Posted by: Lister | August 4, 2008

Myers Vs Cracker

PZ Myers nailed a cracker. The sad thing is: that childish act is being focused upon more than the reason that led to the act. Webster Cook accepted a communion wafer but refused to eat it. Instead, he put it in his pocket and left with it.

The University of Central Florida’s student Senate voted to impeach one of its own late Thursday night — the student who sparked a firestorm of controvery after taking off from a Catholic Mass on campus with a sacred Communion wafer in his pocket.

[…] But the impeachement is not based on Cook’s taking the wafer. It’s based on allegations that he represented himself as a student government official at the service.

Although the Senate could kick Cook off the student government’s legislative body, it does not have the authority to suspend or expel Cook from the university. That could happen only if he’s found to have violated serious conduct code violations in student court.

From that, things grew from “it’s just a wafer” to “I’ll prove it’s just a wafer by annoying you”.

Apart from the final nail, Myers makes a lucid argument — including a history of wafer desecration allegations against Jews. But that isn’t being talked about too much.

The whole thing eminds me of the exploding tomato sketch in John Sweeney’s scientology documentary — definitely the most famous part of the programme.

In the same way, Myers’ antic (though calmer and smaller scale) gives people like Rod Dreher an excuse to ignore the actual issue and focus on something else. Read his article and note how much time he spends on the issues leading up to the present compared to things like:

The hateful Dr. Myers and his spittle-flecked supporters insist that their right to profane symbols that Catholics and Muslims hold most sacred is absolute and sacrosanct.

Another blog by Myers indicates that it was Dreher who dared Myers to insult Muslims. Quoting Dreher’s blog:

If P.Z. Myers had any guts, he would put out a call for someone to send him a Koran so he could blow his nose and wrap fish in it. After all, it’s nothing but frackin’ ink on paper, right? So what’s stopping you, Big Man? It’s easy to shit on what Catholics regard as sacred. But just try doing the same thing to what Muslims regard as sacred. Let’s see what you’re made of.

(I should underscore here that I am not advocating intentional desecration of anybody’s religion. I’m using sarcasm to make a point about the selective bigotry of P.Z. Myers. Besides which, I think we all know if a professor at a major American university had issued a public call for people to send him a Koran or a Torah for the purpose of desecrating them, it would be front page news. Does anybody doubt that?

Well Myers followed the instructions, sarcastic or not, and also nailed a copy of The God Delusion — though from the picture on Myers’ blog it looks to me like he used a computer print-out of each, rather than a paid for copy. The Might Dollar reigns supreme!

Still, Myers joins my blogroll. No such thing as bad publicity.

(Brought to my attention by a JREF thread ).



  1. Melanie Kroll has been fired because her husband, Charles, used her work e-mail account to send one of the death threats that PZ published on his blog.

  2. The readers of Myers blog have set up a petition to get Melanie Kroll reinstated.

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