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Category Archive: Free Speech

Apr 06 2014

Marines Throw Fit About a Piece of Cloth

Here’s a Youtube video of two Marines chasing down a scooter and throwing a temper tantrum because the guy on the scooter was holding a flag upside down during a protest of police brutality in New Mexico. The guys with the flag are lucky they dropped it because there would almost certainly have been violence …

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Apr 02 2014

Ingersoll and American Blasphemy Laws

Hal Gordon informs me of something I did not know, that Robert Ingersoll once defended a man in a blasphemy case. He lost that case but he ended up being largely responsible for the end of blasphemy prosecutions anyway through his gift for good humor and subtle ridicule.

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Mar 21 2014

El Ghazzali Criticizes Blasphemy Laws at the UN

Kacem El Ghazzali, an atheist blogger from Morocco who now lives in exile in Switzerland because of that country’s authoritarian blasphemy laws, addressed the UN Human Rights Council and strongly criticized the use of blasphemy laws, including by several of the nations that sit on that council. The International Humanist and Ethical Union has the …

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Mar 05 2014

Christian Right Legal Group Invents ‘Free Speech’ Case

There’s an odd situation going on at Purdue University after a family donated $12,500 to the engineering school but wanted a plaque at the facility that honored “those who seek to better the world through the understanding of God’s physical laws.” The school said no, fearing possible litigation over the plaque’s religious message.

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Feb 14 2014

4th Circuit: State Can’t Have Only ‘Choose Life’ Plates

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that said the state of North Carolina can’t approve the offering of a “Choose Life” license plate and then refuse to approve a pro-choice license plate. That is viewpoint discrimination under the law.

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Feb 06 2014

Christians, Muslims Unite for Censorship

The upcoming Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia includes one provocative show called Come Heckle Christ, in which a comedian will portray Jesus and invite people to jeer him. Could be funny, I suppose, depending on how talented the comedian is. But a Catholic archbishop is demanding that the government stop the show from going on.

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Feb 03 2014

Alexander Aan is Released

Alexander Aan, the Indonesian atheist sentenced to 30 months in prison for merely saying that he is an atheist on Facebook, has been released from prison after 18 months. Unfortunately, he now will likely have to remain in hiding because of threats to his life. He was already beaten by an angry mob before going …

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Jan 28 2014

Play Canceled in Ireland for ‘Blasphemy’

Unfortunately, the Muslim world is not the only place that violates free speech and punishes or censors “blasphemy.” Some parts of the predominately Christian world do as well. A city council in Ireland has canceled a “blasphemous” play before it could ever happen.

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Jan 25 2014

Agema, Saleem Lawsuit Dismissed

Dave Agema, one of Michigan’s representatives on the Republican National Committee, and Kamal Saleem, one of the many fake “ex-terrorists” making a living scaring the hell out of the Christian right, have had a lawsuit they filed against a Michigan city, People for the American Way and CAIR dismissed by a Bush-appointed federal judge. They …

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Jan 21 2014

Olympic Security Forces Arrest Flagholding Protestor

Despite repeated assurances from Vladimir Putin that there is nothing to worry about at the Winter Olympics because of Russia’s totalitarian anti-gay laws, Olympic security personnel arrested a man who did nothing but wave a rainbow flag as the Olympic torch went by.

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Jan 17 2014

Afghani Atheist Gets Asylum in the UK

I’m very glad to see that an atheist who fled Afghanistan for the UK is being given political asylum there because he faces death if he goes back home because, as an ex-Muslim, he’s considered an apostate. He’s been in the UK for several years but now won’t have to go back:

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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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