‘The Master’

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
September 30, 2012

In the new film The Master, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the leader of a New Agey, quasi-religious cult which draws troubled people into their fold. 

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The First Amendment Provides Full Protection to Innocence of Muslims

by Edward Tabash
September 28, 2012

Questions have arisen over whether the internet film Innocence of Muslims (or its 14-minute trailer) should be considered protected by the First Amendment. The very core of free speech would be nullified if it were denied constitutional protection.

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Sexism, Activism, and All-Male Clubs

A Skeptic Reads the Newspaper with Benjamin Radford
September 28, 2012

What should we do about private organizations who have sexist policies? Sometimes we stand up to them; sometimes we don't. 

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The Morning Heresy 9/28/12: Churning

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 28, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Ron Lindsay, on the eve of International Blasphemy Rights Day, previews CFI's upcoming Campaign for Free Expression, which will highlight the many cases you've read about here of doubters and dissidents persecuted for thinking for themselves. 

One reason our concern for the freedom of others should not stop at our borders is because the desire of the dogmatists to regulate speech does not stop at their borders. 

We have an exclusive of sorts on the blog, as a supporter gathers up the news from Greece about the blasphemy charges leveled against an atheist for mocking a deceased Greek Orthodox monk on Facebook. Here's the Change.org petition on the Greek case.

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International Blasphemy Rights Day 2012

No Faith Value with Ronald A. Lindsay
September 28, 2012

International Blasphemy Rights Day (IBRD)—September 30—is almost here, and that’s a good thing because freedom of expression can definitely use a rallying point. From many governments, there has been a stronger push to prohibit “offensive” speech about religion than we have witnessed in years.

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“Elder Pastitsios” Arrest Rekindles Debate on Blasphemy Laws in Greece

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 28, 2012

The following post comes to us from CFI supporter Simon, who grew up in Greece and has been following a new case of persecution for blasphemy -- a case which has been largely ignored by the English-speaking media.  

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On Friday September 21 in the village of Psahna in the Evia Prefecture of Greece, the Police Electronic Crimes Unit arrested* a 27 year old male atheist Greek citizen on charges of malicious blasphemy and offense of religion. His name has not been made available publicly due to to the country's privacy laws.

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Atheist Giving More Compassion-Driven than Giving By the Religious

Advocatus Diaboli with Tom Flynn
September 27, 2012

Don't know how I missed this before, but a study appearing in the July 2012 issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science finds that atheists are more motivated by compassion than givers with strong religious beliefs. This was not a study of whether atheists give more or less than churchgoers -- that's a whole other controversy -- but rather a study of why religious and nonreligious givers give.

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The Morning Heresy 9/27/12: Fragile, Easily Bruised Feelings

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 27, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

The big story remains the issue of blasphemy and the fate of free expression. 

Al Jazeera has a TV piece on the relentless calls from Muslim nations to criminalize blasphemy. 

At Friendly Atheist, I highlight President Obama's speech to the UN yesterday, and laud his unabashed defense of free speech and opposition to blasphemy laws. 

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“The Master”  (A Nickell-odeon Review)

Investigative Briefs with Joe Nickell
September 26, 2012

Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman in the title role, is a stunning, must-see movie.

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The Morning Heresy 9/26/12: Homegrown Blasphemy Laws

The Morning Heresy with Paul the Morning Heretic
September 26, 2012

Your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities. 

Did you catch the president's address to the UN yesterday? You should. In it, he came down hard on the side of free expression and against using hurt religious feelings as an excuse for violence. Here's the complete text. Lauren Markoe at RNS rounds up some of the bigger points.

A survey from a state-run pollster says that 80% of Russians want a new law that inflicts harsher penalties for blasphemy. Take this with a heavy grain of salt.

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