Hemant Mehta: Recommended Reading

Hemant Mehta is correct, “Despite the Risks, Free Speech Is Worth Fighting For,” and many bloggers and devotees of social media will agree with Mehta when he says,

While I’ve sometimes held back on social media out of fear of saying the wrong thing, I’ve never had to worry about my physical safety. What these writers [Washiqur Rahman and Avijit Roy] faced in criticizing religion was incomprehensible to us in many ways, and yet they took those risks because they knew what was at stake. For that reason, they deserve respect and a permanent place in our memories.

Mehta recommends George Packer’s New Yorker article “Mute Button,” which “offers a reflection on the price of free speech and why we must keep fighting for that right”:

an even greater danger than violence or jail is the internal mute button known as self-censorship. Once it’s activated, governments and armed groups don’t have to bother with threats. Here self-censorship is on the rise out of people’s fear of being pilloried on social media.

“Here” for Packer is the US, but his observations are true for Canada as well. If “being pilloried on social media,” is our greatest fear, then we should go for it!

Angus Reid survey: Faith in Canada

The Angus Reid Institute recently did a fairly comprehensive survey about religious beliefs and attitudes in Canada. Most of the results about the numbers of beliefs and the growth of non-belief won’t surprise regular readers here. But there were some interesting findings.

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