Today Theo van Gogh was killed. A brutal attack, he was shot this morning while riding his bike through Amsterdam. Apparently an Islamic young man both shot and stabbed him, making sure he would not survive. I can’t understand it, it is so far off my morals and values that I just can’t understand it.
At the same time: hypocracy rulezzz in The Netherlands. Mr Van Gogh, film maker, writer, publisher and part of a very select intellectual Amsterdam incrowd scene, was not exactly the model for political correctness. In fact, he was the most extreme, rude, insulting, blasphemic guy around, making it so bad that he ended up publishing his columns on his own website because no other press medium would take it. And now the same media are shouting that this is an assassination of the freedom of speech and that he was sort of a nice guy, that we should not accept this, that we should fight this and so on.
I don’t believe this is an attack on freedom of speech. I don’t think what Van Gogh did had anything to do with freedom of speech. Just saying anything and insulting and hurting everybody really does no good. That is not freedom of speech, that is crossing each and every limit that exists. I think that this shows that true freedom exists within boundaries. True freedom of speech does not mean just saying everything, it means knowing when and what to speak and when to silence.
And it seems that you reap what you sow. Mr Van Gogh has been promoting hatred and disrespect – and that is what he has reaped today.
But let’s not forget about one other thing: we Christians have not always done a good job in responding to him in a christian way. Often, we have returned disrespect and condemnation instead of love and respect or ‘turning the other cheeck’. And how often have we prayed for the Theo van Gogh’s of this earth? How often have we truly felt God’s compassion for this man? Who really wanted to reach him with the good news of freedom in Christ?
‘For God so loved Theo van Gogh that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’.