Category Archives: freedom of expression

Was Ayaan Hirsi Ali censored?

I’m always amused by those readers who, because I’ve blocked them on one ground or another, send me angry emails accusing me of censoring them.  But that’s not really censorship; it’s my website and I have the right to determine what appears on it. Those people have every right to start their own website, and, to be […]

Muslims shut down university screenings of film about Islam and women

American colleges, it seems, are hardly bastions of free speech, a thesis eloquently documented on the website of FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and in the book Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of Debate, by FIRE founder Greg Lukianoff .(I have a spare copy which I’ll soon offer as a prize in […]

No free speech in India

India is one of my favorite countries in the world: it’s filled with friendly and ambitious people (whose poverty often stifles their aspirations), it’s beautiful, diverse, and, of course, the food is wonderful.  I’ve been there half a dozen times, and will return this next winter. India is also is supposed to be the world’s […]

Still more religious craziness at British universities

The battle against the incursions of faith is leavened by moments of delicious irony. This is one of them, related to the London School of Economics’ banning of Jesus and Mo tee-shirts. According to reader Grania, who sent the link from Politics.co.uk, there’s been yet another incident of censorship involving putative offense to religion. Yes, […]

Three good new books on secularism and atheism

This first book isn’t really new, since it came out in 2012, but it’s new to me since I’ve just finished it. It’s Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship the the End of American Debate by Greg Lukianoff. Lukianoff is president of FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), an estimable organization devoted to preserving freedom […]

Still more on the Jesus and Mo kerfuffle

A few days ago I described censorship at the London School of Economics, where secular students at the Fresher’s Fair were forced to cover up their Jesus and Mo teeshirts, and remove “offensive” material (i.e., stuff critical of Islam) from their booth. This, apparently, was the doing of the Student Union of the LSE, and […]

Next university corrupted by Templeton: Stanford

Well, Templeton has got its sticky fingers into Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the UK, and now it begins its insidious incursions into American universities. It’s long given big grants to individual professors or groups of professors in this country, but now it’s founding programs and clinics that, unlike grants, tend to go on for […]

New report on discrimination against nonbelievers

The International Humanist and Ethical Union has issued a long report on worldwide discrimination against atheists:  “Freedom of thought 2012: A global report on discrimination against humanists, atheists, and the nonreligious” (“FT2012″; free download at link). The report was created with the cooperation of the American Humanist Association, the Center for Inquiry, the Richard Dawkins […]

I get email

I’m always astonished by the number of people who misunderstand what the First Amendment really means about religion (and how the courts have subsequently interpreted it) and are ignorant about the history of how that amendment came about. It’s as if that Jefferson, Madison, et al. (granted, many of them deists) didn’t really mean to […]

Victory for first amendment: judge rules that Santa Monica can ban nativity scenes

A correct legal decision for the wrong reasons! Still, here’s an early holiday present: according to The Los Angeles Times, nativity scenes will not be allowed in a public park in Santa Monica, California: In a closely watched case that has attracted national attention, Judge Audrey B. Collins denied a request from the Santa Monica […]

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