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

What would you say if your child wanted to believe in God but you don't? Ethical...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

The 2014 year is coming to an end and theHumanist.com has compiled a list of the...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Tis the season to be a heathen! Check out great freethought merchandise at Evolv...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Five stars for Fighting Back the Right, the new book from AHA's David Niose, fro...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Many humanists celebrate Human Light or the Winter Solstice around this time of...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

A South Carolina school district has agreed to stop sponsoring religious fundrai...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, James Croft discusses the complex issues...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Freethought Fort Wayne, to the American Hu...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

"It’s not just about the freedom to enjoy marijuana anymore...This is about the...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

There's only a few holiday shopping days left: Buy your favorite freethinker a g...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Bill Nye, our favorite science guy, explains evolution by using emoji..."emojica...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Out today! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Congratulations to the Las Vegas Coalition of Reason on the occasion of their of...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanist Service Corps has volunteer positions open beginning in summer 2015...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

In a response to a letter sent by the AHA, today we are pleased to report that t...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Most Americans say they accept Christian displays on public property, regardless...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

UBER car service has been getting in to some trouble lately, but will that stop...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

A date for history, as today marks the anniversary of the ratification of the U....

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

One more day! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Rea...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

It's almost here! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy some comics!

9 days ago