AHA News |  

What the Libyan Embassy Attack Teaches Us About True Religious Freedom

Posted: 09/13/2012 2:00 pm

The news swept the globe this week of the senseless killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members by an angry mob upset with a movie made in America. While we are immensely saddened by this unnecessary loss of life, some recent statements made by government officials apologizing for the movie and condemning those that made it are concerning.

Certainly, people, religious or not, should be treated with respect, but that doesn't mean that religious ideas are immune to criticism or parody. And no matter how strong one's principles of religious freedom are, there is no excuse for violent actions taken by individuals on the grounds of defending their faith from outside criticism.

True religious freedom requires that people are able to believe as they so choose, but it also demands the ability to be free from belief and to question beliefs as one sees fit. Ideally, criticism should be constructive and remain polite and reasoned, but even if the remarks made are vulgar and offensive, the same legal protections regarding free speech and religious freedom must be maintained. 

To read the rest of this Huffington Post article by AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, click here.

 

American Humanist Association

Phil Robertson's most recent hateful comments about non-theists and rape were ou...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

We are happy to announce the 2015 AHA Keynote Speaker for this year's annual con...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Northeast Ohio Humanist Association, to th...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Birthday to the incredible Gloria Steinem! Gloria was AHA's 2012 Humanist...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

We want to hear from you! Please take a minute to complete this survey on the A...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

For those who "liked" our page today after watching last night's CNN segment on...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

This website is so cool! You can buy a t-shirt, poster or tote with the entire...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Our friends at the United Church of Bacon (yes, it's real!) were recently discri...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Do you think public schools should continue to observe religious holidays?

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

More Americans are turning away from organized religion! Watch AHA Communication...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The new Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt adds a little humor to doomsday...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Over half of the population in the US would not support an atheist presidential...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Our friends Harry and Charlotte Shaughnessy of the Triangle Freethought Society...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Join the community that led activists like Steve Ahlquist and others to a deeper...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Have a great weekend, happy humanists! #dayofhappiness

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

"Do You Believe?" the latest Christian film just released today in theaters, app...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Have you seen "Chappie"? Tell us what you thought.

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA conference is right around the corner and we can't wait! Join us in De...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Episode 19 of the Cartoon History of Humanism is out now!

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Which major U.S. cities have the most religiously unaffiliated residents?

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Latest Huffington Post article from AHA Executive Director, Roy Speckhardt. Whe...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Through a cooperative program between Foundation Beyond Belief and the American...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

If you're planning to attend the AHA Conference in Denver in May and you live in...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

What do specific groups think about scientific issues?

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Trying to ban marriage for any non-religious person? What is the deal Oklahoma?

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Brotherhood that breeds hate for their fellow Humans. How do these groups still...

12 days ago