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Last month, I wrote about the remarkable events at the UN Human Rights Council, where Saudi Arabia attempted to shout down Josephine Macintosh, a representative of my employer the Center for Inquiry, as she delivered a forceful statement condemning Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, specifically the persecution and imprisonment of Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu al-Khair (who just this week was sentenced to 15 years in prison).
The Saudi representative was desperate to quiet her, demanding that the council president “shut that woman up!”, but delegations from the U.S., Ireland, Canada, and France stood up for Josephine’s right to deliver her statement. (You can read my full writeup here.)
I finally managed to actually make contact with the hero of the whole story, Josephine herself, who’s been busy traveling and without regular Internet access. I took the opportunity to ask her about the whole episode and to learn a little about what motivates her, too. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation. I’ve emphasized some key portions.
On Tuesday, July 22, the American Humanist Association will hold a congressional briefing about the need for Humanist chaplains in the military. Speakers include Jason Torpy (President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers), Stephen Boyd (retired colonel and military chaplain), and Major Ryan Jean (current military member).
The Illinois Family Institute’s Laurie Higgins, whose mind immediately turns to genitalia when the topic of homosexuality comes up, is furious that local Fourth of July parade organizers allowed LGBT supporters to walk in them:
After the ruling on Hobby Lobby came down, the biggest question in the minds of those outside of the Christian Right may have been: Why is the science behind birth control irrelevant to the Christians involved in this case?
A quick Google search reveals that the objected-to forms of birth control don’t cause abortions, but the fearful visceral response from Hobby Lobby supporters was entirely driven by the idea that these contraceptives cause early abortions.