According to the news coming out of Iraq and Syria, there have been a lot of beheadings recently.
But ISIS aren't the only ones beheading people.
State-imposed death sentences for blasphemy happen all over the world.
You can often tell who the Humanists are in certain countries because they seem to be the only ones brave enough to speak their minds despite prohibitions against doing so.
While we have little to fear from our government here in the United States, as we are technically allowed to express ourselves without government interference, the reality is not so pleasant or clear as the shooting of rubber bullets by the police to stop protesters complaining about the police in Ferguson made clear.
However, it isn't just governmental suppression of speech we have to worry about.
Nowadays anytime anyone expresses any unpopular viewpoint, they are likely to receive death threats.
This threatening of people we don't agree with isn't limited to the subject of religion.
And this is why the humanist tradition and our embrace of blasphemy is so important.
Blasphemy Day is coming up Sept 30.
The point of Blasphemy Day is not to offend people. The point is to show we aren't willing to be silenced by bullies who threaten to kill us if we don't agree with them.
To do that, we have to be willing to say the things they've told us we aren't allowed to say.
Are we really free if we aren't free to speak freely?
Blasphemy isn't really about belief or non-belief. It's about the right to speak and to disagree WITHOUT the disagreement descending into violence.
No topic should ever be considered taboo.
No one should ever be killed because of what they believe or don't believe.
No one should ever be killed just because they disagreed with someone else either.
It doesn't matter what the topic is. Disagreements and even offensive language and statements are not crimes worthy of death.
You have the right to speak your mind, but you don't have the right to prevent others from doing the same.
You don't have the right to silence your critics by bullying them and threatening them or even killing them. If your ideas are not strong enough to stand on their own without the threat of violence or death to support them, then perhaps the problem is with your ideas and not with your critics.
So this Blasphemy Day, remember: The right to commit blasphemy (openly expressing disagreement about religion) is the right our First Amendment was written to protect.
So go ahead, commit a little blasphemy. That feeling of liberation you feel -- is what freedom is all about.
Jennifer Hancock, a humanist educator and the author of several books, is on the web at jen-hancock.com and on Twitter@jenthehumanist. Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday's Herald, written by local clergy members.