Why is the Right to Blaspheme Important to You?
September 29, 2013
Participants are challenged to convey, in less than 140 characters, why the right to criticize religion is important. Seriously guys, no using ellipses, no "part 1, part 2" nonsense. Just ONE TWEET about blasphemy. Do you think you can do it?
The prizes include cash and free subscriptions to Free Inquiry, as well as recognition on CFI's website.
What Students Are Doing for #blasphemyrights
Students across the world have celebrated International Blasphemy Rights Day since 2009, when it was founded after a student leader suggested the idea to CFI. (You can find some ideas for ways to celebrate on our resource page.)
This year, Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics (AHA) at UW Madison and the Freedom From Religion Foundation hosted "Stone" a Heathen Day to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, clevely combining two current issues they're involved with into one blasphemous and eye-opening event.
With signs saying "Stone" a Heathen, Cure Cancer!, students stood on campus selling water balloons—1 for $1 and 5 for $3—and invited people to "stone" them by dousing them with the balloons. Their signs also listed Bible quotes about stoning. One in particular, Leviticus 24:16, says "Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death."
Rather than using actual stones, the group said:
The bible says to stone atheists to death, we say use water balloons, it's more humane.
All the proceeds from balloons purchased went directly to AHA's Light the Night team, where as a group they are helping raise money for cancer research and treatment.
You can see more splashtastic photos from "Stone" a Heathen Day here.
CFI's International Blasphemy Rights Day Twitter contest is already seeing submissions trickling in. You can see them all, or send us your own submission, using the #IBRDcontest hashtag. But don't forget to read through the contest rules and guidelines before submitting! Here are a few that have come in so far:
Criticising religion as important as criticising oneself and challenging own beliefs. Build respect & knowledge via doubt. #IBRDcontest— kyliesturgess (@kyliesturgess) September 30, 2013
Scientific inquiry without limits creates better science. Likewise, religious inquiry without limits creates better religion. #IBRDcontest— Matthew Ciszek (@mciszek) September 29, 2013
Questioning religious dogma has freed us from much needless suffering. Blasphemy today can lead to a better orthodoxy tomorrow. #IBRDcontest— Lianne Byram (@LianneByram) September 29, 2013
Banning criticism of ideas is banning ideas. #IBRDcontest— SkepticalPoet (@SkepticalPoet) September 29, 2013
Religion is contingent on unquestioning acceptance, so when thought is applied criticism is inevitable and indispensable. #IBRDcontest— Brian Engler (@BrianEngler) September 30, 2013
If you just want to tweet general blasphemous commentary throughout the day, use #blasphemyrights. We'll be there, retweeting and sharing events of the day, via @CFIOnCampus.
About the Author: Sarah Kaiser
Sarah Kaiser is a field organizer for CFI On Campus. Prior to her work at CFI, she got her start in the freethought movement as the co-founder and president of the Secular Alliance at Indiana University, where she helped organize a nationally recognized atheist bus ad campaign and large campus speaking events. As an atheist, a feminist, and a small part of the universe's way of understanding itself, she is thrilled at the chance to help advance CFI's mission. On Twitter: @sarahebkaiser.
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