Falling Awake

Just Darts Since 2009

Professor Paul Zachary Myers, Bigot

Recently, Paul Myers, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota had this to say about the Eucharist in a post entitled “It’s a Frackin’ Cracker!”

I have an idea. Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers? There’s no way I can personally get them — my local churches have stakes prepared for me, I’m sure — but if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I’ll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare… [I will]treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web. I shall do so joyfully and with laughter in my heart. If you can smuggle some out from under the armed guards and grim nuns hovering over your local communion ceremony, just write to me and I’ll send you my home address.

I’m not going to link to his blog, but it’s easily accessible through the university’s web site, here.  (Scroll down until you see Paul Myers, then click the link.)  [Update: the link has since been removed.  If you want to find the site, search for “paul myers frackin cracker” here.  His blog is called Pharyngula.]

Here are some of the comments from his fans:

Well, this is a community that believes that every sperm is sacred…

Those f——s worship an imaginary a—– who told his acolytes, “Eat me,” and his name wasn’t even Michael Valentine Smith. They give these gomers drivers licenses and guns, too.

It is certainly sacred when it gets pooped out…I’m sure I’ve Jesus in the toilet bowl more than once…

These are from the first twenty or so comments, and there are hundreds of comments.  I’m sure these comments are from people who normally congratulate themselves on their tolerance.  Why the hate?  Well, you see it’s a science blog.  And scientists are always butting heads with the Church because the Church says things like, “Well yes, you can do things like cloning embryos but you shouldn’t, and here’s why…”  To which the enlightened scientists respond by screaming, falling down and kicking their heels against the floor.  Because they’re so smart and important and how dare you judge them?

Apparently, Myers got some flack for this post from the Catholic League and he’s asking people to e-mail the university’s president to defend him.  Here’s the e-mail address.  The president’s name is Robert Bruininks.

Here’s mine:

Dear Mr. Bruininks:

 I am appalled at the bigotry of your professor, Paul Z. Myers.  His mockery of a religion’s most solemn beliefs–and threat to commit the most outrageous sacrilege–is a sorry statement on the quality of your faculty.  The man seems to be motivated by nothing but malicious cruelty and an overwhelming hatred of Christianity.  If you have any interest in ensuring that your students are taught not only information but morality, decency, and tolerance for the beliefs of others, please do the right thing and discipline him.

 Write your own if you feel like it.

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90 responses to “Professor Paul Zachary Myers, Bigot

  1. Itchy July 10, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Dr. Myers openly ridicules certain beliefs, however that is very different than bigotry.

    What are you suggesting his punishment should be? What is the price of your offense? Are you aware that Dr. Myers is receiving death threats? Will you speak against that? Why have you spoken against the cracker threats, but not against the death threats? Are you sure that you have your priorities straight?

    Religious offense is a rather base emotion rooted in tribalism. In the past it resulted in torture, beheadings, and war. Though you have only asked for Dr. Myers to be “disciplined,” the underlying emotion behind your asking is the same.

    You have been offended, but you’ll be OK. Let it go.

  2. soyisidora July 10, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    His link has been removed! AMEN! Silly professor! those (alleged) death threats he’s been getting are perhaps sent by his own silly followers?

    He’s pretty stupid to think he could use tax payer money to express his ignorance!

  3. Mike Kriskey July 10, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Itchy-

    Discipline could be as simple as a stern talking to, issuing a statement rebuking him for his intolerance, or removing the link to his website from the university’s page. (As has now been done.) The same things that would happen if he targeted any other religious group.

    A bigot is a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion. Professor Paul Zachary Myers is a bigot.

    I’m not offended so much as appalled. I think there’s something pathological about the extremity of people such as Professor Myers.

  4. Mike Kriskey July 10, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    “confirmed Catholic…” That”ll fool him. Added 7/13: I was uncharitable here. The previous commenter may not have intentionally been trying to deceive the university president. But he is using an ambiguous term. A confirmed Catholic could mean a Catholic who has undergone the sacrament of Confirmation (I believe this is how he is using it). It can also be a Catholic who is unwavering in his faith in the Church and all her teachings (I believe this is how it will be understood by the president). He should have been more clear in which meaning he was using.

    Listen, I see your point. If you don’t believe that the Eucharist is actually Christ then whatever you do to it is meaningless.

    Evidently Professor Myers doesn’t believe in transubstantiation. So why will he abuse the host “joyfully and with laughter in [his] heart?”

    Because he’s an anti-Catholic bigot with no class or sense of decorum.

    And that’s MY point.

  5. Itchy July 10, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    soyisidora, Myers’ blog is hosted by scienceblogs.com which is unrelated to the university, and has nothing to do with taxpayer money.

    Mike K, are you suggesting that one should not criticize opinions and beliefs at all? Or only that religious beliefs should not be criticized?

    Suppose we had a debate about whether the prime rate should be raised or lowered. Surely you would not call me “intolerant” for disagreeing with you on such a topic. I could even call you stupid for believing the prime rate should be moved in such-and-such direction, yet you wouldn’t call me a bigot.

    But if that topic happens to be a particular religious belief, would you call me intolerant and a bigot for my disagreement?

  6. Jesse July 10, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Here’s mine

    Dear President Bruininks,

    As a confirmed Catholic and an alumnus of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, I am writing to you this evening in support of Associate Professor PZ Myers.

    I have been informed that Professor myers has come under fire from the Catholic League for his comic incendiarism apropos of an incident within the Church (where an unleavened Host was held hostage by a parishioner for a number of days).

    While the professor’s remarks are admittedly provocative, they are controversial only insofar as an individual privileges the tenets of one particular group (the Catholic idea of transubstantiation) over the parsimonious principles governing the laws of the universe.

    If I were a member of the KKK, I might justifiably take umbrage at a proposition referencing the Declaration of Independence put forth in a blog by a modern constitutional scholar at the University that “all [Homo sapiens] are created equal.” Especially if the statement was delivered mockingly in an attempt to poke fun at the idea of racial typology.

    If it were the dominant view in society that racist groups such as mine ought to be afforded an inordinate level of respect because of their beliefs (no matter how inaccurate), it is likely that a Grand Dragon in the KKK would be making a similar case against the constitutional scholar––demanding that their views be respected and that those who poke public fun at their worldview be reprimanded and silenced for their dissenting opinion and public mockery.

    Religious groups are afforded an inordinate level of respect in this country because religious propositions running counter to the laws of the universe are widely accepted as true (belief in miracles, transubstantiation, myths about creation etc.).

    The Catholic League is misguided in their demand that their views be sheltered from public criticism simply on the grounds that a professor’s public statement is offensive to some and comical to others.

    I hope that I have illustrated that the Catholic League lacks a fundamental premise. ‘Respect, fairness, and civility’ in our online discourse only apply to other humans in this case.

    If one takes as fact, the transubstantiation of the Eucharist, then the Catholic League has a case against Professor Myers. In other words, unless one can show that Jesus Christ Himself (not just an unleavened wafer) were affronted, threatened, or terrorized because of His race, creed, color, or sex by the professor’s post in some way, any case that the Catholic League attempts to make for “action” to be taken against him ought to be roundly dismissed.

    Further, given the threats on PZ’s personal welfare, it is my uneasy request that care be taken by the University to support and protect PZ’s welfare, status, and academic freedom.

  7. S. Mason July 11, 2008 at 1:14 am

    The Catholic Religion is about belief in objective truth. Truth is not a debatable set of ideas, it’s a Person.–God (“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jn. 14:6). Catholics love this God who they believe choses to allow Himself to look like a wafer. Those who wish to desecrate a Host WILL offend those who believe it is God. If a man’s wife whom he loved was violated by another man, no one would question the indignation towards the violator that would follow.

  8. soyisidora July 11, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Itchy,

    I’m in marketing. If you place your link on someone’s site, that’s advertising. He has been rightly REMOVED from the university since he was clearly breaking the rules. It’s a state university which means it receives state (tax) dollars. He linked, (I didn’t) his hateful passion to an institution of learning. He’s a bigot and so now he can go ahead and spread his hatred to the choir, but for Heaven’s sakes, leave the University out of it! It doesn’t do the university any credit.

    But that’s been removed now. All is well. He can spew all his misunderstandings and hatred without involving the public schoo.

    The Catholic League simply exercised its rights.

    The system works!

    He should file a report to the police if he’s getting harrassed,

  9. leeharrison July 11, 2008 at 3:04 am

    The Catholic Religion is about belief in objective truth. Truth is not a debatable set of ideas, it’s a Person.–God (”I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jn. 14:6).

    No it’s not – simply saying that something is so doesn’t make it so. Catholics may claim that their belief is in an object truth, but as far as any actual evidence goes their belief is in a collection of personal feelings and learned cultural referents. Same with any other religion.

    If a man’s wife whom he loved was violated by another man, no one would question the indignation towards the violator that would follow.

    Well duh. How is that supposed to be a realistic parallel? The wife is real, right? Not just some piece of bread that the man has decided to view as being in essence his wife despite her continuing physical ‘breadosity’.

    No person was harmed when the kid took the wafer home. Nothing was even stolen since it was freely given to him. No person would be harmed should PZ follow through on his hyperbole and ‘desecrate’ the cracker on video for all to see. Ridiculing arrant nonsense is not bigotry, and neither is it intolerance. Bigotry and intolerance are attempts to deny rights (freedom of speech, anyone?), calls for removal from office and death threats – all of which have come from Catholics over this.

    There have been a lot of calls for PZ to grow up, and I find that hilarious.

    “Momma, that nasty bearded man insulted me and made me feel bad and I’m sure he made baby Jesus cry – please get him fired, Momma, or killed – oh please say you will.”

    Goddam milk babies…

  10. Itchy July 11, 2008 at 3:12 am

    soyisidora, I actually misread your previous comment, which I took to imply that the university hosted his blog. I don’t know the details of whether a link qualifies as advertisement in the legal sense, so I will concede the point.

    S. Mason, assuming you were responding to me, I can only say that, sorry, I do not believe what you believe. Does that make me an intolerant bigot? Or do those labels apply only to someone who directly voices opinions which conflict with the Catholic Church? If I were to argue that certain Catholic doctrines lead to greater human suffering in the world, would you call me a bigot?

  11. Marianne July 11, 2008 at 7:35 am

    I am a scientist.

    When it comes to religion, most scientists are idiots.

    marianne
    http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/

  12. leeharrison July 11, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I am a scientist.

    When it comes to religion, most scientists are idiots.

    Well, there’s a persuasive argument…

    Since you are a scientist, I conclude from your comment that there is a high statistical likelihood of you being an idiot when it comes to religion, Marianne.

  13. leeharrison July 11, 2008 at 8:20 am

    He can spew all his misunderstandings and hatred without involving the public schoo [sic].

    Soyisidora, would you care to outline what those misunderstandings were?

  14. kconeill July 11, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Considering that Bill Donohue, the man behind the online harrassment of PZ Myers, is himself an anti-Semitic, anti-woman bigot — just Google “donohue hollywood jews” and see what is dredged up — seeing him and his minions attacking Professor Myers is like seeing Hitler accusing Churchill of war crimes.

  15. James H. Barre July 11, 2008 at 10:29 am

    LETTER TO UM PRESIDENT

    Dear Mr. Bruininks:

    Tolerance is made a mockery by the vituperative antics of your associate Paul Z. Myers. The great University of Minnesota system should be appalled that one of their own should use the university bully pulpit to spew such hate filled speech toward the Catholic Church and its’ people.

    His actions are exacerbated by the fact that he, the “professor” is not responding to personal insult but rather charges proactively in seeking to defame, ridicule and insult millions of believers without cause. Such hateful rhetoric directed toward an innocent non threatening segment of society has historically been the root of such fascist horrors as the holocaust of the past,and today in the genocide present in Darfur and Zimbabwe. And to add a suspected irony to the foregoing comments-I would suspect Professor Myers would check “yes” if asked “Are you now, or have you ever been a Liberal?”.

    If his statements are justified by your office under the guise of Academic Freedom, then the hate laws of this country discouraging such malevolent expressions are a sham!

    The University should be embarrassed and, hopefully, ashamed.

  16. Marianne July 11, 2008 at 10:49 am

    To Lee Harrison

    I said “most” scientists are idiots about religion….that is because they are atheists, and approach God in an attitude of unbelief…therefore, nothing could be true to them , because they have already made up their minds…

    However,

    Some scientists are Christians, and actually understand their faith. We not not idiots.

    Your logic makes you appear to be in the first category.

    marianne

  17. Pam July 11, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I tremble and weep at the sheer hate that this has generated–beginning with Mr. Myers. No, maybe you do not believe that a consecrated host is Jesus, transubstantiated from bread and wine. Maybe you believe that religion/the Catholic Church is a gathering of people following an antique set of rules. However, what I believe is that Jesus IS present in the bread and wine after it is consecrated. I believe the Catholic Church leads her faithful in living according to the words and actions of Jesus and the commands of HIs Father. These are my beliefs.

    When I hear someone threaten to descecrate something I hold sacred, I feel violated as well; not only from the hate that comes from such an action, but the amount of people that have cheered him on in his hate. You don’t have to like what I believe, or follow what I believe. As an American, I expect you to respect something I hold sacred, not to belittle and treat me with upmost contempt. I know there are people who will bring up the KKK, Hitler, etc. in reference to this. Free speech? What are you going to do?

    If you don’t like what the largest church in the world believes, that’s fine with me. Just don’t keep spreading the hate.

  18. Itchy July 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Pam: “When I hear someone threaten to descecrate something I hold sacred, I feel violated as well; not only from the hate that comes from such an action, but the amount of people that have cheered him on in his hate.”

    Pam, are you sure that accusation fits? They do not believe what you believe, in fact they think the whole thing ridiculous, and they behave accordingly. That is not hate, it’s just irreverence. Hate is an emotion that you have projected onto them.

    I think you will survive the emotional turmoil of your own offense. You’ll be OK. Don’t let it get to ya.

  19. S. Mason July 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Lee Harrison said:
    “No it’s not – simply saying that something is so doesn’t make it so. Catholics may claim that their belief is in an object truth, but as far as any actual evidence goes their belief is in a collection of personal feelings and learned cultural referents. Same with any other religion.”

    To Lee Harrison:
    Does disbelief in something make it false, especially if those who don’t believe are many and/or the loudest? How DO we know what is true and what isn’t? Public polls? “Common sense”??

    The Catholic Church teaches Transubstantiation because Jesus Christ, who sufficiently proved by his miracles, fulfillment of prophesies, and rising from the dead that he is God, said that he would communicate himself to the world under the appearances of bread and wine. (“The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Jn. 6:51 Then at the last supper: “This is my body, this is my blood. Take and eat.”)

    Itchy said:
    “assuming you were responding to me, I can only say that, sorry, I do not believe what you believe. Does that make me an intolerant bigot? Or do those labels apply only to someone who directly voices opinions which conflict with the Catholic Church? If I were to argue that certain Catholic doctrines lead to greater human suffering in the world, would you call me a bigot?”

    To Itchy:

    I don’t call you anything except probably ignorant of exactly what the Catholic Church teaches and why. You have the right to believe what you want, just as Catholics do. If people were more occupied in discerning truth and living by it ,than in ridiculing those who are convinced they’ve found it, there would be alot less human suffering in the world.

  20. Cho Xin-jiang July 11, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    “However, what I believe is that Jesus IS present in the bread and wine after it is consecrated. I believe the Catholic Church leads her faithful in living according to the words and actions of Jesus and the commands of HIs Father. These are my beliefs.”

    Wow, you almost had me going! Great parody!

  21. Mike Kriskey July 11, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Lee H —

    I understand what you’re saying when you say no one is harmed by desecrating the Eucharist. I know you are not Catholic, and do not believe that the Eucharist is the literal body and blood of Jesus.

    I’d guess you’d also agree that–for example–a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. is not an actual person. But would you not find it offensive if Professor Myers posted shots of himself doing disgusting things to such a picture? Wouldn’t you think that someone who did such a thing must be a bigot? I’ll grant for the sake of argument that the Eucharist is nothing but a cracker. The act itself is still evidence of bigotry because the only reason for it–and for Professor Myers’ imagined joy in the act–would be the anguish it would cause a group of people. In the case of the hypothetical photo, the act would clearly be targeting African-Americans, in the case of the Eucharist, he is targeting Catholics. It’s bigotry either way.

    You also say that smuggling a Eucharist out of a church for the purpose of desecrating it is not stealing, because the Eucharist is freely given. If I were to go door to door collecting money for the Red Cross, and then used that money for purposes of my own, I would certainly be a thief. How much more so if I were to fraudulently take from Catholics what they value much more than mere money.

    All that said, now that the link from the University’s site has been removed, I’ve got no beef. This is America, and Professor Myers is free to be a bigot if that’s what makes him happy.

    By the way, I think campus speech codes are wrong and should be abolished. They are doubly wrong, however, when they are used to silence only one side. Apply them equally, or do away with them all together.

  22. Mike DJ July 11, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Thank God for the defenders of the Catholic faith, for not simply allowing atheists to have their way and feel good about it. If atheists could just focus on arguing the case for atheism…oh that’s right, there is no case for atheism with reference to some kind of belief in God.

  23. Itchy July 11, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    S. Mason: “I don’t call you anything except probably ignorant of exactly what the Catholic Church teaches and why. You have the right to believe what you want, just as Catholics do.”

    We might debate some aspect of Catholic doctrine and its effects in the world. Presumably you understand the difference between reasonable argumentation and puerile assertions of “I’m good, you’re bad, nah nah nah.”

    We both recognize that such a debate could take place, in principle. I asked whether my participation in such a debate makes me an anti-Catholic bigot. Judging from your response above, it appears that your answer is no.

    So why is this label applied to others? If they are mocking the opposing point of view, then that is just childish, ineffective argumentation. It means they have no debating skills, and probably little emotional intelligence as well. But it does not mean they are bigots.

  24. Ed Darrell July 11, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    If you don’t want the mockery, stop working so hard to earn it. Don’t deserve it.

    Don’t be gomer.

    I realize you may find reasonable action difficult. Tough. If you don’t want the disrespect, earn the respect instead.

    Most of the defenses I see against P.Z. make Christianity out to be a greater abomination than anything he could possibly say.

    Do you really hate reason? Is your skin so thin, your understanding of the sacrament so low, your ability to laugh off meaningless insults so small, that you need to rant as above?

  25. Mike Kriskey July 11, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Hi, Itchy. I’m glad you posted again.

    I wanted to address your question of what constitutes bigotry.

    I’m using the word in its usual sense: intolerance of another’s race, color, creed or nation of origin.

    So I guess the question is what consitutes “intolerance.”

    You’ve come to this site and expressed your disagreement with me on this issue, and your disagreement with Catholics on the reality of transubtantiation. That’s fine, because you don’t have to agree with something to tolerate it. Of course not, because tolerance is only required where disagreement exists.

    So what is intolerance? It can be hard to draw the line, but I think encouraging people to infiltrate a church to steal a Eucharist in order to publicly desecrate it is somewhere on the wrong side of it.

    Contary to popular belief, most Catholics just want to be left in peace.

  26. Mike Kriskey July 11, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Edarrell! Is that you? Long time no see.

  27. leeharrison July 11, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I said “most” scientists are idiots about religion….that is because they are atheists, and approach God in an attitude of unbelief…therefore, nothing could be true to them , because they have already made up their minds…

    Yes Marianne, that’s right – you said ‘most’. Which is why I said that there was a ‘high statistical likelihood’, not certainty. Please keep up.

    So ‘nothing could be true’ to an atheist? You’re aware that this is nonsense, right? Lots of things are true – we hold them to be true thanks to this little thing called evidence. If you don’t get that, I seriously doubt your claim to be a scientist. I don’t know any atheist who approached the God question from an a priori attitude of disbelief – in fact, most of the atheists I know were once christians. Atheists do not have a belief in a lack of a god, they simply don’t have a belief in the presence of one. Good evidence could change that – got any?

    Some scientists are Christians, and actually understand their faith. We not not [sic] idiots.

    heh heh heh… (Yes, I am sometimes easily amused.)

    If you don’t like what the largest church in the world believes, that’s fine with me. Just don’t keep spreading the hate.

    Pam, are you aware that members of the largest church in the world have been sending death threats? Is that okay? Is it better or worse than making fun of a ridiculous overreaction? Does responding with ridicule and incredulity to bitter assaults on freedoms and the sending of death threats count as ‘spreading hate’? Or is what is being responded to – the threats and vituperation – the real ‘spreading hate’?

    I don’t hate Catholics, Pam – I don’t know them all. I find the dogmas to be little more than silly dark age superstitions and post hoc rationalisations, but that’s ‘catholicism’, not ‘catholics’ – and finding something silly does not equate to hatred. I amprepared to hate individuals who send death threats and apply strongarm tactics just because they’ve been offended and aren’t adult enough to move on.

    Does disbelief in something make it false, especially if those who don’t believe are many and/or the loudest? How DO we know what is true and what isn’t? Public polls? “Common sense”??

    S. Mason, true or false is not decided by majority vote or how vocal people may be. Saying ‘I believe’ is no more proof of a proposition than saying ‘I don’t believe’ is disproof. What matters is evidence, and the quality of the evidence.

    Mike Krisky, if PZ were to do such a thing to a picture of Martin Luther King I’d find it tasteless, but not offensive. I would also find it tasteless if he followed through on his hyperbole and ‘desecrated’ the eucharist – but it wouldn’t be offensive to me. It wouldn’t have been offensive even when I was christian – offense is a choice, and no one said you have to watch whatever he may do. In the case of your Doctor King example, I would also ask, “What’s Doctor King supposed to have done to deserve such treatment?” In the case of this ridiculous overreaction from a number of members of the catholic church, a reaction that began with assault and rapidly expanded to include calls for the student’s expulsion, death threats, vituperative hatred and stupid comparisons to kidnap and rape, the ridicule is richly deserved.

    I’ll bet you thought that the relatively recent reaction of many Muslims to naming a class teddy bear Mohammed was ridiculous, right? A silly triviality blown out of all proportion into a major offense deserving of censure, imprisonment or even death. Do you see the parallels, or do you need them spelling out?

    If atheists could just focus on arguing the case for atheism…oh that’s right, there is no case for atheism with reference to some kind of belief in God.

    Mike DJ, what a singularly silly statement. First, you’re the one asserting that belief is justified – the onus is on youto demonstrate this. Second, if a case for atheism is being made, that case necessarily refers to belief in God – of course it does! You can’t argue against a position without referring to it, for goodness sake! Third, arguments for atheism have been made, and are being made, again and again, all over the internet, in bookstores, in public debates… Try looking.

  28. Itchy July 11, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Mike K,

    Let’s try a neutral example. You will object that it is a ridiculous example–a caricature–and I agree. But that is the purpose: I want to demarcate the boundaries with an extreme case.

    Suppose there is a religion called Callayism which has around 100,000 devotees spread throughout the Midwestern U.S. The ritual beliefs and practices of Callyism are highly complex and elaborate. Among them is one ritual which constitutes the purest, most despicable, most unconscionable blasphemy: that is to hop on one foot and shout, “tulgey, tulgey, tulgey!” To perform it is to incur the greatest offense to a Callyist.

    P.Z. Myers gets a hold of this information and gleefully writes about how stupid Callyists are. He makes a video of himself performing the blasphemous act and posts on his blog.

    (1) Is Dr Myers an anti-Callyist bigot?
    (2) Is he intolerant of Callyists?
    (3) Is he a bigot?
    (4) Is he an intolerant person?
    (5) Does he deserve to lose his job?
    (6) Does he deserve some sort of “discipline”?
    (7) Should the university issue a statement condemning Myers?

    [Extra credit: Can you guess what the sacred text of Callyism is?]

    I look forward to your response.

  29. Lauran July 11, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    What a novel concept–to ridicule the Holy Eucharist, the Pope, the Catholic Church, and the Catholic League, all in one succinct statement, in order to procure as much attention as possible for himself. A real Renaissance man, this one. Be real–if this associate professor dared to make so much as even a baby’s breath whisper of an insult against the religions of, say, Judaism, Protestantism, or Islam, to name just a few, all anyone would possibly be hearing from him afterwards is, “Would you like fries with that?”

  30. Dee July 11, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    “If a man’s wife whom he loved was violated by another man, no one would question the indignation towards the violator that would follow.

    Well duh. How is that supposed to be a realistic parallel? The wife is real, right? Not just some piece of bread that the man has decided to view as being in essence his wife despite her continuing physical ‘breadosity’”

    The bread you referred to was consecrated therefore, it was not just a piece of bread. To us Catholics the consecrated bread is real, the body of Christ. Before you say anything I suggest you study the teaching of Catholics. Then, perhaps you’ll learn to respect:).

  31. brittany marie July 11, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I am not a fan of P.Z. Myers, and this whole disagreement could go on for ages…actually, I take that back. Disputes like these sadly define too much of religious history.

    However, while I understand that you are not happy, it does not seem very good of you to post half the story and then blame it on his scientific occupation. The interaction of science and religion is not that clear cut for you to make such an assumption.

    Isn’t Myers responding to an incident/misunderstanding between a Catholic church and attendee…from the articles I have seen, it would appear that the Catholic church overreacted a little in response to the attendees own misunderstanding of the Eucharist and its sacredness.

    [Mike, here: In case you didn’t see it, I addressed your first point in a separate post, here.]

  32. Lauran July 12, 2008 at 12:46 am

    On second thought, I have an idea, too. Why try to enlist others to do what you can do for yourself, little man? Head on over to the Church and do your own dirty work. You’ve been misinformed–you won’t find any ‘armed guards ‘ or ‘grim nuns hovering.’ You can walk right in, everyone’s welcomed. You may even slither out with the Eucharist, but you won’t be desecrating anything but yourself–then again, you’ve already taken care of that.

  33. leeharrison July 12, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Before you say anything I suggest you study the teaching of Catholics. Then, perhaps you’ll learn to respect:).

    I was raised catholic, Dee – served on the altar, attended every weekend, went to a catholic school, really liked my priest ( a good man who never went anywhere near me in any inappropriate way). I know that to you catholics the bread is assumed to be real – and I find it ridiculous. It is not something I am going to respect. I’ll respect your legal right to believe it (you’ll never hear me call for a ban on catholicism) – all you have to do is respect my right to find it ridiculous, stupid, superstitious and un-evidenced.

    No one’s trying to take your beliefs away, Dee. You just need to learn to live with the fact that, in the eyes of many, your beliefs are ridiculous – and they have every right to say so.

    Lauran said:

    Be real–if this associate professor dared to make so much as even a baby’s breath whisper of an insult against the religions of, say, Judaism, Protestantism, or Islam, to name just a few, all anyone would possibly be hearing from him afterwards is, “Would you like fries with that?”

    Well, you’ve very obviously never read the blog, have you? If you had, you’d know that PZ has criticised every one of these several times over. It’s kind of a recurring theme. Of course, that really wrecks your ‘us poor catholics are so put-upon’ meme, so I understand that you may not want to actually do some fact checking.

  34. Lauran July 12, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Frankly, leeharrison, I’m not terribly interested in ‘the blog’ or in ‘PZ,’ for that matter. If he had the facts, he wouldn’t advertise his ignorance so blatantly, so his blog would certainly not be a place I’d visit, or plan to visit, to find any ‘facts.’ As far as wrecking our ‘poor Catholics’ being ‘so put-upon meme’ (theme?), I don’t feel at all poor or put upon–why would I? Now, defending your beliefs is ‘whining?’ Hardly. If he is (or was) criticizing the religions I mentioned, my guess is that not too many other folks are interested in him or in his blog either. He’s looking for attention, and he’s getting some attention–do some fact searching yourself and you’ll find that he, and is comments, aren’t all that uncommon. Good day to you.

  35. Poirot57 July 12, 2008 at 2:40 am

    I found the following quote from our friendly to be most interesting and enlightening:

    The Quote:

    These are from the first twenty or so comments, and there are hundreds of comments. I’m sure these comments are from people who normally congratulate themselves on their tolerance. Why the hate?

    Unquote

    Good question: why the hate? Why does Mr. Myers hate? And why is he so intolerant of others and their beliefs when, supposedly, those beliefs have nothing to dow with him? Can we expect an attack on Muslims next? Atheists? How about on wanna-be intellectual snobs? Our friendly host sees no intolerance in Mr. Myers’ vitriole and attacks but sees it in every objection to Mr. Myers’ hatred, not only to the death threats.

    I am not Catholic but a fundamental of life is respect of others’ beliefs and the practice of those beliefs. We are chastised to respect Mr. Myers and his beliefs while he ridicules the beliefs of Catholics? Anyone see any inconsistancy here?

    You will note that tolerance is a favorite liberal primal scream but it is only permitted when a liberal has been offended by anything to do with religion. It is against the rules for any religious person to claim intolerance by the likes of Mr. Myers.

    Bottom line: In Mr. Myers’ Neighborhood, all must think and act like him; all who think and act freely must be ridiculed and attacked. Welcome to Liberal World.

    Mr. Myers, ask yourself this question: if there is a God in heaven and you stand before Him one day, what will your defense be?

  36. ngong July 12, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Poirot…you assume that God has an ego and is tweaked by PZ’s actions. Rather insulting and small-minded, I’d say. For all you know, PZ gets a pass because he has shown some courage, originality, and brightens up a rather tedious existence in heaven.

  37. Mike Kriskey July 12, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Itchy–

    I’d rather discuss real world examples. There are many religions, races and nationalities to choose from, so why don’t you think it over and get back to me with another case. Or better yet, since I’ve given you my definition of bigotry, why don’t you give me yours?

    I never said Professor Myers should lose his job, unless he would also lose his job for similar behavior targeting other religions. And if that is the case, then I would prefer for any campus speech codes to be abolished.

  38. Pingback: A (partial) retraction « Falling Awake

  39. Mike Kriskey July 12, 2008 at 11:19 am

    However, while I understand that you are not happy, it does not seem very good of you to post half the story and then blame it on his scientific occupation. The interaction of science and religion is not that clear cut for you to make such an assumption.

    Isn’t Myers responding to an incident/misunderstanding between a Catholic church and attendee…from the articles I have seen, it would appear that the Catholic church overreacted a little in response to the attendees own misunderstanding of the Eucharist and its sacredness.

    I think your first point is a good one, Brittany. I addressed it in a new post.

    I chose to focus on Professor Myers because he is a grown man and a scholar who knew exactly what he was doing. It was Professor Myers’ own overreaction that interested me enough to post this.

  40. Itchy July 12, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Mike K,

    Please answer the hypothetical case I outlined first. Your answers are an essential data point. If you refuse, I can only conclude that in considering this simple case you have realized that your argument breaks down, and that you have consequently disengaged in the debate.

    In the meantime I will answer your question about how I would define bigotry. A bigot is a person intolerant of persons who hold differing creeds, beliefs, or opinions. Creeds, beliefs, and opinions themselves should not automatically be shielded from criticism. We should be able to freely criticize beliefs without fear of being labeled a bigot. After all, beliefs may bear harmful consequences, and how are we to deal those beliefs if we cannot criticize them in the first place?

  41. OJ July 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    The piece I don’t get is why offend what others hold sacred? Even if there is a constitutional right to free speech.

    I have seen the comments from other Bloggers, “grow up, you’ll survive”… But shouldn’t we be saying the same to Mr. Myers if he looses his job? We are not in the middle ages anymore, the reality is that in our dynamic economy jobs come and go… I’m sure he will find another job and he will be OK

    Why would an university want a professor that is offensive to a portion of its student body? Because he is a free thinker? Not enough! There is qualified people in every industry in this country… hire the one that is not offensive to others.

  42. Mike Kriskey July 12, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    I will answer your question about how I would define bigotry. A bigot is a person intolerant of persons who hold differing creeds, beliefs, or opinions. Creeds, beliefs, and opinions themselves should not automatically be shielded from criticism. We should be able to freely criticize beliefs without fear of being labeled a bigot. After all, beliefs may bear harmful consequences, and how are we to deal those beliefs if we cannot criticize them in the first place?

    We agree in the essentials, but I think I would be a lot less likely to label someone a bigot than you would be if you followed this definition of “bigot”. I used the same definition in a comment above, but I’ve thought about it since then, and I’d have to excuse someone from the label if the intolerance were directed against a group with morally repugnant beliefs. I don’t think it’s possible to be bigoted against Nazis or the Klan, for instance.

    That brings me to your Callyist questions.

    I can’t answer most of the questions without knowing more about the Callyists. With the information you’ve given me, I can only answer question 2: Is he intolerant of Callyists? Yes.

    The rest I will answer with: it depends.

    By the way, if Professor Myers had contented himself with merely criticizing Catholics, I would have shrugged it off. He went further, and asked his readers to infiltrate their local churches to steal the Eucharist. That’s not criticism, that’s harrassment. While the hypothetical Professor Myers may or may not be a bigot, the real one certainly is.

  43. Itchy July 13, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Mike K, your definition of bigot was different, which was kind of the whole point. You said, “A bigot is a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.” I made an important modification: “A bigot is a person intolerant of persons who hold differing creeds, beliefs, or opinions.” [Emphasis present in original.]

    When you answered yes to (2), did you mean that the hypothetical Myers was intolerant of Callyist beliefs, or intolerant of Callyists?

    It is also important not to forget what sparked this. Susan Fani of the local Catholic diocese suggested that Mr. Cook be prosecuted for a hate crime, while Bill Donahue called it “beyond hate speech.” To Myers this was harassment of the most ludicrous kind, and I am guessing that he decided to respond in kind. Myers’ harassment, however, was toward (what in his mind is just) a cracker. Which is a big difference. So Myers did not make his comments willy-nilly.

    (Incidentally, I was picking random words from the Jabberwocky poem, and only later did I realize “Callay” was similar to “Catholic”. The choice was either coincidence or entirely unconscious on my part. My first pick “Brilligism”, but that looked too weird.)

  44. Mike Kriskey July 13, 2008 at 10:26 am

    When you answered yes to (2), did you mean that the hypothetical Myers was intolerant of Callyist beliefs, or intolerant of Callyists?

    I meant that he would be intolerant of Callyist beliefs. (Which might or might not be wrong.) If he had infiltrated their house of worship in order to disrupt their services, he would be intolerant of Callyists. He would then not be allowing them to worship in peace. (Again, this might or might not be wrong, depending upon the exact nature of Callayism.)

    Professor Myers’ harrassment was not, of course, directed towards the Eucharist. In fact, he did nothing–as far as I know–to any wafer, consecrated or otherwise. He did, however, instruct his readers to infiltrate Catholic services for the purposes of stealing a Eucharist–which is disruptive, to say the least. Catholics worshipping peacefully in their churches should not have to step up their vigilance just because Professor Myers feels like playing a prank.

    I didn’t address the original incident because it’s irrelevant. The student is just an obnoxious adolescent. At Professor Myers’ age, you’d think he’d have learned better. Whether or not the Church overreacted is debatable,* but Professor Myers sure did. In fact, he escalated the situation.

    “But I was provoked!” doesn’t cut it as a defense. Provocation can often cause an overreaction and a hasty lashing out. But I sense no shame, embarrassment, or even regret from Professor Myers in the days since. That says something about the kind of man he is.

    I didn’t get the extra credit. I can’t recite more than the first verse of Jabberwocky. The name “Callayism” seemed to me reminiscent of some heresy that the Church obliterated long ago. Not out of bigotry! Out of pure, Christian love. Chortle.

    It’s been good talking to you.

    *This does not mean I have the energy or the desire to debate it with you. You wear me out.

  45. Trimelda July 13, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Well, I am an African American conservative who is also Liturgical. That means my understanding of Christianity revolves around the Sacraments-particularly Holy Communion. Therefore, I do not believe that The Holy Eucharist is a “frackin cracker.” And obviously neither does the good Professor.

    Let me explain why I say that.

    If all you want to do is to offend, why not masturbate on a statue of the Virgin Mother ? Other than the fact that Prof. Myers might be too physically challenged to show his family jewels on camera or get an erection on command, why not desecrate a statue if you are going for ridicule. Why not spit on a church and film that? Wouldn’t that be enough? Or how about pissing on a cross? That’s an old favorite for people who have a thing against the Lord.

    The fact that he wants to engage in behavior that was celebrated by classical 15th-17th century Devil worshipers tells me that subconsciously he is actually very devout in his own mixed up way. Why? Because you have to have some belief in something to want to take the time and energy to mock it.

    He isn’t going after Catholics-that would be covered by beating off on a statue of Our Lady or the spitting, urinating, etc on churches or crosses. No, Myers is making a pathetic gesture at hurting the Lord Himself. (“Why a Host, cousin? Because it will hurt, (Him) more.”)

    How petty! How banal! God isn’t jumping through hoops paying attention to his itty bitty blasphemy so he’s going to show God all right! See me make poo poo on Your Body and Blood. What an infantile response to a magnificent God.

    This is a bid for attention-God’s attention. So I bet he gets an unconsecrated Host, does his thing and laughs on the outside while crying on the inside because he will not get struck by lightening. That’s what Myers is hoping for-to get blasted so he will know there is a God. But the Lord being as cool as he is won’t do that and so he will go on his way being a certifiable jerk and being forgiven by that same God until the day he dies and sees just what he has been dissing all these years.

    How sad. Defend the Blessed Sacrament? Of course. But everyone who does believe in the Real Presence, please pray for this man. He certainly needs it!

  46. Mike Kriskey July 13, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Trimelda, I believe your theory about Professor Myers’ motivations is plausible, but since it’s impossible to verify it I chose to focus on his behavior. (I’m glossing over the paragraph that I later retracted.) So I’ve been assuming–just for the sake of this discussion–that the Eucharist is nothing more than it appears to be.

    The choice of the Eucharist by Myers came about because of an earlier incident involving a student who stole one and refused to return it to the church. Whether Professor Myers would have gone to similar lengths to express solidarity with this student if it had been a statue of Mary or the desecration of a church, God only knows.

    But the fact remains that it was the Eucharist that drove Myers to his outrageous statements. Why the Eucharist in particular seems to enrage Myers is something we’ll never know.

    Prayer, of course, can’t hurt.

  47. Lauran July 13, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Which is more foolish–sanctifying what one believes to be Holy or defiling what one believes to be worthless?

  48. Ed Darrell July 13, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I didn’t address the original incident because it’s irrelevant. The student is just an obnoxious adolescent. At Professor Myers’ age, you’d think he’d have learned better. Whether or not the Church overreacted is debatable,* but Professor Myers sure did. In fact, he escalated the situation.

    It’s also rather indefensible. Seriously: Can you cite a foundation for harassing the poor sap who stole the cracker?

    Doesn’t anyone seriously ponder what Jesus would do?

  49. Lauran July 13, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    You brought up the point–why don’t you seriously ponder what Jesus would do and share that with everyone.

  50. Ed Darrell July 13, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Myers is right: Jesus wouldn’t issue death threats to someone who didn’t swallow a communion wafer, and Jesus wouldn’t give death threats to someone who points out that it’s a cracker.

  51. Brian July 13, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    What enraged Myers was the fact that that student was harassed (physically) for not immediately eating a cracker. And then, when the student righteously got pissed about being grabbed, and decided to leave with his cracker, he received death threats until he returned the cracker to the people who worship crackers.

    Myers does tend to rather sophmorically espouse sacrilege against holy objects – Korans, crackers, etc. But the fact remains that it’s a completely absurd belief. I don’t think any Catholic could explain how transsubstantiation occurs, or why it is necessary, beyond “Jesus said so.” Absurd… I’m sorry, “Mysterious” beliefs tend to rightfully draw ridicule. If God didn’t wash his hands of the Catholic Church after the Crusades, the Inquisition, or priests abusing their young charges for decades, if not centuries, I’m pretty sure that He’s not going to care too much about what a biology professor in Minnesota does with some purloined crackers. But it does give some fat and happy Americans that completely ignore half of Jesus’s teachings a chance to be half-assed Soldiers for Christ.

    [Mike here: I object to you assuming that I am happy.]

  52. Dan (Fitness) July 13, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I think you are going overboard in your response. That said, I think his comments weren’t the best when it came to his mock threat against the wafer. But Ed Darrell has it right. I mean, most of the world considers it a cracker, expressing that shouldn’t bring the kind of vitriol you are pouring on him.

  53. leeharrison July 14, 2008 at 2:52 am

    Lauran, you said:

    Frankly, leeharrison, I’m not terribly interested in ‘the blog’ or in ‘PZ,’ for that matter. If he had the facts, he wouldn’t advertise his ignorance so blatantly, so his blog would certainly not be a place I’d visit, or plan to visit, to find any ‘facts.’

    So, you made statements based on ignorance about whether or not PZ would dare insult other religions, then defend your ignorance by making more assumptions, and being apparently proud of said ignorance.

    How… ignorant.

    (And why the ‘scare quotes’ around PZ and blog?)

    If he is (or was) criticizing the religions I mentioned, my guess is that not too many other folks are interested in him or in his blog either. He’s looking for attention, and he’s getting some attention–do some fact searching yourself and you’ll find that he, and is comments, aren’t all that uncommon. Good day to you.

    (emphasis added)

    So you really are unaware that Pharyngula is the top-rated science blog of all time, and the third most popular blog of any type in the world? Lauran, fact checking is so important. For one thing, it’s honest. For another, it would stop you looking like a pillock.

    Can you tell me, Lauran, what your version of Jesus would do? Is he the lion or the lamb in your eyes? Prince of Peace, or Sword? Who would he more angry or dissapointed with? Someone making silly threats against a symbol in a fit of peevishness over the stupid behaviour of others, or people who claim to follow him sending death threats and organising harassment campaigns?

    Also, I’m not dishonest enough to insincerely wish you a good day. I’ll just end.

  54. James July 14, 2008 at 11:53 am

    The fault is with the Catholic Church. We should not give communion in the hand and we should only give communion to those who are really Catholics. Catholics have a right to govern their own religious services, and they should do so more carefully.
    If someone went into a synagogue and picked up the scrolls to take them home then the people of that Jewish congregation would have the right to stop the person.

    Evolution teaches us the survival of the fittest. Why is it wrong to be bigoted? Why should I even attempt to be understanding and tolerant of others? The point of existnece is to pass on my genes. A lion is not tolerant of the gazelle. Why should I be tolerant of others?

  55. INFJ July 14, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    That was a great post Mike, You did a great (intellectual) job defending your position.
    Dad

    Mike: C’mon, Dad. You’re embarrassing me in front of the commenters!

  56. Lauran July 14, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Wow, you certainly put me in my place, leeharrison. Please. Again, I couldn’t care less about his blog (‘top-rated’ by whom?) and I don’t need to read anything on it to know how ignorant the man is. As I said, he was after attention and that’s what he got–I’m not impressed with him, with his comments, or with your weak defense of him.

    What do I think Jesus would do? He’s probably already forgiven the dope. And by the way, I was being very honest in wishing you a good day. Good Day to you.

  57. leeharrison July 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Again, I couldn’t care less about his blog (’top-rated’ by whom?) and I don’t need to read anything on it to know how ignorant the man is.

    Top rated by number of visits, dumbass. So – you don’t need to look further than your own presuppositions. Okay – your statement of a priori gross bigotry is now clear. It is also clear that any further ‘discussions’ with you are a waste of valuable time, oxygen and patience.

    Have fun in your self-constructed fantasy land – at least it might keep you so self absorbed that you won’t become a danger to anyone else.

  58. leeharrison July 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I also notice that, once more, you fail to address the gross misbehaviour of the catholics in this little porcelain tempest. Surprise, surprise…

  59. Lauran July 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    leeharrison, you’re not an intellectual so stop attemping to sound as though you are.
    Actually, you barely sound mature–what’s up with the name calling–most of us gave that up at 10.

    Top rated isn’t necessarily top quality, as you well know, which was my point concerning the associate professor’s blog. I know what the word, top-quality, means. Now, if you can’t carry on a conversation without attempting to demean someone who’s in opposition to your opinion, who has the problem here?

    And I didn’t post comments to have any discussions with you–whether or not you respond is moot to me. But if you must, be civil about it, or people will begin to make similaries between you and the man you’re defending.

    Good Day.

  60. Lauran July 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Resubmitted:

    leeharrison, you’re not an intellectual so stop attemping to sound as though you are.
    Actually, you barely sound mature–what’s up with the name calling–most of us gave that up at 10.

    Top rated isn’t necessarily top quality, as you well know, which was my point concerning the associate professor’s blog. I know what the word, top-quality, means. Now, if you can’t carry on a conversation without attempting to demean the person who’s in opposition to your opinion, who has the problem here?

    And I didn’t post comments to have any discussions with you–whether or not you respond is moot to me. But if you must, be civil about it, or people will begin to note the obvious similarities between you and the man you’re defending. I certainly have.

    Good Day and Addio (God be with you)

  61. S. Mason July 15, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Any Catholic who harrasses or sends death threats to anyone is not representing the Catholic Church.

    What would Jesus do? Again, He came and worked wonders, fulfilled prophesies, and rose from the dead. That didn’t even grab the attention of many who witnessed it all. Of course, as Lauran said, Jesus is ready to forgive; but for those who don’t care Jesus is not indifferent towards them:

    Matthew 11: 20-24
    Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum: ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

    Belief in and proper response to Truth has its consequences.

  62. Pingback: What a weird, sad, little person. « Simply Catholic

  63. Ray July 15, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    I just love these “open-minded,” “tolerant” anti-Christians. Their continued reference of the Holy Eucharist as a “cracker,” “wafer,” etc. shows their hatred, bigotry, and intolerance. Could you ever imagine them belittling a muslim belief in a similar manor? Not on your life, because that would be intolerant. Hey atheists:
    Jesus Christ is the son of God.
    He dies on the cross for YOUR sins.
    He established ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH, and it is the ONLY way to salvation.
    He also commanded us to eat his body, which was given up for us, in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
    These are the facts. Any “science” that supposedly shows you otherwise are gifts that were provided to you by God, as you would not take a single breath were it not His will.
    Live in your ignorance if you must. People like me will be praying for you and your soul. But, at a minimum, at least try to act like civil human beings toward others even if your “scientific brilliance” would lead you to do otherwise.

  64. opus July 17, 2008 at 9:36 am

    This guy wasn’t very high on the ‘squids and cephalopods’ ladder–he saw an opportunity to generate some publicity for himself and he jumped at it. Whatever he may have said on his webpage, he changed his tune fast enough when the cameras started rolling. I have to agree that he chose to bad-mouth a religion that he knew wouldn’t, um, kill him. Amazing that he can walk upright with so much brain, yet so little spine.

  65. Paulette July 17, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I have often wondered how the moral decline has occurred in our wonderful nation and around the world. Now I know, it is partly because of professors such as the likes of Myers. “Teaching” the minds of young adults with such hateful sacrilege. Forgive him Lord, for he knows not what he does. For if he truly knew that Christ is present in the most Holy Eucharist, he would crawl to receive HIM. There was hope for Saul, so therefore that is hope for Myers. May Christ transform you and use you as HIS biggest advocate of our time!!

  66. Ed Darrell July 18, 2008 at 12:28 am

    I just love these “open-minded,” “tolerant” anti-Christians. Their continued reference of the Holy Eucharist as a “cracker,” “wafer,” etc. shows their hatred, bigotry, and intolerance. Could you ever imagine them belittling a muslim belief in a similar manor? Not on your life, because that would be intolerant. Hey atheists:
    Jesus Christ is the son of God.

    Let’s be clear: You don’t speak for Christianity. Your support of atrocities is not Christian. You’ve been led astray.

  67. Jack July 18, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Let it go, Ray. Not one Catholic, not on this site anyway, has been convinced of the atheist view. As always, we’ll be at Mass this Sunday. Your point was well made and well taken. Gotta work on your spelling, though, dude.

  68. opus July 23, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    And now the associate professor is going to desecrate a Koran. What, he’s an equal opportunity desecrater? And students love this fool? I guess he’s having a hard time letting go of that attention. Not terribly bright for a brainiac.

  69. Mike Kriskey July 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I hadn’t heard about that. What a ridiculous man.

  70. Ed Darrell July 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Opus, you miss the point again. Catholics urged him to desecrate a Qur’an. Catholics sent him the book to desecrate.

    What was that point about it not being superstition?

    By the fruits we shall know them, and there are a lot of fruity people acting bananas, as Prof. Myers predicted.

  71. opus July 24, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Ed, what do you mean, again I miss the point? I wasn’t trying to make a point. The word I got was that the associate professor had already said on this web page that he wanted to stomp on the Koran (sp) or something like that. If a Catholic sent one to him, he’s a pretty nasty Catholic. But this associate professor has been getting alot of flack for singling out Catholicism, and suddenly he’s running is mouth now against another religion. Come on, tell me this guy’s strings are all tuned up tight.

  72. Ed Darrell July 24, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    There was an odd incident at a Catholic mass at Central Florida University. One communicant appeared not to swallow the host. Stories differ, but by the time it got to Myers, the man was being threatened with death for “stealing” communion. It’s been several centuries, but on false charges of stealing communion, Jews were slaughtered in Spain and other European nations. That’s a form of madness, it seems to me. That same form of madness had affected other Christians.

    Myers urged those Christians to get a grip on reality. Threatening to kill a man because he didn’t swallow a cracker goes beyond the pale of rationality, to savagery. To his point that it’s “only” a cracker, Myers said he’d destroy a consecrated host (a blessed cracker) if someone would get one for him. Then the death threats started to pour in to Myers.

    Now, you and I may agree that Myers’ offer is offensive. However, you and I should also agree that threatening murder is non-Christian in the first place, and probably a sign of mental illness. If you don’t agree, then it’s your strings that are tuned too tightly, not Myers.

    In the middle of all this, with Catholics including Bill Donohue claiming Myers as some sort of great satan, a few Catholics urged Myers to deface a Qur’an. Do you fail to see the irony there? These screaming idiots urged Myers to do exactly what they were complaining about.

    Myers smoked out a lot of nutcases. You can go to his blog and read his material — he’s a fine writer, a good man, despite or because of his strong atheism. He’s not running his mouth: He’s urging sanity.

    You can fail to follow his urgings, but that doesn’t make him crazy.

    Further crazy behavior by Christians doesn’t reflect ill on Myers.

  73. opus July 25, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Ed, the crazy and mentally ill on the planet are equally distributed to include religious and atheists alike. No doubt of that. Whether he, himself, is crazy or not, I don’t know. His behavior has certainly fallen into that category. You’re right in pointing out that some of the reactions to his behavior are beyond emotional, to say the least, but people are certainly allowed to be angry and they’re justified in being so. Maybe a Catholic sent him the book, maybe not. The urgings to deface the book, I’m sure, didn’t come from just Catholics. No one should have urged him to do anything of the kind. Either way, no one forced him to threaten to desecrate it. He could have chosen to ignore the prompt and keep his mouth closed, but he didn’t. The issue wasn’t what any Christians did but what Myers did. He wouldn’t have made any threats at all if he didn’t expect any reactions. To say that he smoked out nutcases really isn’t a fair statement, anymore than implying Christians and their beliefs aren’t sane is a fair statement. If some Christians acted crazy, that’s fair enough, and they themselves are responsible for their behavior, but so is Myers responsible for his. No one’s really taking issue with his writing, his knowledge, his person, his iq. They’re taking issue with his offensive and disrespectful behavior and statements.

  74. Ed Darrell July 25, 2008 at 10:00 am

    The issue wasn’t what any Christians did but what Myers did.

    You endorse the death threats then. Myers is right: Christianity makes people crazy.

  75. opus July 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

    No one’s endorsing death threats. You’re putting a spin on what’s being written. You think no Catholics have received death threats. They have, but to what purpose would they advertise the fact? And atheism makes people go nuts, too, as Nietzsche proved. If you want to believe that Myers is right, then believe that. I happen to believe he’s wrong about Christians and Christianity and that his behavior was his own responsibility and inexcusable. The fact is that he hasn’t convinced me to become an atheist and you’re not convinced to convert to Christianity. Fair enough, but I can tell you this, Ed, that I can respect you and your beliefs as an atheist far more than you can respect me and mine as a Christian. So be it.

  76. opus July 25, 2008 at 11:39 am

    And no, I’m not endorsing that Christianity makes people go nuts. If some Christians and atheists are nuts, they are so regardless of being Christians or atheists. But I must say that I’d rather have a higher power to reach for in my craziness than not.

  77. Jack July 25, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Hey Opi, I respect what you’re trying to do here but enough already. All these guys are interested in is venting and distorting Scripture. Just let em have at it, straining on gnats and swallowing camels. See you later.

  78. Ed Darrell July 25, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Myers’ point is that there are Christians out there at least as lunatic as bin Laden or Khomeini. Yes, of course Catholics received death threats in this current bit of lunacy — from other Catholics. It’s a fatwah. And that sort of behavior, that sort of ruling, is a signficant departure from reality.

    Think hard about how Jesus would react to something like this. When the disciple cut off the Roman centurion’s ear, what did Jesus do and say?

    Get off your high horse for a moment. You claim Myers’ is at fault, but you refuse to condemn worse behavior by people who are on your side, you think.

    See what Jack said. He accuses Christians of distorting scripture in order to avoid condemning the crazies. Then you join them, assuming without any evidence that I am not Christian. You don’t use reason, you don’t use evidence, you join the mob.

    Shame on you.

    You claim not to endorse the death threats? Why don’t you condemn them? All that is necessary for this evil to continue is for good people to do nothing. Quit shoving your hands deeper into your pockets and walking away from that bleeding man at the side of the road. The call to action is there — why do you duck it?

    Thank God for Samaritans. With Christians like these, we’re all in trouble.

  79. Opus July 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Man, spare everybody your whining. He’s still alive isn’t he despite his claims that scores of Christians want to kill him. Most have probably forgotten about him. Listen, good luck in your little (remarkably little) godless world. Hope that works out for you.

    Sorry Jack, but well, you know.

  80. opus July 25, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    The Roman had no idea he was arresting the Son of God. Myers knew exactly who he claims to have desecrated and being appalled by that and saying so is hardly climbing atop a high horse. What that is is anger and it’s completely justified, unlike Myers’ actions which were not.

    Trying to deflect Catholic’s outrage over Myers’ deliberate desecration of a Holy Sacrament back on to them is the epitome of shoving one’s fists deeper into their pockets to avoid taking blame or putting the blame with whom it belongs.

    And Jack’s referring to those defending Myers.

  81. Durck July 26, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Myers’ point was that religion and Holy Sacraments are irrelevant and below his supposed and very secular dignity to revere. What he proved to everyone was the pathetic extent of his own moral and ethical deficiencies.

  82. Layla July 26, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    As ludicrous as the professor’s adolescence is how his defenders attempt to rationalize his behavior by accusing Catholics of irrationally, and even violently, reacting to it. So now defiling a Holy Sacrament with repugnant irreverence isn’t a vile action, but speaking out against such an act is. Now just where in the Gospels are we called to be passivists?

    Pardon me while I go back to the Bible and re-read how Jesus reacted to the money-changers in the Temple.

  83. Ed Darrell July 26, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Layla, while you’re in your Bible, see if you can find that verse that says it’s okay to threaten death for essentially trivial behaviors, but not okay to protest it.

    The moneychangers were feigning to be religious while profiting from their dealings in the temple, and not living by the Word of God. Threatening death to others falls on which side of the “living the Word of God” spectrum?

  84. Layla July 26, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Threatening death would fall on the same side of the living the word of God spectrum as desecrating the Holy Eucharist would, and the professor was willing to commit a sacrilege to prove a point while generating publicity for himself. How much of a reach do you think lying would be for him?

    The money changers weren’t feigning anything–they were in the Temple for profit and Jesus crashed the party-he wasn’t interested in excuses.

  85. Ed Darrell July 27, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Myers doesn’t need the publicity — his blog is one of the most popular, worldwide. His intent was to point out the stupidity of threatening to kill someone for failing to swallow communion.

    Such threats are abominations to God, of course. Your refusal to call it the abomination that it is is confusing. Are you Christian? How much of a reach would it be for you and others to act like Christians, and condemn the threatened violence?

  86. Durck July 27, 2008 at 10:33 am

    The death threat diversion appears to be dead in the water and floating. So apparently is this site.

  87. Mike Kriskey July 27, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    The death threat diversion appears to be dead in the water and floating. So apparently is this site.

    Hey! Easy on the site, there. (It’s not dead, yet. It feels happy!)

    But yeah, the discussion has gone on as long as it fruitfully can. (A little longer than that, but hope springs eternal.) I probably should have closed down the comments once Ed Darrell started accusing the posters of supporting death threats against Professor Paul Zachary Myers. For the record, no one here did. Not even close.

    I think Ed got off track because he had no way of defending Myers and sought to go on the attack against–who again? Oh, right. The victims.

    Stay classy, Ed.

  88. Pingback: What are you doing here? « Falling Awake

  89. newenglandbob April 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    The only bigots I see are people like Mike Kriskey.

    One can feel the hatred pouring from these believers in supernatural fantasies.

    Why is it always those who are supposed to be christian are the ones slinging hatred and lies and threats – I guess religion teaches that evil.

  90. PeterM April 11, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Like NewEnglandbob – coming to this thread 9 months after it opened gives some insight not possible at the time it was opened.

    When PZ nailed a bread product (the “cracker” in question) to a piece of wood (along with a page from the koran and Richard Dawkin’s “The God Delusion”, then callously threw it in the bin (and then dumped tea leaves on top) he was immediately struck by lightning….NOT. In fact nothing happened. Allah didn’t strike him dead, Dawkin’s probably cracked a smile and chuckled. Notable by his absence was dog…er god. What is it with christians that you can’t even give your deity a real name?

    But ratzinger has not been idle. Since then he has embarked on a major marketing push into africa – currently being billed as the “Let them all die from AIDs, 2009 World Tour”. At massive taxpayer expense he has assembled an all star cast of pedophile priests and bishops from around the globe to support this noble cause, but disappoint set in when only a cvouple of mindless godbots were trampled to death at the rally – thereby gaining instant entry to heaven.

    When abortion can prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of women that die in childbirth from unwanted pregnancies EVERY YEAR the catholic church’s political agenda can only be seen as murder by vatican. The ban on condoms and the resultant spread of STDs makes the church’s attitude below contempt, the direct and inevitable result is death in the millions.

    Believe whatever crap your deluded fantasies spew into your vacuous worldview – but keep out of where real, sane humans discuss issues and you won’t look like the bigoted fools that you are.

    Religion deserves to be held up to ridicule and demands for proof until these cancers on society are totally eradicated. History has proven time and again that religiots and the dogma they bleat is the most deadly, dangerous and destructive force on earth.

    The most recent attempts by religious thugs to force anti-blasphemy laws through the UN and give them the ability to both extradite and execute blasphemers is a case in point. If this ever comes to pass, from reading the comments of the blind and pious on this thread, I can only assume that the True Christians here will be nodding sagely and cleaning their guns. You scum make me want to vomit.

    To anyone that thinks that the certainty there is no god can be countered by polite arguments and scriptural quotes – go fuck yourselves.

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