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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Texas Republican’s Bill Would Withhold Salary from State Employees Who, in Future, Issue Gay Marriage Licenses

A new bill in Texas sponsored by Republican Rep. Cecil Bell would cut off the salary of any state official who issued a wedding license to a gay couple… if that ever became legal. (Texas is currently one of only 14 states where gay couples can’t get married.)



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Don’t Celebrate a Best Selling Book if You Think It’s Okay to Game the System

Christian author Eric Metaxas‘ latest book Miracles just hit the New York Times best sellers list.

As it turns out, however, Metaxas also made an interesting comment to Christianity Today regarding buying your way onto that list — like disgraced Pastor Mark Driscoll did:

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Why Do Cartoonists Draw Insulting Images of Muhammad? (Spoiler: Not Just to Upset the Religious)

Philosopher Stephen Law offers an explanation for why cartoonists lampoon faith:



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