August 29, 2016
For many months now, Bangladesh has been roiled by grisly murders in its streets, terrorist attacks, and severe political unrest. This is the situation Secretary of State John Kerry will be walking into when he visits the country today to meet with high-ranking government officials and civil society leaders. How can he best take advantage of this opportunity?
February 08, 2016
Threats to fundamental human rights can take horrific and immediate forms, such as the campaigns of terror and murder by groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS. At the same time, human rights are also challenged, and often entirely erased, in ways that do not necessarily make the top of the evening news — and yet require a passionate and persistent response, and demand our fullest attention and energy.
May 12, 2015
Sadly, recent attacks on bloggers, writers, publishers, and activists in Bangladesh are not new — they are simply the continuance of a pattern.
March 26, 2015
Over the next two days, the United Nations Human Rights Council will close its 28th regular session with a flurry of votes, including on two resolutions related to freedom of religion, belief, and expression. For as much as these resolutions spur debate within the halls of the UN, they are far less contentious — indeed, far less known — to the general public. Fortunately, I just spent two weeks at the HRC representing the Center for Inquiry, and was involved in the conversations surrounding these resolutions. This gives me a great opportunity to provide you with an update on these resolutions.
Read more… | 2 Comments
March 12, 2015
Thanks to the Internet, Avijit Roy is now more famous than ever. Several Islamic zealots, who also brutally assaulted his wife, killed him outside a book fair on the streets of Dhaka. Yet these fanatics have achieved the opposite of what they ultimately wished for: obliterating Avijit forever. Now, Avijit will leave a lasting legacy.
Read more… | 7 Comments
March 11, 2015
On Monday, March 9, I arrived in Geneva, Switzerland to represent the Center for Inquiry at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which is ongoing through March 27. Spread out over the past two days, March 10 and 11, the Council has hosted an Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, on his latest annual report, "preventing violence committed in the name of religion."
February 13, 2015
I am as disturbed by atheists who have been quick to blame the Chapel Hill murders on nothing more than a parking dispute as I am by people who are already tracing Craig Hicks' crime back to the strident but non-violent rhetoric of prominent New Atheists.
Read more… | 8 Comments
November 05, 2014
The Republican Party has won control of the United States Senate, giving Republicans control of both chambers of Congress next year. Yet, as important as this shift is, it is not the complete story on yesterday’s elections. In fact, you might be heartened to learn of some lesser-known results. To help fill you in, here's a brief summary of noteworthy results for the secular, skeptic, and humanist communities.
September 04, 2014
Saudi Arabia's appeals court in Mecca has confirmed the sentence of human rights activist Raif Badawi, 30, to ten years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and a one million riyal fine (USD $266,631). We must raise our voices to end the brutality.
Read more… | 13 Comments
July 18, 2014
On Monday, President Barack Obama will sign an executive order that will bar federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, according to news outlets. And, in a major win for advocates of secular government, the order will reportedly not include an exemption for religious organizations.