Freedom of the Press Foundation

Nonbelievers have a strong interest in free speech and a free press, particularly where freedom to publicly criticize religion in concerned.

This is particularly clear in Islamic contexts, where religion is socially very powerful. Since censorship is usually deployed by the powerful in protection of their interests, it’s understandable that Muslim countries are often in the lead in attempts to suppress mockery and criticism of religion.

In the United States, religion is not quite so powerful now—perhaps this is why we enjoy a greater latitude in confronting religion compared to, say, the nineteenth century with its Comstock laws and so forth. But this doesn’t mean that freedom of speech and a free press are not matters of concern in the US. Reporting and criticism involving powerful corporate and government interests have a way of being directly and indirectly suppressed.

I’d like to be consistent in supporting free speech. I also I don’t want to vulnerable to possible arguments that all societies restrict free speech in matters sacred to them—for Muslims it is religion, for post-Christian Westerners it is money and nationalism. So let me suggest a donation to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, as one way of supporting a free press at home, so we can feel better about supporting a free press abroad.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University


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