Sunday, February 15, 2015

Enlightenment essayist Voltaire on Tolerance

CC LCC Liu, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly; Eleanor BeardsleyWknd Ed. Sunday
The capital of European religious intolerance, the Vatican, Catholic corporate offices and imperial headquarters, the Holy Roman Empire (Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images/
Voltaire: I hate what you say, but I would give my life to defend your right to say it.
A woman looks at flowers placed near HQ of satirical newspaper Charlie Weekly in Paris on Feb. 7 that religious extremists allegedly stormed killing 12 in January (Michel Euler/AP).
After Paris attacks, Voltaire's Tolerance is back in vogue
Eleanor Beardsley (
Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire (1694-1778). The author and philosopher wrote 'Treatise on Tolerance,' on religious freedom in 1673. It has gained a renewed readership after Islamist extremists carried out deadly attacks last month in Paris.
Voltaire (Hulton Archive/Getty)
Like most bookshops around Paris, Emile, which caters to young readers, sold all its copies of Voltaire's Treatise on Tolerance on Jan. 8, the day after two gunmen stormed into satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killing eight journalists.
In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks that took the lives of 20 people, Voltaire's manifesto in favor of religious tolerance -- written in 1763 -- is flying off the shelves.
Pope: "Free at last!" (Charlie Weekly)
Emile employee Laurianne Ledus says she was surprised that an 18th-century manuscript could become a bestseller today.
"It's really, really weird," says Ledus. "But I think it is an important book, even 200 hundred years later."

Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire (1694-1778). The author and philosopher wrote Treatise on Tolerance, on religious freedom in 1673. It has gained a renewed readership after religious extremists allegedly carried out deadly attacks last month in Paris.

Shut your filthy throat, witch! Get the hell out of my church! (Ukraine's FEMEN in France)
Ledus says no one really understands why the attacks happened, and everyone is looking for answers.
We lika da kids, papa, capiche? (Southpark)
"Children need to understand life and events and I think parents need this book in order to explain," Ledus says.
Enlightenment essayist, philosopher, and historian Francois-Marie Arouet, better known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was born in Paris in 1694. He is famous for his wit, advocacy for freedom of speech, and stinging attacks on the Catholic Church.
Church vs. Rock 'n Roll*
In Voltaire's day, Protestants were persecuted and killed in France. In his book Voltaire defended the Protestants and excoriated the Catholic Church over its intolerance.
As Voltarie famously wrote, "Sir, I hate what you write, but I would give my life so that you could continue writing."
In the recent Paris attacks, [only] four Jews were killed [because a Muslim employee saved the lives of many others during] a shooting that targeted a Kosher supermarket. And since the violence, dozens of mosques have been desecrated.
Truth about the Vatican (Malachi Martin)
*Spanish translation: "Look, son, I don't have anything against rock, but don't you think it's morbid and in bad taste that someone would use the image of a cadaver as a marketing strategy? Church vs. Rock, not too different" (Fedr. G./
Leading intellectuals have been quick to draw comparisons between Voltaire and Charlie Hebdo. The Societe Voltaire, a group that safeguards the philosopher's legacy called Voltaire the rallying symbol for those who do not accept violence in the name of religion. More + AUDIO

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