“Irreverence is the champion of liberty.” –Mark Twain
Free speech is the foundation on which all other liberties rest. Without having the right to express our opinions, however unpopular, those willing to use political clout, violence, and threats will stifle dissent, and we must all suffer the consequences of this. As George Bernard Shaw quipped, “Every great truth begins as a blasphemy.”
Blasphemy Day International is a campaign seeking to establish September 30th as a day to promote free speech and to stand up in a show of solidarity for the freedom to challenge, criticize, and satirize religion without fear of murder, litigation, or reprisal. The event was created as a reaction against those who would seek to take away the right to satirize and criticize a particular set of beliefs that have been given a privileged status over other beliefs.
Blasphemy Day International is a volunteer-coordinated campaign administered by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Campaign for Free Expression.
If you’re a CFI campus group leader, check out event ideas for Blasphemy Day on the CFI On Campus website.
Today is the fourth anniversary of the “outrage” supposedly generated by the release of four cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. There were riots all over the Islamic world, and many Muslims were killed expressing outrage for the “dastardly” act of printing the cartoons. One of the original cartoons that caused the outrage is above.
If one is going to believe silly things, one must occasionally put up with derision and ridicule, and religion should not be exempt. For my part, I have no “belief” in the supernatural, and that includes gods, goddesses, fairies, (including Tinkerbell), angels, devils, trolls or “holy” spirits. In the United States, I am perfectly free, not only to say that but also to say it in whatever context I wish.
You do not have the right not to be offended!