Tag Archives: religious dissent

Brunsman Wants Every Student To Know They Can Opt-Out Of The Beliefs Of The Cultural Mainstream

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offical image of August E. Brunsman IV, Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance
August E. Brunsman IV, Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance

I have known August Brunsman, Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), for at least 13 years through my Humanist group in Columbus Ohio. I got to watch from the front row as SSA hatched and grew into the premium secular student group in the United States it is today. SSA, as a group, has little drama and they seem to do things right. I conducted an e-mail interview with August asking a range of questions from when his first act of religious dissent was, what is a major issue facing secular students today, and his feelings on the current and sometimes fiery debate over sexism in secular groups.
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Real Religious Persecution: Pakistani Girl, 14, Shot By Taliban Over Activism

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image of Malala Yousufzai
Malala Yousufzai – Dissenter

Here in the US, we take for granted that the worse thing expected by speaking out against the religious right is name calling, verbal threats, and maybe some vandalism. It’s easy for us to imagine not risking our life just for speaking out because it rarely happens. Malala Yousufzai, a Pakistani girl who spoke out against the Taliban when they closed her school in 2009, was shot in the head by the Taliban in an attempt to assassinate her.
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Happy International Blasphemy Rights Day

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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.
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