PZ Myers wrote a satirical post reacting to the outcry about a student who had taken a communion wafer from a Catholic Service.
Got that? If you don't like what Webster Cook did, all you have to do is complain to the university, and they will do the dirty work for you of making his college experience miserable. And don't assume the university would support Cook; the college is now having armed university police officers standing guard during mass.
I find this all utterly unbelievable. It's like Dark Age superstition and malice, all thriving with the endorsement of secular institutions here in 21st century America. It is a culture of deluded lunatics calling the shots and making human beings dance to their mythical bunkum.
So, what to do. 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 won't be tempted to hold it hostage (no, not even if I have a choice between returning the Eucharist and watching Bill Donohue kick the pope in the balls, which would apparently be a more humane act than desecrating a goddamned cracker), but will instead 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.
Just wait. Now there'll be a team of Jesuits assigned to rifle through my mail every day.
Bill Donahue from the Catholic League responded by calling for people to write President Bob Bruininks to urge him to fire PZ Myers for these statements on his blog.
The Strib has now posted a story on this. Comments are interesting. According to the strib:
Myers, in an interview today, explained that the blog entry is more "satire and protest" than an actual threat to defile the Eucharist.
Myers has now asked people to write University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks in response to Donahue's efforts to get him fired from the University. A Christian Minister who is strongly critical of Myer's attitude towards religion wrote a letter in support of Myers.
Dear Drs. Bruininks and Johnson:
I write you in support of Dr. Myers against the campaign to have him fired.
As a Christian pastor, I cannot and will not condone Myers' antagonistic discourse on religious matters. On a good day, it is caustic. Most days, I find it willfully ignorant, intolerant, and mean-spirited.
However, the principle of free speech protects those with whom we disagree, not our friends. I'm sure you understand that as accomplished members of the academy.
The fact is that Myers made his comments in a personal venue unrelated to his official capacities at the University of Minnesota. As much as I disagree with his positions, he is entitled to them. Furthermore, the death threats and coordinated campaign to end his career at Morris should indicate the hostility that he rightly points to in his blog.
That Myers is deliberately provocative is a rhetorical strategy to highlight the threat he perceives in religion, not a justification for that threat.
I reject this thuggish attack on his person and his thought as antithetical to the true spirit of Christian belief. I urge you to do the same because it is antithetical to the values of academic freedom and participatory democracy.
Rev. Daniel Schultz
Would Donahue also want to get Tom Lehrer fired from his math position for "The Vatican Rag"?
From his intro:
Another big news story of year concerned the ecumenical council in Rome, known as Vatican II. Among the things they did in an attempt to make the church more commercial was to introduce the vernacular into portions of the mass, to replace Latin, and to widen somewhat the range of music permissible in the liturgy, but I feel that if they really want to sell the product, in this secular age, what they ought to do is to redo some of the liturgical music in popular song forms. I have a modest example here. It's called The Vatican Rag.
Full lyrics here.