Radical Muslims are quite energetic in their blasphemies. They want their blasphemies to come across as blasphemies. Like a toddler in the middle of an epic meltdown, they know what they want and they know how to get it.
Secularists are quite tepid in their blasphemies. I mean, cartoons?
But immediately I must correct myself. Secularists are not tepid at all in protecting their precious liberal state when they perceive a threat to it from Christians. They know how to play hard ball, but it needs to be against an entity they consider to be truly dangerous to the liberal order. This means that they must be fierce with the Christians. Christians who think we ought not to spend more money than we don’t have are enemies of all mankind, while Muslims who blow themselves up in public places are “activists” who perhaps went a tad overboard in their zeal for the religion of peace.
The problem is that many Christians have taken their cue on how to respond to the secularists by imitating how the secularists are responding to the radical Muslims. This is not just simple imitation; unfortunately Christians have taken a goodish bit of secular thinking on board. They still believe, alas, in the myth of neutrality.
But no organized social order can be metaphysically neutral. To say that I am a Christian and therefore desire a Christian social order ought not be any more controversial than geometry teachers saying that they would like triangles to have three sides. Of course I want a Christian social order. I am a Christian. What else would I want?
To those who think that this means I would support the murder of cartoonists who lampoon my beliefs — because, say such folks, anything we call fundamentalist must always behave in exactly the same way, regardless of whether or not they believe bloody coercion is a true fundamental — I would only reply, as a French satirical cartoonist might, Ferme la bouche, or as I would freely translate that, “Please be so kind as to close that orifice which employees at the local Krispy Kreme refer to as the biggest donut hole of all.”
I believe in a free social order. I believe that people should have the right to be wrong in public. I believe in the standards of free speech that we worked out over centuries, prior to the rise of political correctness. But I believe in all these things because Jesus is Lord. I believe in all these things because non-Christian social orders do not create freedom for anyone, including the non-Christians. I want a Christian social order because it is always Christ or chaos.
Some say they believe in principled pluralism, but that by itself is not good enough. Principled pluralism, why? What principle? Who died and made that principle king?
I could live with something like “because Jesus rose from the dead we should have principled pluralism,” but anything else is just suspending the rights of man from a great invisible sky hook, which was first established, ironically enough, ten thousand feet over France at the Revolution. Since then it has moved around some from time to time, but because it doesn’t really exist, that doesn’t matter much. The rights suspended from it are mostly a tangled snarl on the ground now, and we are just two Supreme Court decisions away from them being declared unconstitutional, not to mention underfoot, and getting hauled off to the landfill.
So when blaspheming French cartoonists mock the prophet, they are mocking fellow blasphemers, but ones who are far more dedicated to their blasphemies than is the politically-corrected, viz. castrated West. But when they rail at Christ and His people, they are simply mocking the one who gives them every good thing they might have, including the freedom to speak whatever mind they might have. To use Van Til’s illustration, they are like a child who wants to slap an adult, but who has to sit on the adult’s lap in order to reach.
In a Christian social order, are there limits? Of course — it is a social order, after all. But if you want a social order that maximizes form and freedom together, in balanced measure, you are looking for a society that honors the Lord Jesus.