On International Blasphemy Rights Day, Tell Congress to Stand Against Blasphemy Laws

For the past several months, the Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy has been lobbying members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor or support a new resolution that calls for the repeal of blasphemy laws around the world. We’ve also been lobbying members of the Senate to introduce a companion resolution. So far, the resolution has gained only one additional co-sponsor in the House, and has still not been proposed in the Senate. 

Today, on International Blasphemy Rights Day, you have a chance to make the critical difference, and help us advance this important resolution. 

H. Res 290, which was proposed by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and currently has nine co-sponsors, would promote the right to free expression in several important ways.

  • It reaffirms U.S. support of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion;
  • It outlines that the solutions to blasphemy-related violence are increased education, outreach, and counter-speech; and
  • It calls upon the President and the State Department to make the repeal of blasphemy laws a key component in U.S. relations with countries that have them.

The right to blaspheme — to question, criticize, satirize, or even “defame” a religion — is an internationally protected freedom, based on the moral recognition that each individual must be free to pursue truth, and that persecution and brute force can and must never be used to change a person’s belief.

Currently, at least 50 countries have blasphemy laws. In some of those countries, criticism of religion is punishable by death. No one should have to die because their beliefs are contrary to the state’s or the majority’s. The passage of H. Res 290 would send a strong signal to these countries that the U.S. rejects such laws and that they must be repealed, lest their relationship with the U.S. be adversely affected.

That’s where you come in. You can stand up for the rights of all people, religious and nonreligious, to express their views on religion by using our pre-written form to contact your members of Congress today and tell them to co-sponsor, sponsor, or support H. Res 290!

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Stand Against Blasphemy Laws!

Dear [Decision Maker],

As your constituent, and a supporter of the Center for Inquiry, I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor or support a resolution, H. Res 290, which calls for the repeal of blasphemy laws around the world.



Passage of H. Res 290 in the House, and introduction of a companion resolution in the Senate, would send a strong signal that the U.S. rejects blasphemy laws and that they must be repealed, lest other countries' relationships with the U.S. be adversely affected. I urge you to co-sponsor or support H. Res 290 and call for governments around the world to protect their citizens' rights.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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