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Jean Akouri

Jean Akouri lives in Lebanon, where he grew up witnessing firsthand the nefarious impact of religious faith on societies. With nearly 20 recognized Abrahamic sects, the Republic of Lebanon has managed to self-destruct—largely over disagreements on whose version of the God delusion trumps the other's. Entrenched political sectarianism has also ensured the disintegration of all state institutions, as various Christian and Muslim parties fought over dividing corruption spoils among each other. Where the promotion of innate human critical thinking skills and empathy would have created a paradise, a failed state has been struggling for air in various forms over decades. Nowhere is the importance of freedom from religion more glaringly obvious than the Lebanese Republic.

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Human What?

Pope John Paul II, who had just died, was being touted as a champion of human rights. Countless eulogies elevated him to near sainthood, with only an occasional mention of his "controversial" stands on issues related to "sexual morality." This, it seems, is the category under which the news reporters at least classified humanity's all-too-obvious need to control the destructive global population rate explosions, and the basic rights of people who happened to need love from others of the same gender.