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This Week in Freedom of Expression 2018–10–28


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/28

“When most of the citizens are misinformed and controlled through the government narrative, it is easy for the dictator to control, and keep controlling, the population.

I was amongst those who were in denial about the possible murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. It was not because I think the Saudi regime is not capable of murder, but because it would be a bad decision to invite a critic into the country’s diplomatic mission in order to murder him. Also, if I am being honest, I did not want to believe it.

Nevertheless, our worst fears have been confirmed, and we have to accept what happened. On October 17, The Washington Post published Khashoggi’s last column which it had received from his translator a few days after his disappearance. In what were to be his last words, Jamal, as if prescient that this could be his final public statement, was reflecting on the dire state of freedom of expression in the Arab world and its impact on our lives. The fight for freedom, including freedom of expression, is one of the common causes we, Saudi dissidents and critics, stand united in.”


“For over a century now, various Christian apologists have advanced the “liar, lunatic, or Lord” argument in support of their belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ. If Jesus was not the Lord, you see, then he must otherwise have been dishonest or deranged. Putting aside the question of what certainty we have concerning the words that Jesus spoke two thousand years ago, it should go without saying that answering “liar” or “lunatic” to the question should not constitute a crime.

Mind you, calling Jesus Christ a deranged lunatic is likely to offend Christians. They might be insulted, too, since the assertion implies that Christians, therefore, worship a crazy person. However, the mere fact that certain people may feel offended or insulted about aspersions cast on a long-dead religious figure is no basis for infringing on the free speech rights of anyone who wishes to cast such aspersions.”


“A St. John’s lawyer is weighing in on new legislation about cannabis promotion, saying it could infringe on rights to freedom of expression.

Sections of the federal Cannabis Act that deal with the promotion of cannabis and cannabis accessories are so broad they could, in theory, regulate items like T-shirts, books and wallets emblazoned with images of marijuana leaves, Mark Gruchy told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show.

“Frankly, it would be far more restrictive than anything we’ve seen before. And it would be treating, in my view anyway, cannabis in a fashion which is completely different from how we would treat alcohol,” he said.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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