Robert George is a Christian, Conservative professor at Princeton University, and he's the Vice Chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. George is no New Age Christian, full of COEXIST bumper stickers and moral relativism. He's the author of a document called The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience, which challenged Christians to stand up against abortion, embryonic stem cell research, same-sex marriage, and religious persecution.
Another thing George is known for, besides his values and faith, is his brilliance. He's a graduate of Swarthmore College, Harvard Law, and Oxford. When somebody like Robert George speaks, even liberals listen. George has used his reputation to advocate for religious liberty, particularly for American Christians being pressured by government and liberal groups to compromise their rights.
In another part of the world, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi faces 1,000 lashes for the crime of criticizing Muslim clerics. Badawi has already suffered the first round of 50 lashes, with 19 more sets of 50 to come. Think about how twisted this is. The government lashes the man until he is bleeding and broken, then lets him heal a bit, then does it again. And the cycle repeats: lashes, healing, more lashes.
"Not only does this postponement on health grounds expose the utter brutality of this punishment, it underlines its outrageous inhumanity. 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. Flogging should not be carried out under any circumstances," said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa Program in the release.
One would expect leftist anti-religion activists such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation to stand up and take action on behalf of Badawi in order to ease his suffering at the hand of Muslims, but you would be wrong.
One man who has stood up for Badawi in the most impressive way possible is the Conservative Christian, Robert George.
George has contacted the Saudi government and asked them to stop torturing Raif Badawi. Failing that, George and six others from USCIRF have offered to take the lashes on behalf of Badawi.
"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.
Offering to take Badawi's lashes along with George are: Mary Ann Glendon, member of the Board, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; M. Zuhdi Jasser, president, American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Daniel Mark assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Villanova University; Hannah Rosenthal, CEO, Milwaukee Jewish Federation; Eric Schwartz, dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota and Katrina Lantos Swett, president of Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice.
Note that among those offering this tremendous sacrifice are people of other faiths, including Jewish and Muslim. People of all faiths, coming together to defend the basic human rights of a man who's been stripped of them, while atheist groups do nothing.
One of the long-standing falsehoods of the atheist movement is that they are humanists who want to celebrate mankind, and protect it from the evils of organized religion. Here, presented with their chance, they've punted. Instead, it's people of faith standing up to defend with their own pain and suffering the rights of another.