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 The good news is that a constitutional convention in Ireland is recommending that the nation’s blasphemy laws be repealed; the bad news is that they want to replace them with a law prohibiting the “incitement of religious hatred.”
Category Archive: Free Speech
Nov 07 2013
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.
Oct 16 2013
For some reason I’m not sure anyone would understand, two students from Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Washington decided to show their “Southern pride” by wearing confederate flags to school (apparently around their necks). School officials suspended the students for violating the school’s dress code, which explicitly bans the wearing of such flags.
Oct 07 2013
As if the barbaric laws of many Middle Eastern countries that punish blasphemy weren’t already bad enough, the Arab League is drafting a new law that would allow its members to punish blasphemy even when it takes place outside their borders.
Oct 01 2013
The KKK has received a permit to hold a rally at the site of the battle of Gettysburg, which is now controlled by the National Park Service. The NPS said in a statement, “The National Park Service mission in preserving and protecting the historic resources at Gettysburg includes making them available to all Americans, even …
Sep 24 2013
A Danish-Iranian artist named Firoozeh Bazrafkan has been found guilty of violating Denmark’s laws against the expression of racism for writing in the Jyllands-Posten (the same newspaper that published the infamous Muhammad cartoons) about misogyny in Islam. She faces a 5000 kroner fine or five days in prison.
Sep 23 2013
One of the challenges of constitutional law is to apply broad principles like free speech in a constantly evolving technological reality. A federal appeals court has now ruled that clicking the “like” button on Facebook is a protected form of (in this case) political speech:
Sep 17 2013
A three judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the right of a group of atheists to hand out copies of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian at a Christian music festival in Minneapolis. The suit was filed against the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. You can read the …
Sep 16 2013
Pastor Terry Jones’ plan to burn 3000 copies of the Quran on 9/11 was thwarted when police pulled him over and arrested him for illegal conveying of fuel (he had soaked them in kerosene and was driving down the road with them and more kerosene in a truck). And Bryan Fischer says that makes Jones …
Sep 13 2013
There was a mini-uproar recently when New Jersey refused to issue Dave Silverman a license plate that said “ATHEIST.” We’ve now got a similar situation in Michigan, but the state isn’t backing down from its refusal to issue a plate that said “INFIDEL” and the ACLU has filed a lawsuit. The press release:
Sep 06 2013
You’d think the city of Dearborn would have learned by now that the First Amendment actually does apply to their city. They’ve now lost another lawsuit over their attempts to restrict the free speech rights of anti-Islam activists, this one over a demand that those holding a legal rally in their city be required to …
Sep 03 2013
Several atheist bloggers from Bangladesh are facing both blasphemy prosecutions and angry mobs of Muslim totalitarians who want to kill them. One of them, Asif Mohiuddin, is out on bail and in hiding, but he’s been exchanging email with Hemant Mehta and Austin Dacey. He told Hemant: