The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States forbids any law “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” and yet conservatives have spent centuries trying to do exactly that. Freedom of speech or of the press refer to the same thing—the ability voice beliefs or ideas, however unpopular, without fear of punishment for speaking up. As a governmental right, it was a slowly-won one that lies at the heart of democracy. The right to speak up is no more and no less than the right to think freely without arrest or prosecution. Haught surveys the history of censorship from suppressing heterodoxy and nonconfirmity to sexual censorship up through our present day era of religion-driven murder for saying or doing the "wrong" things.
Most people (whether they are religious or not) either assume or were taught that the Israelites were, and had always been, monotheistic: that they believed in only one God and thus worshiped Yahweh only. Is this idea based on truth, tradition, or maybe assumption? In this paper, Jason Gibson attempts to uncover the truth—a truth that most people are unaware of, and one that, were it common knowledge, could signal the end of all of the Abrahamic religions. Were the ancient Israelites henotheistic? If acknowledged, the answer could change the world as we know it.
In this article, Floyd Wells provides a legal challenge to the indictment of mankind by the Abrahamic religions, which hold that we will all come back as zombies at the end of the world to stand trial for our misdeeds. Using logic and reason, as well as national and international law, Wells attacks the basic premise that mankind is guilty due to an infraction committed by the first generation of humans in the Garden of Eden. What results is a legal brief to be litigated on Judgment Day in the unlikely event that such a day should ever arrive, a showdown in which humans hold the moral high ground.
An embellished and creatively written history of the origins and development of a Canaanite tribe underlies Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. None of the myriad of documents from ancient Egypt ever mention hundreds of thousands of foreign slaves leaving following a series of catastrophes, for example, nor has any archaeological evidence of the movement of a supposed half a million refugees from the Sinai peninsula ever been uncovered. Nevertheless, the Jesus of the Gospels seems to concur with this erroneous version of history, affirming the Genesis creation myth, the existence of the mythological Noah and Abraham, and the historicity of Moses' exodus, among other things. The Qur'an and Islamic exegesis subscribe to the historicity of such people and events no less. The arbitrary selection of Yahweh—the Canaanite god of metallurgy—from the vast Canaanite pantheon of gods over 2,500 years ago has had a profound effect on the belief systems of billions of people who have lived since.
"Liberals and leftists have acquired a reputation of shying away from any criticism of Islam. We liberals are well trained to be sensitive to whether our speech sounds appropriate. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, many liberals condemned the blasphemy and the imagined racism of the murdered cartoonists as well as the violence. People who complain about "political correctness" have begun to speak of a "regressive left" that attempts to shut down any speech that may offend minority identities, particularly the religion and politics of Muslim immigrants. All this frustrates those of us who come from a Muslim background, but identify as secular liberals. If I had my way, liberals and leftists would start doing things differently."
In the last century, many religious, autocratic and punitive traditions have been challenged by atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and human-rights activists who want to create a democratic, secular and humanist world. The irony is that while some communities are becoming more liberal, others are becoming more fundamentalist. In the last few decades, thousands of men and women have been arrested and punished under blasphemy laws all over the world. In some countries, people have taken the law into their own hands and killed those accused of blasphemy.
Lisa Hickey was asked how she reconciles all of the religious ceremonies of the day with the fact that she is an atheist. Here is her answer.
The fundamental question in the 21st century is whether Muslims all over the world want to send their children to religious schools to learn scriptures and divine revelations or to secular schools to study modern science, psychology and philosophy. Crucial to the future of humanity is the choice Muslims in the Middle East will make: to create fundamentalist, militant and theocratic Islamic states, or democratic, secular and humanistic states.
The modern Islamic "cult of death baffles most Westerners. Logical minds cannot comprehend why idealistic young men, and even a few women, volunteer to sacrifice their lives to slaughter unsuspecting, unarmed folks. It makes no sense.
To have a better understanding of the psyche of Al-Qaeda we need to understand the ideology, personality and political strategy of the organization's leaders as well as their followers. Their vision of Islam was not limited to a few countries--it was to be implemented across the whole world according to God's wish as expressed in the Quran, and they were determined to make that wish a reality. They dreamed of world domination.
Although radical Islam is spreading, not much is known in Western countries about the Koran, and there seems to be an unwillingness to have a closer look at the book. Yet without this, informed discussion is impossible, and what debate does take place is no more than an exchange of opinion and ignorance. Amongst other things, the Koran is said to call for holy war and to sanction domestic violence. But when asked about this, Muslims and Western apologists flatly deny this. They maintain that the Koran does not preach violence, only compassion and justice (and one should well ask whose justice)--yet the Koran does not support their claims. One cannot rebut them without precise quotes. I have gone through the Koran and precisely referenced some very disturbing passages to bring these issues out into the open and to stimulate much-needed discussion, issues raised which need to be addressed openly and publicly, in the West and in Muslim countries alike.
The Left, unashamedly, allies itself with Islamists in North America in the name of politically correct cultural relativism that says that the social and moral values of immigrants should be interpreted in the terms of the culture they have migrated from. It is quite ironic that the Left that is in constant struggle against the Christian Right on issues like abortion, gay marriage, teaching evolution in public schools, etc. is engaged in this unholy alliance with Islamists who have an identical social agenda as the Christian Right.
Christians today denounce atrocities committed by their religious forebears during the Inquisition and Crusades. President Bush calls Islam a "religion of peace," despite the murder of American innocents on 9/11 in the name of Allah. Violence in the name of religion is often portrayed as the purview of psychopaths who twist the divine word of God to suit their own destructive purposes. But is religious violence a problem of people, or a problem of scripture?
George Walker Bush relates that he relied on guidance from "a higher Father" as he came to the decision to invade Iraq. Now that it's apparent that the best case scenario for Operation Iraqi Freedom will be a moderate Islamic republic aligned with Iran, and the worst case scenario a metastasizing war between Sunnis and Shiites spreading throughout the Middle East, perhaps it's time to address some questions surrounding President Bush's initial decision to go to war.
President Bush's domestic agenda of promoting "faith" could be jeopardizing our strategy and chances of victory in the war on terror. By mindlessly backing "faith-based groups," Bush and his advisors might be playing right into the hands of Islamic fanatics and their sympathizers.