Try to take my joy.


Try to take my joy,

You will fail every attempt,

To deny freedom.

Ronovan Writes






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Write a Leader for Freedom. #BloggersForFreedom

I wrote in My Sunday Thoughts about Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian blogger who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, 50 each week for 20 weeks, plus about US $266,631.

50 of those lashes were just given in a public square after people had finished their prayer time. It was an example being set, Talk about us and we don’t like it and we’ll imprison you and beat you.

His wife was forced into a divorce and was able to leave the country with their three children, so are free in Canada now.

I also wrote a post about doing a hashtag campaign using #BloggersForRaifBadawi and #BloggersForFreedom.

Not much response to that, but it’s only been a short time. It may go somewhere.

The U.S. State Department posted this on January 8. There site is here.

“We are greatly concerned by reports that human rights activist Raif Badawi will start facing the inhumane punishment of a 1,000 lashes, in addition to serving a 10-year sentence in prison for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and religion. The United States Government calls on Saudi authorities to cancel this brutal punishment and to review Badawi’s case and sentence. The United States strongly opposes laws, including apostasy laws, that restrict the exercise of these freedoms, and urges all countries to uphold these rights in practice.”

The lashings took place. I wonder what the U.S. government will do now.

Amnesty International has been involved as well. Article here.

“The decision to sentence Raif Badawi to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes is outrageous. He is a prisoner of conscience who is guilty of nothing more than daring to create a public forum for discussion and peacefully exercising the right to freedom of expression. The authorities must overturn his conviction and release him immediately and unconditionally,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. ~From the article at

I thought these Tweets from UN Watch were telling:

UN Human Rights Council Whips ManUN Human Rights Council BlindBut if a political machine doesn’t think it will lose votes by doing nothing, then guess what it won’t do. That’s right, it won’t do something. I am not for the U.S. to act like it is the protector of the world but I would appreciate them making a stand where a stand needs to be made. The truth is we don’t need Saudi Arabia for anything. By that I mean the leadership. Just like you can’t judge Americans by our leadership, I’m not judging the Saudi people by theirs.

But we as citizens can do something. We can make noise. We can make it constantly. Americans on average get fired up about something and then that fire dies off after a while and everyone knows it. Time to change that.


Write your congressman. How often? That’s up to you.

I’m not going to tell you how to say something. I personally will likely speak to the inhumanity of what is happening. Laws of a nation are different wherever you go. So I don’t plan to speak to laws but I do plan to speak to inhumanity and a desire for our nation to place sanctions on Saudi Arabia unless the lashings discontinue.

I don’t think we should all be carbon copies of each other. Speak in a personal way to each Congressman. You are a voter that helps get them there or not. You didn’t vote for them? I don’t care. This isn’t about a political party. This is about humanity.

I don’t agree with his imprisonment either, but being in prison is one thing. 1,000 lashes with 50 per week I just cannot fathom even the idea of who comes up with punishments like that. If he had not listened to a judge and not appealed it would have been 7 years and 600 lashes I believe.

So you want to write a letter to your congressman? The link below will give you advice on how to form a letter. The same is for email or snail mail.

Not sure who your Senator is? The link below will help you out.

Don’t know who your Representative is? Try the link below. Just need to know your zip code.

As bloggers we should be angry about imprisonment over something like discussions about politics and society even if they belittle leaders. Imagine if that were a law in the U.S., there would be some serious overcrowding of the prison system.

But as people we all should be angry. Some may point to other cases in the world that could equally be spoken of but this is the one that jumped out at me. This is the one that was placed in front of my eyes and I decided to speak about it.

Now will you do anything about it? Are you in another country? You can write to your leaders too. Sorry I cannot do a list for every nation in the world of how to find your leaders and write to them. Well I could but it would take a while.

This is the next step I thought of in what to do. I will keep thinking but you think as well and start something. Like write your local and regional papers. Write to the White House. Start up whatever it is you need to start up. Set up a network to be used not just this once, but for the future as well. That’s the great thing about blogging. We’re all connected around the world. And we could do so much if we all just united to do it. I don’t know who could organize that. I would likely forget about something by the end of the week if not for my blog content to remind me. But let’s start something. #BloggersForFreedom







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#BloggersForRaifBadawi #BloggersForFreedom begins now.

I don’t know how to start a Hashtag Trend. But I am going to start a Hashtag or two and see what happens. I am really upset about the cruel treatment of the Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi. I wrote about in my Sunday Thought, 50 Lashes Against Freedom. Read it and see. I am too angry to write coherently right now about it again. Links to what is going on to him are there as well.

The hashtags I want to use are #BloggersForRaifBadawi and #BloggersForFreedom I don’t know if either will catch on but I am going to begin using them every day in some way. Join me if you like. You don’t have to but this is the only way I knew to really let people know what I want to do. Seriously, you do not have to join in and I will not think any less of any of my friends for not doing it. It’s just something I feel convicted to do.

bloggers for raif badawi




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My Sunday Thought: 50 Lashes against Freedom

Stepping on toes, insulting people, getting in someone’s face. Those aren’t things I tend to do.

Saudi blogger receives first 50 lashes of sentence for ‘insulting Islam’

You know I saw that article heading and some things jumped out at me.


50 Lashes

Insulting Islam

I’m an honest guy so I am going to be honest. None of it surprised me from what I see in the news. Aren’t we all accustomed to seeing it? Received this many lashes for this or that reason. Put to death because of insulting this or that. It’s almost like we are desensitized to it all. I mean I KNOW not all of Islam is like that.  We ALL have Muslim friends here through Blog World. I just never think of them as Muslim friends. I just think friends. The Muslim part never comes to mind nor does any other label you might put on someone.

Then I read the headline again because it came to my attention from a friend of mine across social media land. Yeah, we’re connected like that. Word.

Stay focused today, Ronovan.

Since this friend posted it I had to look again. So I looked again and saw “50 lashes OF sentence”. There would be more? I had to read more, as I always do when this particular friend posts something like this with the passion in which it was done.

The blogger is a man named Raif Badawi, a once husband, his wife’s family had activistthe courts put through a forced divorce, and father of three. The wife and kids were able to make it to Canada. He will now spend 10 years in prison and receive 1,000 lashes, 50 per week until completed. Each week he will be flogged. Before the wounds fully heal he will be lashed again. Why?

I also wonder will he again be transported from prison to the public square so those who have just went to prayer will witness it? Will it again last 15 minutes? Will the public lashing send the intended message to others not to do the same as he did? What did he do?

“According to Amnesty the charges against Badawi mention his failure to remove articles by other people on his website. He was also accused in court of ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s morality police.

In a statement after the flogging Amnesty called it a “vicious act of cruelty” and said Badawi’s “only ‘crime’ was to exercise his right to freedom of expression by setting up a website for public discussion”.

The US state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the punishment an “inhumane” response to someone exercising his right to freedom of expression and religion.”~Associated Press Dubai as seen on site.

You know, for some this is only about Islam. For me it isn’t. It’s more than religion to me. Yes, I am a Christian. And this being my Sunday Thought spot where I discuss my faith I chose instead to discuss this matter. I think everyone that has roamed the site here knows that I am an unashamed Christian. That means I have no beef against anyone else. I love all people, no matter your faith or non-faith. I live my life and I pray and hope others will come to Christ because I believe in Jesus and what the Bible says. Part of what the Bible says, what Jesus says, is that if someone won’t listen to you then shake the dust of that place off your feet and move on. It doesn’t say flog them, lash them, imprison them or force them.

Yes, some idiots in the past have done all of those things and used the Bible and Jesus as an excuse for trying to be in control of things, but they fell from power.

Now that I have the religion faith part of the Sunday Thought done, let’s move on. Although really, all of this is me and my faith is me.

This today is specifically about freedoms and what is simply right to do . What is humane to do.

The U.S. reached out to Saudi Arabia and asked them not to do the lashings, sort of. Okay. What are they going to do now? They call it wrong. What are they going to do now?

Pardon me here for a moment as I may venture into some less than Ronovan like moments. The U.S. leadership on both sides of the line don’t have the . . . backbone . . . to make a serious stand about anything with a country that has something it needs. Sure, we can make a stand against Iran, North Korea but they really don’t have us in a place where they are in control or where we can’t live without them.

Saudi Arabia on the other hand has the fuel that dives the U.S.. I’m  a bit sick of it myself. I won’t go into the politics of it all and where I see the failures in things.  All I am saying is just as no one had the . . . backbone to stand up for Jesus, the U.S. doesn’t have it to stand up for this man nor any others who are flogged and murdered for offenses that aren’t offenses to anyone other than those who fear for their political power if an idea is allowed to spread.

Will I receive some backlash from readers or a drop in followers and views of my site for coming out against people who are gutless power tripping maniacs? If you are reading this, do you think I care?

Oh, but some are saying, “At least he wasn’t killed like those people in Paris for drawing cartoons.” You want to know why that happened? That happened because people haven’t made a stand for decades against things like what is happening to Raif Badawi. Those men in Paris and others have no fear of reprisals. They want to be martyrs. I don’t want Raif Badawi to be a martyr. Mankind already has the only martyr it needs.

Each country has a different set of laws. I don’t know the laws in Saudi Arabia. I do know this though, there is no law that can keep me from thinking, believing and caring what I want to.


Thank you for giving us the freedom to think as we wish and make the choices as we wish. I pray that those in power will have the strength to follow what is right over what is self serving. As you have been a servant to this world I ask that those in Saudi Arabia become servants as well, servants to those who look to them for leadership and example, those in the U.S. to do the same. I pray that all those who read this are blessed by you with a desire to better the world with love and not lashes. All of this I ask in the name of Jesus who you gave all power in heaven and on earth, Amen.

Ronovan Writes


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