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Freedom of Speech

(RNS) Two federal courts have issued strong defenses of religious expression in two separate decisions, one involving a teenager’s nose piercing and the other a license plate. Ariana Iacono, a freshman at Clayton (N.C.) High School, was allowed to return to class on Friday (Oct. 8) after missing more than four weeks of school for […] Read More

Philip Sampson, author of Jubilee Center’s report “Sustaining Democracy,” argues that secularism has become religious, arrogating to itself the privilege of judging what are acceptable beliefs and seeking to marginalize the views and values of traditional Christianity. We know exactly what he means. The experience of Christians in education, local government, health care and many […] Read More

I’m all for free speech. That’s a corollary to freedom of religion, something that Baptists have championed for 400 years. While favoring free speech, however, I confess that it really gobs my stopper when people abuse their right to free speech by freely speaking lies. I’ve noticed two yard signs recently, both designed to express […] Read More

In a move city officials call an affirmation of the First Amendment, the Borough Council of Paxtang, Pa., will allow a couple to keep a religious anti-abortion sign on their front porch after warning them to remove it or face a fine or jail time. Several weeks ago, Colman and Frances Wessel attached a metal […] Read More

As a Christian and a Baptist, protest is my middle name—as in Protestant. We have as part of our spiritual DNA a history of dissenting against the majority opinion. In the 16th century we dissented against the hegemony of the Church in England insisting on the right to pursue our own path towards God. Quite […] Read More

The incident might have been funny had it not been farcical. Perhaps it would have been silly had it not also been at least a little scary. In Guilderland, N.Y., Stephen Downs and his son, Roger, entered Crossgates Mall, bought T-shirts and put them on. The T-shirts said, “Peace On Earth” and “Give Peace A […] Read More

With war against Iraq looming, celebrities are talking. And some folks don’t care for it. Thompson, who plays the district attorney on NBC’s “Law & Order,” says in the ad, “Thank goodness we have a president with the courage to protect our country.” The relationship between celebrities and war fascinates people. Bob Hope performed for […] Read More

Two bills now pending before the U.S. House of Representatives would breach the wall of separation between church and state and, unfortunately, inject political poison into America’s pulpits. They are the Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act (HR 2357), introduced by Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., and the Bright-Line Act of 2001 (HR 2931), sponsored […] Read More

Street preachers are turning to courts in defense of their First Amendment rights. The Oregon Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Eugene, Ore., police wrongly used a disorderly conduct ordinance two years ago to suppress the free speech rights of street preacher Daniel John Lee, according to the Register-Guard in Eugene. Police did not […] Read More