The current and ongoing dust-up regarding the call by The Catholic League for the Legislature of the State of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota and its President, Bob Bruininks, to take action against Biologist, Professor and Scienceblogs.com blogger PZ Myers (PZ stands for Paul Zachary) seems to be turning into one of the largest events not related directly to a presidential candidate or a major international level disaster such as the recent Earthquake in China.

(Note: The “Catholic League” is widely recognized by actual Catholics as very rarely representing their point of view. It is kind of the right-wing wing of the Church. All the Catholics I know who are aware of this organizaiton are rather embarrassed about the “Catholic League”)

Only a couple of days into the event, a very refined Google search, which seems to be bringing up only sites that related directly to this issue, returns 1,320 current hits (Many of these are aggregaters and other non-real sites, but this gives an order of magnitude estimate). The vast majority of these, based on a close look by me (but I did not read every one) are in support of PZ Myers.

The following is a list of some of the key Internet items related to this event, for your consideration. These are listed in the order that I encountered them, so the first are PZ’s, then a few others that were sent to me or that I bumped into because they are on my daily radar screen, then (the majority) are randomly encountered from Google. I did not exclude any based on their position regarding this issue, though I did exclude redundant references from aggregaters.


From PZ Myers:

The post that started it all was PZ Myers’ response to a bizarre news story concerning a young man’s attempt to abscond from a Catholic Church with a Eucharist. The young man’s actions may have been obnoxious, or they may have been an act of what I would call “civil disobedience” (though it was not against the government), or it may have been something else. But most agree that the reaction by the church goes (if accurately reported), the curch officials, and the larger church itself were far, far beyond reason. Read the post: IT’S A FRACKIN’ CRACKER!. (I took a different view from PZ’s. If that interests you, have a look here and here.)

The PZ Myers Wikipedia entry is here.)

The following is the full list of PZ Myers posts on this issue as of this writing. Note that there is a technical difficulty that happens on some blogs that is addressed here. Every time a page is viewed, all the comments left by readers on that page need to be fetched from a database and turned into something readable. That ties up the server when there are several hundred comments. When there are too many comments on one post, the post has to be “closed” and another post re-opened to accept additional comments. So, in order for the entire Scienceblogs.com network to not shut down from intensive use, Myers has had to close posts and re-open new ones just to accomodate the thousands of comments he is recieving (again, the vast, vast majority favorable to his position).

IT’S A FRACKIN’ CRACKER!
Now I’ve got Bill Donohue’s attention
Fresh crackers!
Fight back against Bill Donohue!
Internet getting full, here’s a new hole to dump comments into
Can this possibly get more insane?
I get email — special cracker edition!

This last item is a listing of some of the hate mail Myers has recieved recently. The following is an example of the sort of thing we see there:

The Catholic League is going after your job because you are a vile anti- Catholic bigot who really does deserve to pay a high price professonally for such a public act of contempt for the Catholic faith of tens of millions of your fellow countrymen. I intend to write to your University and support the call for disciplinary action against you (and encourage all my colleagues to do likewise) for misusing your University’s resources to express hatred and for my faith.

I would like to note that Pharyngula, the blog PZ Myers writes, is in no way affiliated with the University of Minnesota.

Here is a site meant to accumulate letters of support for Myers (a sort of public “cc).

The following is a list of additional sites expressing opinions on this. Normally, if I wanted to create a list of this type, I would try to be comprehensive. This is not possible at this time. Fee free to look at my Google Search if you want to see more! Also, if you have a post on this topic, feel free to add it to the comments below.

PZ is Being a Very Bad Boy
When religion goes berserk!
« links for 2008-07-11 | Main
PZ Myers, Bill Donohue, Crackers, the Eucharist, and Right and Wrong
Desecration, blasphemy in public, and manners
Crackers, Cartoons, and Teddy Bears — OH MY!
PZ vs. the cracker
PLEASE WRITE IN SUPPORT OF PZ MYERS. By Richard Dawkins

The PZ Meyers / Bill Donohue Kerfuffle
The Cracker Case
Bill Donohue after PZ Myers over an insult to a cracker
Support PZ Myers
Stick Up For PZ Myers
Show Your Support for PZ Myers
The case for firing PZ Myers
Bill Donohue Tries To Fire PZ Myers

Comments

  1. #1 Jérôme ^
    July 12, 2008

    « hate male » is a very nice typo :-)

  2. #2 Virgil Samms
    July 12, 2008

    (Note: The “Catholic League” is widely recognized by actual Catholics as very rarely representing their point of view. It is kind of the right-wing wing of the Church. All the Catholics I know who are aware of this organizaiton are rather embarrassed about the “Catholic League”)

    Most ‘actual Catholics” you know are not actually Catholics. The Holy Roman Catholic Church, the one true church, is a top-down organization. The Pope, who is the personal representative of God on Earth, gets to set the rules as to what it means to be Catholic. If these acquaintances of yours do not agree with Pope Indulgence on the vital doctrinal specifications, then they are not in fact Catholic. The number of “Catholics” who do not understand and live by this arrangement is remarkable.

  3. #4 FutureMD
    July 12, 2008

    It’s important to note that PZ Myers hasn’t actually carried through on his “threat” to desecrate the cracker. The mere expression of intent to do so has set off this shitstorm.

  4. #5 Virgil Samms
    July 12, 2008

    Weak dollar sends Vatican into the red
    Maybe this is all just a ruse to generate excitement over their product and scare up an influx of cash.

  5. #6 JimRL
    July 12, 2008

    Virgil, What does the Catholic League have to do with the top down organization of the church? Nothing. What do you know about the Catholics Greg knows? As a Baptized and Confirmed lapsed Catholic with devout Catholic family I can honestly say I don’t know anyone who doesn’t consider Bill Donohue to be anything more than a hate mongering attention whore.

  6. #7 Lorax
    July 12, 2008

    I was going to avoid the issue but it has become such a force unto itself that I could not extricate myself from. Damnit

  7. #8 Anonymous
    July 12, 2008

    If these acquaintances of yours do not agree with Pope Indulgence on the vital doctrinal specifications, then they are not in fact Catholic. The number of “Catholics” who do not understand and live by this arrangement is remarkable.

    Things are a little more complicated than you suggest. First, saying someone’s “not in fact Catholic” is a much stronger claim than saying someone’s merely a bad Catholic. There are a lot of bad Catholics that the church would never dream of kicking out entirely. Second, the Pope is far more constrained than you suggest. He may be very unhappy about cafeteria Catholics, but he can only move gingerly to try to win them back. If he simply declared they weren’t real Catholics and had to shape up immediately or be excommunicated, it would break the American Catholic Church. No Pope wants to risk causing a schism that could involve tens of millions of people, so even though he has tremendous power in principle, he’s not completely free to exercise it.

  8. #9 Winawer
    July 12, 2008

    I made a brief mention of this at my (probably completely unread :-) blog: Go help out at Pharyngula. I don’t always agree with the lengths that he goes to, but death threats for a blog post? My crazy alarm is going off….

  9. #10 Bing
    July 12, 2008

    FYI, the “kerfuffel” is not correct. Thanks for including me!

  10. #11 MMOToole
    July 12, 2008

    Coming into this shitstorm late…

    My credentials in this matter: I’m an ex-Catholic with eight years at a Jesuit university, back in the day when philosophy and theology were required subjects.

    It’s arguable that censuring PZ for any of this would be construed as an attempt by the Catholic League (never the most theologically astute in the Church) to show blatant disrespect for the beliefs of a fair number of Protestants in this country, most of whom do NOT believe in transubstantiation, and for whom the Eucharist is a remembrance and community sharing, not a literal ingestion of Deity. I leave out the myriad non-Christians and atheists.

    In other words: despite the specters of Black Masses and the like raised in the minds of people who undoubtedly think the Inquisition was a Good Thing, and though I can understand the outrage felt by some Catholics, yup, it is “just a cracker”. Unless the Catholic Church is going to check official Catholic IDs at the door of every church, or take the theologically dubious route of not allowing Communion to anyone not personally known to the priest as a “good Catholic”, these things are going to happen. Cope, or get apoplexy.

  11. #12 Who Cares
    July 12, 2008

    The link under “The case for firing PZ Myers” has a http to much at the start

  12. #13 Trinifar
    July 12, 2008

    “if you have a post on this topic, feel free to add it to the comments below”

    My post: http://trinifar.wordpress.com/2008/07/12/paul-myers-little-hypocriy/

  13. #15 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    July 12, 2008

    Here is the link for Support PZ Myers.

  14. #16 JanieBelle
    July 12, 2008

    Anonymous:

    If he simply declared they weren’t real Catholics and had to shape up immediately or be excommunicated, it would break the American Catholic Church. No Pope wants to risk causing a schism that could involve tens of billions of dollars, so even though he has tremendous power in principle, he’s not completely free to exercise it.

    Fixed that for you.

  15. #17 CityzenJane
    July 12, 2008

    For a breakdown of the implications of globalization of the wafer supply chain and a few questions which it implies…

    http://cityzenjane.wordpress.com/2008/07/12/pz-meyers-and-the-wacky-wafer-kerfuffle/

  16. #18 John McKay
    July 12, 2008

    Me! Me! Add me!

    http://johnmckay.blogspot.com/2008/07/to-barricades.html

    That’s my letter to the University in support of P-Zed. I’ve written about Donohoe in the past and will have something new tomorrow. It never hurts to point out one more time what a fraud the antisemitic boob is.

  17. #19 radical sapphoq
    July 13, 2008

    http://radical.sapphoq.com/2008/07/crackers-over-crackers-71308.html

    from my current events blog.
    Thanks for the coverage of this hoopla over the hostage host.

    spike

  18. #20 mtraven
    July 13, 2008

    Everyone loves a shitstorm! Here’s my contribution. Executive summary: the idea of the sacred is a built-in part of human culture and psychology, and if you mess with people’s sacred objects they get upset. Nobody should be surprised at this, but for some reason a scientist like PZ goes about treating as if they are rational, a position totally unsupported by science or experience.

  19. #21 Audacious Aardvark
    July 13, 2008

    Just who are these “actual Catholics” you refer to. Fr. Bozo who does the 10 am circus mass at St. Whosits or Sister Pretendah who feels that her true calling is to be ordained a “priest” by a dissident “bishop” while on a scow in the middle of an international waterway? Got news for ya, Buddy, Donahue more closely represents the views of “actual Catholics” than do those twice a year pew sitters and the little white haired people at We Are Church meetings so desperately clinging to their guitars and tie dies.

    More to the point, whatever this PZ guy belives, he presents as a pretty typical liberal secularist — no ideas are worthy of respect except the ones that he holds. So much for diversity and critical thinking. Glad my kids didn’t have to put up with someone as brain dead as that in college.

  20. #22 Jim RL
    July 13, 2008

    Aardvark, you are absolutely wrong about the Catholic League and “actual Catholics”. I went to Catholic school from K-12th grade. My family is made up of devout Catholics and nearly all of my friends in college were active Catholics, and I have met less than 5 Catholics in my life who would support the hate mongering attention whores at the Catholic League. The Bill Donohue’s are trying to turn Catholicism into just another fundamentalist cult.

  21. #23 Bubba Sixpack
    July 13, 2008

    The whole situation is so silly it would be hilarious if not for the unhinged right-wing reaction.

    At this point, I would not be surprised if the Dem Congresscritters came out with a condemnation against PZ.

  22. #24 Dana Hunter
    July 14, 2008

    If there are still folks hungering for yet more opining on the subject, here are my three:

    Profaning the Sacred

    For Crying out Loud!

    The Great Cracker Controversy of 2008: My Best Friend Weighs In

    Excellent collection, Greg. Thanks for all the work!

  23. #26 Micah Schamis
    July 15, 2008

    I know there is no particular point arguing with Catholic League people, but the outrage over this whole mess doesn’t even make sense theologically. Even assuming you accept transubstantiation, until you actually eat the host, it is in fact just a cracker.

  24. #27 Yal
    July 15, 2008

    But if you stick it in your ear it becomes an angel.

  25. #28 themadlolscientist
    July 15, 2008

    Even assuming you accept transubstantiation, until you actually eat the host, it is in fact just a cracker.

    But if you stick it in your ear it becomes an angel.

    ROFL=snort=MAO!!!1!

    While I feel that PZ went a little over the top, he did it as a private citizen on his personal blog and not as a spokesman for the university. As such, he has every right to do so. After all, this is America and we don’t have an Inquisition. And it was funny.

    If Bill Donohue isn’t the Catholic Fred Phelps, I don’t know who is. :-PPPPPPPPP

  26. #29 The Krolls
    July 23, 2008

    Wow athiest are mean. Kazaam, you guys are tough.
    Yet you do seem unsatisified, being that you can be good little athiests and live in a country where the vast majority of the people do believe in God, yet no one attacks you for your non belief.

    The country where you live does not have a state run church, nor is membership to any particular church reguired. In fact most people don’t care one bit what you crazy guys believe in or don’t. You can even read all the marx and lennin you wish, and yearn for the good old days of the USSR, and not a peep.
    Hell it can make you a star on campus or the DNC.

    Why is that some self important lunitic like Pz and his basement boys here, have this perverse need to attack people who dare not think as they do.

    And debate, well forget debate, but man can we come up with some pretty witty put downs.

    Here is an idea for (most) of the posters here. Go outside, get some sun, smell the flowers, take a shower. Then attempt to spend a little less time on these echo sites, and try putting a lot more time into that plan for moving out of your parents basements.

    This might explain why so many of you here are so very unhappy, angry and lost. Oh, and musty.

    Come on dudes, dudettes, open up those subterranian windows, let out the pot smoke.
    And go make some friends. With real people this time. Not virtual people, or here listening to some little midget of a guy, who’s still pissed off about never getting picked for baseball games, and who no doubt still carries the emotional and physical scars of too many nuggies to the temple, in the halls of his high school. (where he most likley first lost his faith in the almighty.)

    Can’t you just picture it, little pz crying out as he ran down that lockered hall, his underpants over his head, yelling “why has thou forsaken me lord.” This peek back at the birth of a “radical athiest” was just extra.

    You know, radical athiests, like mao, hitler, stalin, marx, pol pot, castro, and bozo the clown. (it was a shock to me as well.)

    Keep up the good work FR j, but I fear your just wasting your time with these sad people, while your making a point, they are just thinking of the next nasty name they are going to call you.

  27. #30 The Krolls
    July 23, 2008

    Another thing fr.j, did you notice how these toads like to fire off the pedophile charge against the church from time to time in their clumsy writings.

    This charge is a favoirte one, that it is false means nothing. (facts don’t matter here just emotions)

    So let’s talk truth to power yo, The catholic church did not, and does not have a pedohile problem. At least no more so then any other organization, large company, or major college campus. The Church has a Homosexual problem.

    In the vast amount of sexaul abuse charges against priests, the charges were for abusing other males, Boys, (a few girls) Boys that were between the ages of 13 to 17 in almost every case involving a male

    Now fellas, (I’ll go slow I promise.)Pedophilia: it is defined as a psychological disorder in which an adult experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children, pedophiles abuse small children Thus the word.
    So let’s review my little worthless monkey related students, predatory Homosexual priest were abusing young men.

    And yes, I feel it was horrible how the church would move them around and hide them, in an attempt cover up the fact that the Church had/has a very bad homosexual problem.

    I can hear it already, ” But their were girls abused too”

    yes but very, very few. I think one actually.

    “Wait a minute you knuckle dragger, you can’t say homosexual, it’s gay fuck face” and gay is good you homophobic creep.”

    “but everyone else here thinks they were pedophiles.”

    That is because they are stupid and vapid people Virginia, and some of them rather enjoy being able to say, See! priests are just like me!

  28. #31 The Krolls
    July 23, 2008

    Another thing fr.j, did you notice how these toads like to fire off the pedophile charge against the church from time to time in their clumsy writings.

    This charge is a favoirte one, that it is false means nothing. (facts don’t matter here just emotions)

    So let’s talk truth to power yo, The catholic church did not, and does not have a pedohile problem. At least no more so then any other organization, large company, or major college campus. The Church has a Homosexual problem.

    In the vast amount of sexaul abuse charges against priests, the charges were for abusing other males, Boys, (a few girls) Boys that were between the ages of 13 to 17 in almost every case involving a male

    Now fellas, (I’ll go slow I promise.)Pedophilia: it is defined as a psychological disorder in which an adult experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children, pedophiles abuse small children Thus the word.
    So let’s review my little worthless monkey related students, predatory Homosexual priest were abusing young men.

    And yes, I feel it was horrible how the church would move them around and hide them, in an attempt cover up the fact that the Church had/has a very bad homosexual problem.

    I can hear it already, ” But their were girls abused too”

    yes but very, very few. I think one actually.

    “Wait a minute you knuckle dragger, you can’t say homosexual, it’s gay fuck face” and gay is good you homophobic creep.”

    help me here, I never understood that word.
    Homophobic? What Does that mean? I’m afraid of Homosexuals? Heck, I don’t think I’ve ever been afraid of a Homosexual, except for Rossie.

    “but everyone else here thinks they were pedophiles.”

    That is because they are stupid and vapid people Virginia, and some of them rather enjoy being able to say, See! priests are just like me!

  29. #32 Stephanie Z
    July 23, 2008

    Wow, Mr. Kroll. Next time, try talking to the real atheists instead of the ones in your head. One, it’ll save you a bunch of typing. Two, it makes for much more interesting conversation.

  30. #33 Elizabeth
    July 23, 2008

    and not a peep

    What? Sorry, I didn’t hear you. Too much noise. (What is all that peeping?)

  31. #34 relationship problems
    January 21, 2011

    Again, a thoughtful post, Great stuff. I just made a point of reading more blog posts around here and I have to say it’s pretty good. Cudos.