Free Inquiry

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Free Inquiry
Vol. 35 issue 5 cover.
EditorPaul Fidalgo
Circulation17306 (2013)[1]
(U.S. and International)
PublisherCouncil for Secular Humanism
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] Kurtz was succeeded by Tom Flynn who worked as Editor in Chief until 2021. Paul Fidalgo was named editor in 2022, beginning with the October/November issue.[3] 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.[4]

The story made national and international news and the implications of this self-censorship were widely discussed, including by CBS News, The Washington Post,[5] and The New York Times.[6] The "blogosphere" widely condemned the decision of Borders to ban the magazine[7] and columnist Christopher Hitchens lamented the action in an article.[8]


Regular columnists include:[9]

Editorial Board[edit]


  1. ^ "December 2014/ January 2015 Issue". Free Inquiry. Amherst, NY. January 12, 2014.
  2. ^ "Paul Kurtz, 1925–2012 | Center for Inquiry". January 19, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19.
  3. ^ Blumner, Robyn (3 August 2022). "Paul Fidalgo Named Editor of FREE INQUIRY and Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism". Free Inquiry. Center for Inquiry, Inc. Retrieved 21 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Borders, Waldenbooks Won't Carry Magazine, Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press Writer, March 29, 2006". Archived from the original on September 18, 2007.
  5. ^ Two Chains Reject Magazine With Muhammad Cartoons, Associated Press, March 30, 2006
  6. ^ "Borders Blasts Back On Controversial Cartoons, AP, March 31, 2006". Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved August 28, 2007.
  7. ^ Michael Weiss (March 31, 2006). "Calling 911 on 9/11". Slate. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
  8. ^ Christopher Hitchens (June 25, 2007). "Look Forward to Anger". Slate. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "August/September 2015 Issue". Free Inquiry. Amherst, NY. August 1, 2015.

External links[edit]