IHEU Issues 2015 Freedom of Thought Report

The International Humanist and Ethical Union has issued its annual Freedom of Thought Report, which documents discrimination around the world against atheists, humanists and the non-religious. The report was made public on International Human Rights Day in Brussels, Amsterdam and Washington, DC. Unfortunately, it got little press attention in this country. … [Read more...]

Cruz: Obama Has Banned Anti-Muslim Speech

Ted Cruz is once again telling a whopper of a lie, claiming that President Obama has banned anti-Muslim speech. You know, the kind of speech he and millions of others engage in every day with no one even telling them they can't, much less doing anything to prevent it. "It's against the law to say what I'm saying right now." Then why aren't you being arrested? … [Read more...]

Bush Leadership PAC Eviscerates Trump’s Lawyer

Charles Spies is one of the biggest of the big Republican lawyers. Former chief counsel for the Romney campaign, counsel to the RNC and a hundred different Super PACs and other organizations. I knew Charles when he was in high school. My debate team and his traveled together a lot, so I got to know him pretty well. Thought he was a weenie then and still do. But this letter he wrote to Trump's lawyers after they threatened to sue a leadership PAC for whom he is counsel is brilliant and hilarious. … [Read more...]

Notes on the ‘Inciting Violence’ Exception to the First Amendment

In the wake of the terrorist attack on a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, I've seen a lot of people demand that various anti-abortion zealots be criminally charged with inciting violence, conspiracy or being an accessory before the fact. This post will explain why such charges are incredibly unlikely and would be nearly impossible to make stick if a prosecutor did bring them. … [Read more...]

Badawi May Be Pardoned for His ‘Crimes’

Some tentatively wonderful news regarding Raid Badawi, the Saudi atheist blogger sentence to years in prison and 1000 lashes. According to a Swiss diplomat, his sentence has been suspended, which may pave the way for King Salman of Saudi Arabia to pardon him for his "crime" of blasphemy. It's not entirely clear exactly what's going on, but someone I know who is friends with Badawi's wife says this story is "partially accurate" and seems hopeful. … [Read more...]

Ben Carson Wants to Ban Religious Hate Speech

Ben Carson released his plan to defeat ISIS in a Washington Post column on Wednesday and, as one might expect, it's mostly ignorant babble for someone who is utterly clueless about virtually everything. That includes the Constitution, because the weirdest part of his plan is that he wants to ban religious hate speech -- but only Muslim hate speech, I'm sure. … [Read more...]

Bangladeshi Government Has Screwed Up Priorities

Islamic terrorists have gone on a killing spree throughout Bangladesh, particularly targeting atheist and secular writers and those who publish their writings. So what is the prime minister of that country doing about it? Warning people not to say or write anything that offends the religious sensibilities of others. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has this appalling message: … [Read more...]

Anti-Westboro Baptist Protesters Challenge Topeka Ordinance

Well this is certainly a fascinating development. The Westboro Baptist Church has gone all the way to the Supreme Court to (successfully) defend their right to protest at funerals, and now a group that protests outside their church every week is challenging a Topeka ordinance that forbids "focused protests" outside churches. The protesters were charged with a misdemeanor for violating the ordinance. … [Read more...]

Graham Goes to Russia, Praises Putin for Banning Gay ‘Propaganda’

The extremely bigoted Franklin Graham took a trip to Russia and took the opportunity to praise that country and Vladimir Putin for their authoritarian and free speech-destroying law that puts people in jail for "gay propaganda," which includes doing things like waving a rainbow flag. He also criticized Obama for his evil, sinful, anti-Christian ways. … [Read more...]

Trump: First Amendment for Me, Not for Thee

Trevor Timm at the Columbia Journalism Review looks at Donald Trump's hypocritical history with the First Amendment and lawsuits. He has repeatedly had reporters thrown out of his campaign events or denied the right to cover them, and when Univision canceled the airing of the Miss Universe pageant after he said Mexican immigrants were rapists and murderers, he claimed this violated his free speech rights. But he'll happily sue or threaten to use anyone who says things about him that he doesn't … [Read more...]

Benham Brothers Again Confuse Criticism With Censorship

"Is Mets star free to express himself?" asks the headline on the latest Worldnetdaily column from Jason and David Benham, two wingnut brothers who appear to share a brain (or part of one). The two lunkhead frat boys have a very difficult time with that whole coherent thinking thing, which explains why they can't seem to tell the difference between criticism and censorship. … [Read more...]

School Official Upset That Students are Informed of Their Rights

In Florida, state law requires schools to lead students in reciting the pledge of allegiance every day but also requires them to inform students that they have a right not to do so. The superintendent of the Santa Rosa County school district doesn't like that posting requirement and is publicly making it clear that if he had his way, he would keep students ignorant of their First Amendment rights. … [Read more...]