As a Saudi Blogger Awaits More Punishment for “Insulting Islam,” What Can We Learn from His Essays?

Hemant’s note: Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is still facing punishment for the “crime” of “insulting Islam.” In June, the Saudi Supreme Court upheld a ruling of 1,000 lashes on top of a 10 year prison sentence. While he has received 50 lashes so far, subsequent sets have been postponed. In the meantime, a collection of the blog posts that got Badawi in trouble is now available under the title 1000 Lashes: Because I Say What I Think.

Reader Richard Wilson read the book and offers his perspective below:

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Protesters in Nepal Want to Do Away with a “Secular” Constitution… and They May Have a Point

The nation of Nepal used to be the only officially-Hindu nation in the world. Its Constitution said as much until 2008, when the Unified Communist Party took over and declared it a secular country. Politicians are currently working on a new Constitution and protesters are demanding that the “Hindu” nation designation come back.

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A Film About Uncovering the Catholic Church Pedophilia Scandal

More than a decade ago, the Boston Globe published an exposé involving a pedophile priest and the Catholic Church officials who moved him from parish to parish.

That story — or at least what was going on behind-the-scenes to break that story — forms the basis for the upcoming film Spotlight, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams. The trailer for the film is now online:

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Sen. Bernie Sanders Will Speak at Liberty University Next Month Because Why the Hell Not

Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will deliver an address next month at Liberty University, the school founded by the late Jerry Falwell and the place where Sen. Ted Cruz announced his entry into the Presidential race earlier this year.

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Christian Hate Pastor Calls President Obama “Son of Satan” in Daily Show Do-Over

On last night’s next-to-next-to-last episode of The Daily Show (Edit: The Jon Stewart-hosted version, I mean), Jessica Williams took a look back at some previous guests to make clear that, yes, they were really willing to talk to the show, and, no, the show did not take them out of context (as some have speculated).

To prove that point, she re-visited Harlem Hate Pastor James David Manning, the man who (among other things) said Starbucks lattes contain the “semen of sodomites”:

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