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Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

Heart of the Beholder-and more Free Speech talk

Posted by Andy D. on August 5, 2008

Check out this “Heart of the Beholder “ website and learn the true story behind the movie. You can watch the full movie online and see actual news clips. I think the actual story behind the movie is scary because it is was not that long ago and in St. Louis.

There was a zealous religious group called Citizens for Decency which I think has merged with Focus on the Family or something very similar. They started protesting rental video stores that carried movies that didn’t fit their idea of morality. They even banned The Mermaid because they thought it promoted bestiality because Tom Hanks got it on with a mermaid! The Citizens for Decency obsessed over “The Last Temptation of Christ.” I do remember pundits going ape shit over that movie. I liked the score. How can one not like Peter Gabriel? Those “moral” people destroyed a person’s lively hood, made death threats, fraudulently ordered junk mail and subscriptions, and even blackmailed a prosecutor, and falsely reported to child abuse services.

I think we have really made headway in this area of free speech.

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Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Taking a WikiLeak

Posted by Skeptigator on May 14, 2008

Ars Technica has published an article, Mormons, Scientologist face uphill battle againsts Wikileaks.

Wikileaks is like wikipedia, the user-maintained, free encyclopedia, however it focuses on providing a forum for getting information, whatever it may be, out to the public.

This is essentially a free speech project. They are dedicated to “developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis”. That is certainly an ambitious goal. I am, personally, all for it. I wish them the best of luck, they are beginning to take on some of the most litigious groups in existence.

How can we promote FreeThought,

… a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be comprised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. …

if, as a society, we don’t have access to information that would better inform our decisions. What I find particularly interesting, even damning, is the lengths to which religious groups go to actively suppress information regarding their practices and beliefs. I can understand a particular company or even the military (both within limits) having a problem with this practice since the former may lose a competitive advantage or the latter having our troops or even nations safety compromised. However what I don’t understand is a religious groups issue.

What does that say about your beliefs, religion and worldview if you send copyright infringement notices to attempt to squelch free speech. A copyright infringement? Do I have to pay royalties to worship your god? (I’m sure there’s a tithing joke in there somewhere.) Is that God™ ? Or just Mormon™?

Do you see how quickly these intellectual property/copyright infringement actions open yourselves to ridicule and ultimately serve to reinforce the “Mormons/Scientologists are just a secretive cult” stereotypes? Perhaps, the stereotype is based on truth but ultimately it is only within in the power of those groups to change those stereotypes.

Despite appearances I really don’t have any problem with those who hold religious beliefs. Really I don’t. I do have a problem however when someone attempts to use the government to enforce their religious beliefs or spends my money (tax dollars) to support someone’s religious practices. I am also concerned when groups, wielding religious authority, attempt to hide or obscure their true beliefs and practices. This goes against the spirit of a number of core values in Western society,  namely, the right to self-determination and freedome of conscience.

Good luck to Wikileaks.org

Posted in Politics, Religion, Science | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »