My heart breaks this morning for the victims of the senseless terrorist murders in Paris today.  12 lives (10 reporters and 2 policemen) gunned down by extremists calling “Alluh Ahkbar” (sp?).

I’m not meaning this to be a slam on a religious faith, but honestly, I am having such a hard time understanding why anyone wants to follow a god who says you must kill unbelievers, takes offense at having an image drawn of them, and from what I can tell, never sacrificed His only Son for our sins. 

The God I serve, the God of the Christian bible, teaches us to love others, including the non-believers.  I don’t have time to go get all the scripture verses to help support this, but the New Testament is full of exhortations to love others, teach them of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, and to reconcile ourselves to God.  Nowhere in the New Testament (which is what we live under now) do I recall God saying go kill those that don’t accept me.  As a matter of fact, the disciples were taught that if a town rejected them (and thus rejected God), they were to simply shake the dust off their feet and move on.  First century Christians (and modern day Christians) don’t kill those who believe differently than us, we love them, accept them (not the sins, though), and invite them to know the loving grace of our Lord and God.

I understand from news reports that 2 of the people killed today were the cartoonists that published a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed that offended the Muslim world some time ago.  I am of two minds on this.  First, if they knew it would offend Muslims, then they just shouldn’t have done it.  That’s blatant disregard for another’s beliefs.  Doesn’t matter if they agreed with it or not, it was wrong.

But did they deserve to be slaughtered by extremist zealots?  No, absolutely not.  I hear all the time that Islam is a religion of tolerance.  Where was their tolerance for the cartoonists opinions and choices?  Where was there tolerance for any of the people within that building?  Actions are NOT reflecting attitudes.  If there’s that much of a problem with their production of a picture of Mohammed, for goodness sake talk to them.  Civilly educate them in proper etiquette  and respect.  Don’t tarnish your religion further with horrific acts like this.

I won’t go into the logic of guns being illegal in France, the fact that most police choose not to carry firearms, the fact that the bad guys were the ones with automatic weapons and such now.  It’s not the appropriate post for that.

I’ll wrap this post by saying once again that my heart aches terribly for all the victims of today.  4 more are in critical condition, so the death toll may go up.  I pray it does not.  I pray God welcomes the souls of those lost today into His loving arms forever.  I do want to see the suspects caught, and I do want to see them receive the punishment they deserve (which, from my perspective would be to be incarcerated and locked away from the public forever, or executed as soon as legally possible for such a heinous act).  But judgement is not for me to decide, so God’s will be done on them.

May God surround the survivors with comfort and peace.