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Author Topic:   P.Z. Myers in the news (the catholic church communion wafer incident)
subbie
Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 1 of 104 (474761)
07-10-2008 5:18 PM


P.Z. Myers, familiar to many here for his blogging on creationism, has made headlines for comments he made regarding an incident in Florida where someone took a communion wafer "hostage."

Story found here. (Free registration may be required to read the story.)

quote:
A Minnesota university instructor and avowed atheist is jousting with a national Catholic watchdog group over a smuggled communion wafer, which the associate professor dismisses as a "frackin' cracker."

Paul Z. Myers, who teaches biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, on his blog this week expressed amazement that a Florida college student who briefly took a wafer "hostage" from a church ceremony has been receiving death threats for an action that was characterized "a hate crime" by the Catholic League.

Under the headline, "It's a frackin' cracker!" Myers wrote in an at-times profane blog entry: "Crazy Christian fanatics right here in our own country have been threatening to kill a young man over a cracker. This is insane."

He added: "Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers? ... I'll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won't be tempted to hold it hostage ... 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."

Myers, in an interview today, explained that the blog entry is more "satire and protest" than an actual threat to defile the Eucharist.

His blog entry has collected nearly 1,000 comments since it was posted Tuesday.

The Catholic League, a civil rights group that challenges any instances it sees as an affront to Catholicism, said today that it is calling on the university to act against Myers, noting that Myers' blog can be accessed through a link on the university's website.

"It is hard to think of anything more vile than to intentionally desecrate the Body of Christ," Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a news release. "We look to those who have oversight responsibility to act quickly and decisively."

Myers, who was raised Lutheran and now considers himself a card-carrying atheist, said he's been getting a "few death threats" since the conflict began, "but I don't take them too seriously."

His opponents, he said, describe him as a "strident, militant atheist" because of his activism in the debate of evolution vs. creationism.


It is hard to think of anything more vile than to intentionally desecrate the Body of Christ?!? Well, considering how long the church hid child abusers, I guess it's not really that far out of whack for them to deify a cracker.

{AbE} Here is his blogsite.

Edited by subbie, : As noted.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Added the "(the catholic church communion wafer incident)" part to the topic title.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by bluegenes, posted 07-10-2008 5:43 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply
 Message 3 by Grizz, posted 07-10-2008 6:17 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 617 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 2 of 104 (474762)
07-10-2008 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by subbie
07-10-2008 5:18 PM


It is hard to think of anything more vile than to intentionally desecrate the Body of Christ?!?

Real hard. Without use of the brain, damn near impossible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by subbie, posted 07-10-2008 5:18 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply

  
Grizz
Member (Idle past 3611 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 3 of 104 (474763)
07-10-2008 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by subbie
07-10-2008 5:18 PM


Quite honestly, I find a lack of maturity all-around on this issue and am surprised Myers is taking the bait.

First of all, there is the immature individual who fueled it all via his sophomoric actions. Of course, the individual thought it would be cool to attend a Catholic service and do something he knew would be seen as disrespectful and highly inflammatory to those who adhere to this belief system. You do not have to disrespect others to get your point across.

Of course, people will jump in on me and go ballistic about free speech and stuff but, come on folks -- this type of stuff is for kids. We are supposed to be better than that, right? How is disrespecting the beliefs of others going to do anything at all to open their ears to what any agnostic or atheist has to say? It makes the job even harder. We don't need this childish approach.

If your goal is to get people to take you seriously and listen to the atheist side of the issue when it comes to the atheist/theist/evolution debate, why inflame others with such polemic when it does nothing but further lower the view of atheists in the eyes of the believers? What can you possibly gain by fueling the flames with such sophomoric polemic? Sorry, but this is the last kind of rhetoric the atheist or agnostic needs to be associated with.

As far as the death threats- -we all know many religious folks can act and behave irrationally. This is not exactly news, is it? What did you expect? Just let them rant and look like mad men. Let them look like the ones shouting insults back and forth on the playground. You don't have to pull yourself down to the sophomoric level by taking the bait and engaging in a schoolhouse spat. You said your piece, drop it. Let them look like the immature ranting fools spewing polemic.

Edited by Grizz, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 617 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 4 of 104 (474764)
07-10-2008 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Grizz
07-10-2008 6:17 PM


Grizz writes:

Quite honestly, I find a lack of maturity...

Only quite? Honestly, and without qualifications, I find you an obvious expert on lack of maturity.

We'll discuss this in a few years' time, no doubt.

Edited by bluegenes, : grammmaer


This message is a reply to:
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Deftil
Member (Idle past 2595 days)
Posts: 128
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 04-19-2008


Message 5 of 104 (474831)
07-11-2008 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Grizz
07-10-2008 6:17 PM


First of all, there is the immature individual who fueled it all via his sophomoric actions. Of course, the individual thought it would be cool to attend a Catholic service and do something he knew would be seen as disrespectful and highly inflammatory to those who adhere to this belief system. You do not have to disrespect others to get your point across.

Of course, people will jump in on me and go ballistic about free speech and stuff but, come on folks -- this type of stuff is for kids. We are supposed to be better than that, right? How is disrespecting the beliefs of others going to do anything at all to open their ears to what any agnostic or atheist has to say? It makes the job even harder. We don't need this childish approach.

What was his point? From the article I read, he supposedly took the wafer to show it to a friend.

quote:
Webster’s friend, who didn’t want to show his face, said he took the Eucharist, to show him what it meant to Catholics.

Webster gave the wafer back, but the Catholic League, a national watchdog organization for Catholic rights claims that is not enough.

“We don’t know 100% what Mr. Cooks motivation was,” said Susan Fani a spokesperson with the local Catholic diocese. “However, if anything were to qualify as a hate crime, to us this seems like this might be it.”



Student Who Took Religious Icon Getting Death Threats

I don't see a sign of anything intentionally disrespectful on the part of the young man. I see a Catholic woman making absurd comments about the severity of the offense.
Do you know something about this story that I don't?

What I want to know is how Catholics worldwide even found about this. Who found out it even happened and decided to tell others about it?

If your goal is to get people to take you seriously and listen to the atheist side of the issue when it comes to the atheist/theist/evolution debate, why inflame others with such polemic when it does nothing but further lower the view of atheists in the eyes of the believers? What can you possibly gain by fueling the flames with such sophomoric polemic? Sorry, but this is the last kind of rhetoric the atheist or agnostic needs to be associated with.

You can bring attention to the fact that people are apparently making death threats over someone taking a cracker from a church. If people are out in the world acting that irrationally, then bringing it to the attention of the rational people in the world is what should be done. Such ridiculous and cruel behavior needs to be exposed.

As far as the death threats- -we all know many religious folks can act and behave irrationally. This is not exactly news, is it? What did you expect? Just let them rant and look like mad men. Let them look like the ones shouting insults back and forth on the playground. You don't have to pull yourself down to the sophomoric level by taking the bait and engaging in a schoolhouse spat. You said your piece, drop it. Let them look like the immature ranting fools spewing polemic.

I don't think it's a good idea to let them rave like mad men. This type of thing needs to be addressed. People are (supposedly) actually threatening the life of some young man because he took a cracker from a church! I'm not ok with this! The idea of people threatening someone's life because they feel disrespected is a repugnant idea to me and not something I think a society who wants all people to be treated fairly should condone. Calling people out for their disproportionately hostile behavor isn't sophmoric, it's the decent thing to do for those who don't feel what's reportedly going on is fair.
Maybe you don't agree with Myers' specific tactics, and I guess I can undertand that, but he's clearly exposed some hostile, irrational, untenable, and downright mean behavior on the part of some Christians. If I was receiving death threats over something so trivial, I'd expect (and hope or) rational people to step up and say that what was going on was wrong.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 6 of 104 (474851)
07-11-2008 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Deftil
07-11-2008 11:08 AM


Re-Cracker
DeftilI don't think it's a good idea to let them rave like mad men. This type of thing needs to be addressed. People are (supposedly) actually threatening the life of some young man because he took a cracker from a church!

The ones that are raving like mad men and making threats is not the ones I would worry about. It is the billions that are saying nothing I would worry about.

I pastor a church and if the young man had come to my church and ask for communion bread, (it is not a cracker) I would have gladly gave him some and explained what it was so he could have explained to his friend. But I am not Catholic.

To the Catholic when the Priest takes the Eucharist, and blesses it. It becomes the actual body of Jesus Christ, it does not represent the body of Christ it is the actual body of Christ, so the young man did not take a cracker, he took the body of Jesus Christ.

Slow down I hear you shouting all the way to my house.

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned the young man committed the most heinous crime he could possible commit against the Catholic Church.

It matters not that he did not know what he was doing, or that it would effect the Church as it did

Do I agree with the Catholic Church? No
Do I respect their right to believe and practice their religion as they desire? You can bet your life on it.
Does PZ have a right to raise his voice? Sure but discretion is sometimes the better part of valor.

Deftil I hope that helps you to understand the Catholic Church's position.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 31 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 7 of 104 (474854)
07-11-2008 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ICANT
07-11-2008 3:04 PM


Re: Re-Cracker
For a start, let me say that I don't think that anyone here is unaware of exactly why Catholics are upset about this. The wafer is more than just a wafer to them, it is the body of Christ. There are several things that need to be pointed out in response to this.

1) It's not the body of Christ, it's just a fuckin' wafer.

2) It doesn't matter how fervently Catholics believe that it's the body of Christ, it's still just a wafer and the response should be proportional to that fact, not some silly supernatural gibberish. I can imagine that my DVD player is alive, but when it gets stolen, no-one is going to get charged with kidnapping, because my personal delusion is irrelevant. The same applies here, even if the delusion is shared by millions.

3)Even if the wafer actually were the body of Christ I fail to see how disrespecting it is worse than murdering someone who is still alive, or child molestation or a hundred other terrible acts. This "It is hard to think of anything more vile" type nonsense is way over the top. If anyone really thinks that this is the worst thing a person could do, they need a good hard slap in the morals, because their priorities are fucked.

4) Death threats? When I last checked the Catholic church was against murder. This kind of hypocrisy is typical of self-important bigots. Defiling a wafer is wrong, but murdering someone (or just threatening to do so) is fine? That kind of thinking could only make sense to the religious mind.

This whole thing may strike some people as silly and childish, but that seems to be perfectly pitched to me; the Eucharist is silly and childish. The extreme responses to this incident have only serves to underline that.


Mutate and Survive
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by ICANT, posted 07-11-2008 3:04 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 8 of 104 (474867)
07-11-2008 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Granny Magda
07-11-2008 4:42 PM


Re-Cracker
Granny Magda writes:

This whole thing may strike some people as silly and childish, but that seems to be perfectly pitched to me; the Eucharist is silly and childish. The extreme responses to this incident have only serves to underline that.

I agree it is silly. I believe what they believe about the Eucharist is silly. It is not what the Bible teaches. But that is their belief. It is their opinion. It is their right and duty to protect their teachings in their house. This young man went into their house and did this. That is a total lack of respect. I don't care who would do it.

Granny that is what we call freedom of religion in America. It does not make any difference how wild the belief is they are free to worship as they see fit as long as they don't break any laws of the government. Even the First Church of Satan has that right.

Granny I don't agree with either of them but I would fight for them to have that right.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Granny Magda, posted 07-11-2008 4:42 PM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 10 by Granny Magda, posted 07-11-2008 8:15 PM ICANT has responded

    
subbie
Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 9 of 104 (474870)
07-11-2008 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by ICANT
07-11-2008 7:01 PM


Re: Re-Cracker
quote:
Granny I don't agree with either of them but I would fight for them to have that right.

I'm not sure anyone here is arguing that they don't have that right. They are simply pointing out the extreme lunacy of the beliefs, and the ridiculous statements the various authorities have made in the wake of the tempest.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by ICANT, posted 07-11-2008 7:01 PM ICANT has not yet responded

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 31 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 10 of 104 (474875)
07-11-2008 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by ICANT
07-11-2008 7:01 PM


Re: Re-Cracker
It is their opinion. It is their right and duty to protect their teachings in their house. This young man went into their house and did this. That is a total lack of respect.

I agree with all of this, no-one is saying otherwise. I am certainly not saying that Catholics don't have room to be annoyed here, after all, their beliefs are being disrespected (although it seems worth pointing out that the details of how he came to take the wafer seem to be disputed).

The thing is, that no-one is required to respect anyone else's beliefs. It was disrespectful. Oh dear. My advice to offended Catholics would be to get over it.

All this lad has done is steal a single wafer-thin bread snack, hardly the crime of the century. If that offends some people's beliefs, that's just tough. No-one has a right not to be offended.

Granny that is what we call freedom of religion in America. It does not make any difference how wild the belief is they are free to worship as they see fit as long as they don't break any laws of the government. Even the First Church of Satan has that right.

Granny I don't agree with either of them but I would fight for them to have that right.

Well actually, I would too, but I fail to see where the rights of Catholics to worship as they see fit are being damaged here. We're talking about one communion wafer. I'm fairly sure that they can lay their hands on some more. Their worship continues as normal, unabated. The only damage has been to their pride. Forgive me if I don't take up arms to defend them just yet.


Mutate and Survive
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by ICANT, posted 07-11-2008 8:54 PM Granny Magda has responded

    
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 11 of 104 (474879)
07-11-2008 8:54 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Granny Magda
07-11-2008 8:15 PM


Re-Cracker
Granny Magda writes:

Well actually, I would too, but I fail to see where the rights of Catholics to worship as they see fit are being damaged here. We're talking about one communion wafer. I'm fairly sure that they can lay their hands on some more. Their worship continues as normal, unabated. The only damage has been to their pride. Forgive me if I don't take up arms to defend them just yet.

You don't understand the gravity of the situation as far as the RCC is concerned. The young man went into their house (Church proper)
He pretended to take the mass. He then took it and showed it to his friend. Somebody had to let the Church know what happened. This has not been made public that I can find. Had not a big to-do about what he had done been made, how would the Church know?

In other words he made a mockery out of what is a very devout service in the RCC.

He didn't get on the Internet and bash them. He didn't get on the street corner and bash them. They would not have said one word in this case.

He went into their house and stole Jesus and took Him and made a public display of Him. That is very serious to the RCC.

BTW nator made a lot more fuss when I made the statement; "I don't see how anyone could believe in the ToE". She went ballistic, others did also.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Granny Magda, posted 07-11-2008 8:15 PM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Granny Magda, posted 07-11-2008 9:20 PM ICANT has responded

    
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 31 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 12 of 104 (474882)
07-11-2008 9:20 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by ICANT
07-11-2008 8:54 PM


Re: Re-Cracker
You don't understand the gravity of the situation as far as the RCC is concerned.

Yes I do. I just don't care. They are getting their knickers in a twist over nothing. They should grow up.

He pretended to take the mass.

Big deal. You and I both know that if everyone who was merely going through the motions of worship were to stop attending Churches, there would be a lot more empty pews.

Somebody had to let the Church know what happened. This has not been made public that I can find. Had not a big to-do about what he had done been made, how would the Church know?

Indeed they would not have known and would be none the worse off, further proof that the only damage done here is in the heads of certain worshippers.

In other words he made a mockery out of what is a very devout service in the RCC.

Good. It deserves to be mocked. Ignorant rubbish should be mocked. That is the proper response to ignorant rubbish, or at least a proper response.Personally, I hope that this was a completely deliberate act. It certainly seems to have succeeded (if such was its aim) in giving Bill Donahue enough rope with which to hang himself.

He went into their house and stole Jesus and took Him and made a public display of Him. That is very serious to the RCC.

No, he stole a small piece of bread and, regardless of whether Catholics are upset or not, no-one who doubts the reality of transubstantiation has any cause to view it any other way.

BTW nator made a lot more fuss when I made the statement; "I don't see how anyone could believe in the ToE". She went ballistic, others did also.

I look forward to your thread comparing the evidence for the ToE to the evidence for magic polymorphing cannibalistic bread products.


Mutate and Survive
This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by ICANT, posted 07-11-2008 8:54 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by New Cat's Eye, posted 07-11-2008 11:39 PM Granny Magda has responded
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 104 (474890)
07-11-2008 11:39 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Granny Magda
07-11-2008 9:20 PM


your "different view"
No, he stole a small piece of bread and, regardless of whether Catholics are upset or not, no-one who doubts the reality of transubstantiation has any cause to view it any other way.

Let me doubt the reality of transubstantiation here for a minute.... I can still think of a cause to view it another way. Like the Catholic League said in the article that the OP linked to, this was a "hate crime", well... it would have been if there had there been a criminal offense.

According to wikipedia:

quote:
A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against a person or property motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a racial group, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, or disability.

Now, if I take your attitude towards hate crimes against Catholics, and replace it with some other racial group, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, or disability term.... I'll use "gay-retarded-black-jews" in an attempt to equally offend everyone so I don't get accused of discrimination.

I am certainly not saying that Catholics gay-retarded-black-jews don't have room to be annoyed here, after all, their beliefs are being disrespected (snip).

The thing is, that no-one is required to respect anyone else's beliefs. It was disrespectful. Oh dear. My advice to offended Catholics gay-retarded-black-jews would be to get over it.

I just don't care. They are getting their knickers in a twist over nothing. They should grow up.

;)

Is that any more annoying? Or does it not being a criminal offense mean that it is "nothing"?

To me, it seemed like a pretty shitty thing to do.... criminal or not, this was a hate crime in my book (he didn't technically "steal" it, but he stole it)

Now, its not a cause for death threats, but there's cause to view it more than:

quote:
he stole a small piece of bread

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Granny Magda, posted 07-11-2008 9:20 PM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
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ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 14 of 104 (474897)
07-12-2008 12:42 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Granny Magda
07-11-2008 9:20 PM


Re-Cracker
Granny I have said my two cents worth and I will shut up before you have an aneurysm.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Granny Magda, posted 07-11-2008 9:20 PM Granny Magda has not yet responded

    
Deftil
Member (Idle past 2595 days)
Posts: 128
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 04-19-2008


Message 15 of 104 (474902)
07-12-2008 1:02 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by ICANT
07-11-2008 3:04 PM


Re: Re-Cracker
Deftil I hope that helps you to understand the Catholic Church's position.

Thanks, but I already understood it. Being a rational person I was stating that it's ridiculous.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by ICANT, posted 07-11-2008 3:04 PM ICANT has not yet responded

    
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