It appears that the Chancellor of the University of Minnesota, Morris put out a statement today regarding PZ Myers’ recent activity in relation to the cracker/eucharist. This led to coverage in the Star Tribune where you can, if you like, leave a comment. The story:
Morris chancellor defends instructor who defiled Eucharist, tore Qur’an
The chancellor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, is standing up for a faculty member’s freedom of expression after the instructor posted on the Internet a photo of a defiled communion wafer with pages ripped from the Qur’an.
Paul Z. Myers, who teaches biology at the west-central Minnesota school, on his blog this week posted a picture of the wafer with a rusty nail through it and torn pages from the Qur’an. Also in the photo are tattered pages from a book by biologist Richard Dawkins that scoffs at the notion of a superior being.
Johnson said, while she believes “behaviors that discriminate against or harass individuals or groups on the basis of their religious beliefs are reprehensible,” the school also “affirms the freedom of a faculty member to speak or write as a public citizen without institutional discipline or restraint.”
In response to Myers’ latest posting, the Catholic League, which for years has been actively challenging any instances it sees as an affront to Catholicism, said [bla bla bla….]
It is notable that Myers’ action (chronicled in this excellent blog post) involving the eucharist, various text fragments, some coffee grounds and a banana, was an act of expression, not a hate crime. The distinction between the two is clear. That expression is an unassailable right even against The Church and even in a relatively religiously conservative state like Minnesota …. indeed, ‘outstate’ Minnesota … is validated by the Chancellor’s comments.
But your comments could be added usefully to the Star Tribune piece. PZ is too shy to ask, I’m sure.