds of violence lodged in our own hearts.

I want to call on followers of Christ to examine our consciences and re-commit ourselves to the Prince of Peace, to the one who said, "Resist not the evil man." The fact of the matter is that any justification of violence by a Christian justifies the acts of the terrorists who massacred a dozen people yesterday. All of the "just war" theorizing and utilitarian calculations we can make as people of faith give support to those who, shouting "God is great," snuffed out life after life. You see, it is no accident that the first five commandments concern offenses against God himself, or that the greatest commandment, according to Jesus, is to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Loving the neighbor, our savior says, must come second to loving God. This suggests that blasphemy, idolatry and faithlessness to God are more serious than rape or murder, not less. So if followers of Jesus can use violence in order to save a life, it must be okay to do so to expunge a source of offense to God.

If this is the case, we can't, as Christians, argue with integrity that it is okay to kill in self-defense, but not to prevent or punish blasphemy. Atheists can make that argument, but Christians can't. And we shouldn't try to.

Instead, we should recognize that our Lord, King and fellow child of God let himself be slaughtered rather than fight or allow his disciples to fight on his behalf. Knowing this, we should strive to knock down the spirit inside of us that would try to justify using the weapons of the flesh - for any reason - and focus on deploying the weapons of the spirit: prayer, faith, and a humble spirit that delights in doing God's will.

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What people who consider themselves servants and true believers in an almighty God have to stop and consider is just how big their God really is.  There is a God that doesn't need anyone to run interference for him.  He doesn't have a problem dealing personally with anyone's arrogance.  The bible doesn't tell us that vengeance is the Lord's for nothing.  People who have basked in the exaltation of being thought of as Gods have been brought low through the ages.  Some less gently than others.  In my life time it was a union leader Mike Quill.  In my grandparents' day it were the designers of the Titanic; in the days of the Apostles after the Resurrection it was King Herod.  Our role is that of watchmen.  We are called to warn people when they are going too far.  After that it's up to God himself.

Not only have you provided an original and worthy argument, Adria, but you've modeled an engagement with our tradition that witnesses to its power to lead us to right action and orientation, and eventually to perfect righteousness in Christ.

Thank you, Adria, for this post. You write with clarity.

Friend Adria:

Thee speaks my mind.  I found this a beautiful and insightful post.  I was particularly struck by the clarity with which thee differentiates between the Just War Theory and the way that traditional Quakers have understood and grounded their Peace Testimony.  I found this personally helpful.

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a book called "The Price". I have trouble reading for long periods of time, but what I got out of it was a guide to maintain control of the masses by any means necessary, similar to how the Jesuits make a vow of obedience to the Pope. One of these means that are "justified" to reach their "end" is called a false flag.

ref: globalresearch.ca

Perpetrators don’t leave behind documents incriminating themselves. A clear red flag.

London’s Guardian said “police identified Coulibaly’s DNA from a cloth found near the scene of the policewoman’s in Montrouge, leading to his identification within two hours.”

Forensic DNA analysis takes time. Around two days or longer. Impossible in two hours. French police lied.

French BFM TV posted an audio clip of conversations their staff said they had with Cherif Kouachi and Coulibaly.

It waited for crisis conditions to end before airing them. An edited version had Cherif saying he “was sent by Al-Qaeda in Yemen.”

BFM said Coulibaly called the station. Spoke to its editor. Said he and Kouachi brothers “synchronized (their) operations.”

Indicated no further attacks planned. Cherif was quoted saying: “We are defenders of the prophet…We don’t kill women. We’re not like you. We have codes of honor.”

Kevin Barrett quoted No Lies Radio producer Allan Rees saying the Kouachi brothers “had a camera well placed beforehand to film the attack.”

“They spoke perfect French. Killed with military precision. Dressed in military style. Killed from a target list. Got away clean.”

“French President shows up afterwards and then convenes an emergency meeting on what measures to enact.”

“Multiple shooters. Could this be a false flag from French Intel Agency?”

This writer’s previous article said things aren’t always as they seem. Take nothing at face value.

Barrett is right saying what happened in Paris was a state-sponsored false flag unless or until proved otherwise.

The Kouachi brothers were well informed. They knew about a Wednesday Charlie Hebdo editorial meeting.

Who told them? Police were inside CH’s offices before the attack. Two officers were assigned to protect editor Stephane Charbonnier.

Why didn’t they do their job? A CH journalist let both brothers enter its heavily protected offices. No police were assigned outside.

Heavily armed security forces infest central Paris. Reports differ on what happened after the Charlie Hebdo killings.

A policeman was reportedly shot in the head. No blood was seen. One account said an officer emerged from a police car.

Another claimed he came out of a police station. A third had him on a bicycle. One source said both brothers returned to their car after killing the officer. Shouting: “We avenged the Prophet Muhammad.”

Did French security forces know about the planned Charlie Hebdo attack in advance?” [Media reports confirm foreknowledge]. Were they complicit? Did they want this type incident to take place?

Did they produce “Je suis Charlie” posters in advance? After Wednesday’s incident, they appeared straightaway. An ocean of signs. Images televised worldwide.

Were Washington’s dirty hands involved? Were Israel’s? Israeli IBA Channel 1 deputy editor Amchai Stein was at the scene at the time. He posted photos of the shooting.

Netanyahu announced that he would sent an Israeli SWAT team. Specialists in siege operations. On standby to aid French security forces.

What about Mossad and CIA operatives?  Were they involved? In planning and executing what happened.

Were Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly convenient patsies? As well as third suspect Hamyd Mourad.

His school friends twittered otherwise. Saying he was in class with them whenWednesday’s attack occurred.

After seeing his name mentioned, he turned himself in to police in Charleville-Mezierres 145 miles northeast of Paris. Nowhere near where Charlie Hebdo killings took place.

Evidence shows French security forces closely monitored both Kouachi brothers andCoulibaly.

A Le Figero report cited French Interior Minister Bernard  Cazeneuve saying they were “probably followed” prior to what happened.

Hyped media claims about Charlie Hebdo attacks targeting free expression are nonsense. Lots of people are angry about MSM reports they dislike. Editorial staff killings don’t follow.

False flags are a US tradition. Other countries use them. Black flag operations designed to deceive.

Big Lies. Gross distortions. Propaganda. Pointing fingers the wrong way. Falsified myths contrary to reality.

Pretexts for militarism. Wars. Colonizing countries for profit. Homeland repression.

Creating national security state extremism. A dagger in the heart of free and open societies.

Obvious questions aren’t asked. Cui bono? Why would both Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly target journalists and supermarket personnel and customers respectively?

For what purpose? What could they hope to gain? Martyrdom usually demands striking high-profile targets. Not ones unrelated to government policies.

Paul Craig Roberts believes America benefits most from what happened. Its hegemonic agenda. Its quest for world dominance.

Truth is systematically buried. Big Lies substitute. Fear-mongering gets people to go along with what harms them.

Believing war on terrorism mumbo jumbo is real. Accepting official narrative rubbish. Mindless of US-led Western support for radicalized Islamists.

Recruiting, arming, funding, training and directing them. Using them as proxy foot soldiers. Against US enemies.

In countries America attacks. Others destabilized by subversion. For political advantage. A previous article explained terrorists R us. State-sponsored.

Public opinion manipulated to believe otherwise. Manufacturing consent for what demands rejection. The late Gore Vidal said:

“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action.”

“You liberate a city by destroying it. Words are used to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”

Orwell envisioned a dark future. Explaining “a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

So-called democratic societies increasingly operate like police states. Constitutional governance is disappearing in plain sight.

Fundamental freedoms eroding in real time. Throughout Western societies. Incidents like in Paris for three days should scare everyone.

It bears repeating what another article suggested. They’re coming to neighborhoods near you. State-sponsored terrorism matters most.

“The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion…We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.”

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, world events in the Middle East show a growing unrest and instability between Jews and Arabs. This is completely in line with the call for a Third World War to be fought between the two, and their allies on both sides. This Third World War is still to come, and recent events show us that it is not far off.

- Michael Haupt, “Who was Albert Pike?” 

Dear K nine.  While I am a natural cynic and don't discount conspiracy theories out of hand, I believe the length of your reply to Adria's discussion effectively hi-jacked it and should have been used to start your own discussion.  If you did so I would happily join in.  However it's spirit is not consistent with that put forth by Adria (IMHO).

Well, James C Schultz,

K nine is no longer with us.  .    .  Let that be a warning to all of us to keep our 'tudes tuned up!

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