Category Archives: freedom of expression

Oh Lord—now Berkeley students want to ban a commencement address by Bill Maher

I always considered myself pretty much on the left politically. When the University of California at Berkeley had the Free Speech movement fracas back in the 1960s, in which students vehemently asserted their right to discuss political matters in public on campus, I was fully behind it. But somehow, now, I feel like the left is closing circles […]

The first secular invocation at a public meeting in Alabama

According to North Country Public Radio (a subsidiary of NPR), an atheist delivered the opening “invocation” at a city council meeting last month in Huntsville, Alabama. It was the first time in the history of the state (as far as we know) that a secular invocation opened a public meeting in that state. If you […]

Florida decision to distribute Bibles in schools backfires: Satanists can hand out their stuff, too!

Ah, there’s a big kerfuffle in Orange County, Florida, and it’s all the fault of those troublemakers at the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF).  You can see the story at many places, like here, here, and here). The trouble began when the Orange County School District allowed evangelical Christians (“The World Changers of Florida”) to distribute […]

David Gelernter schools the free-speech cowards at Yale

From the National Review online—why must I always cite conservative sites in defense of free speech?—we have an angry but also humorous letter from Professor David Gelernter at Yale, addressed to the cowards who signed the letter protesting the appearance and “hate speech” of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. You’ve probably heard of Gelernter: he’s a polymath who does […]

Yet another university calls for the marginalization of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

UPDATE: I am informed, and it is the case, that the column that looked like it was written by Chris Stedman, which I mention  at the bottom of my post, was actually written by Sarah Jones, described as “Communications Associate for Americans United for Separation of Church and State,” and she was talking about the revocation of […]

U.C. Berkeley chancellor hedges on free speech

Over at the lawyers’ website Popehat, Ken White has posted a letter that Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley (that’s the top dog) sent to all the students, faculty and staff on September 5. White analyzes the letter line by line, and I’m sure, that as a free-speech lawyer, his analysis […]

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, there’s been yet another incident of censorship involving putative offense to religion. Yes, […]


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