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Category Archive: Free Speech

Jan 14 2014

Can the Government Prevent Lying in Political Ads?

The Supreme Court last week granted cert in a case that involves the question of whether the government can prevent allegedly false speech in political ads or whether this is a violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Some details about the case:

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Jan 04 2014

Michigan Protects Children From ‘WAR SUX’ License Plate

Ruth Johnson, Michigan’s utterly ridiculous Secretary of State (seriously, she would need a promotion to get to be an idiot), has decided that a man can’t have a license plate that says WAR SUX because it might have a negative impact on children who see it. I really wish I was making this up.

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Jan 02 2014

Two Pakistani Men Sentenced to Death for ‘Blasphemy’

I continue to be absolutely appalled by the fascist and barbaric use of blasphemy laws to not just punish but murder people who say things the religious authorities in many countries don’t like. In Pakistan, two men have been sentenced to death for claiming they saw God.

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Dec 27 2013

How Blasphemy Laws Silence Journalists

Brian Pellot has an article at Religion News about a new report released by Reporters Without Borders on the use of blasphemy laws around the world to silence and intimidate journalists. You can read that full report here. Pellot sums up the conclusions:

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Dec 25 2013

Can Camille Paglia Just Shut Up Now?

There was a time in my much younger days when I found Camille Paglia interesting, but the feeling has long since been buried by a thousand furled brows and mutterings of “WTF is she talking about?” Her appearance on Laura Ingraham’s radio show to talk about this Duck Dynasty crap is a perfect example. First, …

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Dec 23 2013

Ted Cruz Doesn’t Understand the First Amendment

Actually, he does. Ted Cruz is, by all accounts, a brilliant attorney who has been called by liberal law profs at Harvard Law one of the best con law students they ever had. So he must know that when he claims that the bigot from Duck Dynasty is having his free speech and religious liberty …

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Dec 18 2013

NY State Senator Compares Atheists to Nazis

I’m not a big fan of the billboards that American Atheists have up in Times Square. I think they’re needlessly aggressive and serve no good purpose. But NY State Sen. Andrew Lanza thinks they’re exactly the kind of thing that led to the Holocaust. I wish I were making this up.

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Dec 10 2013

The FFRF Sign and ‘Hate Speech’

The Worldnetdaily has its typically bizarre headline on this article: Blue state has moxy to mock God. But the article is about the sign put up by the FFRF in Springfield, Illinois. So it has nothing to do with a state. And the sign doesn’t “mock God.” To be fair, while the subject and predicate …

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Dec 01 2013

Reconstructionist Speaks in Public School

Christian Reconstructionist and neo-Confederate Michael Peroutka actually spoke to students at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida recently. That’s outrageous, but it’s entirely legal because he was invited by the American Club, an official student group, rather than by the administration (and it wasn’t a school assembly, it was just to that group).

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Nov 26 2013

Yes, We Have a Right to Offend Muslims. And Everyone Else.

The Muslim Times has a ridiculous article entitled “Do atheists have the right to offend Muslims?” That may be the easiest question in the world, next to “Would you like some more pork?” And that question may offend Muslims too, but I couldn’t care any less.

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Nov 25 2013

The Blasphemy Laws of American History

Jonathan Zimmerman, a history professor from NYU, has a brief rundown of blasphemy laws in America’s past, including at the time of the founding in many of the colonies. He highlights Massachusetts and Maryland, as I have in my past writings as well.

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Nov 19 2013

Wingnut Writer Doesn’t Understand First Amendment

Michael Brown, a writer for Charisma News, is upset that there are Facebook groups that he finds offensive who are “liking” his posts on Facebook and he wonders why Facebook is not closing down those groups. More bizarrely, he wonders how it could possibly be legal:

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Nov 10 2013

Teacher Suspended for Forcing Kid to Say Pledge of Allegiance

A teacher in Florida, apparently completely unaware of the existence of the First Amendment and a Supreme Court ruling that goes back a full seven decades, has been suspended for five days after forcing a child to say the pledge of allegiance and insulting them with jingoism in the process.

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Nov 08 2013

Ireland May Take Giant Step Sideways on Blasphemy

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that a constitutional convention in Ireland is recommending that the nation’s blasphemy laws be repealed; the bad news is that they want to replace them with a law prohibiting the “incitement of religious hatred.”

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Nov 07 2013

Gay Student Suspended for Ripping Leviticus Out of His Bible

A gay high school student in Birdville, Texas has been suspended for ripping pages out of his own Bible, which he brought with him to class. The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Legal Center is getting involved, sending a letter to the school demanding that the suspension be lifted.

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