Posts Tagged ‘ Freedom of speech ’

Shut up so that you won’t have to shut up

Apr 18th, 2011 11:42 am | By

Another thing about Ruse’s claim.

Most of all I detest the New Atheism because I think it is playing into the hands of the Religious Right.

But if you decide it’s Forbidden to say certain things lest you “play into the hands of the Religious Right” then you are already playing into the hands of the Religious Right. If you give up the right to free speech as a precaution against theocracy then you are already in a theocracy. It doesn’t make sense to give up secular rights in order to hang on to secular rights.

I don’t want the religious Right deciding what I can say. I don’t want to defer to their sensitivities or their unreasonable beliefs. … Read the rest



Paul Sims on the Harry Taylor question

Apr 28th, 2010 2:56 pm | By

I don’t disagree with Paul Sims on all points, but I do on some.

If Taylor had been convicted for publishing the images in a magazine, or on a website, where members of the public have the choice not to buy or visit, I would strongly oppose his conviction. But this isn’t what Taylor did – he placed the images in a room provided for the religious to quietly practise their faith, away from public space.

But why is a room provided in an airport for the religious to quietly practise their faith? Rooms aren’t provided for the religious to quietly practise their faith in supermarkets and bookshops and bus terminals and parks, so why in airports? And if … Read the rest



Be Quieters v atheists

Apr 25th, 2010 12:36 pm | By

It reminds me of the old Bugs Bunny line – “Of course you know, this means war.”

This means war. The grotesque punishment meted out to Harry Taylor might as well be an official government announcement that atheists have no rights.

It is a common accusation that the “new” atheists are bullies who gang up on poor innocent bystanders like Mooney and De Dora and other Be Quieters.

Well – not so fast. Let’s pause and consider. Who exactly is bullying whom?

Which is the majoritarian view? Which is the conventional wisdom? Atheism? Hardly. No, the majoritarian conventional wisdom is, at the very least, that religion deserves an almost infinite amount of “respect” and that any atheist who falls short … Read the rest



It’s even more of an outrage than I thought

Apr 25th, 2010 11:47 am | By

Manic street preacher reports that

Mr Taylor seemed like a perfectly rational, intelligent and calm man who wanted to put his point across and was certainly not the “crackpot” that several bloggers, including myself to an extent, had presumed him to be. He was clearly still deeply affected by his horrendous childhood experiences of a strict Catholic upbringing by the Christian Brotherhood and was so distressed by the prospect of receiving a custodial sentence that he had to leave the courtroom midway through the hearing after nearly fainting.

He also quotes the Telegraph with more and even nastier details:

Judge James told him: “Not only have you shown no remorse for what you did but even now you continue to

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It’s an outrage

Apr 24th, 2010 11:38 am | By

Harry Taylor left some religion-mocking leaflets and cartoons in a “prayer room” at Liverpool airport. (Why does Liverpool airport have a “prayer room”?) For that he was charged with “three counts of causing religiously aggravated harassment” and convicted by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court. He was given a suspended six-month sentence and an Asbo forbidding him to carry anti-religious leaflets in public.

One of the posters Taylor left at the airport depicted a smiling crucified Christ next to an advert for a brand of “no nails” glue. In another, a cartoon depicted two Muslims holding a placard demanding equality with the caption: “Not for women or gays, obviously.” A third poster showed Islamic suicide bombers at the gates

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