Category Archives: freedom of religion

4 in 10 American Millennials, and half of Europeans, think that government should be able to ban “hate speech”

This 2015 Pew poll was mentioned by Lionel Shriver in her piece about the policing of literature tthat I discussed the other day. It shows a surprising degree of censoriousness in various Western countries.  Pew asked people in the U.S. and Europe the following question: We asked whether people believe that citizens should be able […]

British Humanists come out against “hate speech”

Two years ago I gave the Darwin Day talk in London for the British Humanist Association, which has now changed its name to Humanists UK.  I much admired the group—and still do—because they actually engage in real action to promote humanism and secularism, and I like the people who run it. But they’re not perfect, I […]

Steve Paikin discusses freedom of speech with five Canadian professors

Wilfred Laurier’s attempt to stifle/punish Lindsay Shepherd for playing a bit of Jordan Peterson video in her class has ignited a big debate in Canada, none of which would have happened had Shepherd not been savvy enough to tape the meeting in which she was admonished, and then to release the tape to the press. […]

Bisexual student threatened by a University of Texas official after saying he said he didn’t have a “high opinion of Islam” because he’d be killed in some Muslim countries

This report comes from the Volokh Conspiracy site at the Washington Post, which got it from Gay Star News. The quote below, from the WaPo, includes links where you can hear the audio recording and read the transcript that documents the incident. In short, Alfred MacDonald, a bisexual philosophy student at the University of Texas […]

Bill Maher and his guests on punching Nazis

Reader Eli sent me a 5-minute video from a new segment of Bill Maher’s “Real Time” show about punching Nazis. The three guests are Tom Morello (Musician, “Rage Against the Machine”), April Ryan, a journalist and author, and journalist John Heilemann.  Maher gives the recent example of a guy on a Seattle bus wearing a swastika armband. […]

Doubts cast on recent survey of college students’ attitudes toward free speech

Four days ago I wrote about the results of a poll of American college students’ attitudes towards free speech. That poll was conducted by UCLA professor and Brookings senior fellow John Villasenor, and was supported by the Charles Koch Foundation. The results were scary, with 44% of all students thinking that hate speech is not protected by […]

Jonathan Pie on the causes of and reactions to the Manchester bombing

The schtick of Jonathan Pie (real name Tom Walker) is to act as if he’s a news reporter doing a story, and then suddenly to lurch into a passionate and angry rant about one thing or another. As time passes, though, the rants seem to be getting a little less funny, but more than compensate for […]

Ann Coulter banned at Berkeley

I’ve always despised the conservative commentator Ann Coulter, especially for writing a book that largely made fun of those who accept evolution. In fact, I wrote a satirical piece for the New Republic excoriating her dumb anti-evolution book Godless (my piece, called “Coultergeist“, is free online). But I’m also for free speech, which trumps (pardon the […]

Welcome to the Regressive Left in the Trump era: no “safe spaces” for those you oppose

I was saddened to hear about the violence in D.C. this weekend, with over 100 people arrested and substantial damage to property.  If a march is to succeed, it should be nonviolent, as was the case with the civil rights and Vietnam marches in the Sixties (yes, I know there was some violence).  If the Left […]

University of Chicago graduate claims that disrupting debates promotes healthy, educational discourse

When I read this op-ed in the Maroon, the University of Chicago student newspaper, I thought it was by a current student of the snowflake variety, but it turned out that the author of “No debate without defiance” was one Matthew Andersson, who got his masters of business administration from our school in 1996. From this you learn two […]