AHA News |  

Religious Freedom on the Brink

by Roy Speckhardt, executive director American Humanist Association

It's time to reconsider recent reasons for optimism regarding worldwide religious freedom. In September I wrote about how the Libyan embassy attack taught the world that true religious freedom requires not just that people are able to believe as they so choose, but it also demands the ability to be free from imposed belief and be able to question beliefs as one sees fit. Some leaders like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon capitalized on the teachable moment to show humanity that while words can hurt, they never justify violence or oppression. But unfortunately, violence in the Middle East and elsewhere continues the long-running tendency to link blood and blasphemy. We haven't outgrown the outdated attitudes from ancient civilizations where people like Anaxagoras were condemned to death for denying or questioning the existence of gods and a law was adopted that denounced " those who do not believe in the divine beings or who teach doctrines about things in the sky."

It seems as though many in the world are far more eager to use religion as a tool for consolidating power than are interested in protecting religious freedom and free speech. Countries such as Pakistan, Greece, and Egypt are imprisoning those who dare to speak their mind about religion and belief in general. This undemocratic crackdown on speech is worrying not only because it threatens the concept of religious freedom, but because real human beings around the world are suffering from the effects of this renewed tyrannical campaign that goes on where the attempts to impose blasphemy laws at the UN left off in 2011.

To read the rest of this Huffington Post article, click here.

American Humanist Association

Portland, Maine, newspaper editorial supports student leaders who want to inform...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

What are the top three religions in your state?

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

In his latest Huffington Post article, Roy Speckhardt discusses the dangers of p...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Why are more and more young women identifying less with religion?

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Where do the 25 most populous countries stand in terms of their religious restri...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Humanists of Linn County, to the American...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanist Press is proud to announce the release of its latest book, Belief a...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Clay Farris Naff sat down with Ryan Bell, the former senior pastor at the Hollyw...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association expresses shock and sorrow over another atheis...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Do you ever feel pressured to participate in religious practices simply because...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Did Jesus have long hair? Nah. Was he nailed to a cross? Most likely not. The b...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out the latest trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities from the P...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Well, this is cool! What if US dollar notes were redesigned to honor science, ra...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another great step for humanism! Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard, has...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

A few days ago, the AHA sent letters to newly elected members of Congress, askin...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

According to Larry King, "I don't believe that I'm going anywhere. I'm not relig...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's Merrill Miller reviews the new documentary "She's Beautiful When She's Ang...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Time for another humanist question. Why do humanists/atheists still spell god wi...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association has sent letters to newly elected members of C...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Would you go to Mars knowing you would not return?

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

BREAKING NEWS!! ATHEIST comedian is running for California state senate!!

11 days ago