Would You?

“And Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. He took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Genesis 22:13

You have heard of the plight of Raif Badawi. He is a Saudi blogger who started a website called “Free Saudi Liberals”. The site and Badawi’s blog are critical of Saudi Arabia’s religious establishment. For this crime Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, a large fine, and 1,000 lashes to be administered with a cane lash, fifty lashes at a time on every Friday. He has received the first fifty lashes and was scheduled for the second fifty last Friday; but the scourging had to be postponed because he was so weak and injured from the first fifty.

“The notion that Raif Badawi must be allowed to heal so that he can suffer this cruel punishment again and again is macabre and outrageous,” said Said Boumedouha from Amnesty International. January 27 2

Princeton University professor Robert P. George and six other advocates have written to the Saudi Ambassador offering to each take 100 lashes in Badawi’s stead. When asked by BBC World Update host Dan Damon if he would actually take the punishment, George replied: “You don’t make this kind of offer if you aren’t willing to follow through with it.”

“Together with six colleagues on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, I sent a letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. calling on the Saudi government to stop the horrific torture of Raif Badawi — an advocate of religious freedom and freedom of expression in the Saudi Kingdom,” wrote George.

“If the Saudi government refuses, we each asked to take 100 of Mr. Badawi’s lashes so that we could suffer with him. The seven of us include Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, Christians, Jews, and a Muslim,” he added.

Is there anyone whose suffering you might alleviate today? And if presented with the opportunity to do so, would you?

A blessed Tuesday.


Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.