Tag: censorship

March 4, 2013
screencap of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer during oral arguments

Last Wednesday, John Freshwater, the Mount Vernon middle school teacher fired for proselytizing to his science classes then refusing to stop doing it when he was warned, had his appeal heard before the Ohio Supreme Court. His lawyer attempted to use a routine employment appeal to reopen the debate on teaching creationism in the public schools. Although rulings aren’t signaled based on the questioning during the hearing, it was clear the school attorney, David Smith, got the aggressive part of the questioning.

September 30, 2012
image showing protest signs in Malaysia
Protests by Malaysia Muslims over Innocence Of Muslims film September 2012

September 30th is designated as International Blasphemy Rights Day. This is when we bring awareness to efforts to censor dissent using the false cover of “protecting religious beliefs”. Although very rare in the US, jail time and even death comes to people deemed to have committed Blasphemy. In the US, public bullying sometimes results in “voluntary” self-censorship. Blasphemy laws are bad for freedom. A vibrant society needs and allows dissent in all forms so that the people are able to make informed choices in their lives. And how tolerant we are of dissent says a lot about how we view our country and our freedoms.

What is blasphemy? The dictionary says:

September 25, 2012
image of President Obama speaking to UN 9-25-2012
President Obama speaking to UN 9-25-2012

President Obama spoke to the United Nations on September 25th and the topic of the anti-Muslim video that was posted to the Internet came up as well as the strong protests, some violent riots, that happened in Egypt, Libya, and even in Australia. His message was to reinforce the US Constitution protection of speech and the need to meet dissent not with censorship but with more speech.

August 27, 2011
Holy Bible

In July, the Republic Missouri school district voted to ban two books from the school district libraries and from the classrooms. The two books were “Twenty Boy Summer” by Sarah Ockler and “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut and they were banned for language, sex, and violence. I think if that is the reasoning then one needs to ask if it time to ban the Holy Bible as well. The Bible has some real nasty bits that I wouldn’t want any children to read.

The Bible has a lot of sex in it:

July 28, 2011
Image of a stack of books with a red line through them

The Republic Missouri school district voted 4-0 with 3 absent to remove two books from the high school curriculum and from the library. The books were removed after a single complaint that challenged the use of the books and lesson plans in Republic schools, arguing they teach principles contrary to the Bible. The decision forced the theistic beliefs on all the children who will now not be able to get the books from their school library or study them in class. Can you say hypocrisy?

The two books were “Twenty Boy Summer” by Sarah Ockler and “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut.

June 18, 2009

It was announced on Wednesday that the board of PBS (the Public Broadcasting Service) had voted to prohibit religious programing on PBS stations. I have already seen the faux outrage in the conservative religious community – the ones who believe the government should shove Christianity down everyone’s throat. What the truth in the ban is that PBS stations aren’t allowed to broadcast church services.