I am sad to report that the Center for Inquiry’s petition to the White House on behalf of jailed Indonesian atheist Alexander Aan closed yesterday with 8,000 signatures, well short of the 25,000 needed to secure a response from the administration. 

Since I’m emotionally drained — I was among several people leading the effort — I won’t say much here. Indeed, you can read my reactions here and here. Instead, I’ll just leave you to chew on this quote, from Russell Blackford:

“In the event, we have not only missed a chance to do some good for Alexander Aan (however remote that possibility was); we have made it look as if the secularist movement is a toothless tiger. If we can’t rally 25,000 people to sign a carefully drafted petition that contains no scary detail that ought to put anyone off … well, what can we do? How can we expect to have any political clout at all in these circumstances? ”