A Secular Alternative to the Traditional Christmas Card

by admin on November 30th, 2012
in General Wellness, Religion

I pretty much tune-out the holidays. I don't buy a tree, string lights or send cards. I don't wish anyone Merry Christmas, though I hope everyone finds lots of reasons sound or otherwise to be as merry as possible everyday. If invited to a party, I leave quietly before the caroling begins, if it?s that kind of party. I don?t mind the civic and private decorations and displays, as long as there are no nativity scenes or other religious intrusions in public spaces. I realize that holidays can be off-putting for secular minded folks, but I make a good effort not to be flummoxed by it all in any way.

One thing I would never do is traffic in Christmas cards - or any other cards, for that matter. Not birthday cards, mother/father's day cards, get well cards and so on ad nauseam. I consider greeting cards unimaginative, a waste of resources (mine and nature?s), time wasters, insincere, a nuisance and a retro tradition.

I don?t suppose those employed in the greeting card industry or shopkeepers would agree, but that?s how I view it. So, no xmas card buying and sending for me.

Until now. Something has come along to change my mind. It occurred to me that you might find this new development of interest, too. Particularly if, like me, you have an inordinate fondess for the words and sentiments of the great 19th century freethinker orator Robert Green Ingersoll.

Robert IngersollThe game changer is a xmas card of sorts produced by The Center for Inquiry (CFI). It's very attractive, inexpensive and it delivers a marvelous REAL wellness message suited to the season from a speech by Robert Green Ingersoll:

Let us all hope for the triumph of light, of right and reason, for the victory of fact over falsehood, of science over superstition, and so hoping let us celebrate!

This Ingersoll quote comes from his 1892 address, The Agnostic Christmas. The speech can be found in a booklet published by the American Atheist Press in 1988, available at CFI and other freethinker sources. It is entitled, A Christmas Sermon and the Controversy It Aroused. I read this booklet every xmas season - it?s truly delightful. Period newspapers published Ingersoll's witty responses to charges of irreverence and blasphemy concerning the Great Agnostic's address from the Pat Robertsons, Billy Grahams and Jerry Falwells of the day.

The ten Ingersoll cards might be just the thing if you know people likely to enjoy a seasonal greeting that?s meaningful and does not succumb to holiday homilees.

You can obtain a pack of ten cards (with mailing envelopes) for twelve bucks from CFI. The size of each card is ?5.25" x 7.75" - inside each is the message, Wishing you peace, hope, and enlightenment in the New Year! There is a brief description of Ingersoll, and the listing of his most famous epigram, The time to be happy is now; The place to be happy is here; The way to be happy is to make others so. The price includes shipping and handling. Try getting a deal like that from Hallmark. Purchasing such a card set from CFI is a nice way to express your values while supporting one of the best organizations that protects them.

Right and ReasonI am a big admirer and a member of CFI but, in case you wondered, I have not been offered a large (or even small) sum of money to promote this card and will in no way whatsoever benefit from sales. Except, perhaps, feeling good about doing something, however modest, to promote a secular way to enjoy a bit of xmas spirit.

Celebrate Carl Sagan and All Who Advanced Reason, Science, Free Inquiry and Wonder

by admin on November 6th, 2012
in General Wellness, Religion

Introduction: Irrationality in America

While the influence of religion is reported to be waning, or so it seems if the latest Pew findings on religious affiliation in America are accurate, certain elements of religious dogmas are as pervasive as ever. Consider, for example, belief in miracles or even demonic possession. The strength of these ancient superstitions is on the rise.

In addition, there has been an increase in conspiracy thinking, led by birthers, moon hoaxers, antivaxxers, Holocaust deniers, young Earth creationists and so on.

H. L. Mencken had a term for the propensity of our citizenry to embrace nonsense - Boobus Americanus. The Boobus strain is a national embarrassment.

Republicans are fond of claiming a quality of exceptionalism for our nation. We?re exceptional all right, but not in a good way. We are exceptionally irrational. Of course, this criticism does not apply to all Americans. Mencken believed America was populated by a small elite of educated, cultivated and intelligent human beings - and then there were the masses. The latter he considered frighteningly ignorant and capable of being led and bamboozled.

In a recent personal message, Perry Street Palace blogger SJ expressed more or less the same idea, explaining that rational, evidence-based critical thinking takes practice, lots of it for most people. SJ rhetorically asked, And just who in the public domain is modeling evidence-based reasoning? I'm waiting for your answer. Americans are in thrall to absurd notions about supernatural forces.

Which brings me to two figures in recent American history - one a paragon of reason, science, free inquiry and wonder; the other a model of fear-mongering, ignorance and superstition. I?m thinking of Dr. Carl Sagan and Reverend Billy Graham, respectively.

Billy Graham

I first encountered the televangelist as a teen in the 1950?s. My parents were spellbound by Graham?s televised revival performances. His hell-fire and brimstone condemnations of sinners was captured beautifully by Bert Lancaster in the movie Elmer Ganty.

My childhood was deeply immersed in the Roman Catholic culture of the time. In that context, the Catholic masses (conducted in Latin) and other rituals were mind-numbingly boring; Billy Graham, on the other hand, was a showman. While I was appalled others, including my Catholic parents, were spellbound. Not getting it, I wondered: How could my parents watch this foolishness?
Billy Graham Cartoon

Well, I now suppose that, compared with Catholic ritual, Graham must have been both entertaining and effective. After condemning sin, sinners and backsliding Christians, Graham would soften his tone and, with a little help from an orchestra, a choir and George Beverly Shea, invite the fallen to come forward, renounce their wicked ways and be saved. All the audience members had to do was accept Jesus as their personal savior. Not much was said as to what that meant, but the assumption seemed to be that everything would be all right once they did so - and especially after they wrote a check for Billy Graham?s crusade and sent it off to the address conveniently shown on the television screen. Shea would sing, How Great Thou Art at this critical point as the revival audience moved toward the stage. For a sense of what a Godgasm the show provided, go to YouTube and search for a video of Mr. Shea reprising this big time Christian hit. It?s powerful stuff for the faithful - and a truly toxic hallucinogen.

And that was the nature of all Graham's crusade shows - singing and healing after condemnations and visions of a vengeful God exacting a terrible wrath on sinners. Babble, fantasy and irrationality were the gate passes to peace with the Lord, until the next Billy Graham show a week later. Then TV viewers and the revival audience would have to undergo once more a condemnation as sinners, the visions of hell-fire and, cue the music, Billy's forgiveness simply by proclaiming once again their surrender to Jesus as Lord and Savior - with another check made payable to the Graham Crusade.

Unlike my parents, the effect for me was confirmation that religion was nonsense. More than the nuns, the priests, the bible stories or the work of Lucifer, I have Billy Graham to thank for a deep-seated conviction that religion really is pretty much what Bertrand Russell declared it to be - a disease born of fear and a source of untold misery to the human race.

In 2007, books by William Hughes? and Cecil Bothwell appeared entitled, Rev. Billy Graham: A Prince of War Exposed and The Prince of War: Billy Graham?s Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire, respectively. Both dealt with Graham?s role promoting the Evangelical Right. The books documented how Graham amassed a multimillion dollar media empire while never encountering a U.S. war he couldn?t bless. Graham was also dedicated to eliminating separation between church and state and rebranding the U.S. as a Christian nation. He saw America's armies as rightful instruments of a Christian crusade and a Christian empire.

Sound familiar? That?s essentially what today?s jihadists of the Islam persuasion seek for their religion, as well.

In the half century or so since observing my parents being taken in by this preacher's totally irrational television rants, Billy Graham has symbolized religion as a great barrier to reason, skepticism, science and rational thinking. It?s almost as if Auguste Chartier (1868-1951) had Billy Graham in mind when he wrote, Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when a man has only one idea. I would add - especially a religion as put forward by this crusader for theocracy.

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996) was a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and creator of the Emmy and Peabody award-winning PBS television series, Cosmos. His life was devoted to the same qualities Graham?s life undermined - reason, science, free inquiry and wonder. Freethinkers celebrate Sagan Day annually on November 9, the good man?s birth date.

Carl Sagan played a key role in NASA's robotic spacecraft missions. As a consultant and adviser to NASA since the 1950's, Sagan briefed Apollo astronauts before their flights to the moon. A participant in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager and Galileo expeditions to the planets, he designed the Golden Record embedded in the two Voyager probes, now departing our solar system. This record contains the sounds and images of life and culture on Earth. Perhaps, someday, this record will be discovered and enjoyed by advanced life forms from a wondrous spacefaring civilization. What a thought.

Sagan won nearly as many honors in his lifetime as Billy Graham conducted religious revivals. He was awarded NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and for Distinguished Public Service. An asteroid was named after him. He was given the John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award of the American Astronautical Society, the Public Welfare Medal (the highest award of the National Academy of Sciences), the Explorers Club 75th Anniversary Award, the Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Medal of the Soviet Cosmonauts Federation and the Masursky Award of the American Astronomical Society. The latter included a plaque that read, in part: For his extraordinary contributions to the development of planetary science. As a scientist trained in both astronomy and biology, Dr. Sagan has made seminal contributions to the study of planetary atmospheres, planetary surfaces, the history of the Earth, and exobiology. Many of the most productive planetary scientists working today are his present and former students and associates.

Carl Sagan helped millions recognize and appreciate the wonder and importance of science, in part by writing best-selling books, including  Cosmos, The Dragons of Eden: Speculations of the Evolution of Human Intelligence and The Demon-Haunted World. The latter work by itself hich would be a certain antidote that would protect the mind against the folly of a Billy Graham revival. Anyone who read this book would be 100 percent immune to the fear-mongering, ignorance and superstition employed by Graham to enrapture vulnerable victims of this fundamentalist genre of magical thinking.

Who better to summarize Carl Sagan's legacy than his co-collaborator and spouse, Ann Druyan?

I think that his voice was a great, great service to our culture and to our society, because not only did he convey the importance of skepticism, but also the importance of wonder. People think that if you are a scientist you have to give up that joy of discovery, that passion, that sense of the great romance of life. I say that's completely opposite of the truth. The fact is that the real thing is far more dazzling, far more goose-bump-raising, than any myth or childish story that we can make up. The Universe revealed by science is one of far more awesome grandeur than any religion has ever posited.

Undecided On Who Deserves Your Vote for President? Take This Self-Assessment and You Will Know Who Your Candidate Must Be!

by Don on October 27th, 2012
in General Wellness, Politics

Introduction

Pundits continue to, well, pundit, over the greatest mystery of the young 21st century. They are as obsessed with this mystery as so many of us are puzzled by it. I refer, of course, to the fact that many citizens continue to tell pollsters they remain on the proverbial fence. They are undecideds, still unsure if they favor Obama, Romney or a third party candidate, such as Gary Johnson (Libertarian) or Jill Stein (Green Party) for president.

How can this be, a mere week or so from election day? Just think of the time we have had to observe and assess the candidates. Consider the debates (including the Republican reality show primaries featuring Mitt versus Rick, Michelle, Herman, Newt, the Donald, etc.), the conventions, the bazillion ads and a year or more of non-stop campaign features in print/tv/and other media. I confess - I'm skeptical about these people - I think they are largely "undecided" because of the attention that the ?undecided? identification entails. They are the ones who get to ask questions in a town hall "debate;" they are the minor celebrities who appear every night on national news broadcasts.

Whatever accounts for this mystery, the challenge seems to be: What will bring these people to resolution, to a firm and final choice to go blue, red or something else on Nov 6?

Will it be on based which candidate they decide is most likely to lead with the best policies on Iran, Israel, immigration, Supreme Court appointments, the economy, women?s reproductive rights, Medicare, climate change, green energy, the environment, separation (or integration) of church and state - what?

Well, none of the above, in my opinion. I think it will ultimately depend on the character of the undecided voters. Those of a certain character will definitely go with the president; those of a quite different character will vote Republican.

For their benefit, I offer a REAL Wellness Character Self-Assessment (RWCSA). If YOU are an undecided voter, take the RWCSA and you will have your candidate. Simply add your score, read the interpretation and your struggle is over. You'll know, based on the character analysis, how you must vote on November 6, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If you, like me, decided long ago who you favored based upon the issues, the nature of the political parties and your clear preference for the personality of one of the choices, please take the test anyway. It will serve as a confirmation that you are indeed poised to do the right thing on November 6.

A REAL Wellness Character Self-Assessment

Indicate your position about each of the following twenty statements on a scale of one to three. Let ?1? represent the strongest possible disagreement with the statement; let ?3? represent unreserved agreement with the statement. Choose ?2? if you don't feel strongly or are undecided.

A line is provided for marking your numerical assessment at the beginning of each statement. After reading the statement, return to this line and enter your numerical ranking on it. The line has been placed at the beginning of the sentence to make it easier to score the assessment upon completion.

All twenty statements begin with the words:

I favor or am predisposed to ...

  • ___  the application of reason and science to understanding the universe and solving human problems.
  • ___  the enjoyment of life here and now while developing my talents to the fullest.
  • ___  respect for common moral decencies, including altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness and responsibility more so than "commandments" or other rules based upon revelation or religious tenets.
  • ___  an open and pluralistic society.
  • ___  the idea that democracy is the best guarantee of human rights against authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.
  • ___  a culture that cultivates the art of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
  • ___  efforts to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation or ethnicity.
  • ___  support for the absolute separation of church and state, as affirmed by JFK in 1960.
  • ___  environmental protections, even if safeguards temporarily limit job creation and access to energy sources that reduce our dependence on Mideast oil.
  • ___  explanations about the world that are not supernatural in nature.
  • ___  the right to privacy for all citizens.
  • ___  adult freedoms to exercise reproductive choices with access to comprehensive and informed health care information and services, to express their sexual preferences, to fulfill their aspirations and to die with dignity.
  • ___  the notion that scientific discovery and technology are the surest paths for the betterment of human life.
  • ___  the idea that ethics, moral principles or normative standards to live by are best discovered together, tested by their consequences and amenable to critical, rational guidance.
  • ___  a conviction that the moral education of children is best nourished by reason and compassion.
  • ___  ending the unconstitutional practice of opening or closing public events with prayer or religious symbols (as well as opposing the imposition of references to "God" on currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance, participation in the annual "National Day of Prayer," funding of "faith-based" initiatives.
  • ___  skepticism about untested claims to knowledge while being open to novel ideas and new ways of thinking.
  • ___  a disdain for philosophies/theologies of despair and ideologies of violence.
  • ___  a preference for optimism over pessimism, hope over despair, learning instead of dogma, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness and reason over blind faith.
  • ___  a commitment to promoting opportunities for all citizens to fully realize their best and noblest capacities as a human beings.

Scoring and Interpretation

If your score is between 20 and 34, Romney is your guy but please vote for Obama anyway!

If your score is between 46 and 60, you will want four more years for Obama. The president is your clear choice on November 6.

If you scored between 35 and 45, you really earned the title "undecided," until now. This score indicates to me that your values are more Democratic than Republican, even if you are not thrilled with the president. You certainly are more like Obama than Romney. I hope you will go with the incumbent.

My own score of 60 puts me at odds with the president on many matters I consider of grave consequence for REAL wellness and the kind of society I favor. I much prefer Jill Stein of the Green Party and, if she had any chance, she would get my vote. But, alas, she does not so she won't. I consider the election of the Romney/Ryan ticket a potential catastrophe almost beyond belief. It's too bad we do not have another viable political party for those who want a secular government consistent with the United States Constitution and a president who does not feel he has to end every speech by asking God to bless everybody and to bless the United States of America. What the hell does that mean, anyway? Is Obama pandering to the pious prejudices of the majority or does he think a sky god of some kind sends a blessing now and then, if asked to do so at the end of a speech and what happens if a blessing is sent? It's maddening.

The Secular Coalition for America (SCA), a lobbying group that represents atheists and non-theists, released its ?2012 Presidential Candidate Scorecard? last week. The scorecard graded the candidates on scales of A to F based upon the candidates? public statements and actions in five areas and seventeen issues were considered. Many were similar to the above REAL Wellness Character Self-Assessment. Romney, not surprisingly got an F, Obama a C, Gary Johnson a B and my favorite, Stein a magnificent A.

So, there you have it. If you are undecided, this should help you become decided. If you were clear and firm before, you might be clearer and firmer now.

All good wishes, be well and let's hope for the best, as we see things, on November 6.

++++++++

(Note: Most of the statements are based on "The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles" that appear on the cover of each issue of Free Inquiry, a publication of the Center for Free Inquiry and the Council on Secular Humanism.)

Republicans and Extremist Evangelicals Urge Pastors to Promote Romney from the Pulpit - I Dare Them to Do So!

by Don on September 29th, 2012
in General Wellness, Politics

In America, tax-exempt organizations like churches are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office, according to I.R.S. guidelines. This prohibition is quite specific. According to the I.R.S.,distributing statements prepared by others that favor or oppose any candidate for public office is prohibited. The penalty is loss of tax exempt status.

Nobody should hesitate to defend the right of religious figures to stand in their holy places (e.g., pulpits) to urge their flocks to vote for or against candidates they favor or oppose. Members of congregations may not like it, but that?s their business. They can reward or punish the preachers as they wish. Freedom of speech is there for everyone.

However, taxpayers must not be expected to fund directly or indirectly the political campaigns of religious or other non-profit organizations that are expressly forbidden by I.R.S. guidelines from political campaigning, as noted above.

A couple weeks ago, the New York Times published a story about the contents of a bulletin at a Catholic church in Manhattan. The bulletin contained a letter written by six former ambassadors to the Vatican making the case for Mitt Romney for president. All approved of Romney?s opposition to abortion, marriage rights for same-sex couples and the parts of the Affordable Health Care Act that Catholic bishops opposed concerning coverage for contraceptives. It concluded with this endorsement: We urge our fellow Catholics, and indeed all people of good will to join with us in this full-hearted effort to elect Gov. Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States. (Source: Jim Dwyer, ?Priest?s Dip Into Politics Raises Outcry,? New York Times, September 18, 2012).

Calls to violate the I.R.S. code are endemic this election cycle among Christian conservatives. Consider the recent Value Voters Summit (voters without values not welcome). At this gathering, Republicans were urged to ignore the law and violate the tax code because God wants you to vote for Mitt Romney. One enthusiast suggested, God himself would vote for Romney, if he were a registered voter. (Shame on God for not registering.)

The values crowd included the holiest of holy evangelical cultural warriors. Speakers included Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Bob McDonald and Michelle Bachmann. (Romney made an appearance by video; notably absent were Todd Akin and Rick Perry) Several speakers called for pastors to use their pulpits to promote the Republican ticket; workshops were devoted to how to do so most effectively.

You can watch a short video about this message here, featuring Barry Lynn on The Ed Show.
The Ed Show

The Republican drive to enlist clergy in the Romney/Ryan campaign was fully explored in a September 23, 2012 article by Eric W. Dolan entitled, More than 1,000 pastors plan to challenge IRS by endorsing presidential candidate. This essay can be found at The Raw Story website.

It seems that the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Right-wing Christian group, has a campaign underway to challenge the I.R.S.?s right to withdraw tax exemption if clergy proselytize from the pulpit or otherwise as part of their church?s ministry (e.g., church booklets distributed at masses). They even have a name for the law-breaking effort which sounds patriotic ? Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

Naturally, the effort is thick with misrepresentations, like this statement during a Fox News interview by Erik Stanley, the group?s senior legal counsel explaining the purpose of Pulpit Freedom Sunday: It?s a head-on constitutional challenge to make sure that the pastor ? and not the IRS ? decides what is said from the pulpit.

Maybe you were not aware that the I.R.S. has been focused on writing sermons and otherwise deciding what ministers, priests and ayatollahs preach from their pulpits.

This campaign by the Republicans and their evangelical allies could be a godsend, of sorts. It will require the I.R.S. to act or secular groups will go to court. Of course, that always involves grave risks of unintended consequences. One such consequence, given the current court dominance by conservative Catholics, would be dreadful judicial law that renders the 50-year prohibition unconstitutional. However, this is a risk church/state separation advocates must take. It?s the only way to ward off or slow the country?s descent into theocracy.

Let?s hope the pastors on the Right take up this awful call and defy the I.R.S. and that all the organization?s so represented lose their exemptions. The dissent that will follow within religious congregations will encourage church/state soul-searching. That could be one good thing to come from this grossly inappropriate incursion of religion into public affairs. The other might be removal from tax exemption organizations that have for too long failed to pay their fair share for public services rendered.

I like what Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United said about the Pulpit Freedom charade: People don?t join churches because they want to be told how to vote?Most clergy of all faiths know it?s inappropriate to use their pulpits to stump for political candidates. But there are very vocal misguided religious and political forces that constantly prod religious leaders to violate federal tax law. We urge clergy to just say no.

I think it would be fine if the flock rose up and did indeed say no to clergy involvement in Right-wing or any other politics, but I?m willing to take my chances should they do what Republicans are asking. Why? Because I want an end to the exemption of churches from taxation. This extremist initiative could be the start of something big ? and beneficial.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Offers to Continue Accepting American Taxpayer Money But Only If We Agree To Curtain Speech That Offends Muslims

by Don on September 24th, 2012
in General Wellness, Politics

Introduction

Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and now Egypt?s president, told the New York Times that ?it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt.? But, he added, there is a price to pay. ?America must fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values, even when doing so conflicts with Western values.?

What a deal.

A Proposed Response

My sentiments about Mr. Morsi?s demands are similar to those of Rick Moran, writing at PJ Media: ?Sure. We?d like nothing better than to join President Morsi and the rest of the Arab world in re-living the 14th century by abandoning our closely held, hard fought and cherished values and adopting those values embraced by the Arabs...I would rather have us adopt the values of a tribe of New Guinea cannibals than your anti-liberty, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-human worldview.? (See ?Egypt?s Morsi Gives US ?Terms? for Our Capitulation,? PJ Media, September 23, 2012.)

Let?s not consent to the idea that our own non-violent communications that Islamics occasionally find offensive constitutes ?hate? speech or warrants suppression in free societies.

I have a suggestion for President Obama concerning the Muslim offer. Let?s de-friend Egypt and keep our money. By doing so, we?ll preserve our First Amendment rights of free expression, even if such speech does not please Mr. Morsi or millions of other religious fanatics. I?m afraid there are too many opinions common in the Western world that conflict with Middle Eastern Islamic values, including an inclination to keep women covered head to toe in burlap sacks. One wishes this were the only Muslim value at odds with our own. Alas, it is not even remotely the most repulsive of Muslim values.

I think American voters will insist on keeping their rights to criticize, lampoon or draw cartoons, if they so desire, and otherwise express themselves freely on all topics, including politics, sex and yes, religion too. And maintaining their rights to do so in ways that are not necessarily respectful.

Freedom of Speech: A Right with Obligations

Free speech warrants a decent understanding by all who embrace and enjoy it. It is a learned value - it takes a bit of knowledge to know how to defend, protect and preserve the right to speak (and write, post, video and film, tweet and otherwise communicate) without censorship or prosecution. Freedom of speech requires that citizens who enjoy it also possess the skills to explain it and a level of education and degree of practice in order to explain the nature and merits of it effectively. On some occasions, freedom of speech also requires courage from those who have it.

Yet, even here in what we proclaim in our anthem is the land of the free and home of the brave, protecting the right to offend is an increasingly tough sell. A disturbing 43 percent of Americans do not think people should be allowed to say things in public that might be offensive to religious groups, according to a 2009 survey conducted by the First Amendment Center. These people would agree with President Morsi that we should go along (with less freedom) to get along (with Egypt and Islamists).

What Ingersoll said of reason also applies to freedom of speech: ?I admit that (freedom of speech) is a feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, blown and flayed by passion?s storms and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish it and nought remains.?

Free speech has always been blown and flayed by passions storms; we owe so much to the Thomas Paynes, Clarence Darrows and Robert Ingersolls who have defended it in times of maximum danger. Since this may be such a time, let?s do our part and let Mr. Morsi and our own leaders who deal with him and other Islamists who would have us surrender certain foundation liberties in order not to offend their tender and not so admirable sensibilities.

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