In Commencement Address, Author Ian McEwan Defends Free Speech on Campus, Even if You Disagree With It

In his commencement address on Sunday at Dickinson College, English novelist Ian McEwan spoke about the importance of free speech and not censoring or running away from ideas we don’t agree with.

It’s a pressing issue on many campuses these days, with “safe spaces” and trigger warnings and protests against critics of religion (like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Bill Maher), and McEwan words couldn’t have come at a better time. His comments referenced Christopher Hitchens, the recent PEN Awards, and Charlie Hebdo.

Please take some time to listen to it:



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Charlie Hebdo Cartoonist Says He’ll Be Leaving the Publication in September: It’s Too Much to Bear

Rénald Luzier (below), better known as Luz, is one of the (remaining) cartoonists for Charlie Hebdo.

According to news reports, he avoided the same fate as his colleagues because he overslept and was late to work the day they were massacred. It’s fitting, then, that he illustrated the cover of the first issue following the attacks:

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60 Minutes Report on Child Suicide Bombers

Just in case you needed to be a little more depressed today, here’s a recent 60 Minutes report on child suicide bombers: how they’re recruited and why they would ever do such a thing:



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Bill Nye, the Science Guy is Now Available on Netflix

I suspect many of you will be thrilled to learn that Season 1 of Bill Nye, the Science Guy (the TV show from the 1990s, for those of you too young to experience quality television) is now available on Netflix:



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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 55: Ryan Cragun, Author of How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps

Our latest podcast guest is Dr. Ryan T. Cragun, an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tampa and the author of books including What You Don’t Know About Religion (but Should).

His latest is called How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps.

We spoke with Dr. Cragun about whether religious fervor is cyclical or fading, why religious holidays should become secular, and the surprising thing churches can do to stop the shifting trend away from religion.

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