If the murderous attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has taught me anything, it is that it is no longer safe to offend some people.
It is a powerful message, as it has forced me to reflect on my own online behaviour. In my five and a bit years of blogging, I have probably offended a few people, and for that I am truly sorry.
Please forgive me. And please, please, don’t kill me.
If I have ever written anything on this blog that you took as a slight against your particular imaginary friend, then I extend to you my sincerest apologies. It was never my intention to offend you in a way that might lead to me and the people around me being butchered. Please don’t break into my office and kill people.
I’m genuinely sorry if what I have written annoyed or insulted your particular set of beliefs. Until now I have always taken a firm stance in support of freedom of expression and the right to offend people I disagree with, but nowadays it seems that the right not to be offended trumps all others. So I’m sorry if I offended your particular faith, creed, philosophy, religion, mantra, or whatever it is you believe.
I am apologising to you today, and by the way, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, please don’t murder me and my family.
I realise that words can sometimes hurt, but wouldn’t it be great if the people who took offence at the words of others just turned the other cheek? If your faith in whatever imaginary deity you happen to believe in is unshakable, then it shouldn’t really matter what us unbelievers say. Why not just be content in the fact that you are right and we are wrong? Why resort to murder? And, by the way, it would be really great if you wouldn’t murder me. I’m sorry if I did something that made you want to.
I am truly sorry if I have ever indicated in any way that people who think it is okay to kill others that offend their religious views are both stupid and evil, or that such people are fully deserving of our contempt and scorn. If I have ever expressed the view that such people are savages and barbarians who are enemies of freedom and enlightenment, or that their views should be roundly condemned, then I wish to apologise.
I didn’t know that your all-powerful god was in fact a precious little flower who could be mortally wounded by the words of others, or that the foundation of the faith you so fanatically adhere to was so rotten. And how could I possibly have known you were so deranged?
None of this is an attempt to minimise my guilt. I have done wrong. I have written things that caused offence to other people. I just hope you can find a small part of your heart, what small part remains unpolluted by your vile and possibly murderous ideology, to forgive me.
I’m really sorry if I ever offended anyone, and I promise never to offend anyone again.
Except for Derek Fox. What a c**t.