The Course of Reason

Campus Groups Celebrate International Blasphemy Rights Day

October 12, 2012

International Blasphemy Rights Day, held each year on September 30, is a day to promote the rights to freedom of belief and expression and stand up in a show of solidarity for the liberty to challenge reigning religious beliefs without fear of murder, litigation, or reprisal. The event is administered by CFI as part of its Campaign for Free Expression.

Campus and off-campus groups around the world highlighted freedom of expression by putting on events, hosting art shows, chalking, holding banned book readouts and lectures on censorship, watching "blasphemous" movies like Life of Brian, and inviting people to write on free expression boards, among other things.

The Illini Secular Student Alliance held a comedy show on campus with blasphemous atheist comedian Jamie Kilstein:

jamie kilstein 

The next day, they hosted hair dryer debaptisms and put up a "Wall o' Blasphemy" on the quad:

de baptismwall o' blasphemy 

The University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance's event drew some media attention-they offered cookies in exchange for souls and set up a Pascal's Wager wheel:

U of S students celebrate Blasphemy Day headline 

The Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists at the University of Minnesota celebrated with chalking: "[s]tudents were encouraged by C.A.S.H to draw whatever they wanted as long as it was respectful to other people. The drawings had all been defaced by the following morning." The event inspired a dialogue about free expression on campus:

Draw Mohammad Day

Thanks to all the campus groups who participated in International Blasphemy Rights Day this year!

About the Author: Debbie Goddard

Debbie Goddard's photo
Debbie Goddard is the campus outreach coordinator at the Center for Inquiry and the director of African Americans for Humanism. Before working for CFI, she participated in local freethought groups in the greater Philadelphia region and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a volunteer. She has also been involved with LGBTQ issues and progressive activism.




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