i-1814290ea7f850a7d06e5b5a2b9b8d65-monstrance.jpg

Do not look at his unless you’ve been baptized. Oh shit, too late.
There are a lot of Christians that I trust, and love. But that is because of who they are. If I just know that someone is a Christian, especially if they are the sort of person to wear their Christianity on their sleeve, uttering “praise god” and telling me “bless you ” and “I’m so blessed” and so on, then I tend to not trust them.

Why? Because there is a very good chance that their priorities are such that telling me, or anyone else, the truth on a day to day basis is just not as important as certain other things. Like like this …

PZ has this covered, but I just had to chime in and put this up front. It is both hysterically funny and deeply disturbing.

The headline:

‘Body Of Christ’ Snatched From Church, Held Hostage By UCF Student

Huh?

A University of Central Florida student, upset religious groups hold church services on public campuses, is holding hostage the Eucharist, an object so sacred to Catholics they call it the Body of Christ.

On his blog, at this point, PZ intones “It’s a cracker!” But you know, it’s not a cracker. It’s a flat dried up piece of bready stuff. Crackers are round and brown and have a little salt. This thing is not a cracker. Too chewy.

Church officials say UCF Student Senator Webster Cook was disruptive and disrespectful when he attended Mass held on campus Sunday June 29. It was during that Mass where Cook admits he obtained the Eucharist.

Well, the early Christians were disruptive too, if we believe their stories…

…According to Catholics, the wafer becomes the Body of Christ once blessed and is to be consumed immediately after a minister passes it out to churchgoers.

This is not strictly true. The transmogrification does happen during the ceremony and normally the cannibalizing of the Son of God happens then and there, but there are special circumstances where certain individuals (men, not women) can carry the holy Eucharistic being to deliver it, say, behind enemy lines or into Muslim areas.

I know this because as an Altar Boy I was trained in this area.

In addition, it often happens that the entire mass of little Christ Bodies is not consumed by the congregation. In many cases, the priest scarfs them down at the end of the communion phase of the ceremony (washing them down with a slug of sacred grape juice). Seriously, I’m not making this up. But other times, the hosts (as they are called) are put in a special container called the Tabernacle. They may remain in the Tabernacle indefinitely, but if the Tabernacle is opened up by the wrong person, death rays come out of it and skeletonize anyone watching. Unless the person watching is not Baptized, then, they are turned into a pillar of salt.

You probably think I’m making this up, but I swear to you, I am not. This is what I learned during my training as an altar boy.

There is another circumstance in which the host is not consumed after consecration. This is during certain periods of time, like Lent, when a little Body of Christ fragment is placed in a special device called the Monstrance. The Monstrance is a big flashy thing with a round bit in the middle and rays of gold plated spines coming out a all angled to make it look like a sunburst. It holds the consecrated Eucharistic Body. (There is a picture of one at the top of this post. I hope you didn’t look at it if you are not baptized.)

Cook claims he planned to consume it, but first wanted to show it to a fellow student senator he brought to Mass who was curious about the Catholic faith.

Funny. Those Catholics always freak out about youthful curiosity, of all sorts.

“When I received the Eucharist, my intention was to bring it back to my seat to show him,” Cook said. “I took about three steps from the woman distributing the Eucharist and someone grabbed the inside of my elbow and blocked the path in front of me. At that point I put it in my mouth so they’d leave me alone and I went back to my seat and I removed it from my mouth.”

A church leader was watching, confronted Cook and tried to recover the sacred bread. Cook said she crossed the line and that’s why he brought it home with him.

“She came up behind me, grabbed my wrist with her right hand, with her left hand grabbed my fingers and was trying to pry them open to get the Eucharist out of my hand,” Cook said, adding she wouldn’t immediately take her hands off him despite several requests.

That makes me laugh.

Diocese of Orlando spokeswoman Carol Brinati said she was not aware of anyone touching Cook. She released a statement Thursday: “… a Catholic Campus Ministry student representative filed a complaint with the Student Union regarding the behavior of the two young men. A Student Government Representative called Catholic Campus Ministry to apologize for this disruption.”

Probably lying. This is what we expect.

Cook filed an official abuse complaint with UCF’s student conduct court regarding the alleged physical force. Following that complaint, Brinati said church members filed their own official complaints of disruptive conduct. Punishment for either offense could result in suspension or expulsion.

“The church feels that I’m the problem here,” Cook said. “The problem is actually that this is a publicly-funded religious institution. Through student government here, we fund them through an activity and service, so they’re receiving student money.”

Cook is upset more than $40,000 in student fees have been allocated to support religious organizations on campus for the 2008-2009 school year, according to student government records. He denied he is holding the Eucharist hostage to protest that support.

Everybody’s got an agenda…

Regardless of the reason, the Diocese says its main concern is to get the Eucharist back so it can be taken care of properly and with respect. Cook has been keeping the Eucharist stored in a plastic bag since last Sunday.

“It is hurtful,” said Father Migeul Gonzalez with the Diocese. “Imagine if they kidnapped somebody and you make a plea for that individual to please return that loved one to the family.”

Gonzalez said the Diocese is willing to meet with Cook and help him understand the importance of the Eucharist in hopes of him returning it. The Diocese is dispatching a nun to UCF’s campus to oversee the next mass, protect the Eucharist and in hopes Cook will return it.

Yea, I think I know that chick. Sister Maria Gonzo Godzilla.

Cook said he’d consider returning the Eucharist if he gets an apology and a meeting with the Bishop’s office to discuss the Diocese’s policy on physical force.

Gonzalez said intentionally abusing the Eucharist is classified as a mortal sin in the Catholic church, the most severe possible. If it’s not returned, the community of faith will have to ask for forgiveness.

You see, this is my point. The point I started out with. If kidnapping a piece of bread is a mortal sin … the wost thing you can do, including killing a person … then what will the average Catholic do to protect the Eucharist? Commit a venial sin? In other words, tell a “white lie?” Of course!

“We have to make acts of reparation,” Gonzalez said. “The whole community is going to turn to prayer. We’ll ask the Lord for pardon, forgiveness, peace, not only for the whole community affected by it, but also for [Cook], we offer prayers for him as well.”

Too late, padre. You dropped your guard, your’ going to hell in a handbasket.

[Hat Tip: PZ Myers]

Comments

  1. #1 Em
    July 8, 2008

    They let women be eucharistic ministers now (lectors too!). Scandalous, I know.

    I have to say: of all Catholic beliefs, the ones concerning the Eucharist are probably the least harmful to the world at large, if for no other reason than that no one else can quite grok exactly what Catholics believe about it.

  2. #2 Tony P
    July 8, 2008

    If one counted how many times I held the damned thing in my mouth only to spit it out in the pew I’m damned to the worst level of hell.

    And as far as the whole transubstantiation thing, what utter bullshit. It’s bread, always will be bread and saying a hocus pocus over it doesn’t do jack shit to it.

  3. #3 llewelly
    July 8, 2008

    Do not look at his unless you’ve been baptized. Oh shit, too late.

    I was baptized a Mormon. Does that count? You mean I got the wrong meaningless ritual and am now going to Hell? Damn. And here I was looking forward to the Mormon afterlife of forever harassing Mormon missionaries.

  4. #4 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    July 8, 2008

    Oh, I can feel the panic and horror of the Catholics as they face the agony of this situation. It is real, it is palpable.

    When I was an altar boy, I was helping to clean the Chorch one day and found a host stuck to one of the missals. I took it straight to the priest and he nearly fainted at the idea that someone was abusing our Lord. He flushed it in Holy Water in the baptismal font. He didn’t know if it had been consecrated, so he couldn’t put it in the tabernacle. He couldn’t discard it, because it really might have been Jesus. I wish it had been Jesus… I had so many questions to ask it…

    I think it’s silly, but have mixed feelings on his actions. I am all about pointing out how silly the transsubstantiation is, but it is almost a vandalism for Cook to have taken the thing. Like painting a swastika on a synagogue, for the disregard of someone else’s symbols. It”s hard for me to laugh at this one.

  5. #5 Sean the Blogonaut
    July 9, 2008

    Man this one had me laughing out loud. Even when I was catholic I didn’t believe this shit. Maybe Australian Catholics are a bit more skeptical? Stupid enough to believe in the crap and stupid enough to fall for a publicity stunt that only makes the church look more asinine.

    Kudos to Cook – maybe he should have wiped it up his arse crack. Then they would have really had something to complain about.

  6. #6 watercat
    July 9, 2008

    Former alter boy here to testify, those wafers taste the same before or after consecration. I liked them, although God’S Blood tasted like acetone.

    But I don’t see anything here to laugh about. The church people physically attacked this guy for not behaving in church (a la catholic school). When he filed a complaint, instead of denying their guilt the church filed a counter claim against his “behavior(i’d love to see the wording), then they ignored the attackee and apologized to the attackers(sound familiar?)

    Worse, the University totally took the church’s side, finally posted armed guards–not to protect people from getting roughed up again, but to protect “the body of Christ”. WTF?
    This could be connected to the University subsidizing the attackers to the tune of 40 grand, d’ya think?

  7. #7 GORGO
    July 9, 2008

    Damn cannibalistic church devoured cultures for centuries; It’s no wonder that they have such convoluted belief structure. The Catholic church is the most corrupt governing body ever to exist. Granted, they don’t govern much anymore.

  8. #8 andyo
    July 9, 2008

    Another recovering cathoholic here. What can I say, everything’s already been said. Just one thing. Greg, I’ve enjoyed previous posts of yours, but please tell me it was a mistake, and you’re not of those people who write “definately”!

    added: who me?

  9. #9 Dunc
    July 9, 2008

    [I]t is almost a vandalism for Cook to have taken the thing. Like painting a swastika on a synagogue

    Hardly. Painting a swastika on a synagogue is a direct reference to fairly recent mass murder on an unimaginable scale, and is therefore a threat of violence against real, live people. Stealing a consecrated host is much closer to pointing and laughing than it is to threats of murder.

    And if people don’t want other people to point and laugh, then perhaps they shouldn’t make such a public show of being laughable.

  10. #10 Christian
    July 9, 2008

    I just read PZ Myers article Greg linked to and stumbled over his final paragraph:

    “So, what to do. I have an idea. Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers? [...] 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.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/its_a_goddamned_cracker.php

    Seriously – as strange as the overreaction of the Catholic community to the “stolen cracker issue” may seem to any Non-Catholic – this is the wrong way of dealing with it. Imagine if anyone would annouce that he would flush a Koran down the toilet and post the pictures on ScienceBlogs. This would surely not be welcomed by most ScienceBloggers and their readers. So why is it, that the idea of desecrating something that is sacred to most Catholics, is not equally revolting but draws laughter instead? I am not a Catholic myself, but I do not enjoy seeing their symbols of faith desecrated for entertainment…

  11. #11 Stephanie Z
    July 9, 2008

    Christian, I don’t think the point is entertainment. I think the point is to provide some perspective. When you throw everything you have at a kid who walked out without swallowing, what do you have left for the person who deliberately sets out to commit blasphemy?

    Not that there aren’t people who would be entertained.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    July 9, 2008

    Christian, this is an American thing. Here is where German and American culture differ in some very important ways. In Germany (and I think France) at various time post WW 2 it was illegal or difficult to purchase toys that looked like guns for kids. Nazi symbolism is outlawed in Germany and France. This all makes sense.

    In the US, the way our constitution is written, freedom of expression (from a liberal or moderate or even libertarian perspective) is allowed no matter what. We liberal defend the right of the Klu Klux Klan to march in front of City Hall displaying swastikas, as long as they have a permit.

    There was a parallel case a while ago where a school boy (high school) ripped apart a bible at school to express his opinion about religion. At first he was expelled or suspended or whatever, but very quickly the emotional reaction was overruled by lawyers pointing out that this was his first amendment right.

  13. #13 Christian
    July 9, 2008

    @StephanieZ: And since the Muslim community reacted so negatively to the relatively tame Danish cartoons, would it also be considered “providing perspective” if PZ would throw some extra blod pressure raising blasphemy in their face?

    I think not. So why is it ok to desecrate Catholic symbols of faith? Is this the right way to “provide perspective”? I always thought that perspective is best provided to intelligent debate and not through provocation.

    Again, the reaction of the Catholic community to this “incident” is way to serious. But is this really the right answer or is it just provocation based on “because I can”?

  14. #14 MH
    July 9, 2008

    Dunc wrote: “Stealing a consecrated host is much closer to pointing and laughing than it is to threats of murder.”

    But he didn’t even steal it; he was given it by the magician (or what-ever they are called). As far as I know, he didn’t sign any contract to eat the damned thing.

  15. #15 Dunc
    July 9, 2008

    [W]ould it also be considered “providing perspective” if PZ would throw some extra blod [sic] pressure raising blasphemy in their face?

    Well, PZ clearly thinks so. If you’re going to use the “why don’t you ever pick on Islam?” gambit, you might want to check that your target hasn’t frequently and publicly done exactly that.

  16. #16 J-Dog
    July 9, 2008

    Beautiful story – I hope it has a happy ending.

    I recommend nailing that sucker to a wooden cross – That’s what they think happened with the body of christ, right?

    (Sending back little bits in a box – priceless!)

  17. #17 PZ Myers
    July 9, 2008

    The point of desecrating the host isn’t to make people angry — it’s to demystify and desanctify nonsense. It’s how we wake people up — by showing that their beliefs are powerless.

    I’ve already got a bunch of offers to mail me kidnapped communion wafers, so look for something in the next two weeks. As for the false argument that I am not critical of Muslims…I’m planning to have a day of sacrilege, in which I’ll also piss off Mohammed.

  18. #18 Matt Penfold
    July 9, 2008

    If the Catholics had just tutted under their breath and carried on then this really would not be a story. It became a story when the Catholic hierarchy had a collective seizure and started to compare it to kidnapping. Quite frankly the comments made by Gonzalez indicate he has mental healh problems. Rather than having people apologise to him they should be doing all they can to ensure he gets evaluated by an appropriate mental health proffesional.

  19. #19 Dunc
    July 9, 2008

    If the Catholics had just tutted under their breath and carried on then this really would not be a story.

    Indeed. I’m perfectly happy to admit that Cook may have been rude, but when you start equating rudeness with kidnapping or hate crimes involving either credible threats of physical violence or actual physical violence, you’ve lost the plot.

  20. #20 Jim
    July 9, 2008

    It doesn’t turn into flesh. There are Catholics with ciliac (sp) a disease that makes eating wheat if not fatal a major health event. They can’t eat the host. The Catholic church refuses to allow them to use a host made of rice flour for example.(the magitians don’t have the proper mumbo jumb to turn that into flesh)

  21. #21 Salad Is Slaughter
    July 9, 2008

    I think grade school religion classes that discussed the transmogrification of wine in to Christ’s blood was one of the early ideas that led me to atheism. In my grade school mind I had to ask: if this stuff is now blood, why can’t they use it for blood transfusions? Seemed like a perfect solution to blood shortages to me. Alas, I never asked that question because I had gotten such dirty looks from the nuns when I asked when the book of Genesis was going to be updated to match the reality that they taught us in science class.

    Oh, and if the church is sending a nun to guard the place so the incident doesn’t happen again, Webster Cook had better watch out. There are some really mean nuns out there who are fully capable of kicking some heathen ass.

  22. #22 Mister Almost
    July 9, 2008

    Wait, I have to go back to the beginning. If you swallow or don’t swallow, you’re still taking it out of the building. So basically, not swallowing is a mortal sin?

  23. #23 Barn Owl
    July 9, 2008

    When I have leftover baked goods, I put them in a special container called the Tupperwarenacle.

    However, for something moist like banana bread, I’ll wrap it in a flashy Monstrous Piece of Aluminum Foil.

    But then, I’m an utter heathen.

  24. #24 LakeGeorgeMan
    July 9, 2008

    The Christian Dictionary:

    Taking a cracker out of a church instead of eating it and crapping it out later… = hate crime/kidnapping/mortal sin/and it really pisses off the omniponent creator of the universe to no end

    Burning someone alive for blasphemy… = justice

  25. #25 themadlolscientist
    July 9, 2008

    There are Catholics with ciliac (sp) a disease that makes eating wheat if not fatal a major health event. They can’t eat the host.

    That’s no joke. People on a strict gluten-free diet have nearly died before anyone realized that the person went to Mass every day, and even that miniscule amount of gluten was completely tearing up their intestines.

    Celiac is a truly nasty condition, and even many doctors don’t realize that it can strike at any age. A friend of mine in her late 50s found out the hard way when she suddenly stopped being able to absorb any nutrients from her food. She lost about 50 lbs. and developed severe osteoporosis before they figured out what the problem was.

  26. #26 Paul Lundgren
    July 9, 2008

    Mr. Laden,

    In the US, the way our constitution is written, freedom of expression (from a liberal or moderate or even libertarian perspective) is allowed no matter what.

    I beg to offer some exceptions, the most prominent being that you cannot overtly threaten another person or “entity” (church, corporation, government, etc.). You can be as obnoxious as you want (within the boundaries of slander and libel laws) but you can’t threaten anyone, like these Cath-tards are doing.

  27. #27 watercat
    July 9, 2008

    If it happens in a church, apparently you can physically assault someone-to obtain what they have in their possession, as here, or,
    as a recent court case decided, to hold them down and perform unwanted exorcisms on them while they struggle to get free. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080628/ap_on_re_us/exorcism_lawsuit

  28. #28 Crimson Wife
    July 9, 2008

    Greg- if you were raised a Catholic, you should know that not all mortal sins are considered equal by the Church. Breaking one of the 10 Commandments (“Thou shalt not murder”) is worse than not properly consuming the Host. The former would require a heck of a lot bigger penance than the latter in order for someone to be considered forgiven.

    And you should also remember that lying is also a mortal sin since it’s breaking the 8th Commandment (according to the Catholic numbering).

    Anyone can look at the monstrance, BTW. In fact, attendance at Eucharistic Adoration is highly encouraged for catechumens who are preparing to be initiated into the Church (regardless of whether or not they were baptized into another Christian denomination).

    If Mr. Cook had disrupted the worship services at a synagogue, mosque, Hindu or Buddhist temple, etc. and desecrated an object considered sacred by one of those faiths I seriously doubt you and your commentators would feel entitled to mock the situation in highly offensive languge. But anti-Catholicism is one of the few remaining acceptable prejudices in the modern U.S. :-(

  29. #29 Stephanie Z
    July 9, 2008

    Crimson Wife, if anyone in those other faiths decided they needed to wrestle with Mr. Cook to keep him from leaving with something they’d just given him, particularly a bread puck, they’d be just as roundly mocked. And really, do you want to stand among atheists to try to claim the mantle of persecuted religious minority?

  30. #30 Crimson Wife
    July 9, 2008

    How do we know what the actual physical contact was between Mr. Cook and the Eucharistic Minister? Does he have any corroborating witnesses to back up his allegations? Sounds like a classic “he said/she said” situation to me and given his subsequent actions, I’m not particularly inclined to believe his side of the story…

    And since when is Greg Laden’s blog for atheists only? I see a domain of “scienceblogs.com” NOT “atheistblogs.com”. I happen to have an interest in biology and, in fact, studied it in college (believe it or not, plenty of Christians are NOT Creationists).

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    July 9, 2008

    Regarding your second post, please refer to the first sentence in the first paragraph of my post.

    Regarding your second point, well, all else being equal, I’m not going to believe the crazy chruch people. Not off hand.

  32. #32 Greg Laden
    July 9, 2008

    Paul: Yes, you are absolutely correct. So, painting a swastika on the front door of a jewish family’s house is a threat, not allowed, illegal in several ways. Marching in a permitted parade carrying a swastika flag is OK.

    In Germany, the logic behind the first instnace here is taken to the second instance. As, in my view, it should be with certain symbols.

  33. #33 Stephanie Z
    July 9, 2008

    Crimson Wife, I did not in any way suggest that you, as a non-atheist, shouldn’t read or comment on this blog. However, if you are concerned about being offensive, you might want to consider the experiences of the people around you before you speak about acceptable prejudice.

    As far as whom I believe, wrestling in the church aisle is much more in keeping with a group making death threats and sending bodyguards into the church than lying is with standing up to say, “I went in the church to find out what was going on, and I still have this. See?”

  34. #34 Dunc
    July 10, 2008

    If Mr. Cook had disrupted the worship services at a synagogue, mosque, Hindu or Buddhist temple, etc. and desecrated an object considered sacred by one of those faiths I seriously doubt you and your commentators would feel entitled to mock the situation in highly offensive languge.

    Just try us and see.

  35. #35 JanieBelle
    July 10, 2008

    If Mr. Cook had disrupted the worship services at a synagogue, mosque, Hindu or Buddhist temple, etc. and desecrated an object considered sacred by one of those faiths I seriously doubt you and your commentators would feel entitled to mock the situation in highly offensive languge [sic].

    heh. Her don’t know us vewy well, do her?

    Credibility? Based on history, allow me to offer this:

    Catholic church = none
    random dude who makes claim of violence over silly superstition = more than none

  36. #36 MH
    July 10, 2008

    Crimson Wife, laughing at Catholics getting irate because a magic cracker left a church is not persecution; it’s sanity.

  37. #37 Michael Bo
    July 13, 2008

    One thing I can’t get my mind to accept, is that the Catholic Church, in effect, condoned/condones pedophilia amongst their clergy, but goes insane whan it comes to a piece of bland bread?
    The wife and I went to a Mass this morning instead of our usual brunch with friends…and, we were not impressed to put it mildly. (I have to admit the wife snuck out the snack, and it now has an honoured place amongst my collection of “Strange Things that I have Found”)

    So, accordingly to Crimson Wife, my wife has committed a sin a magnitude or two higher than the priests that have abused children entrusted in their care. Say nothing for the leadership of the church that have protected them.

    Honestly, I think that the US is turning into Iran 2.0. And, it does not make me happy at all. I spent a few years there in the ’80ies, and I really loved the experience. But, I really can’t imagine me going back there. Well, maybe except for shopping, as the dollar is so horribly cheap compared to the Euro.

  38. #38 LetUsRatiocinate
    July 18, 2008

    The basic problem here is a belief that it is even possible to “desecrate” something.

    To desecrate something first requires HAVING something sacred that is then made less sacred or has its holiness excised through some action or word or thought.

    What is the prerequisite for declaring something sacred? Nothing whatsoever. The declaration itself *creates* the hallowedness of the thing by fiat.

    Since the whole “sanctity” thing is just arbitrarily invented by someone who then recruits accomplices in its defense, I say desecration is not a real thing. Therefore, this kid didn’t hurt anyone and should be compensated for his assault.

  39. #39 LetUsRatiocinate
    July 18, 2008

    The basic problem here is a belief that it is even possible to “desecrate” something.

    To desecrate something first requires HAVING something sacred that is then made less sacred or has its holiness excised through some action or word or thought.

    What is the prerequisite for declaring something sacred? Nothing whatsoever. The declaration itself “creates” the hallowedness of the thing by fiat.

    Since the whole “sanctity” thing is just arbitrarily invented by someone who then recruits accomplices in its defense, I say desecration is not a real thing. Therefore, this kid didn’t hurt anyone and should be compensated for his assault.

  40. #40 LetUsRatiocinate
    July 18, 2008

    (Computer glitch caused double post. Sorry.)

  41. #41 Deep Thought
    July 21, 2008

    “They may remain in the Tabernacle indefinitely, but if the Tabernacle is opened up by the wrong person, death rays come out of it and skeletonize anyone watching. Unless the person watching is not Baptized, then, they are turned into a pillar of salt.

    You probably think I’m making this up, but I swear to you, I am not. This is what I learned during my training as an altar boy.”

    Now – who, again, is untruthful?

  42. #42 Stephanie Z
    July 21, 2008

    DT, presumptuously rude much? Why not ask Greg how he learned it before assuming he’s lying? I can think of a couple of different ways without even resorting to the idea that his local church officials weren’t well versed in their theology.

  43. #43 Simba
    December 29, 2008

    I’m a Catholic and I’m fully with Cook on this one. They completely overreacted.

  44. #44 j davis
    December 31, 2008

    All this from a ‘church’ that has an ‘ex’ Nazi as it’s head and a bunch of pedophiles running around dressed like Zorro!

  45. #45 RnJ
    March 20, 2009

    Christains are the biggest goddamned liars around. they will always offer to help you…then change their mind…leave you hanging and of course say it is god’s will.

    A promise from a Christian will always be a fucking lie

  46. #46 IDontKnowHowIFoundThisBlog
    April 25, 2009

    “I know this because as an Altar Boy I was trained in this area.”

    “You probably think I’m making this up, but I swear to you, I am not. This is what I learned during my training as an altar boy.”

    You are a tool. But maybe it was your teachers’ fault.

    “Well, the early Christians were disruptive too, if we believe their stories…”

    One wonders what on earth you are talking about. Citations, please? And make them original sources. And since when did being disruptive imply guilt?

    “…but there are special circumstances where certain individuals (men, not women) can carry the holy Eucharistic being to deliver it, say, behind enemy lines or into Muslim areas.”

    Uh, this is probably not the most common work for an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. They normally deliver the Eucharist to the very sick and dying… care to make fun of this too?

    “In many cases, the priest scarfs them down at the end of the communion phase of the ceremony (washing them down with a slug of sacred grape juice).”

    You say “scarf” we say “consume.” One sounds better, no? And it’s the Blood of Christ, not “sacred grape juice.”

    “[The Hosts] may remain in the Tabernacle indefinitely, but if the Tabernacle is opened up by the wrong person, death rays come out of it and skeletonize anyone watching. Unless the person watching is not Baptized, then, they are turned into a pillar of salt.”

    This is ridiculous and not at all a teaching of the Catholic Church. Whoever told you this was wrong.

    “There is another circumstance in which the host is not consumed after consecration. This is during certain periods of time, like Lent, when a little Body of Christ fragment is placed in a special device called the Monstrance.”

    Just to clarify: This happens all of the time all over the world. Eucharistic adoration is not just during “certain periods.”

    “I hope you didn’t look at it if you are not baptized.”

    Why? Nothing bad will happen.

    “If kidnapping a piece of bread is a mortal sin … the wost thing you can do, including killing a person … then what will the average Catholic do to protect the Eucharist? Commit a venial sin? In other words, tell a “white lie?” Of course!”

    Wrong again. The end never justifies the means in Catholic thought. To quote 1753 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “A good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means.”

    And nobody lied in order to get the Eucharist back. They grabbed his arm.

  47. #47 Christina
    October 17, 2009

    IDontKnowHowIFoundThisBlog, you should really learn how to recognize sarcasm and hyperbole, instead of feeling offended (something all religious types these days are masters of, it seems) about Greg’s choice of words.

    But I agree, it is not “sacred grape juice”.
    It’s “declared-as-sacred fermented grace juice”.
    I hate to be imprecise.

    “And nobody lied in order to get the Eucharist back. They grabbed his arm.”
    They claim they didn’t physically assault Cook. If what Cook said is true, on the other hand, it means they deliberately lied. Seriously, how hard is that to understand?

  48. #48 Steve
    November 6, 2009

    Atheists complain that they are not respected, but then you rub your little hands with glee as some college douche bag pulls what is the equivalent of a fraternity prank. Maybe this is why. Is your goal only to offend? Of course, you are cowards since Christianity is a Western religion with Western standards (i.e. not bombing an embassy or decapitating people that offend, like those that belong to the club called “the religion of peace”). I would like to see one of you “men” walk into a mosque during Friday services and piss on a Qu’ran. Walk into a Hindu Temple and eat a hamburger. Oh, but that would be “disrespectful” since they are non-Western cultures, right? Christians do not need finger wagging by a bunch of pompous “know it all” fuck-sticks. We get that enough from the clergy. Islam should be your target since they publicly hang homosexuals (so, that means half of you would be dead in Iran), stone women to death, and chop shit off for stealing a loaf of bread. Why are picking the easy target? Come on guys, if you really want to be “extreme atheists,” let your wife drive the car on your vacation to Saudi Arabia or make-out with a girl in a park in Iran! Have fun being tortured and mutilated in prison for your principals! And what is this whiny bullshit about atheists being “persecuted?” Who the fuck has been tortured, beaten, or publicly humiliated for being an atheist? Give me a fucking break, you guys are almost as “hip” as homosexuals. Pretty soon you will have your own sitcom on NBC like the fucking cave men from the Geico commercials. If anyone is persecuted in liberal America today, is is a white, Christian male that pays his taxes. Where is my college fund beeatch! I had to go into the Army to afford to go to school, so stop complaining about how much your pussy hurts. Live and Let Live bitches, life is hard enough without running into assholes like you that claim you can refute something like “faith” that cannot be measured in scientific terms. As far as morality goes, would you rather send your kid to Sunday school to make friends, or a Communist summer camp where they learn that religion is the “opiate of the masses” and learn to love atheist leaders like Stalin and Mao that murdered millions of people? If you want to be respected, then maybe you should ignore pranks by “little johnny son-of-a-bitch” and stick to your argument and don’t say you are “intimidated” because some old lady grabbed his fucking arm. Man-up and grow a fucking pair! If you think this shit is rough, you haven’t lived. Grow the fuck up and stop cheer leading some little punk who wants to hide Jesus under his bed next to his Playboy that mommy bought his subscription for since he has never worked a fucking day in his life. Peace Out!

  49. #49 Greg Laden
    November 6, 2009

    as some college douche bag pulls what is the equivalent of a fraternity prank.

    Can you honestly read PZ Myer’s essay linking the sanction of the Eucharist and the Holocaust and call THAT a college frat prank? Do you have two neurons to rub together?

  50. #50 katydid13
    November 6, 2009

    This is crazy, and I’m christian. This is also the kind of thing that reminds of that Ghandi quote about liking Christ, but not Christians.

    There used to be an elderly woman who lived across the street from my church in sound kind of group home. She always took her bread from communion ate some and took the rest outside to share with the pigeons. I can’t imagine anyone trying to stop her from doing that. It gave her great joy.

    Ritual exists to serve people, people don’t exist to serve rituals. Those church leaders seem to have forgoten that.

  51. #51 steve
    November 7, 2009

    Wow, that was an awesome comeback. Get off of PZ’s balls long enough to answer some of the questions. Keep trying to inflate this story into something worth sharing and I will tell you stories about Christians that are executed in China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia for the evil crime of passing out Bibles. Which will be more significant? If you really want to show moral equivalency in your argument, I want to see a cartoon of Muhammad sucking off a camel, pronto! Maybe you will earn some respect.

  52. #52 Greg Laden
    November 7, 2009

    Steve, I think you need to learn to stop telling other people what to do and how to think.

    I don’t happen to think anyone should be executed for handing out any kind of book. But there are missionaries carrying out illegal and offensive acts in many countries across the globe, as you point out. I don’t think you can come up with very many valid current examples of people being executed for handing out books, but it is not hard to come up with numerous examples of missionaries utterly disregarding the law of the land because they don’t feel, as you do, that anyone else can have their “moral equivalence”

  53. #53 steve
    November 7, 2009

    Man, those missionaries were really doing some heinous shit! Give me a break! You are right, there are no current examples of anyone being executed for passing out Bibles, the most recent case was way back in the stone age on June 16, 2009. A South Korean mother of three, Ri Hyon Ok, was executed by your atheist buddy Little Kim in North Korea.
    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D99KVD2O0&show_article=1
    Do you have a thing called Google?
    So, let me get this straight, atheists don’t break laws and don’t tell people what to think (N. Korea, China)? Man, maybe I should move to one of those great atheist countries like North Korea, China, or Cuba (I missed the boat on the former Soviet Union, but there are still a ton of atheists in that country that do no wrong). I sooooo want to go to a re-education summer camp so I can have the same beliefs as you! You are right, we Christians are the ones that are great at controlling thought! Have you ever read “The Gulag Archipelago?” Maybe you should, and find out how great the world would be if everyone became an atheist. We could buy matching Joe Stalin t-shirts and everything! I thought you hippies were into tolerance. I guess you can only be tolerant to those that come from non-Western backgrounds. Keep it up! Hit the easy targets. Don’t worry about Islam. They are no threat at all. They are sooo tolerant of everyone! You have not answered any of my questions and you constantly side step issues like a politician. You have no credibility and you do not have the testicular fortitude to stand up to Islam. So far, from what I have seen, atheists have the spine of jello when it comes to real controversy. Keep picking on Christians (a.k.a. old people, little kids, and young peaceful families), that will get you the respect you want! Those damned missionaries that break the law are waaaay worse than suicide bombers, and jihadis. You are making the “safe” and noble choice by picking on Christians. You guys are hard core! Man, doesn’t is suck to find a Christian that isn’t a push over?

  54. #54 Stephanie Z
    November 7, 2009

    Of course, steve, if you were all that gung ho on Google, it wouldn’t take much to discover that North Korea has an official state religion, called Juche. It doesn’t locate its god in some remote heaven, which may make it difficult for you to recognize, but it is a religion. Google can also help you discover why atheists laugh when someone waltzes in saying, “Huh? Huh? Stalin! Mao! So there!!! Huh?”

    If you actually had a tiny bit of Google Fu, you could discover the many times that critiques of Islam have been made on this blog. If you were paying any attention whatsoever, you’d have noticed that one of them was posted this afternoon.

    Call me when you find a Christian who has something original to say.

  55. #55 Greg Laden
    November 7, 2009

    What she said.

  56. #56 Greg Laden
    November 7, 2009
  57. #57 steve
    November 8, 2009

    Still skirting the issues. I lived on the DMZ with North Korea for a year and had numerous security and cultural briefings on Kim’s atheist paradise. I do not need Google to tell me about N. Korea. I had to hear their propaganda music all fucking day. Juche is not at all the official religion of North Korea, they have a cult of personality, which is what happens when you replace religion with earthly leaders. Liberal apologists label Juche as a religion so it does not sound like what it is, a cult dedicated to their dear leader Kim. They believe he was born on a mountaintop in a celestial fog.
    All I hear from atheists is “Crusades! Persecution! Intolerance!”
    Who the fuck is laughing about mass murder in the name of your religion? Yes, atheism is a religion. You have your books and leaders (i.e. racist Darwin and his racist writings).
    You laugh about Stalin killing more people than Hitler in the name of Communism in an atheist state? You guys are more mentally fucked than I thought. Stop making mountains out of mole hills and acting like you are all fucking martyrs. It is nice that you do admit Stalin and Mao were atheists, and seem to be a sore spot for you twats. Have a nice fucking empty useless life bitches.

  58. #58 Greg Laden
    November 8, 2009

    Steve, no one is skirting the issue. You have brought North Korea into this, and you seem to be waiting for people to agree with you that North Korea sucks. It totally sucks, Steve, nobody likes North Kora, everybody thinks Kim (to the extent that he is alive and all) is one of the most over the top scary evil dictators ever. He is a total freak.

    If you were standing in front of me and told me that I am equal to Kim because I am an atheist, which is what you are strongly implying here, you would suddenly be presented with a very serious life changing problem.

    I can’t believe how far from the point you have strayed. This post and the posts linked and associated from the Crackergate event ARE ABOUT MASS MURDER. Are you not getting this?

    Go read this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/the_great_desecration.php

    Actually read it. Don’t just look at the title and the pictures. Actually read it and learn from it. Learn how utterly offensive in relation to “mass murder,” your stupid tirade is.

  59. #59 jeff
    April 2, 2011

    ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. Jeremiah 10 they nail their IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move can’t speak can’t move must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to them they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their own authority what will you do when your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be the son of man.‎1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifiable

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