Saturday, July 26, 2008

Overgrown children at play in hell

A biology professor at a Minnesota university has followed through on his threat to desecrate an allegedly consecrated communion host and a copy of the Koran.

HE ABOVE PHOTO, from P.Z. Myers' blog, shows what the University of Minnesota-Morris faculty member did to what is most sacred to Catholics and Muslims -- to what Catholics believe is the Body of Christ and to what Islam holds as the literal word of Allah:
OK, time for the anticlimax. I know some of you have proposed intricate plans for how to do horrible things to these crackers, but I repeat…it's just a cracker. I wasn't going to make any major investment of time, money, or effort in treating these dabs of unpleasantness as they deserve, because all they deserve is casual disposal. However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus's tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel. My apologies to those who hoped for more, but the worst I can do is show my unconcerned contempt.

By the way, I didn't want to single out just the cracker, so I nailed it to a few ripped-out pages from the Qur'an and The God Delusion. They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Qu
estion everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanity's knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality. You will not find wisdom in rituals and sacraments and dogma, which build only self-satisfied ignorance, but you can find truth by looking at your world with fresh eyes and a questioning mind.
MYERS' ACTIONS belie his words. If the Eucharist really is just a "fraggin' cracker" and the Koran is just bound pieces of paper -- if there is no power in those things, or in peoples' belief in them -- why bother desecrating them?

In a land of intellectual freedom, have not people the right to their "delusions," so long as they remain peacefully deceived? According to the First Amendment and to international human-rights conventions, don't religious believers have the right to practice their faiths in peace?

If so, what is the point of Myers' actions, other than sheer hatefulness and incitement?

If, as the pathetic professor professes, he sees no metaphysical value to a consecrated host or a Muslim holy book, isn't his only point to broadcast his violent hatred of the faithful? In other words, what this 51-year-old (going on 14) college professor is all about is disturbing the peace.

I wonder whether one of Myers' students -- as he stumbled out of a college watering hole -- could get away with pissing on the sidewalk and harassing gay couples if only he possessed the rhetorical sophistication to couch his bad behavior as "freedom of expression."

After all, if the university administration can defend an employee's "hate speech" (and "hate actions") against religious groups and their sacred objects -- remember, Myers holds "nothing must be held sacred" and is willing to go to some length to act on that belief -- what's so "sacred" about un-pissed-upon walkways . . . or gay couples?

Or any couple? Or any law? Or any concept around which society organizes itself?

What, then, is so damned sacred about P.Z. Myers?

IF MINNESOTA-MORRIS can't bring itself to discipline an employee who shows aggressive contempt toward society, its members and public order, what won't it tolerate, then? If desecrating the Eucharist and mutilating a Koran, then publicizing the abuse don't represent "fighting words," then what does?

Indeed, if "nothing must be held sacred," what is so sacred about this overgrown 14-year-old brat's job?

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