Free Inquiry Fascism Article Causes Dustup at Mass. High School

January 23, 2019

In 2003, CFI’s Free Inquiry magazine ran an opinion piece by Laurence Britt titled “Fascism Anyone?” In it, Britt lays out fourteen of what he describes as the “common threads” that point to a government on the way to fascism.

Earlier this month, a high school history teacher in Massachusetts used this article as the basis for an assignment for his students, asking them to consider whether our current government exhibits any of these threads.

As you can imagine, this sparked angry social media posts from many parents, a rallying of support for the teacher, a raft of apologies from school officials, and, of course, media coverage. Initially reported by local outlet The Eagle-Tribune, the story and the debate over the merits of Britt’s article found their way to network affiliates’ newscasts and even Newsweek. The conflagration may not be over yet. In the meantime, you can see what all the fuss is about for yourself.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at