In response to a deluge of requests by people from all over the world who wish to join us in asking to take a portion of the punishment of Raif Badawi, my dear friend Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights, has created a website where people can sign up to offer to take some of Raif’s lashes. By sharing this website, I do not mean in any way to pressure anyone to sign up. This is a purely personal and vocational decision. No one is deficient in respect for human rightsand no one is a cowardfor not joining us. In my opinion, God calls all of us to bear moral witness, but he does not call all of us to bear it in the same way.
For example, not everyone was called to join Dr. King in going to jail in Albany, Georgia or Birmingham, Alabama. For those who feel called in this case, however, Katrina and her Foundation are making this website available. The one thing I would call everyone to do is pray for Raif and his family, and for the softening of the hearts of the Saudi officials responsible for the horrific injustice being committed against him. (For those who are reading this note who are not believers, may I suggest that you nevertheless join us in prayer, praying in the mode of Charles Ryder in Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited: Oh, God (if there is a God), I ask you to . . .”)