Free Speech Isn’t Necessarily True Speech

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Limits to Religious Freedom

Since Tuesday is Constitution Day, and I will be gathering students from my course on “Religion and Freedom of Expression” soon for the first time to talk about Randall Bezanson’s book How Free Can Religion Be?, I thought I would see if there is interest in discussing the topic on this blog. As a starting [Read More...]

Freedom of Expression and Religion

Butler University’s Seminar on Religion and World Civilization public lecture series for the coming year is on the topic “Freedom of Expression and Religion.” If you click through, you will see that there are four interesting topics lined up: “Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Faith: Understanding the First Amendment and Its Global Implications”; “Islam and Free Expression”; “Mr. Putin [Read More...]

Intellectual Honesty vs. Statements of Faith

This coming academic year I will be teaching a class that runs in parallel to an annual public lecture series. The coming year’s topic is “Religion and Freedom of Speech.” It will look at the first amendment, specific examples related to Islam and to Russia, and academic freedom. In relation to that last point, here [Read More...]

Christmas and Religious Freedom

Jim West shared this cartoon (for what reason I will not speculate): I find the cartoon bizarre. I don't think that whoever made it has any concept of either the setting into which Jesus was born or how religious freedom is safeguarded in the United States in ways that were unimagined then. Back then, there [Read More...]

Blasphemy Against the Sith?

Leah Libresco has a post about the nature of blasphemy, in which she shared this image, which I also found shared today on the Atheist Revolution blog : In her post, Libresco asks whether it is possible to commit blasphemy if you are not first convinced of the holiness of that which you then in insult. [Read More...]

Freedom of Speech = Freedom to Insult, to Criticize, and to Apologize

Many of the recent discussions about “free speech” in connection with the internet video about Islam called “Innocense of Muslims,” the violent reactions to it, and the apologies for it, seem to me to miss the point. In our democracy, within limits to ensure that the safety of people is safeguarded, people can express themselves [Read More...]

Even Fred Phelps is not Completely Useless

From the post “Fred Phelps: Why it is not possible to believe that you ate Chick-fil-A because of ‘freedom of speech’” on the blog Slacktivist. Poster courtesy of “Christians Against the Tea Party” on Facebook. [Read more...]

So You Wanna Talk About Free Speech?

A lot of people have brought up “freedom of speech” and related phrases in discussion of the current expressions of support for and protest against Chick-fil-A and its CEO Dan Cathy. But freedom of speech is only the issue at one very specific point in the controversy. No one should be denying the free speech of [Read More...]


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