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American Atheists Joins Letter Calling for End to Blasphemy Laws

Cranford, NJ—American Atheists today announced that it has joined the American Humanist Association, Center for Inquiry, Secular Coalition for America, and a host of other secularist and atheist organizations to urge members of Congress to co-sponsor a resolution introduced by Reps. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) calling upon the President and the U.S. Department of State to make the repeal of blasphemy laws internationally a priority.

Quoting from the letter: “In addition, this resolution encourages the President and State Department to oppose any efforts at the United Nations or other international forum to create and international anti-blasphemy norm, or attempts to expand the international norm on incitement to include blasphemy or defamation of religions.”

American Atheists strongly supports the fundamental human right to free speech and free expression. An essential component of these freedoms is the ability to criticize religious beliefs, particularly when those religious beliefs are closely tied to the actions of a government. Too often, laws criminalizing “blasphemy” are used to silence critics of already repressive regimes.

The full text of the letter is available here [pdf].


AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.