Russian Man Faces Prison for Denying Existence of God

Sometimes it can be easy to presume that the problem of blasphemy laws only exists in Muslim countries, but that is not the case. A man in Russia is now on trial for "offending believers' feelings" for saying that there is no God during an argument on social media. He faces a year in prison if convicted. … [Read more...]

Trump Wants to Gut Libel Laws

Donald Trump, who loves to file frivolous lawsuits so he can intimidate his critics, is now pledging to "open up" our libel laws so he can do more of that. And as usual, he thinks if he becomes president he'll have power that he won't have, including the authority to unilaterally overturn Supreme Court decisions. … [Read more...]

Bangladesh Still Censoring Atheist Books and Authors

In Bangladesh, if you express your atheism you have two problems. On the one hand, the government may arrest you and put you in prison; on the other hand, Islamic fascists may hack you to pieces, as they have at least five times already and are threatening more. Those two things are not unrelated. The latest from the government side: … [Read more...]

Egypt Arrests Satirist for Operating Website Without a License

Here's a rather creepy bit of totalitarianism. The Egyptian government has arrested a cartoonist and political satirist who has made fun of the government. This is not unusual in Egypt, which has arrested a great many critics. Their excuse this time? He was operating a website without a license. Seriously. … [Read more...]

Saudi Arabia to Murder Another Apostate

The fascist kingdom of Saudi Arabia is going to put to death -- murder, let's call it what it is -- yet another person for the mere act of leaving Islam. Apostasy is a capital crime in that totalitarian country and the poet Ashraf Fayadh is the latest to be given the death penalty for publishing “something that harms public order, religious values, public morals." … [Read more...]

India Arrests Comedian for ‘Offending Religious Sentiments’

India provides another example of why merely being a democracy does not necessarily mean having a free society, after they arrested a comedian for "offending religious sensibilities" by mocking a well-known guru on television. Such laws are a clear violation of the basic human right of free expression, but they exist in many nations around the world. … [Read more...]

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...]