A lot of atheist groups recently tried to get people to sign a petition on behalf of Alexander Aan, the Indonesian atheist sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for the crime of… saying he’s an atheist. If we could get 25,000 signatures in a month, the Obama administration would have to respond to it and maybe they would take action in some way.
The deadline for the petition was yesterday. It got about 8,000 signatures. Well under the amount needed.
Why did it fail?
Kimberly Winston asked around and the responses are all over the place… there’s no one single answer but a hell of a lot of disappointment that we couldn’t come through for one of our own:
“It didn’t fail for lack of effort,” said Michael De Dora, CFI’s director of government affairs, the author of the petition and its first signatory. “So there is a sense of confusion right now internally about why this failed.”
So why were so few moved to action? De Dora received emails from some saying a petition would have little effect — especially one aimed at a president who already has enough religious headaches in an election year. In addition, Aan’s arrest did not attract widespread media attention, so many people may not have recognized his name. Others reported technical problems with the We The People website.
“Beyond that I am at a loss for an explanation,” De Dora said. “I simply do not know why it is the case we reached so many people and so few people signed the petition.”
I have my own thoughts on why it failed and you can read them in the article.
But if you have any ideas, now’s the time to chime in so we don’t let this happen again in the future.