Raif Badawi, While Receiving 50 Lashes, Reportedly “Did Not Flinch”

Earlier today, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was given 50 lashes (the first of his 1,000 lashes punishment) for the “crime” of “insulting Islam.”

I’m also encouraged by this report from @ElhamManea:



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Terry Jones, the Man Behind “International Burn a Koran Day,” is Now Running a French Fry Stand at a Florida Mall

Remember Terry Jones? He’s the pastor who caused worldwide controversy with his “International Burn A Koran Day” on September 11, 2010.

Well, guess what he’s doing now

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Bill Maher: “There Are No Great Religions. They’re All Stupid and Dangerous”

On Jimmy Kimmel‘s show the other night, Bill Maher gave his first take on the Charlie Hebdo attacks, calling out liberals who tiptoe around the religious angle of this story:



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U.S. State Department Defends Raif Badawi Just Before He is Lashed 50 Times for “Insulting Islam”

It doesn’t look like there’s much we can do now. Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger, will receive the first batch of his 1,000 lashes today. All for the “crime” of running a progressive website that called for, among other things, religious tolerance and women’s rights.

Yesterday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement in defense of Badawi:

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“Traditional Values” Are Losing Ground with Voters and We’re All Better Off as a Result

When you hear politicians talk about “traditional values,” it’s usually just code for anti-gay, anti-women, pro-Christianist thinking. Saying gay people should not be allowed to marry may be politically toxic these days, but no one has a problem with “values,” right?

I’m happy to say that voters, who may finally be catching on to the con, are caring less and less about traditional values these days. Aaron Blake at the Washington Post explains:



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