Why free speech is sacred—even when it’s dangerous

The bedrock of freedom? Denying the government the power of censorship.

  • Suppression of free speech dooms democracy, says law professor Nadine Strossen. We should all be open to hearing dangerous and odious ideas rather than drive them underground.
  • "[P]eople will often say to me, as somebody who is Jewish and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor who barely survived the Buchenwald Concentration Camp: How can I of all people defend the Nazis?" says Strossen. She also says, "And mark my words I would be equally distraught at having voices on the right silenced for a whole lot of reasons, one of which is the indivisibility of all rights."
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
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Why are Americans still afraid of atheism?

You'd think we'd be over this fear by now.

NEW YORK - MAY 10: GOD FRIENDED ME stars Brandon Micheal Hall (pictured) in a humorous, uplifting drama about Miles Finer (Hall), an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him. (Photo by Jonathan Wenk/CBS via Getty Images)
  • 51 percent of Americans would not vote for an atheist president.
  • Though America wasn't founded as a Christian nation, religion has always had a strong influence.
  • It wasn't until the 1950s when religion gained its current prominence in the national imagination.
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Trump orders limits on asylum for migrants at U.S.-Mexico border

In an extraordinary claim of presidential power, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Friday that will restrict asylum for migrants for 90 days.

(Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
  • The proclamation will bar migrants who cross the border illegally from making asylum claims.
  • In the past, anyone who crossed the border—legally or illegally—was able to apply for asylum in the U.S.
  • The new measures will almost surely be challenged in court.
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This is how we end hyper-partisan politics

Want to empower social change? Break bread, literally, with the so-called enemy.

  • Alice Dreger shares brilliant advice for divisive times: Break bread, literally, with your so-called enemy. "[S]ee if [you] can have a conversation, and preferably to do it over food or drink, because there is something very primal in us about sharing food and drink that allows us, I think, to open our hearts and our minds."
  • If you're passionate about social change, Dreger recommends avoiding destructive tools or methods that would cause a kind of "arms race" in activism—it leads somewhere that no one wants to go.
  • Spend time getting to know the issues you care about from a nonpartisan perspective—do descriptive, not normative, research. It will remind you of what the other side may be seeing that you might be missing because you're blinded by your partisan side.
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Why allowing governments to single out reporters sets a dangerous precedent

New York Times reporter Melissa Chan outlined in a Twitter thread how authoritarian governments strategically destroy the reputations of journalists they dislike.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
  • CNN reporter Jim Acosta has frequently locked horns with President Donald Trump during press briefings.
  • On Wednesday, Acosta and Trump had a standoff that ended with the White House revoking the reporter's press badge.
  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a tweet saying Acosta had placed his hands on an intern who tried to take the microphone away from him, a claim which many rebuked.
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