Where is God when “Charlie Hebdo” Happens?

Paris 1About 4 million people joined by over 40 world leaders marched across France in honor of the 17 people killed in the Paris attacks incited by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo weekly, which often published cartoons making fun of respected religious figures.

According to Al Jazeera, the most notable among the international dignitaries who took part in the march included David Cameron (British Prime Minister), Mariano Rajoy, (Spain’s Prime Minister), Angela Merkel (German Chancellor), Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel’s Prime Minister), Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinia President), Petro Poroshenko (Ukraine’s President) as well as King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Rania. 

The pictures say it all.  This was a very well-organized march.  Masterful!  Hands down there.  I cannot even begin to imagine what it took to organize such an event, mobilize and control so much people.  It’s all quite impressive.  It shows what men can do when united behind a shared cause.  Also, this shows how a moment of crisis can unite people from all walks of life, including those who would have been considered sworn enemies prior to the crisis.

It’s also quite impressive to hear several of the world leaders talk about their solidarity with France in defending free speech and protecting democracy. For example, the day after the attack David Cameron (British Prime Minister) said, “We stand squarely for free speech and democracy.  These people will never be able to take us off those values.” All that is well and good.  Somebody must stand up for these values.  I don’t have any problem with that.  It’s all right and proper.

Heads of state attend the solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris

Sunday, January 11, 2015 French President Francois Hollande is surrounded by Heads of state including (LtoR) Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Donald Tusk, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Switzerland’s President Simonetta Sommaruga as they attend the solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris January 11, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

But I am struggling and hurting inside because to the best of my knowledge, none of the world leaders (political or religious) has bothered to ask the question, “Where is God in all this?”  God has completely been left out of the equation. Thus no one bothers to call for God’s help in the situation. Men have taken matters in their own hands. Everything seems to be handled at a purely horizontal (human) level to the total neglect of the vertical (divine) level. The thinking appears to be that if we (humans) can just organize ourselves and stand together, then we can solve our (the world’s) problems.  There is some truth to that, but not to the exclusion of God.

I don’t claim to have any answers to this. I just feel deeply hurt inside that no mention of God was made at such an important event – not even by the Prime Minister of Israel (God’s chosen people)! This is all too “Babel-like” to me.  It not only hurts, but it causes me to fear and tremble.  France was once a nation that feared the Lord, but all that is history now.  Perhaps, there is a lesson and an explanation in that. But I don’t know.  I am just raising the question and sharing my concern for the glory of God who “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him” (Acts 17:26-27).

Do you have any thoughts on this?  Feel free to leave your comments below.  Thank you.