Free Inquiry

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Free Inquiry
Free Inquiry cover.jpg
Vol. 35 issue 5 cover.
Editor-in-chiefTom Flynn
Circulation17306 (2013)[1]
(U.S. and International)
PublisherCouncil for Secular Humanism
Year founded1980
CountryUnited States
Based inAmherst, New York
WebsiteFree Inquiry

Free Inquiry is a bimonthly journal of secular humanist opinion and commentary published by the Council for Secular Humanism, a program of the Center for Inquiry. Philosopher Paul Kurtz was the editor-in-chief from its inception in 1980 until stepping down in 2010;[2] he was succeeded by Tom Flynn, the current editor. Feature articles cover a wide range of topics from a freethinking perspective. Common themes are separation of church and state, science and religion, dissemination of freethought, and applied philosophy. Regular contributors include well-known scholars in the fields of science and philosophy.


In Free Inquiry's April–May 2006 issue, the magazine published four of the cartoons that had originally appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and that had sparked violent worldwide Muslim protests. Kurtz, editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry said, "What is at stake is the precious right of freedom of expression". The Borders Group refused to carry this issue in their Borders and Waldenbooks stores because of the cartoons. The reason given by Borders for their decision was not sensitivity to religion but fear of violence.[3]

The story made national and international news and the implications of this self-censorship were widely discussed, including by CBS News, The Washington Post,[4] and The New York Times.[5] The "blogosphere" widely condemned the decision of Borders to ban the magazine[6] and columnist Christopher Hitchens lamented the action in an article.[7]


Regular columnists include:[8]

Editorial Board[edit]


  1. ^ "December 2014/ January 2015 Issue". Free Inquiry. Amherst, NY. January 12, 2014.
  2. ^ Kurtz Obituary
  3. ^ Borders, Waldenbooks Won't Carry Magazine, Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press Writer, March 29, 2006 Archived September 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Two Chains Reject Magazine With Muhammad Cartoons, Associated Press, March 30, 2006
  5. ^ "Borders Blasts Back On Controversial Cartoons, AP, March 31, 2006". Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved August 28, 2007.
  6. ^ Michael Weiss (March 31, 2006). "Calling 911 on 9/11". Slate. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
  7. ^ Christopher Hitchens (June 25, 2007). "Look Forward to Anger". Slate. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
  8. ^ "Free Inquiry Staff, Detailed Publication Information, and Guidelines For Authors". Free Inquiry. 2008. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
  9. ^ "August/September 2015 Issue". Free Inquiry. Amherst, NY. August 1, 2015.

External links[edit]