International Blasphemy Rights Day is September 30!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.
Carl Sagan Day is November 9!As creator and host of the original COSMOS series, Carl Sagan shared with the world the beauty and wonder of the cosmos, inspiring generations of people to explore and learn more about science. CFI and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry had the honor of working with Dr. Sagan for twenty years, and we now celebrate his birthday as Carl Sagan Day every November 9. You and your group can celebrate with us by hosting an event on your campus or in your community!
It’s mid-October. If you’re a leader of a CFI On Campus affiliate group, you’re probably finishing up the planning for a Halloween event or Carl Sagan Day, counting down the days until Thanksgiving break and maybe, possibly, studying for midterms. What you’re probably not thinking about, but should be thinking about, is what your group will be doing in the spring.
This article was originally posted on unifreethought.com.When I was in high school, I had a lot of complaints about how and what we were taught. As a Civil War enthusiast, I was once given a detention when I told my sophomore history teacher that he had confused the dates of the Battles of Antietam and Gettysburg. The principal let me off when I demonstrated I was correct. I clashed with English teachers on interpretations of literature and complained that my math teachers didn’t teach in way that made sense to me. However, my time in college has shown me the topic my public education really failed to teach: sex.
Editor’s note: During the week leading up to International Blasphemy Rights Day on September 30, leaders and members of CFI On Campus affiliate groups are responding to the question, “Why is free expression important to you?” This post is part of that series.In a world where I am afraid to express my beliefs, I censor myself and even overtly lie to protect me and my friendships. Freedom of expression allows me the opportunity to honestly express my beliefs (and disbeliefs) and what I value to the people I care about. Besides the fact that lying is a memory intensive activity, having to put up the false front of being a different person causes me anxiety; that in turn distances relationships and harms friendships.
Editor’s note: During the week leading up to International Blasphemy Rights Day on September 30, leaders and members of CFI On Campus affiliate groups are responding to the question, “Why is free expression important to you?” This post is part of that series.Freedom is a rather complex term: is it solely the ability to buy a pack of cigarettes at age 18, or the ability to venture off to New York City or Los Angeles to make it “big”, or is it the right to slander a President in a tweet or Facebook post? Freedom encompasses all of those examples, but, being that I’m writing about freedom of expression, I will focus on the last example. The ability to openly critique or even slander the head of both the government and state is both “a political right” and “the quality of being frank, open or outspoken” and is something that should be cherished as it is not a right not shared by many people around the world. Freedom of expression is vital to me as a person because my identity is composed of groups who have not always had the freedom to express themselves. I am gay, black, and an atheist, and those three identities have shaped what freedom of expression means to me.
Editor’s note: During the week leading up to International Blasphemy Rights Day on September 30, leaders and members of CFI On Campus affiliate groups are responding to the question, “Why is free expression important to you?” This post is part of that series.
Differing viewpoints engender progress.I hold this belief strongly: that the only way to more closely align what we hold to be true with the objective truth of reality is through varying opinions and reasoned dialogue on those opinions. This, to me, is one reason freedom of expression is vitally important; if, as in the case of Galileo in the 17th century, one's opinion was found to be contrary to some currently held doctrine and thus was suppressed, we risk setting ourselves back as a society and as a species.