PZ goes too far!

PZ, you bastard!
Now you have gone too far.
Some of us do try to teach our children proper reverence, and what do you do?

You rip the pages of a perfectly good book.

This will not stand!
I haven’t even read the God Delusion yet and PZ goes ripping up a perfectly good copy.
What. A. Waste!
Books have information, and history, and store atmospheric carbon by the megaton! to just rip their pages out is a waste. Grrr.
Unless they are mildewy, of course, or you are about to freeze to death (and it is a particularly bad book).

Seriously, though, I have kept half an eye on the Great Cracker Controversy and am completely mystified.
Yeah, PZ is being a bit of an assholedeliberately provocative, but honestly…

anyway,enough of that crap, though it does remind me of my own encounter with the Eucharist:

I was going out with this catholic girl, see, and she decided one weekend that it had been too long since she had gone to church, so she asked me to come along, on a nice spring day, and we could stop by the pub after or something.
Fair ‘nough – kinda cultural exchange thingy.

Now, the Church of Iceland is (highish) Lutheran in the Scandihoovian style, and does not go in for such popery. And most of my encounters with European churches had been with the Stern Presbyterian end of the spectrum…
So, I was most interested in the cracker and wine ceremony and went along with it, as one does.
The wine sucked, I still remember just how bad it was – if you’re going to do this, would it be too much to get a decent wine? Maybe some red eastern Med style for the sake of history?
Anyway, the cracker was worse, so I only had a nibble and palmed the rest.

Now what to do?
Well, right outside the church was this jolly nice pond.
With ducks.
Hungry ducks.
Holy ducks.

The Pond at Falmer.

I only got a couple of crumbs tossed when my friend noticed and reacted.
I had not appreciated what good reaction speed she had.
Anyway, after confiscating the remants and looking flustered, she decided to eat the rest.
Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
Then we went for a beer and ploughman’s lunch, as I recall.
I think the next catholic church I went to was St Peter’s – very impressive, the old Pope was there, I left the crackers alone and admired the art and stagecraft.

Fortunately, I should be safe from the furious hordes besieging Pharyngula though,
you see the Church of St Laurence at Falmer is Anglican, and they are not nearly so tense about the whole flesh-and-blood thing.


  1. #1 Jim RL
    July 24, 2008

    A non-Catholic taking the Eucharist is also considered desecration. Man, God is really going to be pissed at ScienceBlogs.

  2. #2 Tyler DiPietro
    July 24, 2008

    PZ’s antics throughout this episode have proven to be one of the most brilliant acts of agit-prop I have ever seen.

    Not hyperbole, I sincerely mean that.

  3. #3 Kalia's little brother
    July 24, 2008

    The only way a Catholic can make the claim that the actual body and blood of Christ has been desecrated is to admit that they are a cannibal.

  4. #4 Steinn Sigurdsson
    July 24, 2008

    Fortunately most Anglican churches practise open communion.

    This was one of the reasons my ex-g’s reaction rather surprised me.
    It wasn’t a catholic church – it was protestant – no way she could consistently accept that the eucharist there was properly consecrated, no matter what her other beliefs.
    Just reflex behaviour.

  5. #5 Roman Werpachowski
    July 24, 2008

    “The only way a Catholic can make the claim that the actual body and blood of Christ has been desecrated is to admit that they are a cannibal.”

    It’s like quantum mechanics: the wafer is body of Christ and an ordinary wafer at the same time.

  6. #6 Tyson Koska
    July 24, 2008

    The fact that she went out for beers with you tells me she wasn’t too upset about it… or was she? I wrote about PZ in my blog as well (truthisawoman.wordpress.com). How do we “get through” to folks who are so outraged by all this?

  7. #7 CanuckRob
    July 24, 2008

    So would those Icelandic ducks be consecrated quackers now?

  8. #8 Steinn Sigurdsson
    July 24, 2008

    English ducks, mallards as I recall, as befits an Anglican wafer.
    So, yes, I presume a couple of them were (half?)saved, or sated, or something.

    girlfriend was not too upset about that, mildly scandalised I think, in a knee-jerk sort of way.
    I was honestly not trying to dis the place or the process, I was just a rather thoughtless 20 year old atheist who wanted to dispose of a dry and tasteless cracker in a non-littering sort of way…

  9. #9 Bob O'H
    July 25, 2008

    Ooh, how terrible of you. If you haven’t been confirmed into the Anglican church, you shouldn’t take communion – you’re meant to be blessed instead.

    The good news is that this is the CofE, so they’ll probably just look a bit scandalised make sure you get the smallest piece of cake at coffee dos.

  10. #10 Jim1138
    July 25, 2008

    Steinn, where you hoping for a 2000+ thread out of this ? ;o)

  11. #11 Christophe Thill
    July 25, 2008

    “A non-Catholic taking the Eucharist is also considered desecration. Man, God is really going to be pissed at ScienceBlogs.”

    Yes, I think He’s going to… err… to what exactly? Crash the servers, perhaps?

  12. #12 Jonathan Vos Post
    July 25, 2008

    Cake or death?

  13. #13 Steinn Sigurdsson
    July 25, 2008


    I already have almost 2000 e-mails in my inbox, my life would grind to a halt if I got even 200 through the blog.

    I had actually carefully avoided the Great Cracker Controversy, but I couldn’t stand by idly while PZ rips up perfectly good books. Some principles we have to take a stand on.
    And I wanted an excuse to put up pictures of the Falmer Duck Pond.

  14. #14 JohnD
    July 25, 2008

    agit-prop indeed.

    And to get through to believers, I think the best way is to stop calling them “idiots”.

    But PZ isn’t going for calm and rational discussion is he? He’s inflaming passions precisely so he can print some poor sap’s outraged and malformed response as proof that all religious people are stupid. I don’t like wingnuts doing these kind of stunts, and I’m not fond of the other side pulling this stuff either.

  15. #15 TomJoe
    July 28, 2008

    Spot on JohnD, and the only reason the rest of the Science Bloggers are writing about it is to get some of that traffic on their own blogs.

  16. #16 Steinn Sigurdsson
    July 29, 2008

    The rest of the sciencebloggers are writing about it because they can’t help pontificating, because there is a certain fascination to the whole trainwreck, because it affects ScienceBlogs as a whole and because they wouldn’t be bloggers if they wouldn’t write about the strangest things…

  17. #17 TomJoe
    July 29, 2008

    Actually, a fair number of ScienceBloggers haven’t really touched the subject. I suspect a direct correlation between this fact and a lack of their need to be ego stroked. That, and possibly the fact that PZ’s childish antics have gotten real old.

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