Pharyngula

<rolls eyes> It’s a cracker, people

Good grief, but this is tedious. I’m still getting piles of email every day from people 1) begging me not to abuse a cracker because it is so sacred to them, piles of email telling me to 2) abuse a book because it is so sacred to Muslims (I’ve even been sent two copies of the Koran!), and of course, the 3) bizarre complaint that I’m a coward, afraid to commit sacrilege. You can all stop now. 1) Your personal sense of the sacred in a piece of bread dough is absurd to me and imposes on me no sense of obligation. 2) Since I now own one entirely superfluous copy of the Koran, it will meet the very same fate as the crackers. Thanks to all who have demanded that I treat that silly book with disrespect, I’ll have to treat both equally. 3) I have not rushed to be rude to a cracker because, well, it’s there, it’s ridiculous, and it’s not very important. I’ve been traveling, and I’ve come home to writing deadlines, and those get first priority. Heck, going into the kitchen right now and fixing myself a sandwich for lunch has higher priority. After I’ve cleared the deck of my work this week, then I might take a moment to casually demolish a sacred cow.

Now enough. You can all stop dunning me. Be patient, godless ones, and surrender to despair, O Ye Believers. And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.


Look. This is the kind of crap I’m getting all the time, and I’m getting a little tired of it. Gary Silis of Australia, IP address 60.229.16.24, you are a freaking moron. Do you even see any of the the logical flaws in listing people who denied your inane, petty god who have also died?

All you god-walloping, jebus-lovin’, spamming fools for christ are convincing me of nothing other than that people can be really, really stupid. You are not advancing your cause. You are making your whole faith look like a special ed class for people with dingleberries for brains.

I’d suggest that you not write to me unless you’ve got something intelligent to say, but Gary Silis probably thinks he’s made a brilliant, ingenious, knock-dead argument instead of the exercise in insipidity that this is:

DID YOU KNOW THESE FACTS?

I SURE DIDNT TILL NOW

Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death!

Make a personal reflection about this…..

Very interesting, read until the end…..

It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7):

‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked:

for whatsoever a man sow,

that shall he also reap.

Here are some men and women

who mocked God :

ohn Lennon (Singer):

Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said:

‘Christianity will end, it will disappear.

I do not have to argue about that. I am certain.

Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, today we are more famous than Him’ (1966).

Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

Tancredo Neves (President of Brazil ):

During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency.

Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died

Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet):

Durng A show in Canecio ( Rio de Janeiro ),

while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said:’God, that’s for you.’

He died at the age of 32 of LUNG CANCER in a horrible manner.

The man who built the Titanic

After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be.

With an ironic tone he said:

‘Not even God can sink it’

The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic

Marilyn Monroe (Actress)

She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show.

He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her.

After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said:

‘I don’t need your Jesus’.

A week later, she was found dead in her apartment

Bon Scott (Singer)

The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang:

‘Don’t stop me; I’m going down all the way, down the highway to hell’.

On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

Campinas (IN 2005)

In Campinas , Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend…..
The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car:

‘My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.’
She responded: ‘Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here…..It’s Already Full ‘
Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died,

the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact.
The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken

Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer)
said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written.

In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.

Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus.
Many have died, but only Jesus died and rose again, and he is still alive.

‘Jesus’

PS: If it was a joke, you would have sent it to everyone.
So are you going to have courage to send this?.

I have done my part, Jesus said

‘If you are embarrassed about me,

I will also be embarrassed about you before my father.’

You are my 8 in 8 seconds. I am not breaking this. No way!

I’M TOLD THIS WORKS!!!!! Bishop T.D. Jakes ’8 Second Prayer.’ Just repeat this prayer and see how God moves!!

‘Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus’ name. Amen.’

Pass this message to 8 people {EXCEPT YOU AND ME}.You will receive a miracle tomorrow. I Hope that you don’t ignore and
let God bless you.

Great ghu, but you mindless Christian fanatics sure are inane. Now stop. Seriously. Your “I’ll pray for you and hope you burn in hell” notes are accomplishing nothing but the further hardening of my black, shriveled heart. I’m becoming convinced that Satan has eaten out your brains.

Comments

  1. #1 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Heck, going into the kitchen right now and fixing myself a sandwich for lunch has higher priority. After I’ve cleared the deck of my work this week, then I might take a moment to casually demolish a sacred cow.

    Have one in your sandwich!

  2. #2 Otto
    July 20, 2008

    PZ
    “fixing myself a sandwich for lunch”

    How about a cracker with ham?

  3. #3 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    The one thing that is completely off the table is eating one, or feeding it to any other animal. Some have been in people’s mouths, at least one is several years old, and I’ve received threats from Catholics to send me unconsecrated crackers that have been poisoned.

  4. #4 Sven DiMilo
    July 20, 2008

    You think the Magic-Baked-Goods worshippers were bad? Just wait until the Bagged-Magic-Beans worshippers get going…

  5. #5 spurge
    July 20, 2008

    A cracker with ham using the Koran as a plate!

  6. #6 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    I meant, have a cow in your sandwich.

    I wouldn’t eat ‘em either. They’d all end up with the superfluous Q’uran (yes I have one already, right next to a Bible, a Tao Te Ching, and Why I am Not a Christian) in the garbage, and/or recycling bin.

  7. #7 Ken Cope
    July 20, 2008

    Be sure and give it an Irish Wake before its burial, preferably with lots of braying.

    Of course you’re not going to eat the damned thing–any self-respecting trophy wifeTM would throw you out of bed for eating crackers.

  8. #8 N
    July 20, 2008

    “2) Since I now own one entirely superfluous copy of the Koran, it will meet the very same fate as the crackers. Thanks to all who have demanded that I treat that silly book with disrespect, I’ll have to treat both equally.”

    LOL, you’ve opened up a whole new can of worms with this one.

    Keep at ‘em PZ! We need more people like you in this world.

  9. #9 Diego
    July 20, 2008

    MAJeff, why ruin a perfectly good sandwich? Why mix in a stale, tasteless wafer, even one with amazing transformative properties allowing for metaphysical cannibalism? That’s one yuck for the real world properties and another yuck for the fanciful religious properties.

  10. #10 spurge
    July 20, 2008

    If you end up with some extra Korans you could sell them on ebay and give the money to a secular charity.

  11. #11 OctoberMermaid
    July 20, 2008

    “and I’ve received threats from Catholics to send me unconsecrated crackers that have been poisoned.”

    So if you DID get them consecrated, would that be like poisoning Jesus? Maybe that’s the trick to defeating him.

    And considering how vengeful their god apparently is, he’ll pour a whole cup of wrath all over whoever did the poisoning, as well. He’s got an itchy trigger finger, that guy.

  12. #12 greg laden
    July 20, 2008

    Heck, going into the kitchen right now and fixing myself a sandwich for lunch has higher priority.

    You do realize, of course that you could combine the two. Ask your spouse or daughter about that .. females are pretty good at multitasking.

  13. #13 Zeno
    July 20, 2008

    Lucite. Verily and truly I say unto you: Lucite. Embed the Koran, embellished with a communion wafer, in a block of Lucite. The result is a useful doorstop or heavy-duty paperweight and (this is the best part!) preserves the ever-so-holy sacred stuff in an inert block. It’s like a reliquary! Of course it’s not encrusted with gems and festooned with gold leaf like a proper Catholic one, but it’s way more efficient and cheaper.

    And then the religious types can argue among themselves exactly how their objects of veneration have been grossly insulted. It’ll be a head-scratcher.

  14. #14 torcant
    July 20, 2008

    How about sending a cracker to the Catholic that threatens you to poison, saying that it is a smuggled cracker saved from your evil hands. I wonder what will that person do with that cracker!

  15. #15 Bevans
    July 20, 2008

    Are you sure you want to desecrate a Koran? I mean, Christian crazies are one thing, but Muslims have their own unique and amazing form of crazy that I wouldn’t want to mess with.

  16. #16 Arnaud
    July 20, 2008

    And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    You’re probably the only blogger ever to complain of too many comments! What next? Too many readers?

  17. #17 Andy
    July 20, 2008

    PZ,

    you want to actually treat a copy of the Koran with disprespect? That should lead to quite a larger number of death threats, which will surely be more serious than the ones you received from catholics. Although I surely wish you a huge load of luck.

    Let’s see what effect this will have. I hope it will contribute in some way to enlightenment.

    You surely deserve respect for your enormous, almost shocking courage.

  18. #18 Heather
    July 20, 2008

    Admit it…you’re afraid of crackers. You’re afraid that you’ll find out that everything tastes better with a little bit o’ Jesus on it. Trisket? Cheez-its? None can compare to the fine flavor of a Savoir wafer.

    Actually, they don’t taste like much. One of my in-laws’ customs for Christmas Eve is that everyone shares a little bit of the unconsecrated stuff as part of well-wishing for the coming year. It really doesn’t taste like much. Of course, maybe it’s missing something since it wasn’t blessed or anything.

  19. #19 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Lucite. Verily and truly I say unto you: Lucite. Embed the Koran, embellished with a communion wafer, in a block of Lucite. The result is a useful doorstop or heavy-duty paperweight and (this is the best part!) preserves the ever-so-holy sacred stuff in an inert block. It’s like a reliquary! Of course it’s not encrusted with gems and festooned with gold leaf like a proper Catholic one, but it’s way more efficient and cheaper.

    Or, if there are any fashion design folks around, you could make some shoes .

  20. #20 cory
    July 20, 2008

    Faiths seem to go through phases. They generally calm down over time. 500 years ago a LOT of Xtians would have been willing to immolate you for cracker dissin’. 1200 years ago and a ham sandwich might have gotten you stoned (not in the fun way). Now, though they are out there, Xtians and Jews willing to kill for the faith are a lot more rare.

    At this moment in history, Koran abuse probably has a statistically better chance than does pastry abuse of earning you a fatwa that someone might actually take a shot at fulfilling (some pun intended).

    You may want to acquire some Groucho specs if you decide to go that route….

  21. #21 SC
    July 20, 2008

    And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    Posted by: PZ Myers | July 20, 2008 1:40 PM

    Hmm…

  22. #22 Chris Granade
    July 20, 2008

    @Arnaud (#16):
    Over something as stupid as this? I was laughing my ass of at first, but this whole cracker mess has gone long enough IMHO. Besides, I feel bad for PZ having to moderate so much. Not in the sense of clicking through to approve comments, but in the sense of having to track down and ban trolls all the time. I’m sure he has better things do to. Like making a sandwich. Mmmmm… sammwich.

  23. #23 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    Oh Noes! He’s going to desecrate a comment thread!

  24. #24 cory
    July 20, 2008

    Any what do you have against Koreans anyway?

    What?

    Oh….
    Never mind.

  25. #25 Unity
    July 20, 2008

    So the magic cracker turns into the body of Jeebus immediately after the priest does his mumbo jumbo bit in Latin, right?

    Well then, why not subject the cracker to a DNA test and publish the results.

  26. #26 Eric
    July 20, 2008

    Just throw them in the trash. It’s just garbage and useless. Now, the sandwich, that’s something of value. As for the copies of the Koran, free books. Donate them to a Christian school.

  27. #27 c-serpent
    July 20, 2008

    Your greatest sin sir is to so baselessly apply the crass term cracker to the divinely-inspired communion wafer. Its divinity is self-evident in its unbearable whiteness of being, its pallid shine filling the eyes with heart-rending anticipation of its blandness upon your tongue. Once the divinely delicate non-confection alights upon said organ, its consistency of a slightly heavy patch of air, convinces even the not so finely-refined palate of the slack-jawed rube of its waferly holiness. It melts, nay sublimates within one’s oral cavity, seemingly into nothingness, providing more proof of its divine creation. But, for those persistent doubters, one only need see that once consumed, the fortunate soul having done so gains nary an ounce. Cracker indeed – what a crude comparison – shame on you sir, shame.

  28. #28 anon
    July 20, 2008

    Nooooooo…..Don’t do it on a Sunday. That would be sacrilege!

  29. #29 Eric
    July 20, 2008

    You’re right c-serpent, the crackers taste like shit. Maybe with some BBQ sauce Jesus flesh would be a better treat.

  30. #30 Patricia
    July 20, 2008

    I’m sick of the cracker too. Except the Bacon Kips, which seem to be in South Africa. Damn!

  31. #31 Gib
    July 20, 2008

    PZ,

    I agree with Andy and Bevans.

    I really think you shouldn’t desecrate that Koran in public. We have proof that Muslims are crazy enough to react very badly to that. It takes only one, and once you’ve publicised it, you can’t take it back. Some Imam who wants to get publicity might put a fatwa on you, and you’ll have to live in hiding. It happened to Salman Rushdie.

    Seriously, PZ, it would be great to watch, but please don’t do it.

  32. #32 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Just throw them in the trash. It’s just garbage and useless. Now, the sandwich, that’s something of value. As for the copies of the Koran, free books. Donate them to a Christian school.

    Exactly. Throw ‘em in the trash (and the book in the recycling), take a picture, post it, and be done. It really is so insignificant that the photo is the only extraordinary action I would even see as worthwhile.

  33. #33 Steve P.
    July 20, 2008

    Just throw them in the trash. Quick, easy, and sure to ruffle some feathers.

  34. #34 qedpro
    July 20, 2008

    I really think the catholics have fatwa envy.
    You know they’re just totally pissed that they just can’t kill us anymore.

    P.S I just thought i’d post so that we could get to that 1000 comment limit and see if PZ turns into the Hulk or something equally cool. I love it when Dad gets mad at us.

  35. #35 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Or compost them.

  36. #36 Richard Harris
    July 20, 2008

    “then I might take a moment to casually demolish a sacred cow.”

    Hey, PZ, & why not pick on the Hindus too, eh? They’re just as crazy as the followers of the Abrahamic religions. Feckin’ edjits, the lot of them.

  37. #37 Facehammer
    July 20, 2008

    Please, please annihilate the cracker with the biggest hammer you can find. There are several advantages: it will take less of your valuable time than pretty much anything else, and the brutal lack of subtlety will amuse and satisfy everyone worth caring about.

    The only disadvantage is that it won’t sate Catholic Quran envy, as hammering a book into oblivion would take a LOT of effort.

  38. #38 chgo_liz
    July 20, 2008

    Since religious belief is for bird-brains, why not crumble up the cracker and cast it on the ground for the local pigeons? That way, if there is poison, you’ve “merely” killed a rat-with-wings. And you’d be giving Jesus an opportunity to enact a miracle.

    I agree about the Koran though. Desecrating ANY book is real sacrilege, even fairy tales and other fantasies.

  39. #39 N.K.
    July 20, 2008

    Get a sharpie and draw a little suit and tie on the cracker.

    …Oh my goodness, that would be adorable. A little suit and tie! :3

  40. #40 J
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, do not desecrate a Koran. Don’t be stupid. Just don’t go there.

  41. #41 procyon
    July 20, 2008

    DOOOO IT…….DOOOO IT…….DOOOO IT.
    Are you scared?

  42. #42 raven
    July 20, 2008

    PZ already offered to deliver the crackers to a priest if the church would disavow Donohue’s mindless ranting and the death threaters. Not stop them since they are short on heavy weapons and troops since the enlightenment and couldn’t anyway.

    A quid pro quo.

    The result so far has been a refusal and dead silence.

    Proof that they really don’t really care about the crackers. As McCluhan said, “the ranting is the message.”

  43. #43 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    you want to actually treat a copy of the Koran with disprespect? That should lead to quite a larger number of death threats, which will surely be more serious than the ones you received from catholics.

    People keep saying that. It’s baloney. I have received a torrent of threats to my life and my livelihood from Catholics, and the impression they’re making is that they are just as fanatical and dangerous as Muslims. I’m more worried about the Catholics, because there is one major difference: the media, the police, the government in general in the United States will be more sympathetic to Christian terrorism than they will be to Muslim terrorism.

    Don’t be misled. Bill Donohue is just another hate-mongering extortionist mullah, no different than the ones in the Middle East.

  44. #44 Vole
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, I agree with you 100%, but I’m finding this very scary. I don’t know what you plan to do with your Koran, but please remember what kind of a life Salman Rushdie has to lead nowadays.

    Please think carefully about what you are doing. We need you.

  45. #45 anon
    July 20, 2008

    I think it’s in poor taste to desecrate the koran while our country is fighting a war it started against a muslim country. Mocking religion is fun, but not if it becomes a proxy for racism. I realize you are not racist, but this action will surely be taken out of context.

  46. #46 Fiziker
    July 20, 2008

    The greatest desecration that can come to the host is for it to be used in science. I vote for what I believe has been mentioned before: a holy Petri dish. You’re a biologist; set it up in the appropriate conditions and take pictures over time.

    I agree with #38. While I want to see the Koran desecrated, I am very obsessive about books: I can’t stand it when even they get worn in. I was going to suggest crushing the host between the pages of the Koran and making it all crummy inside but that was too much for me to handle. Couldn’t you do something more humane? Say, take a piss on the Kaaba?

  47. #47 Ken Cope
    July 20, 2008

    A Squid pro quo.

    There, fixed that for ya.

  48. #48 J
    July 20, 2008

    As ridiculous as this cracker affair has been, it hasn’t come close to the Danish cartoon controversy, during which over 100 people were killed. The Islamic fundamentalists have a proven track record. They don’t just send idle death threats; they really do kill people. Desecrate a Koran and you’ll be playing with dynamite.

    Donohue is a loon, but unlike many Muslim leaders, he has never issued any fatwas.

  49. #49 Phillip IV
    July 20, 2008

    So some Catholics have sent you unconsecrated, poisoned crackers, and other Catholics demand that you turn all the crackers you receive over to a priest, so he can properly dispose of them by consumption? Sounds like a slight coordination problem…

  50. #50 Kobra
    July 20, 2008

    in b4 1000 comments.

    Okay, seriously, just drop the crackers into a beaker filled with Hydrochloric acid and post it on Youtube.

  51. #51 Kobra
    July 20, 2008

    #50: Forgot to add this:

    If the Catholics have an outcry, kindly point out that eating the crackers would have the same effect and therefore they are stupid.

  52. #52 karen
    July 20, 2008

    Dearest PZ,
    I hope your sandwich was fulfilling and delicious. Please, do take care of your personal needs and responsibilities before engaging in Operation Desecration. I patiently await whatever your ideas for the holy cows will bring. Have you considered this:

    Put the cracker and the Koran in their own individual jars in a tank with an octopus and see which jar it chooses to open.

    Of course, you’d have to score yourself an actual octopus for this. All the better!

  53. #53 raven
    July 20, 2008

    PZ Myers:

    I have received a torrent of threats to my life and my livelihood from Catholics, and the impression they’re making is that they are just as fanatical and dangerous as Muslims. I’m more worried about the Catholics..

    So how many death threats have you received? I’m estimating around a hundred, 10 or 20 per day but the actual number could be much higher.

    Of course the xian terrorist wannabes like Donohue and the fanatic segment of the Catholics are no different from Moslem terrorists. Terrorism is terrorism. But both are dangerous killers. You should be careful.

    The 3,000 people in the World Trade Center were innocent bystanders occupying the moral high ground. Look what happened to them. Right or wrong doesn’t mean anything to terrorists.

  54. #54 Aaron Baker
    July 20, 2008

    I have nothing but contempt for Bill Donohue, and I’ll defend (not to the death, but to any reasonable extent) your right to say and do whatever you want with a communion wafer or a Quran, but . . .

    for goodness’ sake, going out of your way to wound (in the most drastic manner possible) the sensibilities of the pious, carries absolutely no conviction for anyone who isn’t already on your side. Since it won’t convince, it has, then, as far as I can see, no legitimate justification. Deliberately maltreating a host, or a Quran, could only be the act of an infantile jerk (to steal a page from Mark Kleinert).

    You’re free to be a jerk, of course, and to be applauded by other jerks. Please excuse me, though, if I sit out this round of mutual congratulation.

  55. #55 Ken Cope
    July 20, 2008

    Wrap up each cracker in a little burial cloth made out of a different page of the Koran, and nuke them individually in the microwave. Unfold each page of the Koran and see if what afterimages show up in each crumbly scripty Shroud of Turin. If you need something with some water for the microwaves to agitage, try a slice of Black Forest Ham from the local deli (Black Forest in honor of the German Pope.

    Get an art grant for it and make it a performance piece.

  56. #56 llewelly
    July 20, 2008
    I’ll have to treat both equally.

    Uh… I guess that means you won’t eat the Koran?

  57. #57 Owlmirror
    July 20, 2008

    I still insist that a project to memorialize those massacred for committing host desecration is the way to go.

    Hm. Are there instances of murder done because of Koran desecration?

    Huh. This article says that you, PZ, desecrate the Qur’an merely by touching it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qur%27an_desecration

    Say: The Koran, being a heretical work, is naturally unholy to Christianity, while the wafers, being idolatry against the unity of Allah, are also unholy to Islam.

    So if you simply took the wafers and just put them into the Koran, wouldn’t that desecrate them both at the same time?

  58. #58 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    for goodness’ sake, going out of your way to wound (in the most drastic manner possible) the sensibilities of the pious

    IT’S JUST A CRACKER! This is drastic? What’s the matter with you people?

  59. #59 Mike O'Risal
    July 20, 2008

    Do what you will with the cracker, but keep in mind what the Pope said when in his opening address at World Youth Day in Sydney earlier this week:

    Atheist, the following is the eighth man of the inning as a result. Was CS safe as a youth? Think of that.

    I think we all know what he meant by that. If you hurt that cracker, the Twins are going to lose bigtime.

  60. #60 Brett McCoy
    July 20, 2008

    Besides, you’re a mad scientist, shouldn’t you be out trying to destroy muscle bound heroes?

  61. #61 raven
    July 20, 2008

    PZ should just hold onto the crackers for a year or two. It isn’t like there is a schedule or anything.

    And wait for some Catholic priest or diocese to disavow Donohue’s ranting and the death threaters in return for some stale crackers of dubious origin. Not stop them, just explain that death threaters and general Donohue class lunacy don’t represent them.

    He’s made his point hundreds of times over. Catholic terrorists=Moslem terrorists. Sort of redundant, fanatics are all the same.

  62. #62 Holbach
    July 20, 2008

    Have a public ceremomy in front of the media on the announced day, make a statement that you will not degrade your dignity and intelligence by mocking these two symbols of abject insanity, but will consign them to one who will render to them what they and related objects of irrationality should be so recognized, and then hand them to- Santa Claus!

  63. #63 Mike O'Risal
    July 20, 2008

    Oh, by the way… if the Korans you received have an English translation, they weren’t sacred in the first place. The Koran is never supposed to be translated, and if its translated its not really a Koran anymore. To be a Koran, it can only be in Arabic.

  64. #64 Aramael
    July 20, 2008

    What’s all this about eating Jesus anyway? He was eating me, and that was OK, but when I blew him, he just kept going on about his father … bit of a turn off if you ask me.

  65. #65 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Besides, you’re a mad scientist, shouldn’t you be out trying to destroy muscle bound heroes?

    Don’t destroy them! Send them to my room!

  66. #66 J
    July 20, 2008

    Also, as Aaron points out (#54), there’s simply no need for doing this. PZ will be going out of his way to offend the religious, just for the sake of offending them. This is an unpleasant, mean-spirited thing to do.

    It’s comparable to approaching fat people in the street and telling them they’re fat. Who cares if you’re right? It’s gratuitous, senseless and uncalled for.

  67. #67 llewelly
    July 20, 2008

    PZ Myers:

    And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    Pfft! there are plenty of online forums that have been coping with 1000+ comment threads for years (web forums) or even decades (usenet). You need to encourage the Sb staff to upgrade their lame-ass technology. One cheap improvement would be to display comments in chunks of 100 comments by default, and only display all comments on one page for those crazy enough to want it.

  68. #68 Aaron Baker
    July 20, 2008

    Obviously, it’s not just a cracker for devout Catholics. Come on, P.Z., you’re smarter than that.

  69. #69 J Daley
    July 20, 2008

    [blockquote]IT’S JUST A CRACKER! This is drastic? What’s the matter with you people?[/blockquote]

    Exactly. Sorry, PZ, but this is stupid.

  70. #70 Andy
    July 20, 2008

    Dear PZ,

    the question remains who is actually going to try to murder you and not only threaten to do so: The fanatical Catholics or the fanatical Muslims? In the case of the Muslims we know the fate of Theo Van Gogh and all the others they have indeed murdered for merely critizising Islam, whilst desecregating the Koran is even worse in their deluded eyes.

    In the case of the Catholics, even for their worst elements, the time of the Inquisition seems to be over.

    But alright. I’ll support you as a journalist. After all, it’s not just about atheism versus religion, it is mainly about the right to live (and not to be threatened with death) versus sheer barbarism.

    Best wishes,
    Andy

  71. #71 Mike O'Risal
    July 20, 2008

    PZ is not a true mad scientist. Everybody knows that real mad scientists have to be bald. You can’t get into the union until you’re head’s shaven clean and proper, Mr. Dr. Science Guy.

  72. #72 SC
    July 20, 2008

    I still insist that a project to memorialize those massacred for committing host desecration is the way to go.

    I like that idea. Something similar with the Koran would be a good idea as well.

  73. #73 llewelly
    July 20, 2008

    PZ Myers, #43:

    I have received a torrent of threats to my life and my livelihood from Catholics, and the impression they’re making is that they are just as fanatical and dangerous as Muslims.

    Please post! (without identifying information – we don’t need any more Melanie Kroll firings.)

  74. #74 Betz
    July 20, 2008

    if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    Here’s a testable prediction: one cranky PZ in the near future.

    In wafer-related news, this week’s TIME (July 28) has a couple letters to the editor criticizing them for ending a “Catholic Voters” article with the line “Come November, that priest may be holding on to a very full bowl of wafers.” A Rita Healy from Charlotte responds testily that it “is the body of Jesus Christ.” Not symbolizes, not represents, just is. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg, methinks.

    Later that same issue was 12 pages about Mark Twain, including how he loved to skewer the pious. Maybe Rita should have read the whole issue and done some thinking before responding in high dudgeon.

    This ongoing episode brings to mind the classic Far Side cartoon – one amoeba to another: “Stimulus, response, stimulus, response. Don’t you ever THINK?”

    (Sorry if this double-posts. Preview issues.)

  75. #75 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    It is just a cracker for devout Catholics, too. That they believe it has magic powers does not mean that it does.

    “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs would the dog have?”

    If you claim 5, you’re missing the point.

    “No, dogs have four legs, and merely calling the tail another leg does not make it so.”

  76. #76 Owlmirror
    July 20, 2008

    Oh, and you might also want to include the theological justification that God is perfectly capable of de-transubstantiating out of the cracker, or of not transubstantiating into the cracker in the first place.

    So there’s nothing there to desecrate anyway.

    Quoting from the “Qur’an desecration article”: ‘Intentionally insulting the Qur’an is regarded as a form of blasphemy.’

    So you could just hold up the Koran (that is, touching it), and point to it with your other hand and say “This book is filled with silly nonsense, stories, lies, and garbage”. Poof! Desecration and blasphemy, all at the same time.

  77. #77 Jonathan Rothwell
    July 20, 2008

    Turn the crackers into little octopus sandwiches, and send the copies of the Koran off to Andrew Schlafly. And MAKE him read it – in Arabic.

    Seriously, though, my advice to you is don’t be stupid.

  78. #78 Q
    July 20, 2008

    Also, as Aaron points out (#54), there’s simply no need for doing this. PZ will be going out of his way to offend the religious, just for the sake of offending them. This is an unpleasant, mean-spirited thing to do.

    No, PZ is going out of his way to do things to objects.

    The people giving themselves offense about this are mean-spirited.

  79. #79 SC
    July 20, 2008

    PZ will be going out of his way to offend the religious, just for the sake of offending them.

    If you really believe this, you are unfathomably stupid.

  80. #80 ThePetey
    July 20, 2008

    I say just toss it all in the dumpster with the rest of the garbage.

  81. #81 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    #58

    PZ

    It’s just a cracker. To you, to me, and to millions of atheists, and billions of non-Catholics. But to many Catholics, it has deep symbolism, even if a significant number find it difficult to believe it is actually Jesus-flesh in any sense(*).

    You have probably heard this kind of argument hundreds of times, but here goes anyway.

    To some people, it would be like burning a book. Even if a book was freely given, book-burning has symbolism, and is offensive to some people, even though it would be entirely right to say “it’s just ink on paper, people!”

    I have been deeply shocked by the threats and crazy over-reaction, and I condemn them utterly. But I can understand why millions of Catholics would feel offended by “desecration” of the “host”.

    *(I was a Catholic decades ago. I never quite managed the mental gymnastics to understand transubstantiation)

  82. #82 Colugo
    July 20, 2008

    I’ve given the matter some more thought, and at the risk of being called a concern troll (hey, if the shoe fits…) I am going to ask Professor Myers to reconsider the planned desecrations of both the wafers and the Koran.

    I am an atheist. I have in the past been critical of Catholic dogma and child abuse, Islamist religious fanaticism etc.

    The wafer: As has been pointed out by others, there is no way to obtain a consecrated host for these purposes without bad faith. It would be like getting a free newspaper out of a bin and turning it into paper mache instead of reading it. Actually, it’s much worse. The consecrated wafers are not disseminated by the church so they can be objects of desecration. End of story.

    The Koran: Here the same problem of ‘obtained by bad faith’ does not present itself. But just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should. You know who desecrates Korans? Muslim fanatics. In Darfur, Janjaweed have destroyed and defecated on the Korans of the villagers they are annihilating.

    In fact, through the ages it is always religious fanatics who destroy and desecrate the holy relics of rival faiths. There is absolutely nothing novel about it, and it’s only “transgressive” as an attack on a particular faith rather than faith itself. Desecration is historically not associated with the absence of faith but a rivalry of faith. To engage in it plays the notion that atheism is a kind of faith itself.

    I know that I sound like a self-aggrandizing sanctimonious ass, but I don’t think a lot of you realize how this kind of thing looks to the non-atheist world. How do you suppose Barack Obama would react if asked about this? I bet he’d be appalled.

  83. #83 pcarini
    July 20, 2008

    PZ Myers:

    And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    I’d say prepare to be very, very cranky.

    llewelly @ #67

    You need to encourage the Sb staff to upgrade their lame-ass technology. One cheap improvement would be to display comments in chunks of 100 comments by default, and only display all comments on one page for those crazy enough to want it.

    As huge of a difference as paginating the comments would make, I really prefer the current format. It encourages a different sort of interaction, imho, than a forum or other threaded method. Plus I like being able to search for a phrase or someone’s name and find the post in a single page.

    They aren’t going to get mad a PZ for bringing in this many hits, after all ;)

  84. #84 Owlmirror
    July 20, 2008

    Speaking of 1000+ comment threads, you might want to cap off “Fresh Crackers”, since it has hit 1518 comments.

  85. #85 JeffreyD
    July 20, 2008

    Patricia at #30, go to
    http://www.africanhut.com/shopexd.asp?id=97

    Shop till you drop, dear lady.

    Pax Nabisco

  86. #86 Chiroptera
    July 20, 2008

    Do people realize that Muslim reaction to blasphemy is irrelevant to Catholics reaction to blasphemy? That the fact that Muslims rioted when those papers printed those cartoons in no way changes the fact that Bill Donahue is insane?

  87. #87 N.K.
    July 20, 2008

    IT WOULD BE SO ADORABLE IF YOU TOOK THE CRACKER, AND USED RED AND BLACK SHARPIES TO DRAW A LITTLE SUIT AND TIE ON IT.

    PZ.

    I’M GOING TO HAVE TO INSIST.

  88. #88 Michael
    July 20, 2008

    Obviously nailing the wafer to a cross (probably needs some moisturizing to prevent it from breaking into pieces) putting a crown of thorns on it, torturing it with a sharp instrument and then burning the whole thing should get your point across in the most direct manner.

    Bonus effect: Make it appear as if blood is dripping from its “wounds”.

  89. #89 Jorge
    July 20, 2008

    What you don’t seem to realize is that people actually like to see you cranky.

    And do you read all this stuff? I’d stop reading after the first two comments or so, quite frankly. Who am I kidding? I do stop reading after the first two.

  90. #90 WarrenS
    July 20, 2008

    “then I might take a moment to casually demolish a sacred cow.”

    Hey, PZ, & why not pick on the Hindus too, eh? They’re just as crazy as the followers of the Abrahamic religions. Feckin’ edjits, the lot of them.

    Actually I have collaborated extensively with Hindus, and the ones I’ve worked with, even those who consider themselves devout, are extremely tolerant of my atheism. In fact, “tolerance” is not entirely accurate; they do not tolerate my atheism – they accept it.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t rigid fundamentalist Hindu wackjobs running around; there are a lot of them. But we do ourselves no favors with gratuitous generalizations.

  91. #91 About Three-Fitty
    July 20, 2008

    Here’s a story of a bunch of churchies blocking a public boat ramp in order to perform baptisms without a parade permit, expecting other people to kiss their asses by waiting until they have amused themselves enough.

    http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_131778.asp

  92. #92 paul lurquin
    July 20, 2008

    Hey PZ,

    How are you going to desecrate Judaism? We’re all waiting, and so are the anti-defamation boys and girls. Be very, very careful!

  93. #93 Craigp
    July 20, 2008

    Crackers and Koran and Sacred Cow… will it blend?

  94. #94 Calladus
    July 20, 2008

    Bible, Quran, religious symbol – unless they have historical significance none of them mean a thing to me.

    Speaking as a member of The Abimelech Society – do what amuses you with these items. Well, in a socially responsible way. I assume you’ll not litter.

    Tossing them into the recycle bin would be great.

  95. #95 protocol
    July 20, 2008

    Actually I have collaborated extensively with Hindus, and the ones I’ve worked with, even those who consider themselves devout, are extremely tolerant of my atheism. In fact, “tolerance” is not entirely accurate; they do not tolerate my atheism – they accept it.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t rigid fundamentalist Hindu wackjobs running around; there are a lot of them. But we do ourselves no favors with gratuitous generalizations.

    I wanted to second that. Atheism is actually a valid position within Hinduism. Look up the carvaka.

    Yes and ignorance can indeed make an asshole out to otherwise smart people.

  96. #96 Jason Brice
    July 20, 2008

    Sure, it is just a cracker and, it is just a book. But is worries me, the reaction. I think your possession of the crackers and books should symbolically be desecration enough.
    You don’t have to publicly announce the actual deed. And if you must, you don’t have to announce your method. You will face criticism either way then. Those who don’t like that you did it, and those who merely object to how you did it.
    You have my support whatever you do. Just be safe.

  97. #97 Hairhead
    July 20, 2008

    All you people who say that PZ shouldn’t do this because it is insulting to the devout, all of you should just fuck off.

    But wait — let me put that into a more nuanced form.

    You people don’t seem to know what it means to live in a civilized society. What it means is that your PERSONAL beliefs will be TOLERATED to the extent they do not harm other persons, or the public good. In return for being able to practice whatever Godswalloping you want, you will have to TOLERATE other persons who disrespect you and think and say that you are irrational loons. After all, we atheists and agnostics have to listen to you drone and mutter over our souls, or worse, watch you salivate over our impeding everlasting torture in the afterlife.

    Remember, all of this started because some religious wackaloons decided to destroy a young man’s life because of “disrespect” to a cracker.

    PZ’s subsequent sacrilege, desecration, and blasphemy is as potent and as important a demonstration of an advanced society as is voting. And you people would never expect anyone else to refrain from voting, or from practicing any of the other freedoms civilization gives just because they offend you? Would you? (um, fornication, interracial marriage, apostasy, etc.)

    If PZ backs off that will prove that the religious are authoritarian, jackbooted thugs at heart, despite their mewling about love and peace, and that the atheists who counsel retreat and “non-jerkiness” are cowards and quislings. A freedom which cannot be exercised does not exist, official pronouncements and documents to the contrary.

    Civilization, ironically, is less about being civil and more about being tolerant of the people you live with whom you can’t stand.

  98. #98 protocol
    July 20, 2008

    many typos above (#95). Meant to say not doing sufficient research can make you look like an ignorant asshole.

  99. #99 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    No Jews have threatened me over my beliefs or what I choose to do in my own home. Neither have any Hindus or Buddhists. If someone tries to tell me that I can’t throw away any bagel and lox I can’t finish, then, well, it’ll be time to desecrate rather than nosh.

  100. #100 carlcamper
    July 20, 2008

    #97

    RAmen.

  101. #101 Calladus
    July 20, 2008

    paul lurquin

    Why do you expect PZ to desecrate Judaism? You think he’s an equal-opportunity religion defiler? C’mon, there’s only so many hours in the day! He’s got a family and a job.

    Desecrating the tens of thousands of human religions isn’t a hobby, its an obsession. An obsession that PZ doesn’t have.

    But hey, if you want to help…

  102. #102 paleotn
    July 20, 2008

    Bad analogy, #81. A book is a purveyor of ideas, of knowledge and thus a threat to those whose worldview cannot cope with said knowledge. A magical cracker is just…a farking cracker. Other than the fact it’s not a very tasty snack, it’s nothing but a symbol of medieval ignorance. That pretty well sums up the Roman Catholic faith in its entirety.

  103. #103 Aaron Baker
    July 20, 2008

    You wrote:

    “It is just a cracker for devout Catholics, too. That they believe it has magic powers does not mean that it does.

    Now you’re being willfully obtuse. If I say, “For John Jones, Mrs. Jones is the most beautiful woman in the world,” no one will mistake me for saying that Mrs. Jones REALLY is the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m talking of course about nothing but someone’s subjective take on a part of the exterior world. To continue with the example: you and I could agree, amongst ourselves, that Mrs. Jones wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the world, or even close; but if you went to John Jones and said: “Good Lord, you must be kidding; she’s got acne, a double chin, and a hairy mole on her nose,” and he punched you in the face, I think most would agree, as a matter of objective fact, that you were in part the cause of that result. Much more subjective, of course, would be the ensuing lively argument about whether you should have said such a thing, and whether you deserved what happened to you. I think that “Why in the world did he open his mouth in the first place?” would be my perfectly reasonable take on the whole business.

  104. #104 Egoch
    July 20, 2008

    We are all the result of our genes and our environment. So are each believer. They are believers because they were surronded by lot´s of other believers or because they met more influencal believers than influencal atheists. Many of those believers are intelligent enough to grasp that they believe in fairytales but they do not grasp it…because they didn´t get the right inputs from their environment. Making something like spoiling the Koran or a “holly” cracker will not be a useful input as this act bears in itself no explanatory power. The only thing it will do is hurting/upseting the believers that will take it as an insult. I am not going to eat a sacred cow in India just for the fun of it. If it appends accidentally, fine. if it is deliberatly to hurt people, I don´t see the interest. Those believers are not 100% responsible for their faith. Let´s keep explaining the world as it is and convert people this way…not by hurting their feelings.

  105. #105 Aaron Baker
    July 20, 2008

    Oh, and in my first post I should have written “Mark Kleiman,” not “Kleinert.”

  106. #106 wÒÓ†
    July 20, 2008

    I think you should put the cracker and the Koran in a jar and see if they fight.

  107. #107 anon
    July 20, 2008

    Aaron #103:

    The question of whether the Eucharist wafer is the body of Jesus is not a subjective one. Your analogy is inapt.

  108. #108 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    #102

    You are missing the point. One can be entirely factually correct about the nature of an object, but neglect its symbolic value.

    No amount of declaring “it’s just a cracker” will remove its symbolic value for millions of Catholics, even if one could get them to forget about the supposedly supernatural aspect.

  109. #109 Russell Miller
    July 20, 2008

    Dorky lil’ me decided to consecrate some crackers for the FSM. It didn’t quite go as planned…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=cUmhmg5cZjU

  110. #110 anonymouse
    July 20, 2008

    Let me join the faint chorus advising against the public defamation of a koran -needlessly dangerous; it could even endanger your family.

    Actually, do them both at the same time. Or heck – throw in a torah, a book of mormon, and an e-meter in as well too. Your original point of defending that kid that took the cracker will still be made, and it might defuse the murderous rage of each of the offendees; they really hate it when they feel they are being singled out.

  111. #111 Andrés Diplotti
    July 20, 2008

    Just to put this “it’s offensive” thing in perspective, there is a lot of people out there who find the idea of being descended from apes horribly offensive too.

  112. #112 Holbach
    July 20, 2008

    About Three-Fitty @ 91 Isn’t amazing and ironic how these religious retard dunkers are so choosy about the water they use to cleanse and baptise the unwashed brains of the afflicted? Why can’t they do it over a toilet bowl? Morons.

  113. #113 cory
    July 20, 2008

    PZ,

    You are gonna get a host-like wafer in the mail, prob. from Donohue. Maybe Freddy Phelps. It will have tiny writing on it to encourage you to lean over, whereupon it will spring onto your face, gripping tightly with its arthropoidy legs and sinking a probe deep into your stomach, while rendering you unconscious.

    A few days later your grad students and post-docs will be chasing a crazed monster with long hair and robes all over campus with radar guns and flame throwers.

  114. #114 carlcamper
    July 20, 2008

    #110

    Excellent point. I guess a simultaneous blaspheme of all the cults would express the point more, at the same time preventing singling-out and offending a particular one. Still, be careful :)

  115. #115 Peter Vesuwalla
    July 20, 2008

    PZ,

    Your post indicates you’re aware of a bit of a Catch-22. To go out of your way to “deface” either the crackers or the books is to acknowledge their symbolic value. As rationalists we might point out the absurdity of treating either object as “holy” (although I personally think any work of literature ought to be treated with a certain amount of reverence), but in going out of your way to deface such objects, you’re behaving just as irrationally.

    The fact that you’re now keeping old food around the house, some of which has been in other people’s mouths, is just plain weird – possibly even weirder than participating in a religious ritual. Why not just throw them in the garbage, right now, without any ceremony?

    As for the extra Qur’an, I suggest donating it to the next book drive, along with any other old books you don’t intend to read again. To do anything else with it is to suggest that the words on its pages have more importance than the works of not only Hawking and Dawkins, but Shakespeare and Twain.

  116. #116 Becca
    July 20, 2008

    PZ that is seriously dumb!
    How many bloggers complain when they recieve too many comments?
    If you keep breaking the internet, I’m sure among your legions of followers there must be an IT girl or two who can hook you up.

    Also, I forbid you from throwing out any bagels and lox you don’t finish! That is totally offensive…

    That’s a waste of good Jewfood! You know there’s people starving right? If I were there, I’d be happy to eat any leftovers for you. As it is, there’s always foodbanks and whatnot.

    Also, @ Mike O’Risal- you do not need to be bald to be a mad scientist. The definitive text (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MadScientist) on the matter says no such thing. You do, however, need a Mad Scientist Laboratory. I’ve seen Zebrafish labs, and they’re pretty boring. So I’m pretty sure PZ needs to work on that.

    Do zebrafish like crackers? Well, I suppose it would be awful to feed a posioned one to a poor wittle fishy, so it’s moot. Now giving wittle fishies mutations and seeing aberant fin patterning, that’s perfectly resonable!

  117. #117 SEF
    July 20, 2008

    do them both at the same time

    Eg doing one with the other for mutually assured desecration? Perhaps by putting the available “consecrated” Catholic crackers between the leaves of the surplus “sacred” Koran and then closing the book on the crackers altogether?

  118. #118 Feynmaniac
    July 20, 2008

    Were the people who sent you copies of the Koran Catholic? When I read that you got sent copies my cynicism took over and thought that they sent it to you hoping that the Muslims would go after you. It’s cowardly and hypocritical, saying while I won’t shoot you I will give a pistol to someone who will.

    I don’t know if desecrating a Koran is such a good idea. Yeah Catholics are loony, but they are only a century or two behind. Much of the Muslim world are living in the dark ages, but with modern weaponry. Look at what happened to Salmon Rushdie and what happened after those Danish cartoons got published. Don’t mean to be a drama queen, but people might actually die from this.

    The Koran is just a book like the wafer is just a cracker. However the reaction, I expect, would be much worse. That’s the irony in the “why don’t you desecrate something Islamic” argument. Catholics should be proud that they aren’t behaving like the Muslims did with the Danish cartoons. Instead they got Fatwa envy, also known as Koran envy.

  119. #119 Russell Miller
    July 20, 2008

    Or…

    chew on the crackers, spit out the half masticated remains, put them on the quran, put both of them on the floor… then…

    STEP ON THEM. WITH YOUR FOOT.

    Guaranteed offense for all.

  120. #120 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    That’s the amazing thing: my two copies of the Koran were sent to me by Catholics, not Muslims, with letters telling me to desecrate them. Weird, I know.

    All I can say is, fair enough. Just whatever I do to the book, I’ll also do to the cracker.

  121. #121 Imback
    July 20, 2008

    I’m considering desecrating the FSM by cooking pasta tonight and adding ketchup to it. Mwahahaha!

  122. #122 Russell Miller
    July 20, 2008

    Imback: Great idea! I’m actually kind of hungry for spaghetti tonight. Think I should youtube it?

  123. #123 paleotn
    July 20, 2008

    Hey #92, I’ll give it a shot.

    Judaism is nothing more than the patriarchal power trip of a bunch of Semitic sheepherders. Its primary function was tribal unity. Keeping the rank and file under the thumb of the powers that be. I mean, seriously, how are you going to keep the boys down on the farm after they’ve seen Tyre and Sidon, unless of course one scares the bajebus out of them! It also came in rather handy in counteracting that wave of Hellenistic influence. Jehovah forbid those people actually started THINKING for a change.

    But of course those idiots took that “tribal unity”, nationalistic BS a bit too far and got kicked out of their own country by the Romans. Don’t fault the various Arab tribes that make up what we now call the Palestinians. They merely took advantage of the situation presented them, due to the fact that the local landowners couldn’t get over their idiotic, bronze-age superstitions. Seriously, what did the Romans ever do for Judea ……..? I’ll tell you what Judaism did for us Gentiles, an offshoot of their idiocy farked up western civilization for nearly 2,000 years and we’re still dealing with the aftermath. Thanks a lot guys.

  124. #124 ed
    July 20, 2008

    P.Z treat that cracker with the respect it deserves.Re-cycle that Koran.

  125. #125 Holbach
    July 20, 2008

    Aaron Baker @ 103 Reminds me of the quote by H L Mencken along similiar lines: “We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his childrenn smart.”

  126. #126 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, whether you consider it important or not, this is going to turn into a massive deal if you go ahead. And what is the point of it, exactly? To prove that it’s just a cracker? (As if there’s any doubt about that?) Or simply to antagonize Catholics?

    If the latter, then there’s something very important you’re missing: the Donahue-brigade thrive off grievance mongering, and offense-taking. Getting their supporters really riled and angry is their primary tactic – and you’re promising to do it for them! You may think you’re protesting against them. Please have the wisdom to see that in fact you’d be playing straight into their hands.

    Why not just let it go, eh? And instead, how about a return to the days when rationalists were content to occupy the intellectual and moral high-ground. Rather than making doomed attempts to play the Christian Right at their own dirty game.

  127. #127 Aaron Baker
    July 20, 2008

    anonymous wrote:

    “The question of whether the Eucharist wafer is the body of Jesus is not a subjective one. Your analogy is inapt.”

    Fair enough, that question isn’t subjective. Unbeliever that I am, I beg the question and assume that when a Catholic says “it’s the body and blood of Jesus,” he’s just telling me something about his state of mind–like Jones and his notions of his wife’s beauty. Warned of Jones’s state of mind, I’m cautious in sharing with him clearly subjective notions of my own (“No, she’s not beautiful at all”) or (arguably) objectively-based observations, such as “she has a hairy mole in the middle of her face.” I may think Jones is delusional, but all the following are true: I don’t want to hurt his feelings; I don’t think it’s worth discussing because he’s hopelessly smitten and won’t change his mind no matter what I say; a harsh attack from me may cause him to withdraw even further into impenenetrably dogmatic thinking; I don’t want to be assaulted and battered; and so on.

    In other words, I think the analogy is apt, for (that use of “for” again!) someone with my prejudices.

  128. #128 Muffin
    July 20, 2008

    “And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.”

    Is that a challenge? c.c But seriously, I agree with what’s been said before – the scienceblogs.com guys need to fix up their software to actually handle this.

  129. #129 Emmet Caulfield
    July 20, 2008

    Much more amusing would be to mail the Qur’an to Rev. Phelps at the Westboro Baptist Church and mail the crackers to Sheik Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais at al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. I’m both crackers and book would be treated, em, “appropriately” by their religious recipients.

  130. #130 Sven DiMilo
    July 20, 2008

    if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky

    127 comments in 134 minutes.
    Linear model: #comments=0.948(#minutes)
    Extrapolation predicts 1000 comments in 1055 minutes; that’s 17.6 hours: tomorrow morning at 7:15 or so.
    You read it here first. Corollary prediction: a cranky morning for PZ!

  131. #131 chris
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, I’ve been thinking about this whole mess for a while, and when I listened to your discussion on that catholic radio show, I think you did yourself a disservice in at least appearing to suggest that there is nothing wrong with someone taking the cracker out of the church. While we don’t accept the idea of blasphemy, we can at least agree that this is rude, and trying to argue otherwise detracts from the heart of the matter. The point to emphasize is why this act of rudeness is necessary.

    Maybe an analogy would help here.

    Imagine that we see someone littering. Under normal circumstances, we would not condone this behavior. We would feel justified in objecting verbally. We might point the offender out to the police, and if they were given a ticket, we would feel that justice had been served.

    But if the cop beat the litterer to a pulp, or a mob of vigilanties strung them up in the town square, that would be a different thing all together. In that case, the punishment is a far greater injustice than the original offense. In this case, we would feel justified in littering ourselves, and encouraging others to litter, as a way of exposing and fighting the greater injustice.

    In this case, crushing the cracker or burning the book is rude, and if the offended parties responded moderately, we should be ashamed to do it. But since they respond with death threats, we should be ashamed not to.

  132. #132 Neural T
    July 20, 2008

    The priest in that interview tried to say that the problem wasn’t that Catholics were demanding the same veneration for the Host from non-Catholics, but that it would require “stealing” the wafer from a Catholic place of worship.

    So I have a question. If PZ desecrated the Host in the privacy of his own home, without publishing the results, and without even telling anyone, would they be ok with him doing it? Of course not. The whole point is that they want non-Catholics to have the same veneration for their superstitions.

  133. #133 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    In this case, crushing the cracker or burning the book is rude, and if the offended parties responded moderately, we should be ashamed to do it. But since they respond with death threats, we should be ashamed not to.

    I think generalising is a problem. I am pretty sure that whatever PZ does, almost the entire Catholic population will respond moderately. There are clearly some very nasty people who label themselves Catholics. But my feeling is that the numerical difference between “the offended parties” and those who respond in this disgusting way is going to be very considerable.

  134. #134 John Marshall
    July 20, 2008

    Doesn’t this mean you’re going to have to desecrate a Bible as well? It seems like you’re giving Protestants and Jews a free ride.

  135. #135 Abbie
    July 20, 2008

    Koran and Crackers: Will it Blend?

  136. #136 Traffic Demon
    July 20, 2008

    Please ignore this farm post, I’m only doing my part to help ensure PZ’s crankiness.

    Live. Love. Traf
    We are not the Huns

  137. #137 Hal
    July 20, 2008

    Actually, given the numerous and elaborate processes of desecration, PZ’s mystical approach is probably the most exasperating as well as the most thorough. Not acting immediately, not acting publicly, and not acting with any hint of concern allows braying nutjobs to imagine, probably with vivid details most stimulating to themselves, what is being done to the objects.

    Also, the zen (or perhaps quantum) approach to desecration allows the object to be desecrated and not desecrated at the same time, putting fundie legalists in a quandary.

    Good luck explaining their concern to anyone else.

  138. #138 CortxVortx
    July 20, 2008

    And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    I’ll do my part not to make this an overly-long thread.

  139. #139 CortxVortx
    July 20, 2008

    Oh. Damn.

  140. #140 Kobra
    July 20, 2008

    If you have a cranky morning tomorrow, will you take it out on the cracker?

  141. #141 The Rational Skeptic
    July 20, 2008

    Some things are just not worth doing, even if you think it’s just a small thing.

    Like would you wear red in a crip neighbourhood? You can if you want to make some point about freedom (I am free to do whatever). Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself in an unmarked grave some hours later.

    Actions have consenquences. Even if you think religion is stupid, some people do consider it an important part of their lives and will do something if you insult thier beliefs. It’s just not worth it for you, for them, for everyone. This guy is a dumbass, and no matter how you justify it behind some disregard for “superstition and religion” and a thin vaneer of internet bravado, what he did was absolutly pointless. If he had an intelectual basis, a rational reason to do it…instead of just hate baiting Catholics, well then I may be able to understand it. As it is, he deblibratly set out to incite anger. And I feel the anger now directed at him is completly justifiable; he got what he sought for. And if you continue doing the assinine, pointless things that you are doing on this blog, very soon, you will also get what you seek.

  142. #142 Kobra
    July 20, 2008

    #137: So he’s going to fire electrons through a double-slit wall that has a cracker behind one of the slits?

  143. #143 Richard in Edmonton
    July 20, 2008

    Wow! 140 posts in less than 3 hours time. It really is time to let go the wafer and return to real issues once again. PZ will accomplish said desecration on his own good time and it is his own business now. Carpe Diem folk.

  144. #144 bigjohn756
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, how many crackers have you received so far?

  145. #145 Ryan Cunningham
    July 20, 2008

    Why are so many people telling PZ to cower in fear? Fear is terror. Terror is the goal of terrorism. The shock and awe you’re experiencing over a completely mundane and inconsequential action is precisely what these evil minds want. This action is a form of protest AGAINST that fear. PZ is fighting terrorism in the most effective way possible: by not being afraid.

    I’m with you, PZ. If you’re any radical nutjob so much as lays a hand on you for this, I’ll desecrate every “sacred” object I can get my hands on.

  146. #146 Kobra
    July 20, 2008

    #145:
    [PZ is fighting terrorism in the most effective way possible: by not being afraid.]
    This! Seriously.

    Enough posting for me!

  147. #147 Jason Brice
    July 20, 2008

    Give it a physical.
    Do a Biochemical analysis including a basic metabolic panel which will measure the sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, blood urea nitrogen , magnesium, creatinine, and glucose and calcium.
    Do an electrocardiogram.
    Do an MRI.
    DO a DNA test

    Do a background check
    Drug test, Employment records, Financial Information, Credit check, Birth certificate, legal status, and don’t forget a polygraph test.

    If that cracker won’t cooperate. Waterboarding may be useful to coerce a confession. Detain that cracker indefinately in solitary confinement. Until Catholics Admit, ‘That PZ is Crazy. It’s just an F’ing Cracker’!

  148. #148 RickD
    July 20, 2008

    I find the demands to deface the Koran to be really bizarre. What is the motivation there? Why are people demanding that PZ disrespect more religions than one? Do they think that PZ is secretly a Muslim?

    Actually, I think the truth is simpler. The people who think PZ is afraid of upsetting Muslims are themselves afraid of Muslims. Perhaps even terrified.

    Religions do a good job of not only creating walls between people of different cultural backgrounds, but also of feeding exaggerated fears.

  149. #149 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    This is in response to all the nonreligious people who say this is dumb on PZ’s part because it does nothing but tweek the Catholics. You probably haven’t read any of the previous threads on crackergate and if so you may want to do some backfill.

    No marginalized social movement has gained an acceptable place in (American) society without direct acts of polarization. Stonewall will not be remembered as a riot. Rosa Parks was right to offend the cultured southern whites. Etc.

    That is not to say that PZ needs to take very dangerous steps to exercize his free speech rights. That is up to him and I back him all the way.

    In any event, other people are watching and learning.

  150. #150 poke
    July 20, 2008

    You should have asked people to send you enough consecrated crackers to equal the weight of an adult male. That way you’d be holding Jesus hostage.

    Failing that, I suggest putting both the crackers and the Koran in a blender and mixing them up, that would be a blow to all the Catholics that wanted you to “offend” Islam instead. Imagine bits of Jesus all blended up with the Koran!

  151. #151 Ryan Cunningham
    July 20, 2008

    @The Rational Skeptic

    “If he had an intelectual basis, a rational reason to do it…instead of just hate baiting Catholics, well then I may be able to understand it.”

    Social taboos kept black people from sitting where they wanted to on buses. Acts of social protest broke these stigmas. Protesters deliberately violated social norms to directly challenging what the public accepted as normal. The ugly side of the social taboo was exposed for what it was. This drew people’s attention to the issue and forced everyone to pick a side.

    The tactic here is exactly the same. It’s nonviolent resistance.

  152. #152 Tony
    July 20, 2008

    Hey PZ! Your Lutheran upbringing is showing!
    Do you post comments from anyone other than mindless sycophants?

  153. #153 Santiago
    July 20, 2008

    Heh, I think you should know better by now PZ, outraged e-mails and comments from religiots are a given, even for the slightest “offence”. I’m actually pretty happy that that travesty of a book that is the Koran will get a similar treatment to that travesty of a piece of bread that is the holy host, it should make it clear that you’re not just picking on those poor, persecuted Christians but on the whole idiotic Religion concept.

    Can’t wait for the desecration to begin!

  154. #154 The Rational Skeptic
    July 20, 2008

    “The tactic here is exactly the same. It’s nonviolent resistance.”

    Uh huh.

    Way to compare yourself to MLK and kin, you know, a rightful civil rights movement. Are you guys all oppressed? How cute. Maybe you can watch the Rodney King beatings and the statistical data about the rightful glass ceiling that permeates America, then you’d think twice about comparing your pushy “cracker-holding” movement to Rosa Parks sitting in the front of the bus.

    Just in extension, seeing you comparing your movement to MLK makes it seem even more useless. I don’t get the point. You’re not oppressed. Nobody is bringing you down. If you want to ACTIVLY incite anger and hate on a topic, don’t be surprsied if you all bring that upon yourselves, but seriously, I’m saying it’s not worth it.

  155. #155 Rey Fox
    July 20, 2008

    “Do you post comments from anyone other than mindless sycophants?”

    Why do you think all those other threads had 1,000+ comments? Idiot.

  156. #156 oriole
    July 20, 2008

    My suggestion: just film yourself casually throwing the cracker and the Koran in the trash, then closing the trash bag and taking it to the dumpster. Any involved ceremony of sacrilege would just attach way too much importance to meaningless objects. Casually tossing them would give the right message: you don’t hate the cracker or the Koran, you just find them unimportant, and you think students shouldn’t be thrown out of school, filmmakers stabbed, professors fired, etc., because they show disrespect to something which doesn’t deserve any respect.

    It’s a frackin’ cracker! And a plagiarized, boring book.

  157. #157 The Rational Skeptic
    July 20, 2008

    To add as a sidenote, freedom of speech does not need defending from people like you. Your abuse of it to thinly insult people’s cherished beliefs constitutes less of a defense of freedom of speech then a reason for some crazy, dictorial figure in some dystopian empire to outlaw it.

  158. #158 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    The Rational Skeptic (154)

    This isn’t about oppression. It’s about the marketplace of ideas. Whenever the issues get out there, rationality wins. Look at Europe. When we are afraid of making waves, we lose.

  159. #159 Tony
    July 20, 2008

    “Why do you think all those other threads had 1,000+ comments? Idiot.”

    Sorry, this idiot just landed on this particular thread, and it seemed overrun by disciples. My comment was a knee-jerk reaction to the “we need you” comment in post #44.

  160. #160 Logicel
    July 20, 2008

    Much more amusing would be to mail the Qur’an to Rev. Phelps at the Westboro Baptist Church and mail the crackers to Sheik Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais at al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. I’m both crackers and book would be treated, em, “appropriately” by their religious recipients.

    Posted by: Emmet Caulfield | July 20, 2008 3:57 PM
    ____

    First suggestion that I really like. And, I too, think it is quite zen of the great tentacled one to focus on more important matters than actually desecrating crackers.

  161. #161 BobC
    July 20, 2008

    “Since I now own one entirely superfluous copy of the Koran, it will meet the very same fate as the crackers.”

    There should be no problem. The terrorist wackos (Muslims, not Catholics) don’t even know where your small town is. You live in Montana, right? They will probably just burn down a few buildings somewhere. Nothing to worry about.

    I suggest while you’re desecrating crackers and the holy book of Islam, why not also abuse a Bible. And just to be fair, why not also abuse a Torah. That would please the Muslim wackos so much, they might burn down less buildings. Lives might be saved. Just a suggestion.

  162. #162 Ryan Cunningham
    July 20, 2008

    @The Rational Skeptic
    Way to compare yourself to MLK and kin, you know, a rightful civil rights movement.
    That would be biting sarcasm, if I’d ever said anything so patently stupid. In no way did I imply the scope of the problem or the level of discrimination was remotely close those experienced by blacks during the Civil Rights Movement. I deliberately avoided saying anything of the sort, because that would be insane. I explicitly said the tactics are the same, and outlined why.

    You’re not so good at the whole “reading”, are you?

    Are you guys all oppressed?
    By troglodytes making death threats because we won’t conform to their superstition? YES! That’s the whole point of this exercise! If the kid in Florida hadn’t been treated so disgracefully, none of the rest of this episode would’ve happened.

    If you want to ACTIVLY incite anger and hate on a topic, don’t be surprsied if you all bring that upon yourselves, but seriously, I’m saying it’s not worth it.
    In the words of Edward R. Murrow:
    “We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we … remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment, unpopular.”
    Sometimes, you just have to draw a line in the sand. There’s nothing magic about communion wafers. Forcing another human to live in fear over an inanimate objects is wrong.

  163. #163 The Rational Skeptic
    July 20, 2008

    AgnoAtheist

    This level of insult is pointless for advocating rationality/science/ideas etc. A system can only accomodate change at certain speeds; tap your head against a brick wall. Nothing will happen. Now imagine your head hurtling towards that same brick wall at 100 MPH…splat. I understand that people are frustrated that an insitution like the Catholic Church still exists, but Rome wasn’t built, or ruined in a day. Patience is a virtue.

    Think about it, how is this doing anything? You pose Europe as a good example; not only are the Paris race riots and religious extremism on the rise, the cartoons only served to create controversy and nothing more. Do you see any triumph for science and freedom in the hatred and anger raised within those who still believe?

    Do you see any triumph for rational people, in using irrationality to combat those who are fervent extremists? Seems like fighting fire with fire for me.

  164. #164 Stanton
    July 20, 2008

    Be sure and give it an Irish Wake before its burial, preferably with lots of braying.

    I thought one uses brandy and whiskey at an Irish Wake.

  165. #165 Dave
    July 20, 2008

    How about you use the koran to make a fire to fry some bacon over for your lunch? Mmmmm, Bacon…

  166. #166 Kseniya
    July 20, 2008

    Your abuse of it to thinly insult people’s cherished beliefs constitutes less of a defense of freedom of speech then a reason for some crazy, dictorial figure in some dystopian empire to outlaw it.

    Wow. Now that’s some sophisticated concern trolling, there.

    PZ’s not defending freedom of speech – he’s exercising it. What you’re arguing, Mr. Self-Described Rational Skeptic, is theat the actual exercise of free speech to express an unpopular or provocative idea is nothing more than abuse of free speech, and paves the way to totalitarian suppression of free speech. Come, now. Is that really what you meant to say?

  167. #167 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    Whenever the issues get out there, rationality wins.

    It does? The issue of evolution vs. creationism has been around for centuries, and look at how many in the USA still believe in a young earth.

    I am not entirely sure what issue is being raised here. Those who think the cracker is just a cracker will continue to think that, and those who think the cracker is more will continue to think that too.

    I could be wrong, but I doubt many will change their minds because someone messes with a wafer, even if it is someone as well-known and respected as PZ.

  168. #168 Neural T
    July 20, 2008

    Rational Skeptic #154

    . Maybe you can watch the Rodney King beatings and the statistical data about the rightful glass ceiling that permeates America, then you’d think twice about comparing your pushy “cracker-holding” movement to Rosa Parks sitting in the front of the bus.

    Speaking of glass ceilings, polls show that the public is less likely to vote an atheist for president than any other minority, including gays.

    We are definitely the most hated group in America, if not the most oppressed.

  169. #169 Steve
    July 20, 2008

    It really was a stroke of genius to pick up on this. A bit like peeing in the “holy” water. I remember Homer Simpson commenting that if the sacramental wine was Jesus’ blood, that guy must have been drunk all the time. Religion is generally pretty absurd.

    Kudos to you. Now maybe they can talk about cannabalism, since they eat their messiah and drink his blood. Sigh.

    Great blog.

    Steve

  170. #170 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 20, 2008

    We are definitely the most hated group in America

    And THIS is the way to change that, right? Hilarious!

  171. #171 Sili
    July 20, 2008

    Easy. Use the cracker as a bookmark in the Quran. Problem solved.

  172. #172 Nick Gotts
    July 20, 2008

    How do you suppose Barack Obama would react if asked about this? I bet he’d be appalled. – Colugo

    And we should care about this – why?

  173. #173 AngoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    You mention France – Acceptance of Catholocism there in my lifetime has gone from around 90% to 45%. The change was accomplanied by vigorous public resistence from intellectuals.

    Again, rolling over quietly may ease the self inflicted distraughtness of believers but they are not the target audience.

  174. #174 marnk
    July 20, 2008

    Dutch absurdist comedian Hans Teeuwen has some hilarious sacrilegious lines in his singing tribute to his islamicided friend, filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

    One of the references in the song made some local Muslim women talk-show hosts angry, so they had him on their show (the youtube clip sometimes being subtittled, “Bimbos in Burkas”). He makes some great comments – though he is barely allowed to do so by the insufferably pompous women. His genuine and rational response throughtout deftly shows them to be as utterly ridiculous as they really are. Some good quotes are:

    An insult is for some people a truth they do not wish to hear.

    You are pretending that sensitivity and aggrievedness is a religious privilege…

    Long Live Irreverence!

  175. #175 BobC
    July 20, 2008

    “And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.”

    After you abuse crackers and holy books, there’s going to be another overreaction from religious assholes, then there’s going to be more thousand comment threads.

    I am starting to look forward to the end of this insanity. I’m more interested in Christian attacks against science education, which is a much worse problem than the Catholic belief in Jebus crackers.

  176. #176 Logicel
    July 20, 2008

    Regarding some atheists concern about hurting other people’s feelings, geesh, what a meddling, offensive attitude! You are not that person. Why do you think that mere empathy forms a solid basis for being so sure that these people are going to be irreparably hurt or even hurt for a few seconds. You got a crystal ball?

    Before you criticize some atheists, why not work on the remnants of revolting Christian cultural mindset that you have internalized and which remains within you? The bits that rely on intuition, passivity, and downright misconception of personal freedoms.

    People do have the right to offend, and others have the right to be offended, but neither have the right to break the law outright.

  177. #177 DAV
    July 20, 2008
  178. #178 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    As an addendum to post #173 – it’s the True Believers who are not the target. There are many Catholics who doubt this crazy Crusty Holiness stuff.

  179. #179 Nick Gotts
    July 20, 2008

    Seems like fighting fire with fire for me. – The Rational Skeptic

    Seems like you don’t think about your similes to me. Fighting fire with fire is often the best strategy; look up the word “firebreak”.

  180. #180 Matt Penfold
    July 20, 2008

    Maybe using fire to fight fire is not the best policy much of the time, although as Nick points out it can be. It sure does beat sitting there waiting to be burnt to death though.

  181. #181 Logicel
    July 20, 2008

    Easy. Use the cracker as a bookmark in the Quran. Problem solved.

    Posted by: Sili | July 20, 2008 5:19 PM

    _________

    Oooooh, another good one!

  182. #182 Christophe Thill
    July 20, 2008

    Hi, I’m just here to add my 2 cents. I don’t have anything special to say but, hell, if we want to reach the 1,000 comments, everybody must bring their own little stone…

  183. #183 Spook
    July 20, 2008

    I’m seeing this tired trope about how “if he threatened to abuse a Koran, he’d be fired” or “he would never threaten a Koran” and so forth.

    If you’re saying this, please stop being ignorant for five seconds :

    Desecration : It’s a fun hobby!

  184. #184 H.H.
    July 20, 2008

    BobC said:

    I am starting to look forward to the end of this insanity. I’m more interested in Christian attacks against science education, which is a much worse problem than the Catholic belief in Jebus crackers.

    And in your mind, there’s absolutely no relation between the two, I’m sure.

  185. #185 Stanton
    July 20, 2008

    Fighting fire with fire is often the best strategy; look up the word “firebreak”.

    Provided the wind is with you.

  186. #186 Moses
    July 20, 2008

    Ohh… Oh…

    Koran Wraps:

    Thin Beef (Jainians, hindus, some devout buddists, also plays off the kosher laws later)
    Port Wine Cheese (violating kosher and getting at the Mormons at the same time)
    Bacon (multiples here)
    Drizzled with an Olive Oil-mustard dressing containing the crushed wafer (consuming on an Eastern Orthodox Fast day to get the EO’s)

    All wrapped in an edible paper wrapper printed with squid ink with verses from the Koran.

    I know some of it is a bit Molecular Gastronomy for the head-up-their-ass purists, but it’d be fucking awesome. And taste dam good if you put in some seasoning work with the sauce.

  187. #187 Rayven Alandria
    July 20, 2008

    My turtle spit out the cracker.

  188. #188 Matt Penfold
    July 20, 2008

    “Provided the wind is with you. ”

    Do crackers have that effect on people ?

  189. #189 Zeno
    July 20, 2008

    Steve: I remember Homer Simpson commenting that if the sacramental wine was Jesus’ blood, that guy must have been drunk all the time. Religion is generally pretty absurd.

    Speaking as an erudite and self-taught expert on all matters religious, I think that’s Peter Griffin you’re remembering. Perhaps the folks over at The Simpsons are right when they regard Family Guy as a shallow rip-off of their program (although I confess a certain fondness for Stewie).

  190. #190 Cafeeine
    July 20, 2008

    Why do I get the feeling that actually threatening to treat the cracker like a cracker that has these people in arms. It is the explicit lack of deference that irks them. When we offer our personal views, but don’t act on them the crazies are free to imagine this as being ‘implicit respect’. Tearing down this fantasy is costing them. PZ publicly announcing he would desecrate the Eucharist is worse than him actually doing it in private.

  191. #191 Sauceress
    July 20, 2008

    Check out the size of this cracker! (under video)

    Millions of dollars spent so that grown men in pretty dresses and pointy hats could conduct public voodoo rituals to call up spirits?

    How many of the worlds starving and sick could have been helped with the money spent on this weeks circus of pompous pageantry?

    It was the size of the cracker on the news front page that caught my eye. Couldn’t get past the first few minutes of the video. Honestly, I kept thinking of those tribal voodoo witch doctor rituals from old movies.
    The only thing missing was the blood
    sacrifice! (though there were plenty of those in the OT!)

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/

  192. #192 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    There are many Catholics who doubt this crazy Crusty Holiness stuff

    And how would some act of desecration help change their minds?

  193. #193 Christophe Thill
    July 20, 2008

    And by the way, a good way to desecrate the Koran is to translate it into pig latin, isn’t it?

  194. #194 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    #190

    Tearing down this fantasy is costing them.

    This is the thing I don’t get. How is desecrating a cracker supposed to tear down anyone’s fantasy?

    Mind you, I have no idea how to change such views.

  195. #195 Andrés Diplotti
    July 20, 2008

    Come to think of it, wouldn’t the mere possession of the cracker by PZ count as desecrating it? If that’s the case, he has already made good of his promise.

  196. #196 BobC
    July 20, 2008

    H.H. #184: “And in your mind, there’s absolutely no relation between the two, I’m sure.”

    No, there is a relationship between attacks against science education and the belief in Jebus crackers. All religious beliefs, including creationism, sacred crackers, heaven, and hell, are symptoms of the god disease.

    So I strongly support the ridicule of all religious beliefs. If the world has any hope of getting rid of creationism, the world must rid itself of religions first.

    However for some strange reason I’m still looking forward to the end of cracker threads, even though I plan to never let Catholics forget their violent overreaction to cracker abuse.

  197. #197 charlie
    July 20, 2008

    Everyone knows about Catholic guilt. When the cracker is abused they will blame themselves because God is love and the message of love isn’t getting through since PZ does not love the cracker. “Oh why, PZ do you not love the cracker? Do you not realize you are harming our very identity of love?” The opposite of love is indifference. Demonstrating indifference to the cracker must entail a callous lack of regard to the sanctity of the cracker in the minds of the cracker worshipers/consumers. The less evolved Catholics will experience anger but this truly is self-blame and guilt at not being able to defend the cracker. It may inspire the urge to VENGANCE but how silly is that. The Koran is even more fraught with significance but in the end is no more or less a symbolic prop standing for the submission to Allah in the minds of Muslims as the cracker. Some see books as sacred things, even books of lies but in the age of mass production thats pretty silly too. Symbols are only important to people who invest their identity in them. So in dissing the symbol lets PZ diss billions of peoples strange attachment to nothingness simultaneously with no real effort. And they let him do it to themselves, priceless! If they later attempt to do violence well that’s what the police are for. Personally I would worry more about a civil lawsuit accusing PZ of some sort of intentional mental harm. It would be thrown out but expensive. In conclusion PZ get all cranky and grouchy, it will improve the effect.

  198. #198 Forti
    July 20, 2008

    OK, ok, this whole cracker talk was fun but I’d rather not have you stabbed with a knife with a note attached to your corpse. Just sayin’.

  199. #199 Moses
    July 20, 2008

    We are definitely the most hated group in America

    And THIS is the way to change that, right? Hilarious!

    Posted by: Ally McBeelzebub | July 20, 2008 5:19 PM

    Yes, actually, it is the best way to change it. History tells us that.

    Just as history tells us Catholicism is just pure bull-shit, along with the rest of the religions.

    We don’t live in the 1800′s where archaeology’s purpose was to confirm bible stories. At least western archeology. There was a shift, and now most quality archeology either totally destroys entire swaths of the bible, or shows just how fucking insignificant the Jews and Christians really were back in those days.

    And how Christianity is, for all intensive purposes, the Scientology of its day, just made respectable by dark age princes and pontiffs. Give Scientology 2000 years and they may be a significant, if entirely crazy, force. Kind of like the trinitarians and most other branches of Christianity.

  200. #200 Josh
    July 20, 2008

    RationalSkeptic wrote:

    “Your abuse of it to thinly insult people’s cherished beliefs constitutes less of a defense of freedom of speech then a reason for some crazy, dictorial figure in some dystopian empire to outlaw it.”

    There is no such thing as abuse of free speech, there is only the exercise of it. Yes, whether it’s temperate or to your taste or not.

    And if I have to read the phrases, “cherished” or “deeply held” beliefs one more time I’m going to projectile vomit. I don’t even believe most of those who claim to have “cherished” or “deeply held” beliefs really cherish or hold them very deeply at all. I think these phrases are just code for [cue puppy dog eyes and sniffling] “Don’t you dare force me to examine anything I profess to believe, and don’t you dare hold my tribal allegiances and their consequences up to the light of public scrutiny. That makes me *uncomfortable*, and I’m going to shut you down by turning on the crocodile tears and blubbering about my “deeply held” beliefs.”

    What, do you think this is some discursive get-out-of-jail-free card? Can I play the same game by claiming anything you say that I disagree with politically wounds my “cherished” beliefs? I’m not advocating random spite, but I must ask – just who is supposed to care that someone claims their views are “deeply held?” So what? I have some too, but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to critique them.

    Oh, and I do think there’s a place for tactical, deliberate insult. As others here have noted, social problems and attitudes don’t change unless someone is willing to deliberately mock and offend entrenched positions. It’s not “out of bounds,” it’s sometimes a civic duty.

  201. #201 Sauceress
    July 20, 2008

    Just keep on using those crackers for target practice with your cyberpistol PZ. :)

  202. #202 dubiquiabs
    July 20, 2008

    @ Steve Zara (#108) and several others who are so concerned about the sensitivities of believers:

    What PZ Myers has done very successfully IMHO, is to point the finger (not saying which) at special pleadings of religious/political pressure groups that want their idiosyncratic truth claims to be more highly respected than other truth claims, eg those of scientists.

    Provided they do so in their heads, homes and churches, it’s the believers’ business if they claim that priests can turn wheat wafers into the real flesh and blood of their God, or of my friend Harvey for that matter. But when believers insist that I respect claims like this as truthful, it is my business to apply the same common sense, criteria for bullshit, scientific methods, etc. that I would apply to any other claims for truths.

    If it were only about this ‘transsubstantiatio’ nonsense, we could simply have a more or less pleasant discussion and all go home.

    But it IS about more than the mythology around a wheat wafer. If you grant the demand to suspend your faculty of thinking in this case, why would you not cave in to unreason when the bullies demand that you honour other, more insidious nonsense, like the insidious nonsense that a blastocyst has the moral standing of a person?

    My exegesis of St. PZ’s ministrations is that he is trying to break the spell under which Zara and other Concerned ones appear to labour, a spell that grants one class of ideas special privileges, like deference to language-immanent bullshit and dispensation from demands for evidence.

  203. #203 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    #192 Steve Zara

    Why do you call it “desecrating”?

    And I give up.

  204. #204 Pete Rooke
    July 20, 2008

    Well I was one of the ones who (facetiously) suggested that you desecrate a Koran.

    He that seeks trouble never misses.

  205. #205 Matt Penfold
    July 20, 2008

    It does need to be noted that when it comes to offending sensibilities the Catholic Church is not exactly backward.

    I don’t suppose that all those Catholics who are so offended by PZ will stop their church offending gays by their opposition to extending them the same rights the rest of us have.

  206. #206 H.H.
    July 20, 2008

    BobC, ok, fair enough.

  207. #207 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 20, 2008

    @200 “Don’t you dare force me to examine anything I profess to believe…”

    Does anyone here really think that this sort of stunt will encourage any Catholics to examine their beliefs? Know your enemies, folks. It’ll do the EXACT opposite, by playing straight into their siege mentality. We win by propagating ideas and rational debate. They win by drowning out everything else with shrieks of outrage, and uniting their disparate herds into one angry mob. You’re playing the game on their terms, guys.

    And Bob @196…

    If the world has any hope of getting rid of creationism, the world must rid itself of religions first.

    Way to make the war unwinnable, fella. Worst. Idea. Ever.

  208. #208 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    I don’t suppose that all those Catholics who are so offended by PZ will stop their church offending gays by their opposition to extending them the same rights the rest of us have.

    Silly Matt. Magic crackers are far more important than gay people. We’re not even really human, after all.

  209. #209 Ryan Cunningham
    July 20, 2008

    @Rational Skeptic
    Seems like fighting fire with fire for me.
    Has anyone here threatened violence? No. There’s a big moral difference between threatening violence and sacrilege. That’s the whole point of this exercise.

  210. #210 H.H.
    July 20, 2008

    This is the thing I don’t get. How is desecrating a cracker supposed to tear down anyone’s fantasy?

    Steve Zara, I believe H.L. Mencken said it best:

    The iconoclast proves enough when he proves by his blasphemy that this or that idol is defectively convincing – that at least one visitor to the shrine is left full of doubts. The liberation of the human mind has been best furthered by gay fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and then went roistering down the highways of the world, proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe – that the god in the sanctuary was a fraud. One horse-laugh is worth ten-thousand syllogisms.

  211. #211 Josh
    July 20, 2008

    Steve Zara,

    I have a lot of time for your comments on Dawkins’ site, even though (or perhaps because) your softer approach is very different from mine. But I have to say there are times when you appear to get lost in a sort of fit of handwringing about people not being nice enough or sensitive enough to other people. Although you don’t mean it this way, your protestions of “concern” can often start to make you look really sanctimonious, and worried about just the wrong things.

    You asked above:

    “And how would some act of desecration help change their minds?”

    I can think of at least two responses to this:

    1. It’s a plausible hypothesis that confronting the devout in a way *they have never been publicly confronted before* really might wake some of them up. Most of the faithful have never had to justify (or question in their own minds) the validity of their claims in public as they have to today, thanks to the rabblerousers that so concern you. You seem to have dismissed this possibility out of hand. This is odd, considering I don’t see any data to show that the “softly, softly” approach we’ve been using forever has made a bit of difference. Do you know of such evidence?

    2. Whether it directly causes the faithful to change their minds may be irrelevant. The broader social impact of direct ridicule and mockery of religious delusion will likely serve to *shift societal acceptance* of the idea that religion is privileged, and that the faithful can act with impunity. It could well make the behavior of the faithful more and more socially unacceptable, and more embarrassing for them. They’d actually have to think twice before spouting off in public about their silly beliefs and demanding that others “respect” them, because they’d be seen as increasingly irrational and antisocial. That result would be just fine with me, even if not one religious person lost his faith.

  212. #212 ThirtyFiveUp
    July 20, 2008

    At the kaaba, the black stone has a frame of silver. Does the shape of that frame remind you of something anatomical?

    http://www.toursaudiarabia.com/kaaba.html

  213. #213 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    Ally McBeelzebub (207)

    Have you read any of the 12,000 or so posts before the two you’ve just posted?

  214. #214 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 20, 2008

    @213. Yes.

  215. #215 Josh
    July 20, 2008

    Ally, #207, please see my #211, above. Oh, and will you tell us what your prescription for changing the privileged place of religion might be? You’ll have to do a little better than “respect their beliefs” – we’ve been doing that all along until recently, and I don’t see the situation changing one bit. So, what’s our next move?

  216. #216 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    My exegesis of St. PZ’s ministrations is that he is trying to break the spell under which Zara and other Concerned ones appear to labour, a spell that grants one class of ideas special privileges, like deference to language-immanent bullshit and dispensation from demands for evidence.

    That is absolutely not my position at all. Anyone who follows my posts on RD.net, or my debates with theists, knows I will attack religious ideas with vigour. I certainly do not believe such ideas should have special privileges.

    What I will defend is the rights of people to believe bullshit without being pestered if they do it quietly. The majority of Catholics do do it quietly. Yet, they are being targeted because a thoroughly nasty minority are being thoroughly nasty.

    I don’t give religion any more respect than any other belief. I would be equally defensive of people’s rights to believe in fairies, or that their baseball team was the best in the world.

    I am also after effective techniques for making societies more rational. PZ helps in this area considerably with his excellent teaching and writing skills.

    There are some people who truly deserve to be offended, like the death-and-violence threateners and the awful Bill Donohue. I would have hoped some protest would be targeted at them.

  217. #217 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    Jebus Frackin’ Christ, this horse has been beaten so relentlessly it’s now soup. Yeeeeech.

  218. #218 HP
    July 20, 2008

    You know, this eventual two-way sacrilege is shaping up to be the Internet Event of the Year. I think PZ should get in touch with John Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey and get some real Hollywood talent involved. Bring in some talented writers/directors/editors and really make this thing sing. HD on Vimeo, lo-fi on YouTube.

    I think this calls for some real production values.

  219. #219 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    Ally McBeelzebub (213)

    They why to you ask, “Do you really think that this sort of stunt…” when it’s been addressed innumerable times and about 50 times in this thread alone?

  220. #220 Ron in Houston
    July 20, 2008

    Man, as I write this I’m the 218th comment. PZ said he won’t be a happy camper if this gets to 1000 comments.

    It’s just not right to be insensitive and intentionally piss off PZ. He’s not the sort of fellow that would do that to anyone else, right?

  221. #221 BobC
    July 20, 2008

    #207: And Bob @196… If the world has any hope of getting rid of creationism, the world must rid itself of religions first.

    Way to make the war unwinnable, fella. Worst. Idea. Ever.
    Posted by: Ally McBeelzebub

    Ally, I noticed the Christians are winning their war against science education. They always lose in court, but they’ve been doing a good job of intimidating biology teachers, and brainwashing their own children.

    It’s important to understand creationism is just a symptom of a disease. The disease is religion. Trying to cure a symptom of a disease, without trying to cure the disease itself, makes no sense. Some way must be found to eradicate all religions. That sounds like an impossible task, but that’s no reason to give up trying. In my opinion, ridicule of religious beliefs can be very effective. The ridicule must be relentless and must come from millions of people. Nothing can be done for the adults who are brainwashed beyond any hope, but younger people will notice the ridicule and some of them might realize their parents are wackos.

  222. #222 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 20, 2008

    I saw this:

    It’s a plausible hypothesis that confronting the devout in a way *they have never been publicly confronted before* really might wake some of them up.

    No it isn’t, at all.

    So, what’s our next move?

    Too big a question, but some thoughts as to why it’s not this. Well who’s your target audience? You’re not going ot have any impact on the real headbanging true believers – it’s the floating voters you want, the “I kinda don’t know if I really believe it any more” types. So as well as establishing that the facts are on your side, you also need to lure them over and convince them that there’s nothing wrong or disgraceful in atheism. Atheists can be nice, intelligent, amusing people – in contrast to what religions say: that atheism=pure evil.

    And I just have this hunch that this sort of stunt might not really help do that.

  223. #223 Moses
    July 20, 2008

    Jebus Frackin’ Christ, this horse has been beaten so relentlessly it’s now soup. Yeeeeech.

    Posted by: E.V. | July 20, 2008 6:09 PM

    Hmmm…. While I was thinking Koran wraps, horse soup could be done… We’d have to do it along the lines of a solid french onion.

    We’d have the beef, the cheese, the crouton (cracker), most is fortified with some type of alcoholic beverage (wine, port, sherry, etc.) to fortify the depth and flavor… We toast-up the cracker in a little EVOO and inscribe it with Koran versus and garnish it with some bacon crumbs and we can insult everyone.

  224. #224 Andrés Diplotti
    July 20, 2008

    I thought I’d just comment on the amusing fact that atheist/agnostic people are concerned about offending the religious.

  225. #225 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    #211
    Although you don’t mean it this way, your protestions of “concern” can often start to make you look really sanctimonious, and worried about just the wrong things.

    I am after discussions of facts, I don’t care what people think of me.

    Also, I certainly haven’t dismissed the point you made. My concern is that certain types of protest don’t challenge things at all – they simply harden opinion and encourage people to close ranks.

    If this “protest” does change minds, I will be happy. I just can’t see it doing that.

    Also, we do know of a “softly” approach that is very effective. Improved education.

  226. #226 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Posted by: Moses | July 20, 2008 6:19 PM

    Where are the fetuses?! There must be fetuses!

  227. #227 Dustin
    July 20, 2008

    Just make sure the Koran’s remains are properly recycled. At least that way it has a chance of coming back in a new incarnation as something useful.

  228. #228 Moses
    July 20, 2008

    It’s important to understand creationism is just a symptom of a disease. The disease is religion. Trying to cure a symptom of a disease, without trying to cure the disease itself, makes no sense. Some way must be found to eradicate all religions. That sounds like an impossible task, but that’s no reason to give up trying. In my opinion, ridicule of religious beliefs can be very effective. The ridicule must be relentless and must come from millions of people. Nothing can be done for the adults who are brainwashed beyond any hope, but younger people will notice the ridicule and some of them might realize their parents are wackos.

    Posted by: BobC | July 20, 2008 6:15 PM

    I’ve said in the past and I’ll say it again, being nice to religion is like trying to cure an infection with aspirin. The fever may go down, but it doesn’t cure the patient.

  229. #229 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    I’ll stop now, as I don’t want to contribute too much to the volume. Don’t want PZ riled…

    Goodbye from this sanctimonious concern troll :)

  230. #230 Sauceress
    July 20, 2008

    #197 charlie

    Personally I would worry more about a civil lawsuit accusing PZ of some sort of intentional mental harm.

    If that were possible, wouldn’t we have already seen thousands of lawsuits bought about by recovering and deconverted religionists?

  231. #231 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    Moses:
    You certainly know how to turn lemons into lemonade. The Rachel Ray reference was a nice touch.

    Ron in Houston: Play nice. You don’t have to agree, just don’t be offensive and I will return the favor. Consider the hatchet buried. Hell, I’ll even buy you a beer or three when I am in Houston next weekend.

  232. #232 Moses
    July 20, 2008

    Where are the fetuses?! There must be fetuses!

    Posted by: MAJeff, OM | July 20, 2008 6:21 PM

    But only STRAIGHT, WHITE fetuses from middle-class, non-Jewish families, catholics preferred. Anything else wouldn’t further the homosexual/minority agenda or properly persecute the catholics…

    I wonder if this gets troll-mined by idiots too stupid to see the blatant sarcasm at their hysteria? It’s not like they don’t troll-mine everything else…

  233. #233 Josh
    July 20, 2008

    Ally, #222 wrote,

    “I saw this:

    It’s a plausible hypothesis that confronting the devout in a way *they have never been publicly confronted before* really might wake some of them up.

    No it isn’t, at all.”

    I’m trying to be patient and credit you with just not considering my idea, but I have to say it seems you just viscerally don’t like it, and then extrapolated that it’s wrong. It’s not even a little bit plausible? So, all the people who wrote in to the Convert’s Corner at Dawkins’ site were making it up when they related that direct unstinting criticism of their faith jolted them into thinking about it? Will you acknowledge that?

    I’m not saying this will be the case for most of them – it probably won’t. But your terse “No it isn’t” is just not a reasonable response.

    How about my second point about shifting the societal perception of religious claims?

    You also wrote:

    “So as well as establishing that the facts are on your side, you also need to lure them over and convince them that there’s nothing wrong or disgraceful in atheism. Atheists can be nice, intelligent, amusing people – in contrast to what religions say: that atheism=pure evil”

    I know you don’t mean this, but I need you to understand how this sounds. I remember when I came out of the closet as a gay guy at the age of 12, in public school, hearing just the same sort of thing. Mostly from criminally apathetic straight people, but often from the hand-wringing Mattachine Society types:

    1. “Don’t be so confrontational” – Confrontational, of course, was defined as refusing to pretend I wasn’t gay if someone in the room might be “uncomfortable.”

    2. “Don’t be so obsessed with sex – people need to know you have other interests” – Obsessed with sex, of course, being defined as having the gall to hold another boy’s hand.

    See where I’m going? People will see and hear what they want to a large degree. I mean, really, anyone who fails to notice that atheists or gay people pay taxes, don’t step on other peoples toes in grocery queues, etc., and don’t eat babies is deliberately maintaining an irrational, bigoted perspective. Telling the target of this bigotry that it’s his job to go out of his way to show that he doesn’t eat babies – as if living his normal, unassuming life wasn’t enough – is offensive. And to that I say, fuck no.

    Bigots and the deluded bear the responsibility to stop sticking their fingers in their ears and gouging out their own eyes to avoid seeing the dull truth: atheists or gays or whoever are normal people like everyone else. It’s not our job to kiss their asses and deferently beg them to notice we’re nice people.

  234. #234 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    You certainly know how to turn lemons into lemonade. The Rachel Ray reference was a nice touch.

    I had to buy olive oil today, and was so sad to see her face smiling at me from the grocery store shelf.

    That and Dustin Pedroia’s salsa. (WTF?)

  235. #235 BobC
    July 20, 2008

    #224: “I thought I’d just comment on the amusing fact that atheist/agnostic people are concerned about offending the religious.” Posted by: Andrés Diplotti

    Yes, it is amusing. Perhaps the appeasers haven’t noticed religious attacks against atheists.

    Relentless ridicule is the only correct way to deal with religious insanity.

    Steve Zara’s idea, improved education, is also effective. The more people understand science, the more likely they will throw out their religious myths.

  236. #236 Ferrous Patella
    July 20, 2008


    766 comments on the wall
    766 comments
    Take one down, pass it arround
    765 comments on the wall

  237. #237 BobC
    July 20, 2008

    Josh #233: “So, all the people who wrote in to the Convert’s Corner at Dawkins’ site were making it up when they related that direct unstinting criticism of their faith jolted them into thinking about it?”

    You reminded me why I threw out the Catholic religion. In high school I was explaining the Catholic beliefs to my friends and I noticed they were laughing at me. They thought I was nuts, and it didn’t take me long to realize they were right.

  238. #238 Eshto
    July 20, 2008

    “atheists or gays or whoever are normal people like everyone else. It’s not our job to kiss their asses and deferently beg them to notice we’re nice people.”

    Damn right. Bigots are responsible for their own beliefs and actions.

    And if history is any judge, there’s no reason whatsoever to think that even if gays, atheists or whoever try REALLY hard to play nice with a bigot, that bigot will suddenly say “Oh my god, I was so wrong about you, let’s be friends”.

    They aren’t logical to begin with. That’s what makes them bigots.

  239. #239 themadlolscientist, FCD
    July 20, 2008

    And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    And we’ll be able to distinguish that from your ordinary self how?

    Crackers and Koran and Sacred Cow…

    Oh my!

    Hmmmmmm…..somehow “Crackers and Koran and Sacred Cow” just doesn’t work as well as “Lions and Tigers and Bears.”

    I’m considering desecrating the FSM by cooking pasta tonight and adding ketchup to it.

    Ketchup on pasta?!?! Simultaneously sacrilegious and YUCKY! =8-O Permissible only for very young children who have not yet reached the age of accountability (or appreciation of good food).

    Something just occurred to me: Since the fish is an ancient symbol for Christianity, wouldn’t feeding the cracker to a fish be a symbolic way of returning it to whence it came?

    Just asking.

    Vanity of Vanities, sayeth the Preacher’s Kid: all is Vanity.

  240. #240 judgemc
    July 20, 2008

    I think you should get together with Dumbldore have have him teach you that transubstantiating trick before you desecrate the Jeez-it.

  241. #241 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    July 20, 2008

    the Danish cartoon controversy, during which over 100 people were killed

    Those were rioters, mostly Muslims themselves. In Nigeria. Where the Christians and Muslims don’t need much of an excuse to start butchering each other.

  242. #242 Sven DiMIlo
    July 20, 2008

    Five hours, 236 comments? That’s only 0.787 comments per minute. Back here the rate was 0.948 comments/min.
    You are SLACKING, people! Do you want PZ to be “very, very cranky” tomorrow, or NOT?

  243. Doin’ my bit to see what happens when PZ gets angry…

  244. #244 AJ Milne
    July 20, 2008

    Be patient, godless ones…

    It’s our society, y’see. Kids these days, they got no time, no patience. It’s all about instant gratification, instant service, just in time delivery. We’ve got fast food, instant coffee, instant credit, instant banking, high-speed internet, even drive-thru wedding chapels… So where’s our while-u-wait desecration service, dammit? So many sacred cows, so little time… Look, I’ve just got two minutes on the way home; can you do sumpin’ creative with this copy of the Watchtower for me in time for me get my car in for its oil change? Time’s a wastin’.

  245. #245 Pierce R. Butler
    July 20, 2008

    Possibly the most alarming suggestions made here have urged Prof. Myers to subject the crackers now being held hostage to various forms of scientific analysis.

    It’s one thing to tick off the claimed 1 billion Catholics on the planet (and perhaps a bit more of the same thing to defy those approximately 1.5B Muslims).

    But the use of University of Minnesota lab equipment for personal purposes – that would be downright dangerous!

  246. #246 Ropty
    July 20, 2008

    Has anyone asked P.J. to defile some spaghetti to offend the Pastafarians? Maybe, by using inferior sauce, or turkey mean balls or something. Well, I will step up to the place.

    I challenge you, P.J. to dare to defile a holy plate of spaghetti! Do it, and I think that His Noddley Appendage will not be so gentle when it touches you!

  247. #247 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    Back when, high muckymucks sacrificed virgins on a spike to appease the gods of harvest. Some guys got the bright idea that they didn’t have to sacrifice their daughters but could sacrifice a dumb cow instead. Alot of these guys weren’t very nice but they had a good idea.

    They some time later some other guys got the idea that you don’t have to do all that bloody, messy stuff because god himself was the sacrifice and when we drink the special wine we get all that good stuff and it tastes better. Again, these guys (like Constantine) weren’t something to write home about but what works, works.

    In the future the nice atheist organizations will be getting all the government financing and us assholes won’t be getting any more death threats. Fair enough?

  248. #248 Rey Fox
    July 20, 2008

    Like Master Shake said, it’s all about planting the seed of doubt. Also, what Josh said.

  249. #249 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 20, 2008

    Jeez, Josh @233, you could point-miss for the Olympics!

    direct unstinting criticism of their faith is fine by me. Have I suggested otherwise? But get this: desecrating a cracker isn’t “criticism”.

    Next. I was talking about what’s a good tactic for luring non-believers to atheism, and your response is to fume “It’s not our job to kiss their asses”. Well fine, you can kick them up the ass instead, as hard you can, by all means. Just don’t act all surprised when it doesn’t help your cause a whole lot.

    By the way, your atheist/gay analogy sucks. Have I suggested atheists should stay in the closet, or quietly accept any bigotry directed their way? Nope. All that I’m doing is discussing tactics. And this is a really misguided, bad one.

  250. #250 Christie
    July 20, 2008

    PZ will be going out of his way to offend the religious, just for the sake of offending them. This is an unpleasant, mean-spirited thing to do.

    Like would you wear red in a crip neighbourhood? You can if you want to make some point about freedom (I am free to do whatever). Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself in an unmarked grave some hours later.

    Huh. See, I wouldn’t know not to wear red in a crip neighborhood. More relevant, though, is that I can expect to wear red in my own neighborhood and be perfectly safe doing so.

    Both of the comments above seem to imply that PZ’s own blog is a Catholic neighborhood. It is not. If he were going “out of his way” to antagonize Catholics, he would go seek out a Catholic forum. He hasn’t. This is his home turf, and they have come here, seeking him.

    PZ’s readers are primarily atheists, rationalists, and skeptics. He is not going out of his way to offend anybody — we are the choir. Support him or don’t, but let’s not pretend that he’s taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times saying “Fuck off, Ratzy.” He’s not. He’s doing what he’s doing (or not) in his own home, and writing about it on his own blog. If anyone would like to not be offended, by all means, DON’T VISIT.

  251. #251 Josh
    July 20, 2008

    Ally, #249-

    Do you know how to argue your point without treating other people like they’re complete dicks? Disagree with my argument all you want, but stick your high school level sarcasm up your smug ass. And you have the nerve to criticize me for not taking a tactical, nice approach to convince my opponents?

    Good grief.

  252. #252 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Posted by: D. Duke | July 20, 2008 7:20 PM

    Fail.

  253. #253 chris
    July 20, 2008

    @Steve Zara #133

    It may be true that the majority of catholics will respond moderately to whatever PZ does, but the excessive reaction is not limited to a small group of nut cases who are renounced by that majority. We may realize Donahue is a loon, but he has enough followers and influence to cause some real damage. Furthermore, has the catholic church made any effort to stop him? Simply saying “he’s not a real catholic” is a flimsy dodge. I recall that the catholic church has a long list of actions they are willing to take against members who act or say things of which the church does not approve.

  254. #254 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    I’m becoming convinced that Satan has eaten out your brains.

    I had such a fun time yesterday re-watching Shaun of the Dead. So you’re saying the zombies are Catholics?

  255. #255 wrpd
    July 20, 2008

    MAJeff: Who in their right mind would trust you for a minute with a musclebound superhero?

    I think I might actually believe in transubstantiation. Hear me out: my senses of smell, feeling, hearing, sight, and taste (Ugh!) say that Bill Donohue is a human being. Those are his accidents. His substance is dogshit. You can’t hear, see, feel, smell, or taste (Ugh!!!) the dogshit but it is dogshit.

  256. #256 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    MAJeff: Who in their right mind would trust you for a minute with a musclebound superhero?

    I’d need far more than a minute.

  257. #257 amphiox
    July 20, 2008

    #245:

    Why would PZ need University equipment to do an experiment? You can do an experiment butt-naked in your home with a pencil.

    All you need is a question, a working brain, and at least one functional sense.

    (The pencil’s only role is to record the result)

  258. #258 Sven DiMilo
    July 20, 2008

    “Subject to various forms of scientific analysis” =/= “do an experiment.”

  259. #259 Carlie
    July 20, 2008

    Ally, have you ever been a theist? Where are you getting all of your expertise on what helps them decide to keep or toss religious beliefs? Here’s how it looks from my side: giving them deference automatically gives those beliefs status. If you act as though they might have any justifiable reason for what they believe, they will latch onto it and say “See? Even those evil people have respect for the word of God, because it’s so powerful and true.” Doesn’t. Work. However, be as disrespectful as possible and still don’t get struck down by lightning, and sound rational in the process? That’s what makes people think twice about their beliefs.

    And the atheist/gay analogy doesn’t suck, it’s fairly robust and has been made many, many times. (with the caveat that gay is not a choice and religion is)

  260. #260 amphiox
    July 20, 2008

    @224, atheists hold to the contention that god does not exist.

    Religion on the other hand most assuredly does exist.

    The religious also have a very real and demonstrable existence, and some of them, when offended, are decidedly dangerous.

    Some level of concern is legitimate, I would say.

  261. #261 Sauceress
    July 20, 2008

    PZ says

    I’d suggest that you not write to me unless you’ve got something intelligent to say, but Gary Silis probably thinks he’s made a brilliant, ingenious, knock-dead argument instead of the exercise in insipidity that this is:

    I’ve seen Silis’s ridiculous cut and paste used many times on various forums. So stooopid!

  262. #262 Steve Zara
    July 20, 2008

    OK, I am going to add yet another post here…

    We may realize Donahue is a loon, but he has enough followers and influence to cause some real damage. Furthermore, has the catholic church made any effort to stop him? Simply saying “he’s not a real catholic” is a flimsy dodge. I recall that the catholic church has a long list of actions they are willing to take against members who act or say things of which the church does not approve.

    Now that is the kind of argument that starts to change my mind. There has been plenty of opportunity for senior Catholics to denounce what Donohue has said, as he positions himself as a Catholic spokesperson. Your point about the actions that the church is willing to take is also a good one.

    You have changed my view.

  263. #263 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    Well fine, you can kick them up the ass instead, as hard you can, by all means.

    If I can have one wish granted by the godless critics on these threads, it is that you get a sense of perspective. No one’s ass is being kicked.

    IT’S A CRACKER.

    A cracker. A wafer. A small piece of bread leavened with nothing but superstition. I can demolish it, and Catholics will still be going to mass, priests will still be screwing little boys, Bill Donohue will still be doing his noisy ‘tard act. No one will be dead because of it. No one will be in the hospital. No one will even need a little bactine and a band-aid. The only people being threatened with material harm are those who refuse to bow down to their tiny little tasteless idol.

    And there’s one place where the analogy to gay rights is right on. Have you ever heard the frequently made claim that letting gay people marry threatens heterosexual marriage? That’s similar to the argument made here: that if PZ Myers treats a cracker like he does any other piece of garbage, the whole edifice of Catholicism is threatened. God will be harmed! Jesus will weep in pain!

    Screw that. If religion is that fragile, I shall take great joy in destroying it this Wednesday, when the crackers get it. Keep that in mind. Check your local church on Thursday morning — think it will be a vacant lot full of rubble?

  264. #264 Patrick Danley
    July 20, 2008

    as we are all irrational about something, i was wondering what YOUR cracker is.

  265. #265 mas528
    July 20, 2008

    My suggestion:

    Take a piece of pigskin leather, attach the wafer to it (I guess with book binding glue), write on the wafer, “There is only one god, allah, and muhammed is his prophet”, attach a piece of dog hair (clipped — don’t want to hurt the dog)to the pigskin (like a tassle) and use it a bookmark for the koran.

    Maybe write “Praise Jesus”, “Ave Maria”, and something nice about the Trinity in the Koran too.

    Very little defacement, of anything, but it would make any one of the psychos howl.

    The only thing better is to get a small mezuza and tie it to the other end of the dog hair to the pigskin side of the bookmark.

    Unfortunately it sounds like an elementary school project…probably take too much time for a meaningless gesture.

  266. #266 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    July 20, 2008

    Sven @ 130

    Beat me to it but I don’t think your rate is going to be constant. Need something in there like the coeficient of imflammatory comment/Trolls^n.

  267. #267 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Posted by: D. Duke | July 20, 2008 7:54 PM

    Re-fail.

  268. #268 Sven DiMilo
    July 20, 2008

    Posted by: D. Duke | July 20, 2008 7:54 PM

    It wasn’t funny the first time, either, and my guess is that this iteration is going to magically disappear as well. Idiot.

  269. #269 Sauceress
    July 20, 2008

    Oh, and by Silis’s blind tunnel vision *logic*, every bit of good luck an atheist experiences must be taken as proof that there is no god!

  270. #270 Nick Gotts
    July 20, 2008

    D.Duke@266. Get lost, you anti-semitic scumbag.

  271. #271 D. Duke
    July 20, 2008

    Gt t y, ddn’t ?

    cn tll y r pssd!

    Bhhhh!!!!!!!!

    (Hy, ts jst JW jk, ftr ll!)

    [Scratch a fundie, find an anti-semitic Nazi beneath the veneer. This is one of a string of deleted messages from our Kansas troll, a rather despicable character. -- pzm]

  272. #272 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    D. Duke (266)

    If religious Jews call out a team of Rabbis to protect and defend the Yarmaluke while ignoring death threats made to one of their children who wore one inappropriate (to tradition), then I would have no problem giving them disrespect. Would you?

  273. #273 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    Think of the message Catholics should take from the Christian martyrs! I’ve read that stuff — people suffered amazingly grisly deaths over their belief in a god.

  274. #274 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Posted by: D. Duke | July 20, 2008 7:59 PM

    Fail yet again.

  275. #275 Nick Gotts
    July 20, 2008

    Krubozumo Nyankoye@266 – Sorry, my #270 was not aimed at you! The offending comment has been removed.

  276. #276 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    AgnoAtheist,

    Don’t forget the difference between receiving a cracker in the mail and assaulting a person to take something off their body.

    Oh, I keep forgetting (value of magic cracker) > (value of human)

  277. #277 Sven DiMilo
    July 20, 2008

    Krubozumo Nyankoye:
    In fact, the rate of commenting is already slowing down; see here for the update. You’re right; a linear model is far too simplistic. Adjustments for troll density, stupidity, and perserverence should be made, as well as the proportion of potential commenters asleep at time t

  278. #278 Ghost of Minnesota
    July 20, 2008

    Are you sure you want to desecrate a Koran? I mean, Christian crazies are one thing, but Muslims have their own unique and amazing form of crazy that I wouldn’t want to mess with.

    The danger only makes my penis harder.

  279. #279 charlie
    July 20, 2008

    Sauceress @230 People who are leaving their faiths are not well regarded and generally alone thus unlikely to sue, while the faiths themselves can act on the behalf of individuals within their congregations whom have been harmed by the blasphemy of desecration. It is a loosing strategy but it would take a pile of money to defend against.

  280. #280 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    “as we are all irrational about something, i was wondering what YOUR cracker is.”

    Ummmm, let’s see… reification of superstition? Willful ignorance? No, wait, it’ll come to me…

  281. #281 amphiox
    July 20, 2008

    “i was wondering what YOUR cracker is.”

    My friends and family. And I’m proud of it.

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    July 20, 2008

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  283. #283 Rayven Alandria
    July 20, 2008

    This has nothing to do with desecration and bruised catholic sensibilities.

    Why do I say this? Because many of us could have, (and may have), already defiled the Jebus crackers and the whacko Catholics don’t seem to care. Maybe we all got together on stickam and had a *defile the cracker-fest*. They are raising hell, (I made a funny), about PZ, and only about PZ. Why is this?

    Publicity.

    Plain and simple. They want attention.

    This is about egos and attention, not religious feelings or the (pretend) holiness of Jebus crackers. They only want to bask in the spotlight. They worship themselves.

  284. #284 Sauceress
    July 20, 2008

    charlie #279

    the faiths themselves can act on the behalf of individuals within their congregations whom have been harmed by the blasphemy of desecration.

    So the scientologists would have a legal case,on behalf of their followers, against those who denigrate their beliefs?

  285. #285 amphiox
    July 20, 2008

    “No one will be dead because of it”

    You’ll be the only one at risk, PZ, if those threats of poison should turn out to be real.

    Please use full contact precautions when handling them.

    (I’m in paranoid mode right now.)

  286. #286 Ghost of Minnesota
    July 20, 2008

    People who are leaving their faiths are not well regarded and generally alone thus unlikely to sue, while the faiths themselves can act on the behalf of individuals within their congregations whom have been harmed by the blasphemy of desecration.

    How exactly does “the blasphemy of desecration” harm anyone? The worst is can do is hurt somebody’s feelings, and that’s not exactly actionable.

  287. #287 Hortan
    July 20, 2008

    People who are not insanely poor and still cry, flail and issue death-threats about some small piece of dry bread, like they were quite brain-damaged. Are idiots, simple as that.

    Just pulling My straw to the 1K thread. :)

  288. #288 NP
    July 20, 2008

    I’m going to do my laundry now, and not even GOD can stop me! Muahahaha!

  289. #289 Shadus
    July 20, 2008

    You should just make a general policy of desecrating all religious artifacts sent to you. Bible, Koran, Torah, Black Bible, Crackers, whatever. That way its all equal.

  290. #290 Janus
    July 20, 2008

    I’m sorry PZ, but you don’t know much about Islam and Muslims if you think desecrating a Qur’an and desecrating a Catholic cracker will have similar consequences. Muslims and Catholics will both send death threats, but Muslims might actually act on them. Christianity and Islam are equally false and equally ridiculous, but they are not equally dangerous.

  291. #291 BobC
    July 20, 2008

    “If religion is that fragile, I shall take great joy in destroying it this Wednesday, when the crackers get it.”

    This will be an historic day, 7/23/2008, the day the crackers got it. I look forward to watching the Catholic retards go batshit crazy again.

  292. #292 bad Jim
    July 20, 2008

    It would be bad experimental practice to desecrate the wafers and the Koran at the same time. This affair demonstrates that Catholics can be just as hateful as Muslims, and riling up the Muslims dilutes the message.

    Moreover, if there are any attempts at violence, it would make it harder to determine their source. Either group could plausibly blame the other.

  293. #293 url
    July 20, 2008

    Fellow Catholics,

    Why continue to waste your time on here? You are not going to engage in productive and reasonable discussion. What you are going to get on here is a grade school mentality of attack and pile on. You are getting suckered into trying to answer strawman after strawman argument.

    We don’t worship the atheists perverted version God. We don’t belong to the atheists distorted version of the Catholic Church. There doesn’t seem to be much “free thinking” (whatever that means lol) on here because you all sound the same. You all seem to share in the same pool of misinformation when it comes to Catholic teaching. Your understanding of God has no resemblance to what Catholics believe. So, Catholics why waste your time arguing with people who really only want to insult you and have no intention of having a reasonable discussion? You can spend your time praying for those on here who seem to have a lot of hurt and anger in their lives. You can spen time with your families or offer your time at your parish.

    For those atheists who want to have a mature discussion about the CAtholic faith, we welcome you to join in on the many forums that are available. There are plenty of great CAtholic websites and apologists who will engage your arguments politely. Catholic.com, Jimmy Aiken, Mark Shea, John Martignoni, Dr. Scott Hahn (who happens to have just co-authored a book refuting many of Dawkins arguments). There’s also Dr. William Lane Craig. He loves debating atheists. If you are confident enough to step outside of your little secure atheist world, then join in. We welcome you.

  294. #294 kmerian
    July 20, 2008

    Catholics, leave PZ alone, just deny him the attention him and the others here are craving.

    PZ do what you want, I could care less.

    Catholics, threatening anyone is a sin, regardless of whether you are serious or not.

  295. #295 Fr. J
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, so you are now going to desecrate a Quran too? Now you can take the death threats seriously. You might also consider prayer despite your atheism. It can’t hurt.

    If you want this to end then how about some of that “civility” that you folks always demand? You could decide not to offend anyone or desecrate anything. Instead you could concentrate on biology instead of topics that you know little about like religion. Then everyone will be happy. It might even be a start in rehabilitating your reputation as a professional. C’mon, shock us with some maturity.

  296. #296 Wowbagger
    July 20, 2008

    Rayven Alandria, wrote:

    Plain and simple. They want attention.

    Spot on. In the US especially, the fundies get all the publicity – the papists are just jealous because no-one cares what they think anymore.

    I am not a demographer, but isn’t the only reason they’re even vaguely relevant is because it’s the delusion of choice for the increasing Latino population?. If they ever deconvert en masse then they’ll be about as significant as Quakers.

    The whole thing reminds me of the outcry about the Harry Potter books. First thing I thought was, ‘oh-ho, looks like somebody wants some attention’.

    Oh, and has the Pope said anything about this yet? For all the outcry on teh internetz about how much this is hurting catholics, I’ve still heard nothing about His Holy Hatness having an opinion on the matter.

  297. #297 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    those who think the cracker is more will continue to think that too.

    don’t be so sure.

    even in the first thread, there were a few Catholics who shared sentiments similar to the first one I noted:

    Ok, this is craziness. I’m Catholic, and when I first read the story, I thought “Yeah, that guy was a bit rude for just taking the Eucharist like that”, and that was it. No death threats. No calls for people to be fired. No demands to have the host back (for what reason?? There are stacks and stacks of them in any church!!). Just a bit of a headshake, and that’s it. Why people are making such a huge deal about this, I have no idea. They’ve got nothing else on the go I suppose. It stories like this that don’t make me feel great about my beliefs at all. I don’t always agree with what your blog says when it comes to religion, but this time, I do.

    Posted by: Josh | July 10, 2008 5:14 PM

    emphasis mine.

    mission accomplished.

    The reason PZ hasn’t actually “desecrated” (as if one COULD) any of the “sacred” (as if that made sense) objects, is simply that he really doesn’t need to. It’s more of an afterthought.

    The main mission itself has already been accomplished.

    It’s the moronic Catholics and concern trolls endlessly writing him that are damn near forcing his hand to go ahead with the physical act.

    In the end, the act itself will end up having little significance.

  298. #298 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    If you want this to end then how about some of that “civility” that you folks always demand?

    where? unlike yourself, most of us who are sane realize that reason /= reasonable.

    projecting again, fake father troll?

  299. #299 PZ Myers
    July 20, 2008

    You’re a hypocrite, Fr. J. You said,

    Likewise, everyone, including PZ, knows that if he in fact did desecrate a Quran he would be in fear of his life.

    You were indulging in fatwah envy yourself…you don’t get to moan now that the Catholic threats weren’t serious, and the nonexistent Muslim threats are.

    I am not in fear of my life. I just see deluded nuts whining everywhere, you among them. Now please, go away.

  300. #300 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    A date has been set. Here they come.

  301. #301 Wowbagger
    July 20, 2008

    Nice to see you, Fr. J – good that you can take time out from your busy scourging/hair-shirt-wearing schedule to remind us just how clueless you really are.

    …topics you know little about like religion

    Is that the first Courtier’s Reply of the evening?

  302. #302 ed
    July 20, 2008

    Your right P.Z. I remember the pope before last calling homosexuality evil.How many people were offended with that bullshit?But you get the same cat-licks so concerned about a fucking cracker!Looking forward to Wednesday myself!

  303. #303 Carlie
    July 20, 2008

    You all seem to share in the same pool of misinformation when it comes to Catholic teaching. Your understanding of God has no resemblance to what Catholics believe.

    We think that the Catholic church teaches that a consecrated cracker undergoes a process called “transubstantiation” by which the cracker turns into the body of Christ, then called the “host”. Care to elaborate on what’s incorrect about that?

  304. #304 TW
    July 20, 2008

    No, no, no… This Wednesday is WAY too soon.

    This thing needs more time to build into a major media event. Get some “people” who can get you on Oprah. Debate Donohue on FOX News. Try to get McCain to denounce you. THEN the cracker gets it.

  305. #305 Wowbagger
    July 20, 2008

    Carlie wrote:

    We think that the Catholic church teaches…

    .

    The ‘thinking’ part is what they’re likely to have a problem with. They’re not fond of thinking at all – unless it’s to come up with elaborate explanations (with important-sounding buzz-words like ‘accident’) and justifications for their sacred rituals ooga-booga.

  306. #306 Spaulding
    July 20, 2008

    Just use magic re-trans-substantiation to change the host from the body of Jesus to the body of Elvis, and then do your worst.

    Then the Catholics really can’t complain, can they?

  307. #307 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    Friar J:
    Please demonstrate the civility and maturity in your responses. I can see your smugness, pretention and arrogance but the other is not apparent, Padre.
    I, however, never claimed to be civil. It’s late, don’t you have altar boys to bugger or futile sermons to prepare, oh Great Windbag?

  308. #308 Sauceress
    July 20, 2008

    bad Jim #292

    It would be bad experimental practice to desecrate the wafers and the Koran at the same time.

    Good point!

  309. #309 Ed
    July 20, 2008

    If as Dr. Dennett purportedly says “… taking the wine out of the holy context would surely untransubstantiate it, turning it back into ordinary wine.” (and I don’t know he does, I got that from here: http://mycaseagainstgod.blogspot.com/2007/02/scattered-reflections.html ) and if Catholics really do believe in auto-de-transubstantiation for communion wine, then surely the same applies to communion wafers. So what’s all their fussing and fuming about? Would they pitch the same fits if the wafer had never been “transubstantiated”? BTW, how does one differentiate between a T-wafer and a non-T-wafer? Do I deserve punishment if I abuse a non-T-wafer which I claim is a T-wafer? If so, what am I being punished for – Wafer abuse or wafer fraud?

  310. #310 Amplexus
    July 20, 2008

    John Lennon died in 1980, he said that whole jesus thing in 1966. That’s fourteen years later. lol god works in incredibley slow ways/

  311. #311 Louis Irving
    July 20, 2008

    Hey PZ,

    One way to get them to back down on the fact that it is not actually Jesus, but rather a mere cracker would be to try and bring charges against the Catholic church on grounds of cannibalism.

    In most countries, cannibalism is illegal, and I doubt even invoking freedom to worship would outstrip that. If they truly believe it to be transmuted into human flesh (and can prove those claims) they are committing cannabalism, if they can’t prove the claims then they lose the right to call it the flesh of Christ, and if they want to win the case they have to accept it as a mere cracker.

  312. #312 Wowbagger
    July 20, 2008

    Amplexus wrote:

    god works in incredibley slow ways

    god was waiting until Lennon didn’t expect it – mainly so he could then shout ‘no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition wrath of god!’

  313. #313 Holbach
    July 20, 2008

    Fr J @ 295 Does “Fr J” stand for “freaking jeebus’? And we concentrate on biology instead of topics that we know little about, like religion? You have the freaking gall to compare Biology with insane religion, let alone use it in the same sentence? Biology is a living and worthwhile discipline of Science. Religion is a demented cesspit of irrational muck that is ascribed to by the weak minded and deranged rabble whose every idea makes rational thought as far removed as their imaginary god is. No, you c’mon and shock us with your imaginaty shit god! Bring it down and beat the crap out of us. Your papist pope is incapable of bringing forth your phony god before all the insane rabble; how are you going to bring it down and smite us here on this blog? Let’s see this god of your insane rantings. I’ll wait right here. In the meantime, have a cracker, or perhaps many to while away the time necessary for your shit god to appear to kick my ass. You have better to clean out the houses of insane worship to stock in a vast supply of nonsense crackers while waiting for your god. Munch those crackers; maybe they will give you the guts that your god lacks.

  314. #314 Helioprogenus
    July 20, 2008

    This may have already been mentioned already, but since this thread is already past the 300 mark, I’ll make it relatively short.

    PZ, you have to collect all the symbols of religion and do a mass desecration. Collect those Korans, Bibles, Talmuds, Crackers, Bhagavagitas, Yarmulkes, etc., and desecrate them all in one glorious cephalopodian spectacle worthy of only the lowest denominator of human achievement. These are all worthless items that belong in the trash heap of human accomplishment (or lack of it). That way, you can be an equal opportunist religio-skeptic, and you won’t be accused of favoritism.

  315. #315 ajani57
    July 20, 2008

    Hire a lawyer.

    I say maybe you should sue the Catholic League, Donohue (sp), et al, and take the idea of desecration of religious objects to court, all the way to the supreme court if you have to, to find out what the judges think about John Q. Public’s right to do with them what they will. Maybe the judges can draw a thicker bolder line between religious ideas and society at large.

  316. #316 paradoctor
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, you _can’t_ out-sacrilege the original ceremony; it’s already an over-the-top self-satire. I mean, Jesus said ‘eat me’, and they take him literally!

    I think the only way you can top this is by playing it straight. After all, if you got a gobbet of human flesh, you wouldn’t eat it, you’d bury it. Or better yet, cremate it and scatter the ashes.

    So that’s what I suggest you do. Very respectfully, of course, and with a straight face. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

  317. #317 Crudely Wrott
    July 20, 2008

    “And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.”

    I’m sure that I am in good and hearty company by declining to post a comment just now.

  318. #318 AaronSTL
    July 20, 2008

    PZ,

    You should copy text from your new Koran onto each cracker you get. Kill two idiotic taboos with one stone…er…pen.

  319. #319 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    July 20, 2008

    Nick @275
    No offense taken (gasp! how original). But thanks for correcting.

    Sven @277
    Quite true, I was grappling with the time t aspect in as much as there is a large area west of the IDL where it is Monday morning, but with the exception of Oz mostly no one is paying any attention. Then I realized spending 5 minutes thinking about it would push my comment so far down the thread that you would never see it.

    Thanks PZ for juicing the inflammatory coeficient, Wednesday? Hummm, I’ll probably miss all the fun. Pity.

  320. #320 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    To cite the title of the post:

    *rolls eyes* It’s a cracker, people

    All the folks coming up with grand schemes of mass desacration are kind of missing the point and giving in to the religionists by making a big deal. It’s a cracker. What do you do with old, uneaten, or inedible crackers? You put them in the trash, garbage disposal, or composting. What do you do with an old book? Give it away, sell it, or put it in the bin with other paper recycling. Anything more is, well, wasteful.

    The point is not to make a big deal, particularly since it’s only a cracker. Indeed, PZ’s point all along has been that it’s only a cracker. Massive displays of “desecration” make it into more than a cracker.

  321. #321 black wolf
    July 20, 2008

    Interesting.
    How many different Catholics (or should I say usernames?) are regular contributors to this topic? 5 or 6?
    And then three of them post consecutively (currently 293-295), with exactly enough time between the posts to log off and onto another account.
    Either they gang up from one other site to come here with their tremendous weight of numbers, or they are one and the same person (not that that’s ever happened before, eh?).
    Should I be wrong on both speculations, I apologize. A little.

  322. #322 ubi dubius
    July 20, 2008

    PZ:

    Find cave.
    Insert crackers.
    Roll rock in front of cave.
    After three days, remove rock, see if crackers are still there.

  323. #323 Helioprogenus
    July 20, 2008

    Speaking of things, Fr.J, you speak of maturity? What respectfully mature human being believes in an imaginary omnipotent deity rules over ones life, interfering when it pleases, looks over ones every actions, and may help when it feels like, pretends to be benign when all it wants is to jealously be worshiped and ultimately will determine the fate of mankind? Well, if you don’t buy into this, then you can buy into a whole host of other bullshit that’s slung in the name of maturity.

    Look, just because you seek some form of comfort from an apathetic universe doesn’t make you mature. You can’t find it within you, partly due to your ignorance, partly to your stupidity, and mostly to your credulous behavior, to actually understand the natural processes that govern the universe. You struggle to explain your culturally derived idea of an imaginary deity, when there is no proof or evidence of any kind. Thousands of years, and all you see is your imaginary immature beliefs shrinking in light of scientific evidence. Your time on earth as morons is coming to an end soon, and you know it. No matter how hard you try, and how hard you fight, faith will ultimately lose out to evidence. You are merely wasting your life in a belief that goes beyond wrong.

  324. #324 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    July 20, 2008

    Steve @ 262

    (Doffs imaginary hat) Kudos to you sir.

  325. #325 Wowbagger
    July 20, 2008

    Helioprogenus wrote:

    Collect those Korans, Bibles, Talmuds, Crackers, Bhagavagitas, Yarmulkes, etc., and desecrate them all

    Er, can we just limit it to crackers and cheap, mass-produced versions of the books? I have a problem with destroying something that has an actual artistic value – like an beautifully illuminated bible that’s also a historical record of the history of publishing – as opposed to something that only has symbolic value.

    Just because an item that has other, worthwhile value happens to have religious significance doesn’t mean it should be destroyed. Of course, if you want to maul a few tacky plastic dashboard jesuses then go nuts; that’s doing the world two favours in one go.

  326. #326 negentropyeater
    July 20, 2008

    Aaron Baker |03,

    To continue with the example: you and I could agree, amongst ourselves, that Mrs. Jones wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the world, or even close; but if you went to John Jones and said: “Good Lord, you must be kidding; she’s got acne, a double chin, and a hairy mole on her nose,” and he punched you in the face, I think most would agree, as a matter of objective fact, that you were in part the cause of that result. Much more subjective, of course, would be the ensuing lively argument about whether you should have said such a thing, and whether you deserved what happened to you. I think that “Why in the world did he open his mouth in the first place?” would be my perfectly reasonable take on the whole business.

    Well, if John Jones was permanently criticizing both of you for how extremely ugly both your wives were, maybe you wouldn’t be asking that question…

    And don’t tell me that Mr Jones doesn’t find Atheist’s wives ugly. Atheists don’t have morals, just a bunch of communists, drug abusers, sex maniacs, homosexuals and their admirers, shouldn’t be allowed to be called citizens as this is a Christian nation…etc

    How many conservative catholics, who seem so easily offended by PZ’s threat of desecrating a cracker, have continued to vehiculate amongst themselves, variations of the following types of “typical good Christian love and tolerance argument” such as :

    “I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”– George W. Bush

    “How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy money changers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?”–Pat Robertson, The New World Order, p.227

    No need to go very far, you can find these arguments on every good catholic blog parrotted in any variation thereof thousands of times, including here on Pharyngula.

    BTW, generally, those catholics who are the most easily “offended” and who react the most to PZ’s “offense”, are not the liberal catholics, but the most conservative nutcases, who are also anti-homosexuals, anti-abortionists, misogynists, etc…

    As far as being offensive, it’s clearly not Atheists who started first.
    And at least, Atheists are, you will agree, using objectivity and rationality in their attacks, unlike the religionists.

  327. #327 wagonjak
    July 20, 2008

    Did you hear about the conceptual artist Serrano’s new piece, Piss Cracker?

    Neither have I…

  328. #328 Circe
    July 20, 2008

    PZ – thank you for being such an incredibly illuminating voice of reason. Reading blogs such as yours has been inspirational to me in seeing that there actually ARE some sane, reasonably people out there. Coupled with your courage in the face of disapproval by many religious nutters, I am in awe of scientists like yourself. I don’t know if you ever get disillusioned, but I just wanted to say what an amazing job I think you do, and how clever you are. Thank you.

  329. #329 me
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, you have to collect all the symbols of religion and do a mass desecration. Collect those Korans, Bibles, Talmuds, Crackers, Bhagavagitas, Yarmulkes, etc., and desecrate them all in one glorious cephalopodian spectacle worthy of only the lowest denominator of human achievement.

    The Bonfire of the Anti-Vanities?

  330. #330 wagonjak
    July 20, 2008

    “And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.”

    On the other hand, think of all the new people who are enjoying your other posts here who never did before!

  331. #331 CalGeorge
    July 20, 2008

    ‘I don’t need your Jesus’.

    Well said, Marilyn!

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2256/2051649819_af236f54ac.jpg?v=0

  332. #332 MTran
    July 20, 2008

    Holy-Dancin’-Frackin’-Jebus’-Tits-on-Ritz.

    Teh stupid is burning the crackerz to crispy cinderz!

    Oh, teh humanity.

  333. #333 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    The Bonfire of the Anti-Vanities?

    actually, adding the “anti” kinda deflates it.

    these symbols really ARE vanities.

  334. #334 Aaron Baker
    July 20, 2008

    Well, obviously I have no patience for those of the pious who want to verbally abuse me or others for disagreeing with them. When harassed by such, I’ll cut them off at the knees as fast as anyone else here.

    There’s said to be a taboo in America against discussing religion in any but the most anodyne ways. It’s my experience as well as yours that the very pious are much more likely to disregard this taboo than anyone else. I have mixed feelings about a taboo of this kind; but I’d like it a lot better if EVERYONE observed it.

  335. #335 mike
    July 20, 2008

    I _would_ encourage you to desecrate the Qur’an, but I would also like to continue having sex with my girlfriend, which won’t happen if I diss her religion too much. So, for the sake of my continued sex life, stick to stomping crackers. :-)

  336. #336 spurge
    July 20, 2008

    Bonfire of the inanities?

  337. #337 Slow_Twitch
    July 20, 2008

    Just Prove it’s nothing more than a cracker:
    -Try to extract DNA from it with a conventional extraction protocol.
    -Try to get RNA from it by tossing it in TRIzol and homogenizing it.
    -See if you can find any human proteins in the cracker.
    -Burn the cracker in a calorimeter.

    Rather than actively trying to ‘desecrate’ it, just show how silly this transubstantiation dreck it. You have every right to do what you want with it but actively trying to offend catholics, IMO, lends some credence to the notion that ‘atheists hate god’. I think just carrying out some objective assays demonstrate the silliness without intentionally trying to offend.

    As for the Koran, it’s just a book, so donate it to a library.

    Do what you’d like. I’m interested to see the outcome and, likely, the hypocrisy from the catholics.

  338. #338 Kobra
    July 20, 2008

    This Wednesday, July 23, 2008, shall forever be known as:

    Wafer Wednesday!

  339. #339 aleph1=c
    July 20, 2008

    Ok, so I’m thinkin’ you can draw a little Jesus on the cracker and carefully nail (pin) it to a cross, then put a little cheese in just the right places, where the stigmata would normally be. Except in this case they are smegmata.

    Just doin’ my part for the 1000 goal.

  340. #340 negentropyeater
    July 20, 2008

    MAJeff,

    The point is not to make a big deal, particularly since it’s only a cracker…Massive displays of “desecration” make it into more than a cracker.”

    Well maybe then he should simply say that he’s backing off from what he proposed initially :

    but if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I’ll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won’t be tempted to hold it hostage (no, not even if I have a choice between returning the Eucharist and watching Bill Donohue kick the pope in the balls, which would apparently be a more humane act than desecrating a goddamned cracker), but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web. I shall do so joyfully and with laughter in my heart.

  341. #341 chgo_liz
    July 20, 2008

    @322: Nice! Simple and elegant, the way an experiment should be.

    @PZ: “Check your local church on Thursday morning — think it will be a vacant lot full of rubble?”

    A girl can dream, can’t she?

  342. #342 BobC
    July 20, 2008

    negentropyeater (#326): “BTW, generally, those catholics who are the most easily ‘offended’ and who react the most to PZ’s ‘offense’, are not the liberal catholics, but the most conservative nutcases, who are also anti-homosexuals, anti-abortionists, misogynists, etc…”

    I would add creationists to your list. I bet the retarded Catholics who are so worried about cracker abuse are also evolution-deniers, also known as flat-earthers.

  343. #343 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    which won’t happen if I diss her religion too much.

    so, uh, don’t.

    I doubt PZ has designs on your girl himself, but do you mind if he goes on ahead and does her a favor?

  344. #344 John Lennon
    July 20, 2008

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace

  345. #345 H.H.
    July 20, 2008

    MAJeff, OM wrote:

    The point is not to make a big deal, particularly since it’s only a cracker. Indeed, PZ’s point all along has been that it’s only a cracker. Massive displays of “desecration” make it into more than a cracker.

    Exactly. The act of “sacrilege” that would most infuriate worshipers of the Holy Bread would probably be if PZ simply lost or misplaced it. Perhaps he could just keep it on a shelf beside a voodoo mask, a fertility sculpture, and other religious curios.

  346. #346 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    Well maybe then he should simply say that he’s backing off from what he proposed initially :

    maybe you shouldn’t interpret what he’s going to do to be anything more theatrical than dumping the lot in the trashcan?

  347. #347 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    negentroypeater,

    Wouldn’t treating a sacred object as an everyday object of no value be one of the greatest insults to it? Wouldn’t that be a vile act of breaching the boundary between sacred and profane?

    Toss it in the trash and take a picture of it, post it with an all-bold title and some music…or shit, make a video using the Dies Irae as you carry the bag containing the crackers to the trash can.

    As PZ has acknowledged, it’s a cracker. Treating it as such while wearing a smile is a gleeful act of “desecration” But all of these proposals for grand actions do turn it into something more than a cracker. The point has been that it’s merely a cracker and that it’s the religious treating it as more than such. Making a big deal is treating it as more than such.

  348. #348 Wowbagger
    July 20, 2008

    Ichthyic,

    Exactly. All PZ has said is he’s going to do exactly the same thing to the koran as he is to the crackers, and that he isn’t going to eat either.

    Don’t count your chickens until they’re desecrated…

  349. #349 speedwell
    July 20, 2008

    If this thread gets to a thousand posts, I promise you it won’t be my fault. I refuse to have anything whatsoever to to with it. Can’t blame me.

  350. #350 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    maybe you shouldn’t interpret what he’s going to do to be anything more theatrical than dumping the lot in the trashcan?

    Well, I would hope the koran will go in the paper recycling. It would be more environmentally sound.

    Just as–if they can be composted and PZ does so–I’d hope he’d compost the wafers. (At least the one’s he’s fairly sure aren’t poisoned. Even if the ones claimed to be aren’t, I’d probably put them into some kind of biohazard thing or see if poison control or law enforcement would take them.)

  351. #351 sadoctopusface
    July 20, 2008

    Delurking: If a ritual wafer is just a cracker, is a corpse just meat?

    Nobody deludes themselves that a corpse is a person (even if they delude themselves that deceased person lives on on another plane). By any strictly literal rational measure, disregarding ritual or sentimental value, a corpse is just a pile of unsanitary flesh.

    Still, if I deliberately desecrated a corpse and somebody got mad, I would consider them within their rights to be offended. Not to make death threats; just to feel violated and hostile. It seems like a bad thing to do. Even if a relative of the deceased gave me a good reason to try to offend them (like a death threat), I wouldn’t do it. You can’t really target that kind of desecration against one person and not against another. It’s offensive to a whole group of people, not just the stupid death-threats crowd.

    A corpse might sound like a more personal thing to get upset about than a cracker, but I don’t think it is. Most of us are offended by disrespectful treatment of *any* corpse, so the analogy seems apt. The only difference is that the cracker is *made* special by some agreed-upon ritual, whereas respect for the dead is probably more or less innate. I don’t think that’s a meaningful distinction, though I realize it’s being actively debated here.

    (I’ve skimmed these threads and seen lots of people and trolls make this general point, but I haven’t seen corpse desecration mentioned. Relurking now …)

  352. #352 Kel
    July 20, 2008

    There’s something incredibly disturbing about Catholic’s who are trying to get PZ to not desecrate their deified bread willingly sending the sacred text of another religion to get desecrated. It’s disturbing on a few fronts:
    * That they think that if someone should offend them, they must offend others.
    * this is a huge case of fatwa envy (as has been pointed out several times)
    * it’s an incredibly offensive act to Muslims, something by even suggesting it is just as offensive as suggesting the desecration of the Eucharist.

    It’s sad that Catholics by doing this have shown they have no regard at all for the beliefs on others, and by sending The Koran they have shown themselves to be hypocritical. That’s really sickening, and it comes from the people using being offended to gain the moral highground.

    How pathetic.

  353. #353 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    Just as–if they can be composted and PZ does so–I’d hope he’d compost the wafers. (At least the one’s he’s fairly sure aren’t poisoned. Even if the ones claimed to be aren’t, I’d probably put them into some kind of biohazard thing or see if poison control or law enforcement would take them.)

    meh, I find myself really caring little what PZ decides to do with the junk in the end.

    As I said; in my mind, the mission is already accomplished.

    We have the records to point back to: the endless inane arguments in favor of cracker-deities as well as the records of the criminally insane, and those of the few who actually did get the point and are now rethinking exactly what it means to “believe as a Catholic”, which in the end, is more than I would have ever aspired to if I myself had decided to don the firesuit on this topic. Whatever is decided on to end this act, the story has already pretty much been told.

    The Overton Window has been moved, and in our favor.

    IMO, it’s already time to move on to the next thing that will work to move it even further.

  354. #354 Kel
    July 20, 2008

    Delurking: If a ritual wafer is just a cracker, is a corpse just meat?

    The corpse is just a corpse. If people were claiming the corpse turned into a butterfly, then it would be an apt comparison. The cracker remains a cracker despite the ritual, that’s the whole point. It was a cracker, and it will remain a cracker. The line of being offended that it wasn’t stomping on a ritual or something they hold dear, it was that it’s desecrating Jesus. And on that, it’s the Catholics who are claiming the cracker is more than a cracker.

  355. #355 SC
    July 20, 2008

    Wow, sadoctopusface! You’ve really made me think! That’s a wholly original analogy, which absolutely no one has put forth in all of the several thousand previous comments on the subject. What a brilliant contribution to the discussion. Well done!

  356. #356 Neural Transmissions
    July 20, 2008

    BTW, PZ, here’s a Movable Type plugin for threaded comments:

    http://akosut.com/software/mtthreadedcomments.html

    Now that you’re consistently getting hundreds of comments to your blog posts, this would be really helpful.

    Just a suggestion.

  357. #357 PoxyHowzes
    July 20, 2008

    (Well, I’m in around 1K/3)

    Back a few months ago during the “Jesus Family” kerfluffle (remember the limestone box that had supposedly contained the remains of JXC?) someone, tongue planted firmly in cheek, suggested that the box be used as a source of DNA with which to determine God’s origin, and thus test Evolution.

    I suggest that PZ use the wafers to perform a similar test, and thus to prove that JXC (and therefore his father, g_d) is in fact a grain closely aligned to wheat. Should be good for a peer-reviewable paper, maybe a couple!

    Then we enlightened ones, (maybe we should call ourselves the Church of the Grain of Truth (informally, the “wheaties”), backed by unimpeachable evidence, can start a PETA-like movement to ban the “desecration” of grain by cutting it (harvesting) and by beating the h–l out of it (threshing.)

    Between PETA and us Wheaties, we could probably determine, with the highest religious reasoning, that everything grown, (except for what might grow in the Garden of Eatin’) is too holy to consume, and thus we will ensure that we and one more generation will quickly meet for everlasting loafing in the great granary in the sky.

  358. #358 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    Nobody deludes themselves that a corpse is a person

    hmm I keep thinking about preserved saints being paraded at WYD as I write this…
    and then wondering if you’re sure about that?

    http://fivepublicopinions.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/sydney-world-youth-day-corpse-worshipping-cultists-gathering-to-worship-a-corpse/

  359. #359 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    hmm I keep thinking about preserved saints being paraded at WYD as I write this…

    they brought some box with a heart in it here to Boston a year or so ago. There’s some bizarre death fetishism going on with those folks.

  360. #360 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    #351
    If it can be verified scientifically that a transubstantiated wafer is a corpse I’ll buy your analogy. Until then, it’s just a cracker.
    The Catholic Church falls back on the sophistry of the accident/essence excuse to cover their ass when there is no molecular chang detected by scientific means. Scrutinizing a Jesus wafer in the lab would result in zero gain of reason and rationality among RCC god believers but it would sure be interesting as a social experiment.

  361. #361 Cheezits
    July 20, 2008

    Since religious belief is for bird-brains, why not crumble up the cracker and cast it on the ground for the local pigeons?

    It’s not against any religion to want to dispose of a pigeon!

    I’m not so sure you have to do *anything* now; just having the wafers is already desecration, isn’t it?

  362. #362 MAJeff, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Now, moving things toward 1000…

    I’ve got the Jonny Depp version of Willy Wonka on TV tonight. I stick with my first assessment that the original Oompa Loompas were far superior to their more recent incarnation.

    Still torn on Gene Wilder vs. Jonny Depp because they’re really such different characters.

  363. #363 clinteas
    July 20, 2008

    Late to the party.Since everything that could possibly be said pro and con the cracker has already been said,I only want to say this :

    PZ,you are dealing with dangerously,murderously deluded people,esp.if you start pissing the Koran folks.You have a family and kids that need a father.This may all be well-meaning to make a point about the absurdity of religion,but this is putting your life in danger.
    IMO : Not worth it !!

  364. #364 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    ” Gene Wilder vs. Jonny Depp”

    I vote Gene Wilder. Johnny Depp’s Wonka was a little too MJ, for me.

  365. #365 Ghost of Minnesota
    July 20, 2008

    The cracker is a symbol, as is the act of desecrating it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, desecrating a cracker can change the world.

    And right now, this world needs more than a cracker. It needs hope.

  366. #366 Neural T
    July 20, 2008

    Ghost of Minnesota,

    It needs reason. It needs an end to faith and superstition.

  367. #367 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    they brought some box with a heart in it here to Boston a year or so ago. There’s some bizarre death fetishism going on with those folks.

    I think it goes beyond “fetish”.

    It’s that they would threaten to kill me if I even considered pissing on a SACRED corpse (like the dead “saint” currently being dragged around Australia), that otherwise holds no logical attachment for them whatsoever (nobody they ever knew, nor ever related to them in any way).
    It is authority attaching relevance that simply doesn’t exist outside of the rationalizations generated by the authority itself. As such, the logic behind criticizing it is exactly the same as that behind criticizing the “sacredness” of a cracker.

    It’s not the emotional attachment to symbols or items that are being criticized here (humans will be humans)… it’s the rationalizations BEHIND those attachments that are being criticized.

    Nobody is ever taught a biscuit is sacred and inviolable outside of the CC, or that a corpse being dragged around in a box should have some personal significance or intercessionary value (what, is it a fucking blarney stone?).

    there simply is no basis for attaching significance to items outside of pure authoritarian vanity.

    hence, why i rather thought the comment on “bonfire of the vanities” was actually pretty appropriate without the “anti”. The CC is anything but anti-vanity.

    thinking a cracker is sacred is a vanity.

    thinking a corpse has value if dragged around on a roadtrip is a vanity.

    yes, make a bonfire of it all.

  368. #368 Catherine
    July 20, 2008

    PZ, I *heart* you.

  369. #369 craig
    July 20, 2008

    I dunno about this koran thing. I don’t think it’s really a good idea to treat one in the same way you treat a cracker.
    Not that you shouldn’t “desecrate” it, but it just seems to me that an interesting and instructive way to desecrate a cracker might not be an interesting and instructive way to treat a koran.

    Like, you might do an experiment where you test consecrated crackers and unconsecrated ones and show that there’s no difference, but what would the point be with showing the koran is just a book?

    Artistically it just seems to me that they cry out for different forms of desecration.

  370. #370 Holbach
    July 20, 2008

    Neural T @ 366 My sentiments exactly, but with no forseeable change. Your comment is so wasted on Max, who deserves nothing more but tainted crackers.

  371. #371 craig
    July 20, 2008

    “communion wafer, in a block of Lucite”

    Wow… that would be, like, the Catholic version of Han Solo in carbonite. Cool.

  372. #372 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    just having the wafers is already desecration, isn’t it?

    ayup.

    likewise for the Qu’ran, IIRC (PZ being an infidel and all).

  373. #373 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 20, 2008

    Even if there were an alternate reality in which Gary Silis’s logic in his diatribe against god-deniers and their fate could be valid, all it proves is that his god’s modus operandi pertaining to the treatment of others is absolutely no different from that of a terrorist (to use a popular modern comparison), because he is basically saying that as a matter of policy, he murders those that do not capitulate to him. Quite moral beacon of light, if you ask me.

  374. #374 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    they brought some box with a heart in it here to Boston a year or so ago.

    From the folds of her gown, she lifted a green metal cube about fifteen centimeters on a side. She turned it and Paul saw that one side was open – black and oddly frightening. Paul slowly put his hand into the box. He first felt a sense of cold as the blackness closed around his hand, then slick metal against his fingers and a prickling as though his hand were asleep…

    “What’s in the box?”

    “Pain.”

  375. #375 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    he murders those that do not capitulate to him.

    just culling the herd…
    :P

  376. #376 Jared
    July 20, 2008

    Hey, Mike, if real mad scientists have to be bald, I guess I fit in nicely to that club… How do I join?

  377. #377 Krubozumo Nyakoye
    July 20, 2008

    Hey Ichthyic @ 367

    Long time no see, remember the fish pictures I put on the web?
    I never had time to set up anything for a response so maybe you could give me some names in this thread (and boost the count closer to 1000) and I might see it. I have to go back to work in 6-8 hrs depending on the promptness of the crews and then will be back to no comms mode. If its too much trouble, its not a problem but I am still curious. If you have any rocks you want to identify, I could reciprocate!

    Cheers,

  378. #378 craig
    July 20, 2008

    Wait… here we go. Set a box on fire.
    Inside the box is either crackers or a koran. Challenge people to find out from their god which it was.

  379. #379 craig
    July 20, 2008

    “And right now, this world needs more than a cracker. It needs hope.”

    What the world needs now is love. Sweet love.
    That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.

  380. #380 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 20, 2008

    just culling the herd… :P

    Posted by: Ichthyic | July 20, 2008 11:00 PM

    {hits the nail on the head}

    And that is exactly the best way to ensure that the population remains submissive to your tyrannical and intolerant system of beliefs – eliminate the ones who have developed enough intellectual independence to attempt to understand the world in terms that seem reasonable to them. Get rid of these people, and you not only remove the immediate threat, but you diminish their prevalence in the gene pool. Agents of organized religion may be irrational in their beliefs, but they are painfully pragmatic in their pursuit of hegemony.

  381. #381 Wilson
    July 20, 2008

    “Set a box on fire. Inside the box is either crackers or a koran. Challenge people to find out from their god which it was.”

    Hmm. Schrödinger desecration… I kind of like it.

    I was going to propose a “will it blend” experiment, but I see that three other people have already done it. Still, a video of this should be enough to get PZ on CNN. Which may or may not be a good thing.

  382. #382 Con
    July 20, 2008

    You’re a fucking coward. Grow some balls and walk into a Mosque and desecrate their Koran. If you were really the tough guy you’re acting like you would do that. After all ‘it’s only a book’. You could also encourage people to walk into a mosque and grab one for you so you can abuse it on the web. Of course you won’t do that because you’re a pussy. You know Catholics won’t hurt you so you are picking a fight with them. If you had any balls you would go after the people that will really fight back.

  383. #383 Wowbagger
    July 20, 2008

    Con,

    You’re a week too late and a fool to boot. Go peddle your ignorance, hypocrisy and fatwa envy somewhere else.

  384. #384 Kel
    July 20, 2008

    You’re a fucking coward. Grow some balls and walk into a Mosque and desecrate their Koran.

    More fatwa envy…

  385. #385 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    Con:
    Bravo!
    I’m so glad you are the first to suggest this.
    It must make you feel so manly and smart.
    Watch your blood pressure, tough guy, or you might have an aneurysm.

  386. #386 AgnoAtheist
    July 20, 2008

    Con (#392)

    Since you want PZ to go into a mosque and desecrate a Koran is it okay then for him to go into a Catholic eucharistic service and desecrate that or are you just bigoted against muslims?

  387. #387 Ichthyic
    July 20, 2008

    Long time no see, remember the fish pictures I put on the web?

    sure do. I posted my best guesses in that thread. should still be there if you still have the link to it.

    if not, I think I could dig it up for you.

    how are you?

    still in SA?

    If you have any rocks you want to identify, I could reciprocate!

    actually, yes I do. I have a large mineral collection, and lost the tags for many specimens years ago. Most I can still recall straight from memory, some I cannot.

    shoot me an email here:

    fisheyephotosAThotmailDOTcom and I’ll forward some pics along to you, along with that list of fish ID’s.

    cheers

  388. #388 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    “Of course you won’t do that because you’re a pussy.”

    Juvenile taunts from an infantile mind.

  389. #389 craig
    July 20, 2008

    “”Set a box on fire. Inside the box is either crackers or a koran. Challenge people to find out from their god which it was.”

    Hmm. Schrödinger desecration… I kind of like it.

    Yes. And don’t reveal the answer. And those Catholics who said he should desecrate a Koran? Sit back and watch their heads explode as they can’t figure out whether to be outraged or celebratory.

  390. #390 E.V.
    July 20, 2008

    Ichthyic:
    Your mom called, your sister called twice, and you have a dental appointment Thursday. Want us to forward the rest of your messages?

  391. #391 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 20, 2008

    You’re a fucking coward. Grow some balls and walk into a Mosque and desecrate their Koran. If you were really the tough guy you’re acting like you would do that. After all ‘it’s only a book’. You could also encourage people to walk into a mosque and grab one for you so you can abuse it on the web. Of course you won’t do that because you’re a pussy. You know Catholics won’t hurt you so you are picking a fight with them. If you had any balls you would go after the people that will really fight back.

    Hello dumb dumb

  392. #392 Kseniya
    July 20, 2008

    Ooh. Dune reference!

  393. #393 Ghost of Minnesota
    July 21, 2008

    Con:

    PZ has already clearly stated that he’s going to give the Koran the same treatment as the cracker. No, he’s not going to walk into a mosque when he does it, but he’s not going to walk into into a Catholic church, either. The desecration of both objects will occur in the comfort of his own home. Or office. Or wherever.

  394. #394 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    Ichthyic:
    Your mom called, your sister called twice, and you have a dental appointment Thursday. Want us to forward the rest of your messages?

    naw, they were auto-texted to me already. you can clear the machine now.

    don’t forget to dust the furniture, though.
    ;)

  395. #395 Owlmirror
    July 21, 2008

    Yet Another Wafer Project

    (This is a sort of followup to this:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/wide_open_thread_for_anything.php#comment-988959

    Note that this could be done in addition to the project linked back to. If video is taken, it could be interspliced with video from the previous project described
    )

    Things you will need:

    1) Books (or websites) that are listed as references in:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_desecration
    (Don’t want to get messed up by any potential Wiki vandalism or typos)

    2) Take from (1) above, the exact statistics of those massacred because of host desecration

    3) Many, many wafers (see statistics from step 2). They can be bought in bulk here, among other places:

    http://moroneys.com/gds20.htm

    4) Largish area of land, to hold rectangle of wafers. I am not sure if manicured lawn or bare earth is better; the latter might contrast better with the pale white wafers.

    5) Cameras, still and video. You might need the help of a professional/high-end amateur photographer/videographer.

    Procedure:

    1) Push wafers vertically in ground, stopping halfway, such that they look like half-circle tombstones.

    2) Say: “This is the number of people killed because people thought that harming a piece of baked dough was a capital crime. These were real human beings whose lives were deemed less important than a cracker.” Emphasize that while most of the wafers were bought in bulk, some were consecrated. Again, no-one can tell the difference.

    3) Take photographs.

    4) Take video, panning over crackers.

    Alternative:

    Separate rectangles of plots for each incident, with the dates and locations written out. Point out how number diminishes towards the present. “Please note that so far, no people have been murdered for injuring crackers in the 21st century. Is it too much to ask to keep it that way?”

    Again with the quotes from first link above.

  396. #396 J. D. Mack
    July 21, 2008

    I realize that anything I post here is just more noise, but I want to post this anyway.

    I was raised Catholic. I do not know what the official Catholic Church position is about transubstantiation, but here is what I was taught by my priest. He said that the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ was a metaphysical transformation, and that if you analyzed the bread and wine after being blessed, it would still appear to be bread and wine. Maybe some Catholics believe they are taking part in literal cannibalism, but I never did, nor did anyone at my church that I know of.

    J. D.

  397. #397 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    You’re a fucking coward. Grow some balls and walk into a Mosque and desecrate their Koran… If you had any balls you would go after the people that will really fight back.

    Posted by: Con | July 20, 2008 11:36 PM

    And you’re a fucking hypocrite. How about you walk into a mosque and tell them that they are all apostates and heretics for recognizing a false prophet in Mohammad, and that because of that they have strayed from your god’s intended path. Oh, and if you truly don’t believe such things in the comfort of your own circles, be so kind as to post on here why you don’t agree with the assertions of the leaders of Christian faith. If you had any brains, you’d realize your diatribe was wholly idiotic.

  398. #398 E.V.
    July 21, 2008

    J.D.:
    So did you feel your priest was lying to you? That he was relating myth because it was expected of him but he didn’t buy into it – just toeing the company line?
    Was it normal for the congregation to pick and choose as to the validity of what priests taught? “I’ll believe this but I refuse to believe that.”
    So, it’s just theater evidently.

  399. #399 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    Ooh. Dune reference!

    *bing*

    I couldn’t help but post it after Jeff described “the Box”.

  400. #400 AgnoAtheist
    July 21, 2008

    J.D.

    Apparently that’s not the official teaching. Even so, were you then participating in metaphysical cannibalism? Exactly how were you taking the body and blood of Christ? If it’s just symbolic then why all the humbug? I’m not picking on you, just the foolishness.

  401. #401 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    So, it’s just theater evidently.

    or, to be more precise according to William Dembski…

    Street Theater*.

    * a reference I doubt but a few who recall how Will likes to cover up his foibles in public speaking and blogging would get, but I felt the urge.

  402. #402 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    Some religions persist for the same reason that gangs persist. When you initiate into some gangs, the only way out is death (either by natural causes, getting killed by a rival gang, or your own gang if you try to leave). That type of ruthless meme has high fitness (for itself).

    Likewise, it’s not surprising the most violent religions (Islam today and Christianity in the past) grew so rapidly. Memes have differential survival and reproductive success, too.

  403. #403 Paguroidea
    July 21, 2008

    I agree with Ichthyic’s #353 comment that the Overton window has been moved. Hopefully some people will rethink the irrational attachment they place on symbols, and how crazy it is to have people making death threats over such symbols. I envision more and more people lifting the Overton window as it keeps moving to the side of reason. I wonder what the next thing will be that moves the window. Any ideas?

  404. #404 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    He said that the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ was a metaphysical transformation, and that if you analyzed the bread and wine after being blessed, it would still appear to be bread and wine.

    Posted by: J. D. Mack | July 21, 2008 12:01 AM

    I had a priest tell me something strikingly similar, but after stating that here and being called on it, I did the research that confirmed that Catholic doctrine asserts that though the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ may be metaphysical in nature, that in no way means that they believe the transformation to be anything less that reality. So while you took his explanation to mean that the transformation was an act of reverent symbolism (as I did, as well), what such explanations actually intend to convey is that while scientific examination will prove no physical transformation has taken place, they claim that the transformation is on a metaphysical level – meaning not that it isn’t real, but instead that there will never be any tangible method of proving it wrong. It is, quite plainly, an evasion used in order to prevent the possibility of refuting their irrational claim.

  405. #405 AgnoAtheist
    July 21, 2008

    BrokenSoldier

    Con’s conments are more than idiotic. They are mean spirited. The unspoken wish is for terrible harm to come to PZ.

  406. #406 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 21, 2008

    * a reference I doubt but a few who recall how Will likes to cover up his foibles in public speaking and blogging would get, but I felt the urge.

    How could anyone who saw his antics forget?

    No I wasn’t wrong. I WAS ACTING!!

    /John Lovitz Master Thespian voice

  407. #407 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    July 21, 2008

    Just my HO here but for what its worth.

    It has been shown clearly and unambiguously in these several threads and the thousands of posts to them that religion per se can generate irrational and despicable response on a purely emotional level if it is challenged. Based on history alone it is not unreasonable to conclude that this is a dangerous delusion. It can also be applied across the board, hindus will in fact murder muslims if they are offended, muslims will murder christians if they are offended, christians will murder hindus if they are offended, etc. etc. All of them will willingly murder atheists just because they are offended that anyone can have a decent and productive life without sucking on the teat of belief for its duration. It offends them because it reveals how cowardly and tenuous their hold on life really is. I feel sorry for them, I have empathy, but not much.

    Why not? Well, because it is a well known fact that all the
    praying, sacrificing, and juju you can muster will not in any way, alter the circumstances, the reality of what we face as individuals, as nations, or as a species. Science has opened our eyes to the fact that we do indeed have a kind of dominion, and that it is without any supernatural guidance. We are running down a tightrope into the abyss of extinction because we are too deluded by con men and swindlers to realize that in the immortal words of Pogo, we have met the enemy and they are us.

    The fact is for all of those preoccupied with revering a bait and switch scam called the Eucharist, and all those others, clinging to tawdry myths, that we are already into deep deficit. Name any resource you want, we are using more of it than we can replace with new sources. The top two are oxygen and water.

    The RCC has a set of policies that are deliberately intended to increase the population of humans on this planet. So do the muslims, perhaps other religions have similar tenants. They are all obscenely wrong.

    To the others in this thread who have said eductaion is a cure for this, I agree to the theory, but the evidence is not encouraging. Education can be as easily subverted as discourse by those who parasitically exploit the poor, the weak, and the uninformed.

    This is not an argument over philosophys, we are being tested by natural selection. Evolution is a fact, and so is extinction.

    Those few of us with a vision of the true potential of huaman intellect, must choose whether it is worth the risk to confront and challenge the ignorant masses. They are not iginorant by choice, but by the design and desire of those who grow rich from their blood sweat and tears.

  408. #408 Ron in Houston
    July 21, 2008

    E.V.

    Damn you. You’ve found my weakness. I’m a beer whore. Buy me a beer and I’ll follow you anywhere.

  409. #409 negentropyeater
    July 21, 2008

    MAJeff,

    whatever treatment he will give to these crackers as long as he wants to add much fanfare to it and treat them with heinous cracker abuse, I don’t really understand how the point can be not to make it a big deal.

    I actually think he should postpone from doing this as long as he can and leverage the fact that he has only so far threatened to do it to gain more share of voice and try to get the attention of the mainstream media and refocus his message as he has done recently on civil liberties and to expose the intolerance of many religionists towards non believers. His proposal to give back these Eucharists if the catholic church would disavowe Bill Donohue seemed such an intelligent proposal that it would be a pitty not to continue along those lines.

    As soon as he will place pictures, wether they are in a trashcan or whatever, it will still be a public act of desecration, and if he does it too early, it might not even get the attention of the mainstream media. It might as well just stop there and be a flop from a public relations perspective.

  410. #410 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    How could anyone who saw his antics forget?
    No I wasn’t wrong. I WAS ACTING!!
    /John Lovitz Master Thespian voice

    one of these days I should revisit ATBC.

  411. #411 raven
    July 21, 2008

    con the moronic troll:

    You’re a fucking coward. Grow some balls and walk into a Mosque and desecrate their Koran. If you were really the tough guy you’re acting like you would do that. After all ‘it’s only a book’. You could also encourage people to walk into a mosque and grab one for you so you can abuse it on the web. Of course you won’t do that because you’re a pussy. You know Catholics won’t hurt you so you are picking a fight with them. If you had any balls you would go after the people that will really fight back.

    Since it is your idea, why don’t you do it?Oh that is right, you are only brave when babbling anonymously on the internet using an alias.

    Trying to hide behind a 50 something college professor and using an alias is the ultimate in cowardice. Like all trolls you are real brave behind a keyboard posting incoherent nonsense but, wisely, afraid to cross the street without your caretaker.

  412. #412 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    I’m a beer whore. Buy me a beer and I’ll follow you anywhere.

    there’s free beer just outside, Ron.

    Don’t mind the door, we promise we’ll keep it unlocked.

    *snicker*

  413. #413 chrisD
    July 21, 2008

    I second OwlMirror in the endeavor. To think we spent the whole 20th century without a death due to Host desecration only to have that record stand on shaky ground in the 21st.

  414. #414 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    I don’t remember whose idea it was, but I thought it was a brilliant one:

    Simulate the digestive process with the Cracker Jesus, mortar, pestle, saliva, and something approximating stomach acids.

  415. #415 Bob Vogel
    July 21, 2008

    god, this is a great way to pass a lazy Sunday afternoon after mowing my lawn…

    Go PZ

  416. #416 Hez
    July 21, 2008

    Stick the wafer on a doll and get some crackpot voodoo chick to stab the shit out of it.

  417. #417 john
    July 21, 2008

    This is insane. Have you learned nothing? We will not let up, shut up, or go away until disciplinary action is attained. By the way, go ahead and send me to the dungeon and show how much you REALLY believe in free speech. You liberals are all the same. An old professor I had a few years ago once said “Behind every liberal there lies hidden a tyrant.” You and your followers have proven him right. Anyway, the point is this will not go away any time soon and you continue to be an embarrassment to your profession and university.

  418. #418 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    You liberals are all the same.

    blah blah blah.

    apologies to Jeff’s toes.

  419. #419 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    We will not let up, shut up, or go away until disciplinary action is attained.

    That’s never going to happen. And buddy, I bet you and yours will get bored of whining eventually. If not, hey, screech until your throat is sore, and see who gives a shit.

  420. #420 Wowbagger
    July 21, 2008

    John, #417 (at this point), bleated:

    This is insane. Have you learned nothing?

    The hypocrisy! It burns!

  421. #421 Netjeret
    July 21, 2008

    Not having yet read all the comments, I don’t suppose anyone has suggested a very special Will It Blend on YouTube yet? You could throw the Jes-it and the Koran in there together, even toss in a Yarmulke just to round out the big 3.

  422. #422 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    By the way, go ahead and send me to the dungeon and show how much you REALLY believe in free speech.

    “Shoot me in the head and show how much you REALLY believe in there being no second amendment right to bear arms, you liberals!”

  423. #423 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    By the way, go ahead and send me to the dungeon and show how much you REALLY believe in free speech.

    Posted by: john | July 21, 2008 12:45 AM

    What an idiot – you’re entitled to speak freely, but should you violate the posted rules of conduct PZ outlined for this blog, he can ensure that you won’t do so again by preventing you from commenting here anymore (which is all explicity stated on this blog before you ever showed up). That doesn’t mean you’re not free to continue being an irrational apologist – it just means you won’t be able to do it here anymore, since you’ve already proven you can’t follow simple instructions.

  424. #424 wrpd
    July 21, 2008

    #379: Quoting Jackie DeShannon? Well, actually Bert Bacharach. That is low.
    Out of nowhere: In 1979 I won 25 lbs of fudge in a radio contest because I knew Jackie’s real name.

  425. #425 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Trying to hide behind a 50 something college professor and using an alias is the ultimate in cowardice.

    Posted by: raven | July 21, 2008 12:28 AM

    And does anyone else find it as funny as I do that an irrational nutcase that defends religious faith through implicity threatening statements chose “Con” as his alias?

  426. #426 Eric
    July 21, 2008

    BORING.

    Enough with crackergate. I vote for just forgetting the whole event ever happened at all. By Thor’s Mighty Hammer, It’s just a silly cracker!

  427. #427 Ghost of Minnesota
    July 21, 2008

    John @ 417:

    Who’s being tyrannical? It’s your side that’s making ridiculous demands that PZ refrain from being mean to crackers. We’re not trying to stop you and your ilk from doing anything, nor are we trying to force you to do anything. We’d just prefer if you’d leave us to be mean to crackers in peace.

  428. #428 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    What an idiot – you’re entitled to speak freely, but should you violate the posted rules of conduct PZ outlined for this blog, he can ensure that you won’t do so again by preventing you from commenting here anymore (which is all explicity stated on this blog before you ever showed up). That doesn’t mean you’re not free to continue being an irrational apologist – it just means you won’t be able to do it here anymore, since you’ve already proven you can’t follow simple instructions.

    Oh, brokensoldier, john can’t understand you anyway. Conservatives are generally incapable of parsing the First Amendment. Hilariously, they tend to hold absolutist views of property, with metaphors of kings, castles and domains, and all the absolute rule that imagery entails. He’d shoot you for walking into his house uninvited, but john demands that also he be allowed to use PZ’s space for whatever he pleases. He couldn’t tell you how this is hypocritical, either.

  429. #429 raven
    July 21, 2008

    John the homeless insane street person:

    An old professor I had a few years ago once said “Behind every liberal there lies hidden a tyrant.” You and your followers have proven him right. , the point is this will not go away any time soon and you continue to be an embarrassment to your profession and university.

    Well, we believe “this” will not go away soon. You obviously are mentally ill and those diseases are notoriously hard to treat.

    Do you really think while you wheel your shopping cart around the park, drinking cheap wine, and ranting and raving, that anyone gives a damn what the voices in your head are saying?

    Remember, in between bottles to gather lots of cardboard for the winter. And keep your eyes open for recyclable bottles and cans.

  430. #430 Wowbagger
    July 21, 2008

    Eric’s probably right. I’m actually surprised the fundies haven’t realised no-one’s paying attention to them and done something stupid to try and get some press.

    Or maybe they’re happy someone else’s patently stupid ideas – those that they don’t share – are being hammered for a change.

  431. #431 Knight of the Sethi
    July 21, 2008

    PZ:

    The reason that you are getting the response that you observe is that your original ‘cracker’ post is correctly classified as hateful and bigoted. That’s simply an accurate analysis, and that was my immediate observation when you originally posted. People who are the victims of the kind of denigration that you express do not really know how to respond – and indeed it is difficult to respond to.

    What is very clear is that you and your followers are blinding yourself to your bigotry by retreating to an oversimplified position of science vs. superstition. The expression of bigotry that you ‘cracker’ post manifests has nothing to do with belief or non-belief in a god, Nor is your position a meaningful protest against what you perceive as superstitious beliefs.

    If instead of a church, the story had been that an individual walked into a small town bank, took some money, and then left, it would not be a cogent argument to belittle the townsfolk for getting all worked up over someone stealing ‘just some printed paper’. While money is in a certain sense just a piece of printed paper, it is also much more. It is a physical representation of a widespread and deeply held set of beliefs, customs, and accepted agreements that are part of our present civilization’s culture.

    Catholics are long standing subculture of people who define themselves by customs, beliefs, and traditions, like many many other subcultures. The traditions of Catholics include rituals, and the ritual of the eucharist appears to be a highly cherished one. Saying ‘it’s just a cracker’ is an obvious falsehood due to the item’s role in the tradition. Therefore the way this falsehood is going to be implicitly interpreted is as you expressing the view that Catholics, as a people, culture, and tradition, are so beneath you as to not exist. That is; The only way ‘it’s just a cracker’ can be a truth is for Catholics to not exist. And so you have implicitly stated that Catholics are of such worthlessness that they so much as do not exist.

    The reality is that you have expressed a particularly severe bigotry, worse than a simple slur. That is the reason for the emotional response. You no doubt attempt justification of your expressions on the grounds that Catholics are promulgating what you view as superstition. However, that matter is not relevant to determining whether or not you are expressing bigotry.

    And, a reading of the additional posts and extensive commentary does indeed reveal a combined attitude that is best described as ‘hateful’.

  432. #432 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    By Thor’s Mighty Hammer, It’s just a silly cracker!

    next up:

    hammergate.

    somebody get me a bag of hammers.

  433. #433 zy
    July 21, 2008

    I have the perfect solution for both crackers and Korans: papier mâché. Use ‘em both to make a pińata then bash the hell out of it!

  434. #434 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    your original ‘cracker’ post is correctly classified as [a response to] hateful and bigotedry.

    fixed that for you.

  435. #435 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    Well, we believe “this” will not go away soon. You obviously are mentally ill and those diseases are notoriously hard to treat.

    Do you really think while you wheel your shopping cart around the park, drinking cheap wine, and ranting and raving, that anyone gives a damn what the voices in your head are saying?

    All the homeless people I’ve known, including the mentally ill ones, have been much more friendly than john. Most were more creative, too.

  436. #436 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    And, a reading of the additional posts and extensive commentary [from religious zealots] does indeed reveal a combined attitude that is best described as ‘hateful’.

    fixed that too.

    just combine your corrected first and last sentence, and dump the rest.

    then you might start making some sense.

  437. #437 Owlmirror
    July 21, 2008

    This is insane.

    Yes, you are.

    Have you learned nothing?

    I’ve learned that trolls are frequently rude and stupid. You’re certainly an example of both.

    We will not let up, shut up, or go away until disciplinary action is attained.

    How dull. Have you nothing better to do with your lives?

    By the way, go ahead and send me to the dungeon and show how much you REALLY believe in free speech.

    So do you believe in free speech or not? Either you do, in which case PZ is doing nothing wrong, or you don’t, which explains your case of the vapors. Which is it?

    You liberals are all the same.

    Yes, “liberal” does usually mean “believes in freedom”.

    An old professor I had a few years ago once said “Behind every liberal there lies hidden a tyrant.”

    And I’m sorry to see that he was becoming senile. What do you think he was trying to say?

    You and your followers have proven him right.

    You can’t prove a contradiction in terms “right”.

    Anyway, the point is this will not go away any time soon and you continue to be an embarrassment to your profession and university.

    Eh. You’re just addicted to outrage. Eventually you’ll find something else to point at and shriek like a neurotic maiden aunt who has just seen a spider squid in the toilet.

  438. #438 Rey Fox
    July 21, 2008

    “By the way, go ahead and send me to the dungeon and show how much you REALLY believe in free speech.”

    Go ahead and try to get a tenured professor fired and show how much YOU really believe in free speech. Crackerhead.

  439. #439 Crab Grass
    July 21, 2008

    Knight of the Sethi,

    Interesting post, but I have a few questions for you. First, everyone agrees that money is money because we agree that’s what we agree it is, right? Surely you don’t intend to put the Holy Eucharist on the same level, do you? I mean, it’s supposed literally to be the body and blood of Jesus Christ, not merely deemed so by common agreement. I think that’s where the problem lies. Second, no one denies that money, while it is money because we say it is so, is not also just a piece of paper. The same cannot be said for a consecrated wafer.

    I’m certainly not authorized to speak for PZ, but I’d imagine that the real issue comes from the claim that the wafer transubstantiates into the flesh of a living god. PZ, being a materialist (a good thing in my book), demands evidence, and it is not forthcoming. This is why some non-believers say that faith is belief despite the evidence.

    You might not like PZ’s style. As an atheist, I sometimes find his way of putting this counter-productive for the goal of communicating with people who believe things despite the evidence to the contrary, but if your goal is to keep people in the fold, he’s actually helping you in. When confronted in a blunt manner, people just get angry, dig in their heels and stop thinking about anything other than being insulted. That helps your side more than it does PZ’s own cause.

  440. #440 Owlmirror
    July 21, 2008

    somebody get me a bag of hammers.

    That’s just dumb.

    (ba-dum-KSH!)

  441. #441 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Oh, brokensoldier, john can’t understand you anyway.

    Posted by: Grammar RWA | July 21, 2008 1:08 AM

    I know, I know – I shouldn’t indulge his ilk…I’d stop trying to be rational to these types, but damn is it hard not to respond to idiocy of that caliber!

  442. #442 Rey Fox
    July 21, 2008

    “People who are the victims of the kind of denigration that you express do not really know how to respond – and indeed it is difficult to respond to.”

    Yeah, I agree, Webster Cook has had a really rough time lately.

  443. #443 raven
    July 21, 2008

    All the homeless people I’ve known, including the mentally ill ones, have been much more friendly than john. Most were more creative, too.

    Agreed. John is most likely in a supervised living situation or locked up somewhere.

    What isn’t in doubt is that he is stark raving crazy.

  444. #444 Maragon
    July 21, 2008

    It saddens me that I actually fear for the safety of Dr. Myers because of his intention to desecrate the Quran.

    However, the fact that these religious fanatics have us so terrified is only more of a reason for PZ to stand up to them.

    If we continue to bow down to threats of violence, we may lose our ability to criticism the Quran at all.

  445. #445 Ghost of Minnesota
    July 21, 2008

    “People who are the victims of the kind of denigration that you express do not really know how to respond – and indeed it is difficult to respond to.”

    No, it’s actually pretty easy. They can just say to themselves, “Not everybody in the world holds sacred the same things I hold sacred, and it doesn’t make much sense to expect them to behave as though they do,” and then get on with their lives, not concerning themselves with what Dr. Myers does to crackers.

    You can consider Elvis’s underwear sacred if you want to, but don’t expect the rest of us to tiptoe around your delicate sensibilities.

  446. #446 B43
    July 21, 2008

    This comment will probably be lost in the crowd. The count is already at 416.
    PZ, I’m really concerned for your safety. There seems to be some crazy people out there who I think will take violent action against you if you carry out your “desecration” rather than just threaten you. I think it’s time to back off.

  447. #447 PsiWavefunction
    July 21, 2008

    I’ll echo #446 and say:

    PZ, please be careful. All it takes is one psycopathic nutcase. And there’s plenty of them you’ve enraged…

    Standing up for free speech and atheist rights is a noble endeavour; however, personal safety is a prerequisite for that quest. It’ll be better if we all contribute a little rather than prominent figures doing drastic things and risking their lives…

    It seems like your generation is bearing the grunt of this madness; but you don’t have to. We too are angry, and we too will stand up when able to do so. Leave some of the fight to us, for your own sake!

    Take care,

    —Yana—

  448. #448 Dr Zen
    July 21, 2008

    I don’t believe in Jeebus and I find most Catholic beliefs laughable, but I find this whole thing reflects worse on you than on them. They come across as idiots, sure, but you come across as an arsehole. Who are you trying to convince? The converted, who fill your comments with shit-talking Christians? Or the Christians themselves? Or is it just small boy with fly, pulling the wings off because you can?

    I daresay there are many Catholics who can happily accept that you do not share their beliefs, and simply shrug it off, but are mystified why it is so important to you to disrespect them. I don’t think they’re worthy of special treatment, but I’d rather hope you’re not this shit about the fond beliefs of everyone you meet.

  449. #449 Dr Zen
    July 21, 2008

    “You can consider Elvis’s underwear sacred if you want to, but don’t expect the rest of us to tiptoe around your delicate sensibilities.”

    Way to just not get it. No one says you have to “tiptoe” round someone’s sensibilities who thinks Elvis’s underwear is sacred, but mocking the person is not the only alternative.

    And lol at the all the brave brave Sir Robin of the Religionhaters who are all for giving shit to the Catholics but want to “RUN AWAY” when it comes to people who will hurt you for mocking their beliefs.

  450. #450 Feynmaniac
    July 21, 2008

    Knight of Sethi #431,
    “Saying ‘it’s just a cracker’ is an obvious falsehood due to the item’s role in the tradition. Therefore the way this falsehood is going to be implicitly interpreted is as you expressing the view that Catholics, as a people, culture, and tradition, are so beneath you as to not exist. That is; The [sic] only way ‘it’s just a cracker’ can be a truth is for Catholics to not exist. And so you have implicitly stated that Catholics are of such worthlessness that they so much as do not exist.”
    Sigh. It was a Catholic tradition to say that the sun revolved around the Earth. By your logic Galileo was spreading an “obvious falsehood”. Merely having a tradition saying something doesn’t make it so. Also, there have been many interpretations of the desecration of a cracker in the 10,000+ comments here but this is the first time I heard that doing it implies Catholics don’t exist. I think Catholics would even acknowledge that even if PZ desecrated the cracker doesn’t mean he thinks they don’t exist.
    I may be wrong here, but that post sounds like a postmodernist scrutinizing blaspheme. The postmodern-fundamentalist alliance, as seen in the Dover trial, has always baffled me. This isn’t just strange bedfellows; it’s bestiality.

  451. #451 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    No one says you have to “tiptoe” round someone’s sensibilities who thinks Elvis’s underwear is sacred, but mocking the person is not the only alternative.

    oh?

    let’s explore the alternatives, shall we?

    did you expect some sort of evidentiary debate on the issue?

    no?

    hmm, what alternatives exactly would you suggest besides ridicule for arguments that have no basis in reason?

    comparative religion?

    but want to “RUN AWAY” when it comes to people who will hurt you for mocking their beliefs.

    says the black knight.

  452. #452 negentropyeater
    July 21, 2008

    Ichthyic,

    The Overton Window has been moved, and in our favor.

    IMO, it’s already time to move on to the next thing that will work to move it even further.

    Got any evidence for that ?

    What is the % of the American population who is even aware of this crackergate ? Any idea ? More than 1% ? Have you seen any mention in the mainstream national TV and press of this affair ?

    Do you have any idea what it takes to move the Overton window ? In order to make new fringe ideas worthy of consideration by the public and increase their public acceptance, you have to talk about them repeatedly, maximize awareness, and leverage network effects.

    Yes, we have attempted to move it, but it’s far too early to say that it’s moved.

    For once this is a story that is interesting, that really has potential for moving the window in our favour, and you suggest we stop now, just after a bit more than a week, and before it’s even had national TV and press coverage ?

    We certainly don’t need to blog about it every single day of the week, that’s why many people are starting to find this “boring”, but I do think that it still has a lot of potential.

  453. #453 Wowbagger
    July 21, 2008

    Dr Zen wrote:

    I daresay there are many Catholics who can happily accept that you do not share their beliefs, and simply shrug it off, but are mystified why it is so important to you to disrespect them

    I wondered about that too, but a number of deconverts (ex-believers) cite (here and elsewhere) experience of having the sanctity of their beliefs mocked and challenged as a major reason for their eventual decision to dispense with their faiths.

    H.H. posted HL Mencken upthread:

    The iconoclast proves enough when he proves by his blasphemy that this or that idol is defectively convincing – that at least one visitor to the shrine is left full of doubts. The liberation of the human mind has been best furthered by gay fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and then went roistering down the highways of the world, proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe – that the god in the sanctuary was a fraud. One horse-laugh is worth ten-thousand syllogisms.

    Does that help?

  454. #454 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    I know, I know – I shouldn’t indulge his ilk…I’d stop trying to be rational to these types, but damn is it hard not to respond to idiocy of that caliber!

    I know the sickening feeling. I repeat the mantra, “my reply is for the other readers, my reply is for the other readers,” while I close my eyes and press “Post”.

  455. #455 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    PZ, I’m really concerned for your safety. There seems to be some crazy people out there who I think will take violent action against you if you carry out your “desecration” rather than just threaten you. I think it’s time to back off.

    Posted by: B43 | July 21, 2008 1:35 AM

    While I understand the pragmatic concern for what might happen to PZ, there is another pragmatic concern that is of greater importance at work. PZ has made it quite clear that his actions will not be out of unadulterated hate, but instead he will do this in order to show people – however bluntly – the silliness of valuing a religious object over even one human life.

    If he were to back off, whatever reason he gives – however justifiable and sensible – will be ignored by these very same people who are imploring him to back down and threatening him with violence – even mortal violence – if he does not. Regradless of the reason PZ might state, they will shift gears and frame him as someone who “finally recognized his error and ultimately respected and submitted to the will of God, whether he knows it or not.” That is a guess, but should he not go through with it, I’m willing to put money on the fact that such a spin would be put on it by the likes of Bill Donahue.

    So while continuing may endanger his own safety, I think there is a greater concern for PZ. I could be entirely errant in my approximation of PZ and his motives, but I see him as considering that his actions might actually turn a few minds on to his point, and if it could, a tradition responsible for a great deal of repressive pain and submissive suffering would continue without contest. While I don’t think he is the “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” type when it comes to valuing others’ health and safety over his own (and his family’s) no matter what (I mean, how many of us truly are? Usually we are definitely that way in defending our family and close friends, but not with those we don’t have a connection with), I do estimate him to be somone that has weighed the two considerations, and given a little extra weight to the fact that his actions could possibly allow some – if not many – religious believers who were struggling with doubt to see an argument against religion with intelligent motivations and goals, despite the overt nature of the methods. And before discrediting that argument based on the allegedly insulting method used, remember that it is common knowledge that one thing that certainly gets widespread coverage in today’s media is controversy, especially contentious religious controversy.

    Some have suggested that he communicate his objections in a more “proper” manner, yet they ignore the fact that he – and many, many others – have already been doing that for years, just in the context of recent history. The one religious argument (not war, conceptual argument) that received the most media coverage, by far, in recent memory was the controversy over the Dutch newspaper cartoon that showed an image of the Prophet Mohammed. Controversy over the supposedly sacreligious treatment of a sacred belief. In that case, the tenet of their faith that states that there can be no picture or other like depiction of the prophet. In this case, the tenet of faith being questioned is the Catholic belief that says upon consecration by a priest, the communion wafer actually becomes the body and blood of Christ, therefore it is sacreligious to disrespect it.

    Not only will backing off provide a benefit possibly less important, but it will also result in providing ammunition, however faulty it may be, for a concerted backlash against not just Dr. Myers, but against anything and anyone that seeks to contradict their faith.

  456. #456 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    They come across as idiots, sure, but you come across as an arsehole.

    Posted by: Dr Zen | July 21, 2008 1:53 AM

    So threatneing to “mistreat” an object is being an asshole, but threatening someone’s life is merely being idiotic?

    While that would be true in the sense that being an idiot would mean being stupid enough to break the law on written record (as a few of PZ’s religious detractors have done), it is most certainly not true in the benign sense that you used the word, evidenced by the fact that you casually dismissed them as being assholes, while chiding him for being idiotic and conveying the opinion that he was somehow the worse of the two sides.

  457. #457 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    What is the % of the American population who is even aware of this crackergate ? Any idea ? More than 1% ? Have you seen any mention in the mainstream national TV and press of this affair ?

    it got the attention of phil donowhore, and PZ went on the radio to debate the issue. did it get the attention of the press? yes, it did. did it make the nightly news with “Tom Brokaw”? *shrug* no, but that doesn’t mean it had no effect.

    that’s all that was needed from PZ, IMO, and that’s basically what I am referring to when I say this part is done, and we need to move on to the next thing.

    Do you have any idea what it takes to move the Overton window ?

    yes, otherwise I wouldn’t have mentioned it.

    and you suggest we stop now

    there was never anything to do beyond what has already been done.

    the actual “effort” has all been on the part of the religionauts, and, as has been typical, they simply cannot resist shooting themselves in the head. they outnumber us tremendously, why not use THEM to advertise the message we want them to? did it work? Well, according to several Catholics who posted here, it most certainly did.

    PZ need do nothing more on this particular issue; Donowhore will engender all the effort required to boost the issue as far as needed, with just minor pokes (so long as he thinks he is getting attention for it).

    More than 1%

    that would be huge, and not necessary IMO.

    still…

    Yes, we have attempted to move it, but it’s far too early to say that it’s moved.

    I might be jumping the gun, but I don’t think so wrt to this particular effort.

    It sounds like what you are talking about is the “next” step.

    suggestions?

    an army of youtube vids showing creative ways of doing things to crackers?

    or moving on to the next religious inanity? It’s not like transubstantiation is the only nutty thing the CC indoctrinates.

    As to Cook, I don’t think he wants to participate in pushing it any farther than he already did, so trying to ask him to do more than he did seems a bit unfair (I’m sure he’d mostly just like to get back to studying for exams at this point).

  458. #458 TheVirginian
    July 21, 2008

    I personally would not “desecrate” a cracker or a Koran or anything else, at least not deliberately, simply as a matter of politeness. If I were somehow in a position where a witchdoctor offered me one a voodoo wafer (a frackin cracker), I would politely decline. Of course, if he tried to force it on me, I would crush it underfoot, even if surrounded by a horde of voodoo worshipers ready to burn me at the stake for sacrilege.
    That said, I can think of one strong reason to support Prof. Myers that I have not seen mentioned (I have not read all posts by any means). All over the country, especially here in the Deep South, Christian public officials open government meetings with voodoo incantations. They force everyone to listen to their obscene rantings. When a Wiccan objected to voodoo rites “In Christ’s name” in Great Falls, S.C., in 2000-2001, she was insulted, even threatened by both officials and attendees at a council meeting. Likewise, a Wiccan in Chesterfield Co., Va., was insulted by the board of supervisors when she complained about blatantly Christian prayers in 2002. One board member said “I hope she’s a good witch like Glinda” and “There’s always Halloween.” Worse, while the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Great Falls had violated the 1st Amendment, the 4th Circuit incredibly allowed the Va. theo-Nazis to continue holding Christian voodoo rituals!
    If Christians don’t want their rites and beliefs mocked, then they should respect other people’s rights not to be forced to participate in said rites, not to have an obscene Christian slogan on public money, not to be forced to pray to the Christian voodoo spirit in pledging allegiance to the U.S., and not being harassed or threatened for refusing to participate in or for objecting to these violations of the 1st Amendment.

  459. #459 mra
    July 21, 2008

    For fuck’s sake, just throw the cracker into a urinal in some overcrowded mall somewhere, and let thousands of other unsuspecting people take care of the desecration for you.

  460. #460 Aathira
    July 21, 2008

    I can not believe that a cracker actually caused all this havoc! Its just unbelievable.

    But I should not be saying so after the recent incident here.

    In Bangalore (India), there was an incident a week back where the carcass of a pig was thrown into the local mosque premises and that caused large scale communal riots and took two people’s lives in that area!I heard that the carcass was just in fact near the outer wall and not even inside the mosque per say

  461. #461 Rey Fox
    July 21, 2008

    [blockquote style="gumby"]
    “the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact.
    The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken”

    And on the trunk handle…they found……A HOOK!

    “because he is basically saying that as a matter of policy, he murders those that do not capitulate to him. Quite moral beacon of light, if you ask me.”

    Careful there, brokenSoldier, Big G isn’t a big fan of sarcasm either.

  462. #462 truth machine, OM
    July 21, 2008

    They come across as idiots, sure, but you come across as an arsehole.

    Guess how you come across.

  463. #463 Kryth
    July 21, 2008

    All this cracker talk is making me hungary

  464. #464 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    Christian public officials open government meetings with voodoo incantations.

    If you were looking for connections, the church that Cook “absconded” with the wafer from is funded by UCF, which was noted very vocally by Cook after the shit hit the fan.

  465. #465 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Careful there, brokenSoldier, Big G isn’t a big fan of sarcasm either.

    Posted by: Rey Fox | July 21, 2008 2:40 AM

    Haha, yeah – but if there somehow was a big G, he’d most certainly have way more serious things to fry me about, so I’m not too worried either way on this one. ;)

  466. #466 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    In Bangalore (India)

    wasn’t there also a recent event where an Indian paper published a “poor”(?) picture of Jesus, and the local xians basically tried to burn down the building where the paper was published?

    I think this refers to it:

    http://www.dailynews365.com/national-news/attack-on-sakshi-newspapers-office/

    and:

    http://vyoma108.blogspot.com/2008/07/indian-christians-smash-newspaper.html

  467. #467 John Scanlon FCD
    July 21, 2008

    #212, I don’t know if that was especially apropos, but the answer is ‘yes, a bit’. I also noticed in a caption on that linked site a quote from a medieval Haji:

    The stone, when one kisses it, has a softness and freshness which delights the mouth, so much so that he who places his lips upon it wishes never to remove them.

    There does seem to be an oral/genital thing going on there. There’s only one black stone though, so it isn’t anything like the Xtian communion ‘meal’.

  468. #468 themadlolscientist, FCD
    July 21, 2008
    MAJeff: Who in their right mind would trust you for a minute with a musclebound superhero?

    I’d need far more than a minute.

    Ooooooohhhhhhhh, have mercy on a poor lonely middle-aged fruitfly! ;-)

  469. #469 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    and the local xians basically tried to burn down the building where the paper was published?

    correction:

    attacked building and lit fires… not necessarily in the same place.

  470. #470 Joe Cracker
    July 21, 2008

    Dr. Myers, I suggest you filter your email by using the word “hell”. I suppose that will help you get rid of 99% of the catholic junk email.

  471. #471 Soybomb
    July 21, 2008

    #81 “How do you suppose Barack Obama would react if asked about this? I bet he’d be appalled.”

    WWBD? Obama is either a religious nut listening to the likes of Pfleger or plays one for votes. Who cares what he thinks?

  472. #472 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    hrrrm

    test

    test

    test

  473. #473 shonny
    July 21, 2008

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  474. #474 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    I don’t think it works, Rey Fox

  475. #475 demallien
    July 21, 2008

    negentropyeater @409
    whatever treatment he will give to these crackers as long as he wants to add much fanfare to it and treat them with heinous cracker abuse, I don’t really understand how the point can be not to make it a big deal.

    Neg, I know English isn’t your first language, so you may not be picking up on one of the interpretations of phrases such as “heinous cracker abuse”, and “profound disrespect”.
    The trick is to recognise that in these phrases PZ is talking about the cracker as though it is conscious, self-aware. Taken in the context of PZ’s repeated insistence that it is, in fact, just a cracker, they sound more like a more like hyperbolic satire than anything else – I mean, how on Earth can you be profoundly disrespectful to a cracker? By calling it names? Suggesting you slept with it’s mother? The cracker doesn’t care, it’s just a cracker.

    PZ is a good enough writer that if he had actually meant “show disrespect to Catholics”, that’s what he would have written. He didn’t do that, he said he’d be disrespectful to the cracker. See the difference?

  476. #476 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    having

    one

    more

    go

  477. #477 themadlolscientist, FCD
    July 21, 2008

    Find cave.

    Insert crackers.

    Roll rock in front of cave.

    After three days, remove rock, see if crackers are still there.

    ubi dubius (#322) iz win htis thred. srsly.

  478. #478 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    rolling

    out

    the

    Comic

    Sans

    don’t mind me. sorry

  479. #479 Wowbagger
    July 21, 2008

    For those who thought they were clever in using graveyards or corpse desecration as an analogy for cracker abuse, go look up the Zoroastrians – I think someone mentioned it on one of the many cracker-related threads but I’m far too slothful to find out which and guide you there, so here’s a link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism#Death_rituals

    After four days they leave the corpses of their dead out for vultures and the weather to deal with and then throw the bones into a hole.

    Burying the dead is offensive to them; perhaps we should respect their beliefs too, huh?

  480. #480 Martha
    July 21, 2008

    Honestly, I’m bored with the cracker thing. At first, I found the outrage from easily offended people amusing, but I just ate half a package of Ritz with cheddar and I’m bored of them now. I don’t care if a cracker gets smashed anymore. Can we get back to refining our models of how the universe works? Is it too early to start hyping the startup of the LHC?

  481. #481 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    last

    one

    i

    swear.

    the

    LHC

    will

    kill us all!

  482. #482 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    So, does the Priest’s magic abilities allow him to turn anything into the Lv. 99 Zombie Christ? Or can he only target unleavened bread? Baked goods in general? Can he trick a Wandering Jew into eating a matzoh ball and then cast Transubstantiate on the crumbs in his opponent’s stomach?

  483. #483 craig
    July 21, 2008

    It saddens me that I actually fear for the safety of Dr. Myers because of his intention to desecrate the Quran.

    No excuses for muslim religious nutcases, but I wonder how much of this concern it based not on reality but instead on carefully cultivated fear. I mean, sure muslim nutcases did kill americans on 9/11, and they quite frequently kill people in the middle east… but is there really an individual threat from them here in the US?

    Were any of the newspapers that reprinted the cartoons in the US subject to death threats? Was there rioting here?
    Have ANY prominent americans received death threats for saying bad things about Islam? I mean – it happens every few minutes on nationwide radio.

    Has PZ received hate mail and death threats over his ridicule of the Muslim religion?

    PZ has called out that religion for its stupidity and barbarousness many times in the past. Was there ever a brouhaha over them? NO. Have we had Muslim trolls here constantly? NO. Has a Muslim group made press releases and tried to get him fired? NO. Has he received death threats from Muslims? No, or at least not that he has revealed.

    ALL of those things have been done on the part of Christians – and not just now – in the past also.

    If there is a danger to PZ, it is from Christians.
    Stop playing up this muslimphobia that lets these christians off the hook.

    Christians threatened PZs life. Christians tried to get him fired. Christians have gone batshit over this. Christians constantly troll the site and harass him.

    We have religious fanatics and terrorists in this country, and they are Christians.

  484. #484 Richard Eis
    July 21, 2008

    I find it amusing that people are saying not to desecrate the book because muslims will do something.

    Isn’t that then an even better reason to do so. If we run and hide every time someone gets their panties in a twist, they will simply do it again, only bigger and more violent.

    You people may as well bend over now, since thats what people did over the cartoons…and don’t forget the teddy bear…

  485. #485 themadlolscientist, FCD
    July 21, 2008

    last

    one

    i

    swear.

    the

    LHC

    will

    kill us all!

    Not.

  486. #486 Michael
    July 21, 2008

    PZ is going to show the world how he can get Catholics and Muslims angry. I can see it now, riots in the streets of Pakistan in protest of Meyers handling of the Quran. More angry letters from Catholics in protest in Meyers conduct in regards to the wafer. PZ thumps his chest, and says; “it’s just a wafer, and it’s just a “silly book” no big deal and I will show the world!!!” Boy, that will surely convince them…lol

    I wouldn’t be surprise if something like that would happen in regards to PZ protest of so-called holy items concerning religious groups. Stirring up people on purpose because you disagree, is not right.

  487. #487 ali
    July 21, 2008

    while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said:’God, that’s for you.’
    He died at the age of 32 of LUNG CANCER in a horrible manner.

    A smoker died of lung cancer? Obviously this must have been the wrath of god.

    Does that mean warning labels will be added on bibles? Something like “God may cause lung cancer”

  488. #488 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    RWA:

    -you don’t need to use blockquote with inline style tags (just “p” will do).

    -preview is your friend (even works with style tags).

    -specify no-repeat, and the exact size of the image you want to use as a background.

    sample:

    p style=”background: transparent url(link) no-repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; width: 666px; height: 666px;

    put the right link in and the right measurements for the pic, bracket it up and you should be good to go.

  489. #489 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    Remind me again how “desecrating” a cracker or a book is helping the Atheist cause? It’s just plain childish. What are you trying to prove? That you’re better than other people, because NOTHING is “sacred” to you?

    It seems to me you’re getting suckered into this now, regardless that it started out as outrage against a few nuts in a catholic church.

  490. #490 Jim
    July 21, 2008

    “All I can say is, fair enough. Just whatever I do to the book, I’ll also do to the cracker.”

    Okay, so here’s a thought. Bring the Qurans to a local mosque and bring the Hosts to the Assumption Catholic Church. I’m sure someone would even come pick them up from you if you gave them a call. Both would be treated equally and you could prove you’re a decent human being. You could prove that you’re an educated, civilized adult.

  491. #491 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    Stirring up people on purpose because you disagree, is not right.

    NOT challenging superstitious nonsense is orders of magnitude worse, let alone NOT challenging those who hold such nonsense so dear they would kill for it, or even threaten to.

    or would you prefer we accepted the original Catholic dogma on geocentrism, because some Catholics would have been willing to burn you at the stake for your heresy at the time?

    I swear, it is almost amusing to see the endless parade of the clueless.

  492. #492 Dianne
    July 21, 2008

    And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    If you’re cranky will that make your act towards the cracker and book more creative and disgusting? If so, I may be moved to comment another 500 times just to see what you can come up with.

  493. #493 DingoDave
    July 21, 2008

    I still believe that a scientific examination of some of these crackers is the most appropriate thing for a biology professor to do to them.

    PZ could dissect a couple under a microscope to see whether any structural changes had taken place within them, then he could put the pieces into a blender in order to homogenise them, after which he could run a simple test on the homogenised remains to discover whether there were any traces of animal protein in them.
    It would be a simple, dignified, and elegant way to desecrate a wafer or two. And it could also be viewed as advancing the cause of science. At least it would achieve the goal of clearly demonstrating to the transubstantiationist nutters out there that they’re still just ‘frackin crackers’.(TM)

  494. #494 OctoberMermaid
    July 21, 2008

    “Okay, so here’s a thought. Bring the Qurans to a local mosque and bring the Hosts to the Assumption Catholic Church. I’m sure someone would even come pick them up from you if you gave them a call. Both would be treated equally and you could prove you’re a decent human being. You could prove that you’re an educated, civilized adult.”

    Yeah, because bending over backwards to avoid offending the religious or their silly beliefs has worked out so well for everyone in the past. They’re just a fun-loving, live and let live bunch who would seek to offend or push their beliefs on us. If anything, we should give them more respect and not challenge them at all. If all goes well, they can get into a position of great power and I’m sure we’ll all be in an age of great enlightenment.

  495. #495 Dianne
    July 21, 2008

    Bring the Qurans to a local mosque and bring the Hosts to the Assumption Catholic Church. I’m sure someone would even come pick them up from you if you gave them a call. Both would be treated equally and you could prove you’re a decent human being.

    I wouldn’t. Remember the poisoning threat? What if the local church thought that it was a good idea to use the crackers? (There may even be some rule about it being immoral to throw out excess consecrated hosts, though I’m not sure, not being a Catholic. But it would be consistent with the reaction to the idea that someone wanted to take one home.)

    And I’m sure the nearest mosque probably has plenty of copies of the Quran. Now I, on the other hand, have no copies of the Quran whatsoever and would be glad to receive one if PZ would think that a proper way to dispose of it. I could promise to snicker at least once and treat it with no more reverence than any other book, if that would satisfy everyone who wants him to treat it ill.

  496. #496 clinteas
    July 21, 2008

    Cracker,yawn,Quran,yawn,catholic,yawn,unfair,yawn,stupid,yawn,hateful,yawn,
    transgrottomortomogriciation,yawn,envy,yawn,amendment,yawn,bigot,yawn….

    In other news,the holy Pedonazi has left Australia “rejuvenated”.

  497. #497 Dianne
    July 21, 2008

    I still believe that a scientific examination of some of these crackers is the most appropriate thing for a biology professor to do to them.

    DNA analysis! If they’re the body of Christ then they must contain the DNA of Christ…he could settle the 2000 year old mystery of who Jesus’ father really was! Maybe a mitochondrial analysis too to check out his maternal lineage…and since he has more than one wafer he could do repeat testing to confirm the result…I think you’re onto something here.

  498. #498 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    Ichthyic, thanks

  499. #499 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    Ichthyic, thanks

    np.

    I’ve known how to use style tags in comments for years, but for some odd reason, it never clicked to me to utilize them to post background images in comments before Kobra mentioned it a few days back.

    I wrote to sciblogs to poke around and see if they had objections to images in comments (which would be the reason they disabled standard image tags to begin with?), but never heard back.

    I figured they might have some bandwidth concerns, or rights issues, but what the hell, if they aren’t gonna complain, I’m not gonna.

    a few pictures here and there should spice up the place.

  500. #500 alex
    July 21, 2008

    gary silis makes his god sound like a serial killer.

  501. #501 articulett
    July 21, 2008

    Gary Silis’ chain letter is soooo true– every single person who has ever blasphemed Zeus is now dead!(or will be soon).

    (–Word up to the faithful: Your invisible savior is supposed to be OMNIPOTENT– you can prove your faith by trusting him to fight his own damn battles with lightening or whatever it is deities are using to smite these days. He doesn’t need you running around being a vigilante in his name– right? -that’s the whole point of the omnipotence thing. Duh.)

  502. #502 articulett
    July 21, 2008

    oooh… can PZ desecrate sacred Mormon under garments next?

  503. #503 Darwin's Minion
    July 21, 2008

    #482: the Wandering Jew won’t die, because he’s a favourite NPC of the GM who will only die if and when the GM choses to end the campaign *g*.

    Also, to everyone who’s saying that destroying the cracker won’t help the secular cause (what’s that, anyway? I think it’s related to the mysterious gay agenda): don’t be so sure. It may very well plant or nurture the seed of doubt about the all-knowing, all-punishing sky lord. Because I hightly doubt that PZ will be struck by a meteor, or die some other kind of death that can be attributed to the sky lord being angry as heck. Although, of course, thinking about that insane chain letter, people nowadays attribute any kind of death to the workings of him who used to at least do something flashy like smiting, or sending floods, back in the good ol’ biblical times…
    “PZ Myers desecrated a cracker, and 40 years later, he died in his bed! See the wrath of GOD, mwahahaha!”

  504. #504 Peter
    July 21, 2008

    Hey don’t throw it away (Koran), I’ll save the purchase of loo roll for a week at least.

  505. #505 Erwin Blonk
    July 21, 2008

    “I shall be very, very cranky”

    This is temptation, just to crank up the comments to a thousand. Silly, yes, but such is the internet.
    The internet is the single medium that shows how petty we humans are.
    If this world is the work of a god, I want to have a talk with him about product liability. Send in the lawyers, drag his, eh, behind into court.

  506. #506 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    btw, for those that want to play with different fonts (PLEASE, no more Comic Sans!), here’s a decent list that will work with standard style tags and should display on any PC with windows (or a Mac):

    http://www.ampsoft.net/webdesign-l/WindowsMacFonts.html

    works the same way as any style tag:

    p style=”font-family: ‘whatever’;”

    like Impact.

    or arial black.

    or Tahoma.

  507. #507 Dr. Horrible
    July 21, 2008

    Christie @ 250

    but let’s not pretend that he’s taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times saying “Fuck off, Ratzy.”

    I would gladly contribute money to such an endeavour!

  508. #508 John Morales
    July 21, 2008

    Might as well throw my suggestion in… crackers + moisture + spores + warmth. Something colorful would be nice.

  509. #509 BobC
    July 21, 2008

    alex #500: gary silis makes his god sound like a serial killer.

    God is a serial killer according to the Old Testament. Why people would want to worship a supernatural thug I will never understand.

  510. #510 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    See if you can get a newspaper in Australia.

  511. #511 clinteas
    July 21, 2008

    BobC,

    //Why people would want to worship a supernatural thug I will never understand.//

    But he loves you !

  512. #512 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    I would gladly contribute money to such an endeavour!

    F*ck

    Off

    Ratzy

    I can haz $ now?

  513. #513 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    ok, maybe that was a bit over the top.

  514. #514 Dr. Horrible
    July 21, 2008

    But it wasn’t IN the NYT Ichthyic!

    I’ll go as low as Variety, but that’s as bargain-basement as we go, OK? ;)

  515. #515 PurpleTurtle
    July 21, 2008

    Having perused my copy of ‘The Directory of Saints – a Concise Guide to Patron Saints’, it appears that historically one is far more likely to meet an untimely death if one professes a belief in god than not. In fact, I thought it was a favourite argument of many Christians to exclaim that dying horribly whilst clinging vainly to their beliefs ‘proved’ god was real. Once more, dear friends, all aboard the hypocrisy wagon…

    p.s. St.Fiacre; patron saint invoked against hemorrhoids and syphilis. Truly a saint for every occassion. hahahahah.

  516. #516 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    The unspoken wish is for terrible harm to come to PZ.

    Coming from good Christians who believe in and consistently babble about eternal torture for violating arbitrary rules? I would never guess that there’s any desire for others to be harmed coming from any of these folks.

  517. #517 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    This is insane. Have you learned nothing? We will not let up, shut up, or go away until disciplinary action is attained. By the way, go ahead and send me to the dungeon and show how much you REALLY believe in free speech. You liberals are all the same. An old professor I had a few years ago once said “Behind every liberal there lies hidden a tyrant.” You and your followers have proven him right. Anyway, the point is this will not go away any time soon and you continue to be an embarrassment to your profession and university.

    Someone who says “it’s just a cracker” versus people actively attempting to take away someone’s livelihood for saying, “It’s just a cracker” and saying he will treat it as such.

    Who is the totalitarian here? It sounds like the people trying to get someone fired for a thought crime.

  518. #518 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    I’ll go as low as Variety, but that’s as bargain-basement as we go, OK? ;)

    Oh, I just make the ads.

    placement is your responsibility.

    :p

  519. #519 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    Who is the totalitarian here? It sounds like the people trying to get someone fired for a thought crime.

    projection is such a great defense, though.

    I mean, it must be, since there has been an near endless usage of it by the godbotherers.

  520. #520 Dr. Horrible
    July 21, 2008

    Perhaps if I pray hard enough, I can get it written in the sky for free?

  521. #521 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    p style=”background: transparent url(link) no-repeat scroll 0%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; width: 666px; height: 666px;

    put the right link in and the right measurements for the pic, bracket it up and you should be good to go.

    Posted by: Ichthyic | July 21, 2008 4:35 AM

    Considering I’m reading that as an HTML rookie, I really think a small part of my brain just exploded…

  522. #522 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008

    Perhaps if I pray hard enough, I can get it written in the sky for free?

    Why do you hate American business so much you wouldn’t pay for the privilege of having your ad placed in a newspaper?

    communist.

    :p

  523. #523 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    Send in the lawyers, drag his, eh, behind into court.

    Afraid of god sass?

  524. #524 clinteas
    July 21, 2008

    Guys,we keep going like this we never make it to 1000 posts,this thread is dead,any catholics want to show us some lovin’,or make some revolutionary new statement,like,please dont desecrate our cracker,because its the body of our skyfairy? Anyone,anything?

  525. #525 Ichthyic
    July 21, 2008


    Considering I’m reading that as an HTML rookie, I really think a small part of my brain just exploded…

    last post, and then I gotta get some sleep:

    http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_reference.asp

    scroll along the side to see the links under “CSS basic”, and click any link there to get simple instructions, and interactive samples to play with.

    it’s not hard, really.

    CSS background will give you all you need to know about placing images in the background

    and

    CSS font will do the same for modifying fonts in your comments.

    I have no idea what sciblogs will think, but this place could use more color, especially given how long the comments sections typically run.

    might as well have a little fun.

  526. #526 Dianne
    July 21, 2008

    Perhaps if I pray hard enough, I can get it written in the sky for free?

    I’d suggest testing the theory emperically, except that as far as I can tell, the alogrithm for prayer goes like this: Pray and whatever you pray for happens–yay, prayer works! Pray and whatever you pray for doesn’t happen–it’s your own fault for not praying hard enough or being truly faithful. Or god said no. In any case, it’s your fault for being insufficiently sincere or hardworking or for asking for something so goofy or so bad for you that god has to refuse. Since I don’t like to advise people to do things that are going to make them feel worse, I can’t recommend you test your pray-for-skywriting theory.

  527. #527 Erwin Blonk
    July 21, 2008

    “Afraid of god sass?”

    I laugh at his omnipotence, smirk at his omniscience but thread very carefully when it comes to go dsass.

  528. #528 BT Murtagh
    July 21, 2008

    My son’s school had a competition wherein the students tried to design a packaging that would allow them to throw an egg off the roof and not have it crack on the concrete two stories down.

    If only I’d thought to provide him with a blessed cracker to protect his egg!

  529. #529 Siddharth
    July 21, 2008

    I’d suggest testing the theory emperically, except that as far as I can tell, the alogrithm for prayer goes like this: Pray and whatever you pray for happens–yay, prayer works! Pray and whatever you pray for doesn’t happen–it’s your own fault for not praying hard enough or being truly faithful.

    Since a picture speaks a thousand words, here’s the inimitable Rudis Muiznieks

    http://cectic.com/138.html

  530. #530 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 21, 2008

    The man himself @263: -

    If I can have one wish granted by the godless critics on these threads, it is that you get a sense of perspective. No one’s ass is being kicked.

    IT’S A CRACKER.

    I think that point has been made, and understood. (For the record, that ass-kicking was a metaphor introduced by they guy I was talking to, who accused me of kissing religious bigots’ asses. No-one’s ass is being kissed either.)

    But a photo of my wife is JUST A PIECE OF PAPER, isn’t it? All the same, if someone obtained one through dishonest means, and then wiped their butt on it, I’d be pretty pissed off. Why? Because they’re sending me a message, which says “FUCK YOU”. And that’s exactly the message Catholics/Muslims will receive from your stunt, however irrational you may think it is.

    Now, in general, I’m not particularly bothered about offending religious sensibilities – when it’s necessary to advance an argument, or have a little fun at their expense, or whatever. But in this case, it’s just sheer spite: you’re going to *majorly* piss people off, for no reasona t all, other just for the sake of pissing them off.

    Given that creating an irrational, angry, siege-mentality is the primary tactic of the Donahue-crowd, what you’re planning is only going to be counterproductive.

  531. #531 Dr. Horrible
    July 21, 2008

    Dianne @ 526

    reasoned argument for why prayer is teh total bollocks snipped for brevity

    oh, yeah.

    bugger!
    ;)

  532. #532 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    So, let’s see if I understand Gary Silis correctly: God is a disproportionately cruel, petty, vindictive, egomaniacal prick. Surely that would encourage any person of average moral intelligence to revile and condemn him rather than praise and worship him?

  533. #533 Sven DiMilo
    July 21, 2008

    Aw. We failed.
    Bad.

  534. #534 Stephen Wells
    July 21, 2008

    Ally, there’s no possible comparison between a photo of your wife (which has personal value to you, and about which you make no claims except that it is a photo of your wife) and a cracker (they’re mass-produced, muttered over en masse, and some people are claiming that they’re actually godflesh).

    If you produced a picture of your wife and tried to insist that is was in fact a picture of MY wife, and I should replace actual pictures of my wife with yours because yours is the One True Wifepicture- well, then your pictures might be in for a little desecration.

  535. #535 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    Reverent Agnostics Unite!

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/a_j_jacobs_year_of_living_biblically.html

    How is “desecrating” a communion wafer challenging superstitious nonsense? It’s a childlish provocation, nothing more. It is not helping Atheists – it is preaching to the choir.

    How is this not offensive again?

    Why don’t you just burn a cross, PZ?
    It’s just a frackin’ piece of wood!

    No, you wouldn’t do that, because the symbolism is clear. Why would you treat a Koran or a communion wafer any differently? Obviously, you don’t understand the symbolism of your actions.

  536. #536 Rarus.vir
    July 21, 2008

    Hey, don’t piss off God the Godfather, bad things happen.

  537. #537 Stephen Wells
    July 21, 2008

    In fact, Ally, why not try a little test? Print out a thousand little photos of your wife. Go round town telling people that your wife is the most beautiful woman in the world and everyone should have a photo of her. If anyone discards one of the photos you gave them, attack them physically and threaten to sue them for their hateful disrespect for your deeply held beliefs. Let us know how you get on.

  538. #538 Richard in Edmonton
    July 21, 2008

    Ally McBeelzebub writes

    “But a photo of my wife is JUST A PIECE OF PAPER, isn’t it? All the same, if someone obtained one through dishonest means, and then wiped their butt on it, I’d be pretty pissed off. Why? Because they’re sending me a message, which says “FUCK YOU”. And that’s exactly the message Catholics/Muslims will receive from your stunt, however irrational you may think it is.”

    It is indeed just a piece of paper and the cracker is also a representative in that way. However, you DO NOT,I would assume, believe the photo of your wife to BE your wife. If you did we would be justified in considering you in need of help to deal with your delusion.
    Nor do I believe you freely give away pictures of your wife with the assumption that you are legally in control of that copy of your wife’s image and would physically assault a person on the basis of wishing to show another person that picture. And would you utter death threats to a person based on them showing it to another or seriously consider having them killed or plead to have them lose their livelihood?

    It is not a very good analogy based on the facts of the matter I think.

  539. #539 John Morales
    July 21, 2008

    Ally McBeelzebub:

    I think that point has been made, and understood.[blah blah blah] what you’re [PZ] planning is only going to be counterproductive.

    Apparently, not yet universally understood.

    Sigh.

  540. #540 daenku32
    July 21, 2008

    You are right szkott. Just like the burning cross on the lawn of minorities in this country, the catholic wafer is also a sign of exclusion and superstition. And it can be followed by violence. Better get rid of both, the superstitious cracker and the burning cross. Toss them both in the trash like they belong (or at least recycle).

  541. #541 Rev. BigDumbCHimp
    July 21, 2008

    No, you wouldn’t do that, because the symbolism is clear. Why would you treat a Koran or a communion wafer any differently? Obviously, you don’t understand the symbolism of your actions.

    Welcome to Pharyngula. You’ve just repeated one of the dumbest arguments we’ve heard 100′s of times over the last week. Congratulations!

  542. #542 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    Why don’t you just burn a cross, PZ?

    It’s just a frackin’ piece of wood!

    No, you wouldn’t do that, because the symbolism is clear. Why would you treat a Koran or a communion wafer any differently? Obviously, you don’t understand the symbolism of your actions.

    Of course. Because there’s a long history Christians having to witness communion wafers being toasted with smiley faces before they were murdered. Just like burning crosses. (Holy shit this one is stupid.)

    Eh.

    Personally I don’t think the Koran should be involved this time. This was about the Catholics’ physical force and threats against the student. The Muslims didn’t really do anything special to get themselves involved this time, and it seems more fair to keep them out of it, at this particular moment.

  543. #543 Wildy
    July 21, 2008

    PZ Myers:

    Now enough. You can all stop dunning me. Be patient, godless ones, and surrender to despair, O Ye Believers. And if this turns into another thousand comment thread, I shall be very, very cranky.

    Now therefore, O readers, be wise
    Be warned, O readers of Pharyngula
    Serve the Myers with awe and rejoice with laughter
    Comment less or he’ll be angry and you will perish in the way
    For his wrath is quickly kindled.

  544. #544 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    You are right szkott.

    Posted by: daenku32 | July 21, 2008 8:07 AM

    [sniff]…Anyone else smell that in here? It has the faintest odor of sockpuppet…

  545. #545 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    Better get rid of both, the superstitious cracker and the burning cross. Toss them both in the trash like they belong (or at least recycle).

    I hope you have a fire extinguisher near the wastebasket. This is a hazardous metaphor.

  546. #546 firemancarl
    July 21, 2008

    And ya know what? That poor kid at UCF will prolly get tossed out of school because his acted showed just how loony the Catholics really are. He is going to be impeached by the student senate.
    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_education_edblog/2008/07/ucf-student-who.html

  547. #547 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    This will be an historic day, 7/23/2008

    Heretic! [Or "Splitter!" ;-)] It’s 23/7/2008 for those belonging to the original tradition (mother country or fatherlands or whatever) and 20080723 for those few of us who are sensible enough to have abandoned such antiquated and backwards religioid date practices. Unfortunately, there still isn’t a good T=0 – just various bad ones.

  548. #548 daenku32
    July 21, 2008

    brokensoldier,
    Get you sarcasm detector rechecked.

  549. #549 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    This whole idea is obviously inspired by hate, not by any notion that what they are doing with their symbols is superstitious. This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Proves nothing, helps no one.

    It’s a cracker, people

    Experiment:
    1) replace “cracker” with “piece of cloth” and propose burning the American flag.
    2) replace “cracker” with “piece of cardboard” and propose burning a life-sized photo of Martin Luther King Jr. in effigy, but try to explain that it has nothing to with blacks – just tell them you’re trying to make a point, all in the name of Science, i.e.: a cardboard image of someone is not really that person.

    It’s hatred on your part, PZ, pure and simple. “Desecrating” the above items will hurt no one, but you’ll get death threats just the same as if you had “desecrated” a “holy” symbol.

    It doesn’t matter whether you “desecrate” a communion wafer, the Koran or the American flag, the message is the same; YOU are saying in effect: “I hate you” to the people who value that symbol and what it represents.

    Besides, religious people aren’t the only ones with irrational beliefs. Grow up.

  550. #550 Anne Nonymous
    July 21, 2008

    Has anyone asked P.J. to defile some spaghetti to offend the Pastafarians? Maybe, by using inferior sauce, or turkey mean balls or something. Well, I will step up to the place.

    I challenge you, P.J. to dare to defile a holy plate of spaghetti! Do it, and I think that His Noddley Appendage will not be so gentle when it touches you!

    Posted by: Ropty | July 20, 2008 7:07 PM

    Seems to me that pasta desecration would be its own punishment. Because then you’ve gotta eat inferior pasta. Blech! (Clearly this is proof of the validity of Pastafarianism!)

  551. #551 Arc
    July 21, 2008

    I know I’m only contributing to the noise now, but I still want to comment in the hopes that someone might notice. I have perhaps a radical suggestion as to what to do with the “holy” items.

    Throw them out with the regular trash.

    Now, I’m not saying you should do this out of some sort of respect to the crazies. Fuck them. I’m saying this because to do anything more would be supporting the irrational claim that this book and these wafers are anything special. They are a trashy book and stale crackers. What would you do with them otherwise? Probably, you’d toss them in the garbage and not think twice about them (maybe recycling the book). Any sort of “desecration” turns the whole process (of what should be throwing out the rubbish) into some sort of ritual. It makes this specific trashy book and these specific stale crackers special – that they need to be thrown out in a special way. Shouldn’t we be avoiding that?

  552. #552 JeffreyD
    July 21, 2008

    Oh kewl, the cracker exercise will take place on Wotan’s Day, in the month of Julius Caeser.

    And to encourage the heresy and splitting, the date will be 23/07/2008 or possibly 20 Rajab 1429.

    Pax Nabisco

  553. #553 Glynis
    July 21, 2008

    If you repeat Cheez-Its over and over you’ll hear the name of God. Does that make them holier than Wheat Thins?

  554. #554 Stephen Wells
    July 21, 2008

    If you can find someone who believes that the USA actually IS the flag, or that a picture of MLK actually IS MLK, then we can desecrate those images too in order to prove they’re wrong.

    The message here is not hate, it’s ridicule and mockery.

    The essential problem is that people are still expecting their beliefs to be respected in proportion to the emotional intensity with which they are purportedly held.

  555. #555 MartinM
    July 21, 2008

    Why don’t you just burn a cross, PZ?
    It’s just a frackin’ piece of wood!

    No, you wouldn’t do that, because the symbolism is clear. Why would you treat a Koran or a communion wafer any differently? Obviously, you don’t understand the symbolism of your actions.

    Congratulations, you’ve successfully determined that the symbolism of an action is dependent on the context in which it takes place. Now all you have to do is go one step further and look at the actual context in this case, and you might just get the point.

  556. #556 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    how does one differentiate between a T-wafer and a non-T-wafer?

    And, easily as importantly, is a T-wafer a boson or a fermion. Can it be host to more than one god of the same quantum state at the same time, eg Jesus and Elvis (given an earlier suggestion of re-transubstantiation)? Does it transmute to further states under repeated Catholic spin operations, or revert to its original state just as if it were de-consecrated? PZ may have to call in Phil and the physicists for help in answering all these tricky theological questions.

  557. #557 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    I disagree, it is still an act of hatred and I find it personally offensive.
    If PZ desecrates a wafer or a Koran that’s his right and I would hope that it holds under the first ammendment. However, the message is still hate.

    (The burning cross bit was over the top, I agree. But how else will this get to 1000?)

  558. #558 F. Jardim
    July 21, 2008

    I hate to add to the swelling thread, but Cazuza died of pneumonia as a decorrence of being infected with AIDS. He was perhaps the first brazilian famoust artist to come out and admit he had the disease, and therefore did a great deal in making people aware of its existence and how it was transmitted.

    Also, he was not an atheist, not by a long shot. He was a colorful deist at most, and his act of puffing smoke at god was clearly in the same spirit as one would dedicate a sip of wine or a good meal to a deity, and very in line his Cazuza’s openly hedonistic worldview.

  559. #559 Clayton
    July 21, 2008

    Does anyone know of any places on the web for authentic dialogue? If so, let me know here.

  560. #560 J
    July 21, 2008

    This campaign of “ridicule and mockery”, as it’s been called, is not going to help anything. It is not effective at changing the minds of religious believers. It’s tribalism, plain and simple. You people enjoy feeling superior and denigrating others. That’s all there is to it. Don’t try to justify this cracker affair with lame excuses about how PZ “has to do it”.

  561. #561 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    I’ve been trying to get a good metaphor going about the Holocaust, but haven’t found one yet. A little help?

  562. #562 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    szkott, besides the massive analogy fail, you are delusional. Do black people claim that cardboard cutouts of MLK are actually MLK?

    “Desecration” does not say “I hate you”, the gesture says “I disrespect your loony beliefs”. Nothing is sacred, asswipe.

    Hate takes much more effort than disdain, and really, I for one am too lazy to hate whole groups of people. My hatred must be individually earned. Better focus that way.

    I will burn my American Flag as soon as it is outlawed to do so, because I love the America I grew up with, not a fascist dictatorship that orders me about.

    For people saying “Oh no, please don’t hurt their feelings, PZ”, I haven’t seen this discussed in a while, so I’ll bring it up again.

    Many problems require multiple techniques to resolve them. Would modern evo-devo research be possible without the ability to decode gene sequences? Would they be possible without statistics? Kind of need both, eh?

    How about diplomacy, is there a one-size-fits-all approach? Prayer no! Diplomacy in particular requires multiple contradictory approaches – saber-rattling, siddown and talk nice, economic pressures, propoganda, covert actions, blah de blah.

    So can we at least agree that some people believe in being respectful to religions is the way to go, and others believe in-your-face confrontation has an important role as well? PZ even discussed this in a post, which I don’t care to dig up (desecrating its grave and all), that a multi-pronged path is best. There is certainly a role for quiet discussion, for just acting kindly and revealing your atheist mind, for pointing and mocking, and a role for outright confrontation. I happen to agree with this, as I don’t see any one approach reaching or affecting all audiences. So maybe you dislodge some into thinking with quiet chit chat, and allow PZ to try to dislodge unthinkers by showing them the impotence of their god meat.

  563. #563 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    right on, J #560!

  564. #564 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    @True Bob

    Many problems require multiple techniques to resolve them. Would modern evo-devo research be possible without the ability to decode gene sequences? Would they be possible without statistics? Kind of need both, eh?

    wtf?

    is that supposed to be relevant?

  565. #565 MartinM
    July 21, 2008

    If accurate, this report surely dispels any notion that the correct course of action here is to sit down and shut up; apparently, the student who accompanied Cook to church is now himself under investigation.

  566. #566 daenku32
    July 21, 2008

    Toilet paper is sacred to me. I hope the all-respecting folk will stop using it to wipe their behinds now, unless it is properly prepared by my instructions.

  567. #567 clinteas
    July 21, 2008

    Who cares about crackers? Heres something truly important,if slightly OT:

    Way to get me offended: There is a new Star Trek movie coming out,apparently starring one “Chris Pine” as Captain James T Kirk.Ahem,are you kidding me? Chris who? Captain Kirk? And one “Karl Urban” as Dr Leonard McCoy? What is this,some sick joke? Catholics,explain yourselves !! This is unacceptable !

  568. #568 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    Whatever PZ does to the wafer and/or Koran will still be an act of hatred in my eyes regardless of the “reason” behind his actions (he’s just rationalizing his actions anyway – it’s all about hate)and I find it personally offensive.

    If PZ desecrates a wafer or a Koran that’s his right and I would hope that it holds under the first ammendment. However, the message is still hate.

    OK, how about he just wipes his ass with a picture of Jesus? Do you think the response would be any different? No Catholic believes: picture of Christ = Christ (or do they?)

  569. #569 kryptonic
    July 21, 2008

    I think it would be quite entertaining to see a recreation of the bullet through apple shot. A super slo-mo video would be the best.

  570. #570 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    Well, szkott, I thought since you made an analogy, you would understand an analogy. Sorry, my mistake.

  571. #571 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    Roll up, roll up to the bunko booth. Test your powers of observation, ladies and gentlemen. Here we have two Jesus-crackers and a Mary cracker. Round and round they go. Now, place your bets and find the lady.

  572. #572 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    “If accurate, this report surely dispels any notion that the correct course of action here is to sit down and shut up; apparently, the student who accompanied Cook to church is now himself under investigation.”

    OK? And this is the action? Why doesn’t PZ raise some money from all of us to get that kid a decent attorney?

    PZ – it’s a disgrace if you don’t use this forum more wisely.

  573. #573 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Throw them out with the regular trash.

    There have been a few of us saying exactly that.

    However, treating a leftover cracker like a leftover cracker just doesn’t seem dramatic enough for some. Gotta make it a bigger deal by making the leftovers more than leftovers.

  574. #574 MartinM
    July 21, 2008

    This campaign of “ridicule and mockery”, as it’s been called, is not going to help anything. It is not effective at changing the minds of religious believers. It’s tribalism, plain and simple. You people enjoy feeling superior and denigrating others. That’s all there is to it. Don’t try to justify this cracker affair with lame excuses about how PZ “has to do it”.

    And you’re adding what, precisely? There’s no argument here, you’re just baldly asserting your position. You recognize that tribalism is bad, but I can’t help but wonder if you’ve simply ended up joining the ‘tribalism is bad’ tribe, and now enjoy feeling superior to and denigrating those who are less enlightened. It’s a particularly insidious trap, and I’ve seen others fall into it before.

  575. #575 BobC
    July 21, 2008

    MartinM (#565):

    If accurate, this report surely dispels any notion that the correct course of action here is to sit down and shut up; apparently, the student who accompanied Cook to church is now himself under investigation.

    “I tried to look at my class schedule,” Collard said. “There was a hold placed on my account that I couldn’t sign up for classes. I went to the office of Student conduct to see what was going on and they told me Catholic Campus Ministries filed charges against me.”

    The Catholics apparently want to be ridiculed.

    The crackers are going to get it on Wednesday Catholic assholes.

  576. #576 BobC
    July 21, 2008

    For abusing one cracker, the Catholic shitheads want two students expelled, and one professor fired.

    To any Catholic reading this, go fuck yourself asshole.

  577. #577 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “You people enjoy feeling superior and denigrating others. That’s all there is to it. Don’t try to justify this cracker affair with lame excuses about how PZ “has to do it”.

    YOu’re right – you got us. We do feel surperior to people who believe that crackers are worth killing people over. And if you think that’s a bad thing, than we’re better than you too.

    Feel free to cower before the religious, no one’s stopping you. Some of us won’t. Deal.

  578. #578 Erwin Blonk
    July 21, 2008

    You know, I’m a buddhist, that’s my mental affliction. Please make fun of it, wipe your ass with the tipitaka (which I have never read actually), use buddha statues for target practice (as the Taliban did, and they’re welcome to it – have a ball, boys, better than blowing up people) and tell a few good, sarcastic, degrading jokes. I mean, religions are just religions, man-made philosophies in a shiny wrapper. Stick to it if you want and as long as you don’t do idiot stuff that hurts people or other animals, have a nice day.
    And if somebody really shits all over your religious stuff, hey, what a great opportunity to practice forgiveness – you should thank that person because now you can score points with the deity of your choosing.

  579. #579 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    @ true bob “Well, szkott, I thought since you made an analogy, you would understand an analogy. Sorry, my mistake.”

    at least my analogy was a little bit related. What did your analogy have to do with civil disobedience or symbolically fighting injustice?

    statistics? wtf?

    To make this post relevant:
    If PZ desecrates a wafer or a Koran that’s his right and I would hope that it holds under the first ammendment. However, the message is still hate.

    Get the kid an attorney and stop wasting your time with the cracker. Has the kid contacted the ACLU yet?

  580. #580 MartinM
    July 21, 2008

    Whatever PZ does to the wafer and/or Koran will still be an act of hatred in my eyes regardless of the “reason” behind his actions (he’s just rationalizing his actions anyway – it’s all about hate)and I find it personally offensive.

    Ah, I see I was wrong; you don’t understand context at all. Somebody’s rationalizing here, but I don’t think it’s PZ. If you’re not willing to even consider the possibility that you might be wrong, why are you here? What do you hope to accomplish?

  581. #581 Stephen Wells
    July 21, 2008

    szkott: you have a right to be offended, and everyone else has the right to ignore your silly little opinion. Have a nice day.

  582. #582 MartinM
    July 21, 2008

    For abusing one cracker, the Catholic shitheads want two students expelled, and one professor fired.

    To any Catholic reading this, go fuck yourself asshole.

    Even the ones who think the actions taken are massively out of line? There are criticisms that could be made of Catholics as a group, but I don’t think this is one of them.

  583. #583 J
    July 21, 2008

    And you’re adding what, precisely? There’s no argument here, you’re just baldly asserting your position.

    I think my assertion was plausible enough. I’m not going to waste time trying to present a rigorous proof, as it will fall on deaf ears anyway.

    You recognize that tribalism is bad, but I can’t help but wonder if you’ve simply ended up joining the ‘tribalism is bad’ tribe, and now enjoy feeling superior to and denigrating those who are less enlightened. It’s a particularly insidious trap, and I’ve seen others fall into it before.

    There are many asymmetries. For instance, I have not devoted a large amount of time to decrying “tribalism”, and I am not making fun of anyone.

  584. #584 Damian
    July 21, 2008

    szkott:

    Who are you to decide how others feel? Fine, you believe that it is an act of hate. You have no evidence that any of us hate anything, but if that makes you feel better, I honestly couldn’t care less.

    I really cannot be bothered to explain the rationale for the thousandth time, so you can continue in your delusion. It’s no longer worth the effort if people are simply going to make shit up in their own heads.

    You may need to invent some new words to describe acts of murder, rape, genocide, or any kind of violence, though. If desecration is hate, how exactly would you describe those actions?

    And therein lies the problem with people who have no sense of proportion. All of a sudden, a cracker takes on the importance of a human life [just as some Catholics have suggested that the Eucharist is as important as a member of their own family].

    Now, get writing to Pope Ratzy and tell him how [insert your new word here] he is for helping to cover up the priest rape scandal, as well as indirectly causing the loss of millions of lives because, to the catholic church at least, superstition trumps safe sex and saving human life. Nice.

  585. #585 MartinM
    July 21, 2008

    I think my assertion was plausible enough. I’m not going to waste time trying to present a rigorous proof, as it will fall on deaf ears anyway.

    Then why bother saying it at all?

    There are many asymmetries. For instance, I have not devoted a large amount of time to decrying “tribalism”, and I am not making fun of anyone.

    My mistake. There must be some other J round here who routinely complains of cult-like behaviour and groupthink.

  586. #586 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    @ MartinM
    “Ah, I see I was wrong; you don’t understand context at all. Somebody’s rationalizing here, but I don’t think it’s PZ. If you’re not willing to even consider the possibility that you might be wrong, why are you here? What do you hope to accomplish?”

    1000, baby! just trivial pursuits, man.

    besides, you people are as easy to get riled up as the evangelists…

  587. #587 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    By Thor’s Mighty Hammer, It’s just a silly cracker!

    By Grabthar’s Hammer, you [the cracker] will be avenged! ;-)

  588. #588 johannes
    July 21, 2008

    > Hey don’t throw it away (Koran), I’ll save the purchase of loo roll for a week at least.

    A guy in Germany got sentenced for this. § 166 of the German penal code says that insulting a religion or “Weltanschauungsgemeinschaft” (ideological community) is punishable when it may provoke a riot that is a danger for public peace and order. Of course, this means that only those religions are protected against libel that are likely to make a lot of fuss if you insult them. Zoroastrians are not protected by this law, because they don`t react violently if you insult them. Scientologists, on the other hand, might be protected – if the judge considers them a proper religion – because they are likely to cause trouble. Muslims are of course very well protected against anything that looks like an insult of their religion. The injustice is obvious: The more quarrelsome you are, the better the law protects your religion.

  589. #589 MarkW
    July 21, 2008

    the message is still hate

    Well, see, I think you’re wrong. The message(s) of hate are the death-threats sent to PZ over what is, after all, just a cracker.

    Now which of the following positions looks more reasonable?

    Position a: a cracker is just a cracker and it doesn’t really matter what happens to it.
    Position b: a cracker is worth threatening someone’s life over.

    Now I would imagine that most reasonable people agree more with position a than with position b, are you with me so far?

    And if some reasonable catholic comes along, sees that a lot of his fellow catholics are espousing position b, and this causes him to wonder whether his catholicism might be a mistake, well, isn’t that what PZ is trying to accomplish here?

  590. #590 Clay
    July 21, 2008

    Heh, heh, heh….I still say PZ hasn’t got the ‘nads to desecrate that “silly” book. He’ll find a way to weasel out of it, and he’ll still be your hero.

    You guys are going to look as ridiculous as the Millerites.

  591. #591 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Heh, heh, heh….I still say PZ hasn’t got the ‘nads to desecrate that “silly” book.

    And this matters, why?

  592. #592 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    Anxious masculinity much, Clay? Feeling a bit tiny and limp this morning? Gotta talk about someone else’s genitals for a while?

  593. #593 qbsmd
    July 21, 2008

    According to some pages online, the whole host desecration thing was started by a red mold that can grow on the things. See if you can get some of them to grow that, and test what species it is. That would be an historically appropriate and biologically relevant way to desecrate them.

  594. #594 Keith B
    July 21, 2008

    Those crackers and those two copies of the Koran are now PZ’s personal property, and he can do whatever he likes to them, including tear them all to shreds. I can go purchase religious symbols and effects from the majority of religions out there, and if I felt like throwing them all through a wood chipper one day and video taping it, I could do so. It wouldn’t make me popular, and my employees and employers might become concerned, but I should still be able to do it in a free country. Personal religious beliefs need to be bigger than the material objects used to symbolize said beliefs. This is only a case of one person who wishes to destroy his own property. Nothing more. You’ll survive.

  595. #595 J
    July 21, 2008

    Then why bother saying it at all?
    Because the people who aren’t close-minded will find my initial assertion sensible enough. For them I don’t need to spell out the justification.

    My mistake. There must be some other J round here who routinely complains of cult-like behaviour and groupthink.
    You mean I’ve complained about cult-like behaviour in several threads. PZ, on the other hand, has blogged about religion for years, and many posters on this site egg him on regularly. Also, unlike them I don’t “point and laugh”.

  596. #596 TomJoe
    July 21, 2008

    P.Z. are you done milking this issue for all it’s worth? Talk about a drama whore. Sheesh.

  597. #597 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 21, 2008

    The message here is not hate, it’s ridicule and mockery.

    Then I suggest you find a better method to communicate the message you want, because that is categorically *not* the interpretation that this is going to receive.

  598. #598 Damian
    July 21, 2008

    I do believe that Clay has just volunteered to desecrate the Koran, himself. Congratulations, and do make sure that you keep a record of it.

    I mean, you would say what you just have without also have the ‘nads, would you?

  599. #599 TomS
    July 21, 2008

    I think the cracker and Koran should get a George Goble style barbecue treatment. For those that don’t recall, Goble is the one who ignited the briquettes in a grill in under 3 seconds using liquid oxygen a decade or so ago.

  600. #600 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    The fact is, if PZ is doing this out of solidarity for the boy, then I applaud him. I think I may have been misunderstanding his actions here. The whole thing with the Koran threw me. He should just stick to the wafer so that his message is clear: this kid shouldn’t get thrown out of school or get death threats for “desecrating” a wafer and he’s desecrating a wafer out of solidarity. A wafer is less important than this kid’s life.

    And help get the kid an attorney.

    I apologize for my previous posts. Sorry, if I was hot-headed and used bad metaphors – It was part devil’s advocate, part serious.

  601. #601 Kim
    July 21, 2008

    Ichthyic @432

    As a Heathen (look it up), I do not have the faintest issue with someone taking a Thor’s hammer and desecrating it. It is just a symbol and my religion is not threatened by it. Not all religions are as fragile as Catholicism and Islam…..

  602. #602 Clay
    July 21, 2008

    I do believe that Clay has just volunteered to desecrate the Koran, himself. Congratulations, and do make sure that you keep a record of it.

    I mean, you would say what you just have without also have the ‘nads, would you?

    Posted by: Damian | July 21, 2008 9:51 AM

    Well, Damian, I don’t recall ever boasting, privately or publicly, that I would do such a thing.

    There’s and old saying: “put up, or shut up”.

    THAT’S why it “matters”, MAJeff.

  603. #603 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    The message here is solidarity. (I hope)

    Leave the Koran out of this for the moment. This kid’s life is more important than ideology.

  604. #604 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Actually, what I was asking about mattering was your opinion on PZ’s nads.
    That matters, why?

  605. #605 Clay
    July 21, 2008

    Sorry, MAJeff. It’s what is known as an, “expression”. I forgout you guys don’t use those around here.

    I guess I could have said “guts”, or “courage”.

  606. #606 Aden B
    July 21, 2008

    I think it’s important to remember the context of PZ’s plan. All of this started in response to an event not so long ago in which a student who took a Eucharist out of mass managed to provoke hysteria from the Catholic world. By taking a cracker, Webster Cook was accused of sacrilege, kidnapping, disrupting an entire community, and hate speech. This absurdity is where the “It’s just a cracker” argument is coming from. That’s why I think that comparing this to saying “it’s just a piece of cloth” in order to justify flag burning isn’t a fair comparison. There’s more to it than just trying to make people angry. PZ didn’t wake up one day and decide to start insulting people by destroying pastries – he’s trying to make a point.

  607. #607 Kerlyssa
    July 21, 2008

    ‘nads? Is this Beavis and Butthead now?

  608. #608 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 21, 2008

    Aden @606

    I get that, but look:

    (a) that point is going to be totally lost under the act itself;

    (b) why not protest in a way which moderate Catholics (hey, they exist!) can agree with, and join in? This act makes no distinction between the real scumbags who send death-threats, and decent Catholics who agree that the reaction to Cook was appalling. Why piss them off too?

    I mean, I could wipe my ass on a US flag in the context of the Iraq war, or something. But would that make it less offensive to ordinary peaceable Americans?

  609. #609 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    Why people would want to worship a supernatural thug I will never understand.

    That’s an easy one. It’s the same as the sycophants of a bully who are hoping by their sycophancy not to be among the bullied; and the same as abused children who cling preferentially to the abusive parent.

    @ Ichthyic #512: Don’t encourage him. There might be altar boys nearby.

  610. #610 Clay
    July 21, 2008

    ‘nads? Is this Beavis and Butthead now?

    Posted by: Kerlyssa | July 21, 2008 10:12 AM

    Nah, Kerlyssa…I think “Cephalopod Sex” might be a bit over B & B’s heads.

  611. #611 Kobra
    July 21, 2008

    Not quite at 1000, are we?

  612. #612 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    Now all you have to do is go one step further and look at the actual context in this case

    Having taken that one extra step into the room, I can declare that it was PZ in the study with the lead piping.

  613. #613 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    @608

    (b) why not protest in a way which moderate Catholics (hey, they exist!) can agree with, and join in? This act makes no distinction between the real scumbags who send death-threats, and decent Catholics who agree that the reaction to Cook was appalling. Why piss them off too?

    They shouldn’t be pissed off unless they expect us to treat their sacred cracker as sacred. They have no right to expect that. That’s what freedom of religion means. That’s the whole point. If they are pissed off, then they are guilty of what the protest is against.

    I mean, I could wipe my ass on a US flag in the context of the Iraq war, or something. But would that make it less offensive to ordinary peaceable Americans?

    It’s a sad state of affairs when the symbol is more important than what it stands for.

  614. #614 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    @#606

    you’re totally right. That’s why I think it’s important to drop the Koran. Religion isn’t the deeper issue here – it’s injustice. The people from the church are using “hate” as an excuse to cry witch.

    His actions shouldn’t be construed as so heinous as to get him and his friend thrown out of school! Isn’t there something about intent? Athough, he did actually plan to steal the cracker, right? hmmm.

    Still, I think his actions were innocent enough, so they should just make him apologize and never be allowed to go inside the church again.

  615. #615 Michelle
    July 21, 2008

    Shall we send PZ a copy of the Torah too while we’re at it? :P He’ll have it all, the cracker, the koran, the torah… Maybe we oughta also give him a toy UFO to destroy, just to be offensive to Raelians as well. Why do we always forget the Raelians?! They’re on the same level as the others too!

  616. #616 AgnoAtheist
    July 21, 2008

    szkott said, “…they should just make him apologize and never be allowed to go inside the church again.”

    Can I get that punishment?

    And do you not see how utterly ironic this statement is?

  617. #617 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    @AgnoAtheist

    Not excommunication! I didn’t mean that, I just meant that particular church.

    Actually:
    Can’t he just confess? It’s the Catholic Church for God’s Sake! Why can’t they FORGIVE him? Talk about hypocrisy.

  618. #618 Clay
    July 21, 2008

    Hey, that’s good, Kobra @ #611!

    Now, let’s see your FY Koran.

    (And then, let’s take bets on how long PZ leaves it up!)

    Good times.

  619. #619 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    Someone needs to organize a rally in Orlando: Big signs that say “FORGIVE!” and “What would Jesus do?”

  620. #620 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    PZ said that the desecration would occur on Wednesday, right? Should we all fast for 24 hrs beforehand?

  621. #621 Kobra
    July 21, 2008

    #618:

    Why do you assholes automatically say, “Let’s see you say that about the Koran!”?

    Do you think I have any reason to post an image that says “Fuck the Koran!” or any reason to be afraid to say it? No, and no.

  622. #622 Clay
    July 21, 2008

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  623. #623 Kobra
    July 21, 2008

    I think it’s also important to note that the equivalent of the Eucharist to Muslims would NOT be the fucking Koran; it would be the boulder they all bow to.

  624. #624 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    Messing with the Koran at this point would be hate, because no “higher purpose” would be involved in its desecration. Same goes for the Torah and the Star Wars memorabilia.

  625. #625 Laughin_Guy
    July 21, 2008

    If any of you PZians are still harboring some hope, let me put an end to your angst. Yes, children, you’ve been punk’d.

    PZ will set fire to his own hair before he so much as looks at those hosts cross-eyed. Why, you wonder?

    Well it’s simple, children.

    PZ would lose his job. And the pickin’s for extremely untalented, big mouthed, kooks looking to land comfy teaching jobs are, well, very limited these days.

    But don’t despair PZians…let not your hearts be troubled! Just as sure as PZ will never desecrate an article of anyone’s faith (yes, you can stop sending Korans too), he will always keep this portal to lunacy open for business…it’s his lifeline, his single claim to fame, and it’s a lot cheaper than the intense psychoanalysis he’d need to settle down to anything approaching normalcy.

    So by all means continue to post your spittle flecked amphigory, your artfully crafted photoshop renditions of your hearts desire, let your hatred pour forth from that evacuated space between your ears as the waters poured from Lake Delton.

    PZ’s playhouse is open for business.

    *laughing*

  626. #626 Kseniya
    July 21, 2008

    Ah, Friar J. has blessed once again with his presence.

    Instead you could concentrate on biology instead of topics that you know little about

    Interesting concept. I think, Friar Jay, for the greater good of the mankind, your efforts would be better spent telling religionists to keep the ignorant, meddling little fingers out science education.

    we don’t need any more Melanie Kroll firings.

    No, but we we do need more exposure of idiots like her husband who, while hiding behind his wife’s e-skirts, threatened to bash PZ’s brains in if he didn’t resign his position at the University in a timely fashion.

    Let me point out, once again, that (to the best of my knowledge) PZ still hasn’t actually done anything. And look at the outpouring of hatred, the shimmering pools of tears, the clicking of claws and the gnashing of teeth, the accusations, the threats, the thousands of comments over something that hasn’t even happened. What does this tell us?

  627. #627 Kobra
    July 21, 2008

    Let me point out, once again, that (to the best of my knowledge) PZ still hasn’t actually done anything.

    Quoted for truth.

  628. #628 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    @Kseniya
    “Let me point out, once again, that (to the best of my knowledge) PZ still hasn’t actually done anything. And look at the outpouring of hatred, the shimmering pools of tears, the clicking of claws and the gnashing of teeth, the accusations, the threats, the thousands of comments over something that hasn’t even happened. What does this tell us?”

    We’re really frackin’ bored and too lazy to start our own blogs.

  629. #629 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Let me point out, once again, that (to the best of my knowledge) PZ still hasn’t actually done anything.

    Well, it appears he’s opened the mail.

    Oy, impeachment in a student government and possible expulsion, thousands of comments, at least one lost job, death threats, extravagant scenarios for “committing sacrilege,” calls to do it to another religion….

    …all over some crackers.

    Trash day in Morris is Thursday, right?

  630. #630 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    willitblend.com?

    Just sayin’.

  631. #631 Ally McBeelzebub
    July 21, 2008

    @626 And look at the outpouring of hatred, the shimmering pools of tears, the clicking of claws and the gnashing of teeth, the accusations, the threats, the thousands of comments over something that hasn’t even happened. What does this tell us?

    That it ISN’T just a frackin’ cracker?

  632. #632 Jack Rawlinson
    July 21, 2008

    This whole fuss would be very amusing were it not for the fact that it reminds us how many insane people are out there imagining they’re normal.

    I love the way PZ is biding his time before actually doing anything to the cracker. It’s fun imagining the superstitious primitives working themselves up into a lather over it. I have this delightful image of PZ posting a picture of himself holding the cracker over a bucket full of something nasty and saying something like “Okay Catholics! Denounce the church’s stance on contraception or the cracker gets it!”

  633. #633 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    That it ISN’T just a frackin’ cracker?

    That some people believe it isn’t just a frackin’ cracker and won’t tolerate anyone who does.

    That would be the point.

  634. #634 Alan Kellogg
    July 21, 2008

    Propositon

    A Koran printed on communion wafers. Think of the possibilities.

  635. #635 Benjamin Franklin
    July 21, 2008

    I’ve been on vacation this past week, blissfully without internet.

    Doesn’t seem like much of anything has changed, except a lady lost her job with a flower company due to the ignorance of her deluded husband and we now have pretty pictures and big fonts in the comments.

    Unfortunately, no minds have been changed, and little, if anything has been accomplished.

    During my vacation, I went with my family to the Kennedy Space Center. It was a wonderful statement about science, technology, and man’s quest for knowledge. And all done, remarkably enough, without apparent divine interference or intervention.

    The point is, inflamatory action doesn’t dispell delusions, but education can. Our local school boards have been commandeered by holy rollers. For science education to advance, local school boards must be repopulated with non-delusional thinkers.

  636. #636 Sully
    July 21, 2008

    LOL, lighten up atheist people.

    We, in Ireland, can’t figure out why you are even bothering to hold an election in the United States.

    On one side, you have a lawyer, married to a lawyer, running against a lawyer who is married to a lawyer.

    On the other side, you have a war hero married to a good looking woman who owns a beer distributorship.

    What are you lads thinking over there?

  637. #637 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    That some people believe it isn’t just a frackin’ cracker and won’t tolerate anyone who does.

    That would be the point.

    And, I forgot to add, I fully expect it to go sailing by without a second glance …

  638. #638 Joseph
    July 21, 2008

    It is just a cracker for devout Catholics, too. That they believe it has magic powers does not mean that it does.

    “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs would the dog have?”

    If you claim 5, you’re missing the point.

    “No, dogs have four legs, and merely calling the tail another leg does not make it so.”

    CARR: Then you are not actually an artist at all?

    TZARA: On the contrary. I have just told you I am.

    CARR: But that does not make you an artist. An artist is someone who is gifted in some way that enables him to do something more or less well which can only be done badly or not at all by someone who is not thus gifted. If there is any point in using language at all it is that a word is taken to stand for a particular fact or idea and not for other facts or ideas. I might claim to be able to fly… Lo, I say, I am flying. But you are not propelling yourself about while suspended in the air, someone may point out. Ah no, I reply, that is no longer considered the proper concern of people who can fly… Don’t you see my dear Tristan you are simply asking me to accept that the word Art means whatever you wish it to mean; but I do not accept it.

    TZARA: Why not? You do exactly the same things with words like patriotism, duty, love, freedom, king and country, brave little Belgium, saucy little Serbia…

    -Tom Stoppard, Travesties

  639. #639 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    “The point is, inflamatory action doesn’t dispell delusions, but education can. Our local school boards have been commandeered by holy rollers. For science education to advance, local school boards must be repopulated with non-delusional thinkers.”

    Aren’t members of the school board ELECTED? Have you ever heard of George W. Bush? I’m guessing “I’ve been on vacation this past week, blissfully without internet.” was a typo. Shouldn’t it have said: “this past 7 years”?

    Sorry, I’m just very cynical – I know you’re right in theory, but what do you do when the majority of people in your neighborhood (State) are religious fanatics?

  640. #640 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    The point is, inflamatory action doesn’t dispell delusions, but education can. Our local school boards have been commandeered by holy rollers. For science education to advance, local school boards must be repopulated with non-delusional thinkers.

    And how do you propose to do that without pointing out the delusions? Because, sure as shit, anybody who calls a religious belief a delusion is going to get called inflammatory. All you have to do is read this thread to see that.

  641. #641 Damian
    July 21, 2008

    szkott:

    Fair enough. I wouldn’t personally support a random act of desecration, either. Not now, anyway. At the time, and as an act of defiance against the treatment of Webster Cook, I would have. And I realize that conflict makes some people uncomfortable. I am not a particularly offensive person, either, but history is littered with these sort of acts, and it is generally accepted that they have helped to smash down barriers, and to shake people out of their comfort zone. At the very least they create a debate that might not ordinarily happen. If PZ is going to do something now, I would support some sort of scientific experiment.

    I think that there are some larger issues involved, as well. Many people — and particularly those who are not religious — don’t realize that religion often leads the believer to “construct” all sorts of cognitive mechanisms that help them to deal with what are some pretty abnormal beliefs. That is why arguing with believers can often be such a difficult and frustrating task. Imagine what it would require for you to sincerely believe that a wafer becomes the flesh of Jesus Christ.

    Despite what many people say, most activities that we undertake do not require faith. At least, faith is not the primary mode of thought — a form of rational evaluation is. Just think about your own life. When you attempt to organize something, you do not have faith that it will all run smoothly. You plan, you manage, you are constantly thinking about the most productive way to use your time, etc.

    And this leads me to the rationale for, in certain circumstances, behaving provocatively. If, as you may already know, attempting to reason with some believers is a long and ultimately frustrating exercise [note: this is obviously not the case for all, and you wouldn't expect it to be, but those who do listen to reason won't generally be too offended by this act, anyway], it may therefore be necessary for something quite drastic to shake their foundations, if you will. And that something is intentionally making people angry. Counter-intuitive, I know, but this is some research about anger:

    “Not all the consequences, however, are negative. Deffenbacher, Oetting, Lynch & Morris (1996) reported that sometimes, when a person is angry, a positive consequence can come from it, such as a problem getting resolved.”

    It is my own experience that when I am angry at, say, a family member, I cannot help but in the end consider the opposite point of view, even if it is just for a second. It is well known that we lose a certain amount of self control when we become angry, and that is one of the ways that it is possible to “get in to the head” of those who really have constructed a Berlin wall of cognitive mechanisms to help them deal with doubt and attacks on their faith.

    It obviously doesn’t happen instantly, but as I am calming down, and while still feeling hurt and offended and all of the symptoms of anger [which are never as "painful" as some make out], I can’t help but wonder: what if I am wrong? And that may be all that is needed. Just a moment of doubt.

    This is a risky strategy, to be sure, and there are many other reasons for this particular act, including a show of solidarity, but I thought that I would attempt to defend the idea of sometimes purposefully offending people.

  642. #642 Pygmy Loris
    July 21, 2008

    @311 (and others)

    Cannibalism is not necessarily a crime in the US. There is no federal law against it and many states have never passed a law against it (probably because it is such a rare event). Usually people who commit cannibalism are prosecuted for murder or, if they didn’t commit murder to obtain the human flesh, desecration of a corpse.

    Sorry if others have said this before, but I didn’t read all of the comments

  643. #643 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    Let me point out, once again, that (to the best of my knowledge) PZ still hasn’t actually done anything.

    Since when is a threat “nothing”?

  644. #644 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    Since when is a threat “nothing”?

    When it’s against a cracker.

  645. #645 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    @damian
    Point taken. I started out angry at the whole idea and came around somewhat.

    I still think it’s wrong at this point to involve the Koran as it will water-down the effect of his actions, at least regarding his trying to help Benjamin Collard and Webster Cook. Or even make a statement about it, if that’s all he wants to do.

    I think he should at least leave the Koran for another time, if he doesn’t want to drop it altogether.

  646. #646 Nemo
    July 21, 2008

    Disclaimer: I haven’t read most of the previous comments.

    As a bibliophile, I hate the idea of a book being intentionally damaged, even one whose contents I violently disagree with. Crackers, not so much. But if you do include the Koran, I hope you find a way to deal with it that doesn’t evoke either the specter of book burners, or the horrors of Guantanamo.

    I like the idea suggested earlier, of just holding it, pointing to it, and saying it’s full of lies. But that probably wouldn’t work if it’s meant to get the same treatment as the crackers. Just tossing all of it in the garbage is second choice.

    Whatever you do, make it funny.

  647. #647 szkott
    July 21, 2008

    I meant: even if PZ is just trying to make a statement, he would be better off to stick to the wafer only, since he can refer to this specific case of witch hunting.

  648. #648 Glen Davidson
    July 21, 2008

    I wish PZ would expedite whatever he does to the cracker, simply because I want the story to go away. It’s way past its expiration date, at least to my mind.

    IOW, if it’s just a cracker it shouldn’t require much time to find something to do with it, rather than stringing the meaningless “threat” along.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  649. #649 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “That it ISN’T just a frackin’ cracker?”

    no, it tells me that there are some adult human beings so hopelessly lost of the insanity of religious belief that they would go this far to protect a frakin cracker.

    It’s tragic and sad how much they value a frakin cracker over human life.

  650. #650 Cheezits
    July 21, 2008

    If you repeat Cheez-Its over and over you’ll hear the name of God.

    How did I get involved in this anyway? :-D

  651. #651 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    What an unusual Amanda. ;-)

    Only 500 emails! And with most on the wrong side! PZ’s minions can’t have been properly mobilised in that direction.

  652. #652 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    I see we’re only at 65% crankyness… but just you wait ’til the West Coast wakes up.

  653. #653 Briansrapier
    July 21, 2008

    Taking religious (or non-religious) beliefs out of the picture, let’s consider this issue from a different point of view. The issue revolves around a simple lack of respect. The young man who took the so called ‘cracker’ from the church claims he did so because he was rudely treated and man-handled.

    So, in other words ‘I did something I shouldn’t have, you over-reacted, and I’m going to retaliate’. This is an extremely childish point of view. Somewhere along the way, this man’s parents failed him by allowing him to enter adult life without the simple skills of how to interact with the world around him

    I do not agree with the extremist views that he should be charged with kidnapping or a hate crime. That’s a bit much. If he had desecrated the host, perhaps hate crime would have been a consideration.

    No? If a similar desecration of a religious article had been done against a Mosque or Synagogue, I have no doubt that the authorities would have wasted no time in taking the young man into custody and charging him.

    In the same way people are protected in expressing their freedom of speech, Catholics (along with other Christian denominations, Jewish, Muslims, Budists, and even Atheists) are granted the freedom to practice the religion they choose.

    I find it extremely ironic that many of the commenters are pro-peace, even quoting the likes of John Lennon, but would burn an American Flag or wipe their butt on it to protest a war. What better way to insight anger in your fellow man than to burn a symbol in which he believes. Isn’t that counter intuitive to peace?

    Seeing as how Jesus is the ultimate promoter of peace, I also find it ironic that someone claiming to defend the Catholic faith would condone hateful actions, let alone death threats. Perhaps someone needs confession?

  654. #654 negentropyeater
    July 21, 2008

    Demalien 475,

    Taken in the context of PZ’s repeated insistence that it is, in fact, just a cracker, they sound more like a more like hyperbolic satire than anything else – I mean, how on Earth can you be profoundly disrespectful to a cracker?

    I think like any good satire, there was always a double entendre in this post, on one hand they’re just crackers but on the other they’re also religious symbols and PZ’s post meant “I don’t intend to offer respect to a worthless religious symbol that has absolutely no meaning to me”.

    That’s always how I understood this post, and how I defended it. It’s obviously not the cracker that he’s refusing to respect, that would have no meaning, and for that he wouldn’t need consecrated Eucharists, but it’s the religious symbol.

    So the conservative catholic bigots are demanding that he offers respect to that worthless symbol ? Perfect. Let them offer respect to non believers first, people that they have systematically disrespected and offended in the past, instead of continuing to do so and threaten PZ with violent behaviour and ridiculous attempts to go after his job.

  655. #655 Sauceress
    July 21, 2008

    #625 Laughin_Guy

    Laughin_Guy
    Are you The Laughing Man (TLM) from CoFSM?
    Your rhetoric sounds much like our beeeluuuvid Laughing Boi.
    Remember that Pastafarian girl, that as a 17yo, you had that rather embarrassing crush on?

    If so, you’ll be glad to know your presence at CoFSM was sincerely missed. Didn’t we all have so much fun? :) You really should call in if you are TLM because, apparently, according to some of the Pirates, the daffodills are in bloom?

    Sorry about rejecting you back then sweetie, it was just….well… you were just a bit too insipid for a Pirate Wench. But I do wish you luck :)
    Kisses xxx

  656. #656 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    So, in other words ‘I did something I shouldn’t have, you over-reacted, and I’m going to retaliate’. This is an extremely childish point of view. Somewhere along the way, this man’s parents failed him by allowing him to enter adult life without the simple skills of how to interact with the world around him

    Ah, yes. More blaming the victim for not giving into the unreasonable and irrational reaction of those who attacked him. Good for you.

    I find it extremely ironic

    Translation: “that which follows is going to be a vague accusation implicating a whole group of people which I will not indentify so the assertion can’t be challenged.”

    that many of the commenters

    Which commenters?

    are pro-peace, even quoting the likes of John Lennon, but would burn an American Flag or wipe their butt on it to protest a war.

    False dilemma.

    What better way to insight anger in your fellow man than to burn a symbol in which he believes.

    That the reaction is predictable and expected doesn’t make it rational or reasonable. See Koran Envy.

  657. #657 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “Somewhere along the way, this man’s parents failed him by allowing him to enter adult life without the simple skills of how to interact with the world around him”

    Wow. Did you hurt your back trying to twist that bit of victim blaming into something sounding sensible?

    “What better way to insight anger in your fellow man than to burn a symbol in which he believes. Isn’t that counter intuitive to peace?”

    Isn’t threating two people with death counter intuitive to peace?

    Oh, right, you don’t care about that. That’s not important. WHat’s important is that someone offended a cracker!

    You people scare me. You’re so desensitized to sanity, it’s scary.

  658. #658 Steve_C
    July 21, 2008

    Religion is owed no respect. Only tolerance. What’s so hard to understand about that sentiment? Is desecrating a religious symbols, in this case a cracker, intolerant? Nope. Disrespectful? Of course. Whacky religious ideas do not deserve respect… they should be mocked often and loudly.

  659. #659 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    But, PZ, since Catholics do not claim that anything is supposed to happen when you desecrate the hosts, what exactly is the point of this exercise? It certainly doesn’t seem scientific.

    Just as Jesus allowed himself to be put to death on the cross, he will also allow this abuse. It’s basically just another re-enactment of non-believers putting him to the test, as prophesied in Wisdom 2: 17-21

    “Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, ‘God will take care of him.’
    These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them”

    We’ll be praying for you, PZ.

  660. #660 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    Someone in a previous thread said there was a rule in linguistics that says “Everything before the ‘but’ is bullshit” (eg “I’m not a racist, but …”).

    tsg’s corollary to that rule is “Everything after the ‘I find it interesting/amusing/ironic/etc’” is meaningless.

  661. #661 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    Dave Mueller,

    Fuck you very much, too.

  662. #662 Owlmirror
    July 21, 2008

    But, PZ, since Catholics do not claim that anything is supposed to happen when you desecrate the hosts, what exactly is the point of this exercise?

    If nothing is supposed to happen, why should Catholics become upset?

  663. #663 windy
    July 21, 2008

    I find it extremely ironic that many of the commenters are pro-peace, even quoting the likes of John Lennon, but would burn an American Flag or wipe their butt on it to protest a war.

    Alanis, is that you?

  664. #664 Aden B
    July 21, 2008

    @Ally(608):

    My first thought was that if something is offensive, it would also be more effective at making a point, because it would get a lot of attention (as this has certainly done). But you’re right, even moderate Catholics would probably be so offended that they would miss the point trying to be made. I think comments made on this blog (by both sides of this issue) show how many people have missed the point of all this.

    In fact, the Koran bit has me wondering a little if even PZ has lost sight of the original point? I can’t say I blame him, after being bombarded by hate mail and death threats. I really think the Koran should be left out of this. Maybe mention it, or denounce it or something, but nothing too nasty. This is supposed to be a demonstration against a very specific incident, not a religion-bashing free-for-all.

    So, is there an effective, but inoffensive way to protest against this cracker nonsense? Or should we just do whatever it takes to demonstrate our opinions? I’m personally undecided, but I’m very interested in seeing what PZ ends up doing.

  665. #665 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    We’ll be praying for you, PZ.

    Thanks for nothing.

  666. #666 JStein
    July 21, 2008

    I never cease to be amazed by the stupidity of audaciousness of Evangelical Christians.

    There were a few comments in here that pissed me off, but I’ll ignore them, because they don’t really speak to anything intelligent or logical or interesting.

  667. #667 Benjamin Franklin
    July 21, 2008

    Glen D-

    As stale as those crackers usually are, it is obvious that they do not have any expiration date.

  668. #668 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “We’ll be praying for you, PZ.”

    Okay, I’m going to ask this again – why do you people insist on telling us you talk to yourselves? Why do you think we care you’re going to talk to yourself about PZ? Loonies.

  669. #669 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    My first thought was that if something is offensive, it would also be more effective at making a point, because it would get a lot of attention (as this has certainly done). But you’re right, even moderate Catholics would probably be so offended that they would miss the point trying to be made.

    The point trying to be made is that no one has the right to demand or even expect anyone else to treat their religious symbols as sacred. If the “moderate” Catholics are offended, then they are guilty of it, too.

    In fact, the Koran bit has me wondering a little if even PZ has lost sight of the original point?

    The reason for including the Koran is the ubiquitous implications that he wouldn’t desecrate it for fear of the response of Muslims. I think it’s pretty pointless: a) he does criticize the Koran so the claim is unfounded and b) even if he is afraid of the response, it doesn’t make the response rational or reasonable, let alone right. Personally, I would leave the Koran out of it, but I understand why he’s doing it.

    So, is there an effective, but inoffensive way to protest against this cracker nonsense?

    Their offense is precisely the issue. It is the result of their own intolerance of others not believing what they do. You can’t fight intolerance without exposing it and calling it what it is.

  670. #670 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    #662, “If nothing is supposed to happen, why should Catholics become upset?”

    Well, nothing is supposed to happen that is measurable by science, at any rate. You are assuming that Jesus is just like a normal human being, who would defend himself if possible from any attack. Just as he didn’t defend himself from crucifixion, he will do nothing to defend himself here either.

    The upsettedness is because PZ is taking our most sacred object and attacking it. As far as we can tell, this is out of sheer hate (because there is no other rational reason to steal a Host and do whatever PZ is intending to do to it)

    Satanists also steal hosts because they hate them, and do terrible things to them. The only difference is that they actually believe Catholic teaching, but they hate it.

    Perhaps, however, it is out of a misunderstanding, and PZ thinks that according to Catholic teaching, something bad will happen to the Host when he desecrates it. In point of fact, nothing will happen according to Catholic teaching, except that PZ will damage his own soul.

  671. #671 C R Stamey
    July 21, 2008

    Lin Chi Zen Master said, “If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha. If you meet a Patriarch, kill the Patriarch.”

    http://www.kwanumzen.com/pzc/newsletter/v09n10-1997-oct.html

    PZ, thank you for helping kill the Buddha. OK, it’s out of context, but I’d like to think he would approve!

  672. #672 Judith I.
    July 21, 2008

    Jesus WHO?

    I thought you were talking about my boyfriend Brian…

  673. #673 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    The upsettedness is because PZ is taking our most sacred object and attacking it. As far as we can tell, this is out of sheer hate (because there is no other rational reason to steal a Host and do whatever PZ is intending to do to it)

    That’s because you haven’t been paying attention.

  674. #674 Kseniya
    July 21, 2008

    szcott:

    Since when is a threat “nothing”?

    You know perfectly well what I meant. But on the off chance that you (or any of our readers) really are that dense, let me qualify: He hasn’t yet done anything to a consecrated communion wafer. I hope that’s clear enough.

    Mr. Franklin: The Kennedy Space Center is great. I tend to agree with your stance on education vs. inflammatory acts, and I don’t advocate the threatened desecration either, but szcott does have a point: Education has failed, to an extent, because those with an anti-education agenda have been more active and passionate about keeping their children in the dark. Not to mention that the KSC has been there since long before many of us were born, and yet as a culture we seem to be moving away from rationality, back towards superstition. So what is it that isn’t working?

  675. #675 Sven DiMilo
    July 21, 2008

    Reality-based variations on a religious theme:

    In point of fact medieval superstition, nothing will happen according to Catholic teaching, except that PZ will damage his own soul.

    In point of fact New-Age superstition, nothing will happen according to Catholic teaching, except that PZ will damage his own soul Kirlian aura.

    In point of fact, nothing will happen according to Catholic teaching.

    In point of fact, nothing will happen.

  676. #676 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    Mueller, Mueller?

    In fact, nothing whatsoever will happen. He knows nothing “bad” will happen. No hail of flaming toads, no pestilence, no earthquakes, no halting of the sun, etc. It is just a cracker*.

    And what do you mean with the word “soul”? It’s a meaningless construct.

    *Really? You’re most sacred object?

  677. #677 Janine ID
    July 21, 2008

    This goddamned cracker is so stale, it has broken down into crumbs and blown away in the wind.

    Perhaps, however, it is out of a misunderstanding, and PZ thinks that according to Catholic teaching, something bad will happen to the Host when he desecrates it.

    Posted by: Dave Mueller

    Dave, what it is you cannot understand. PZ is an atheist. He does not believe in the existence of a big sky daddy. So how can he think he is harming the big sky daddy by harming the cracker.

    The hole in your head is so wide, the cracker crumbs are blowing through.

  678. #678 Nerd of Redhead
    July 21, 2008

    Mr. Mueller,

    PZ has stated that he would not desecrate (whatever that means) the cracker if the church would back off its persecution of Mr. Cook. Instead of pleading to PZ, why not contact the leader of the Catholics in the central Florida area and talk to him about stopping the harassment of Mr. Cook. The ball is in your court.

  679. #679 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    In point of fact, nothing will happen according to Catholic teaching, except that PZ will damage his own soul.

    Which is a big fat nothing because there are no such things as souls anyway. Meanwhile and in telling contrast, all the violent religionists are busy damaging their own humanity – which is a very real thing (assuming they actually had much of it left before this round of death threats and hypocrisy etc from them).

  680. #680 Patricia
    July 21, 2008

    Please stop it with the images.

  681. #681 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    #673, tsg,
    “that’s because you haven’t been paying attention”

    Why don’t you fill me in then? Since Catholic theology and PZ Myers agree that nothing will happen when the host is desecrated, what exactly is the purpose of it?

  682. #682 Soybomb
    July 21, 2008

    #670 “PZ thinks that according to Catholic teaching, something bad will happen to the Host when he desecrates it. ”

    I think PZ’s words were something along the lines of “its a fucking cracker.” I wouldn’t put words in his mouth but I think that statement says something to quite the contrary of what you’re crediting to PZ. As just a cracker, it will not do anything other than behave like a cracker. This includes functioning like a jesus re-death ray. Well and get him death threats from good christian people.

  683. #683 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    Why don’t you fill me in then? Since Catholic theology and PZ Myers agree that nothing will happen when the host is desecrated, what exactly is the purpose of it?

    Not that you have any intention of understanding it, but here goes: to expose intolerance.

  684. #684 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    Oh come on #679….out of thousands of E-mails from Catholics, PZ got a handful of “death threats”, which he obviously isn’t concerned about much, or he’d be in hiding if he had any sense.

    Of course normal Catholics deplore the death threats. That is just stupid, as well as being a serious sin for the one who does it. We agree on that part, so let’s drop that issue.

    PZ’s actions were inflammatory and made us angry and/or upset. A limited few of the angry people who are mentally unstable made threats. I don’t think any group should be judged by the conduct of their worst members.

  685. #685 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    Satanists also steal hosts because they hate them, and do terrible things to them.

    Prove that this is actually happening anywhere outside of your puny, feverish mind.

    except that PZ will damage his own soul.

    And if there actually was such a thing as a “soul”, that would mean something.

    The entire problem is that you are so far into the loonie bin and beyond that you can not see the lunacy of having a magic cookie being “your most sacred object”, and that scares the crap out of rational people.

  686. #686 PZ Myers
    July 21, 2008

    Yeah, the images could get annoying fast. Please, voluntarily restrict yourself to something small — like a postage stamp.

    The option to permit various kinds of html in the comments is entirely under my control, not Seed’s. That means that if I get annoyed, I’ll simply go into the MT control panel and edit a few things and poof, they go away. Unfortunately, all of the style stuff goes away at the same time.

  687. #687 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    PZ’s actions were inflammatory and made us angry and/or upset.

    That you got angry and/or upset is what makes you intolerant.

  688. #688 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    tsg,
    “to expose intolerance”

    …Could you clarify?

  689. #689 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    Nemo #646

    As a bibliophile, I hate the idea of a book being intentionally damaged, even one whose contents I violently disagree with.

    Oh, please. It’s not like he’s burning every single copy of the Koran that he can get his hands on. It’s the information contained in the book that has value (if for nothing else, a historical and psychological analysis of the people who wrote it), not the physical pages themselves. The information won’t be lost. The Koran is available online, as are 50 versions of the Bible.

  690. #690 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    Could you clarify?

    Have done, several times. If you had any real interest in knowing you could find out just by reading this thread.

  691. #691 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “The upsettedness is because PZ is taking our most sacred object and attacking it. As far as we can tell, this is out of sheer hate (because there is no other rational reason to steal a Host and do whatever PZ is intending to do to it)”

    So you react by calling for his death.

    You. People. Scare. Me.

    “PZ’s actions were inflammatory and made us angry and/or upset. A limited few of the angry people who are mentally unstable made threats. I don’t think any group should be judged by the conduct of their worst members.”

    Riiiiiight because coming here to whine about how your crackers were offended while shrugging off the death threats isn’t at all par for the course with you lunatics.

  692. #692 Steve_C
    July 21, 2008

    If nothing happens, then why do you care Mueller?

  693. #693 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    PZ wrote:

    The option to permit various kinds of html in the comments is entirely under my control, not Seed’s.

    It’s also a security risk if you allow iframes or images. See cross-site scripting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-site_scripting

  694. #694 Clay
    July 21, 2008

    I’ll tell you why P.Z. won’t “descrate” the Koran. Because doing so could literally be construed as endangering the entire student population at his little community college. How long you think his bosses would tolerate that?

    Now, what would be even funnier, is if he were to put a post up of a caricature of Mohammed made with dog turds!

    Uh, nope…come to think of it, that one probably wouldn’t go over too well either. Even though it’s just dog turds.

    Oh, the suspense is just killing me.

  695. #695 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    tsg,
    So we shouldn’t be upset or angry when people come in to our religious services and are duplicitous by taking the Body of Christ?

    Firstly, to receive the Host, one must signify that they are Catholic and believe the Catholic teaching by saying “Amen”. So in order to obtain a host to desecrate, one must lie. It is also a rule that the host must be consumed immediately.

    While someone may not know that rule, it is to be expected that they would comply once it is pointed out to them. So exactly why is it intolerant to expect people to be honest?

  696. #696 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    I don’t have a postage stamp picture (nor a cracker!). I could manage an envelope one or a grinch or various other stuff but the pharyngulite horde would probably eat up my entire bandwidth allowance in one go.

    Then again there’s: *

  697. #697 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    Good news, Clay. So die and get your cheeses, already.

  698. #698 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    In fact that’s why BBcode was invented: it gives you the basic ability to format text, post images, and provide links, without handing over all the power of html to random internet goons.

  699. #699 negentropyeater
    July 21, 2008

    Ichthyic #457,

    PZ need do nothing more on this particular issue; Donowhore will engender all the effort required to boost the issue as far as needed, with just minor pokes (so long as he thinks he is getting attention for it).

    We apparently don’t have the same idea how this affair can still be exploited and how the Overton window could be moved in a much more efficent way in our favour.
    I found for instance PZ’s proposal to return the Eucharists if the Catholic Church were to dissavowe Bill Donohue a very clever move, and a much more efficient “poke” than actually going ahead and showing an act of desecration by showing some crackers in a trashcan (without forgetting to mention that they’re consecrated Eucharists, otherwise nonbody would pay any attention).
    Why not first make sure that this proposal gets printed in some article and that Donowhore reacts stupidly on it ?
    I wouldn’t even be surprised if in the end, it’s actually Donowhore who ends up demanding that PZ desecrates the Eucharists to call his bluff.
    I agree that minor pokes is what’s needed, and will be way more efficient than an actual act of desecration, at least as long as it’s not needed.
    I still think this has the potential to get PZ on national TV to expose much more efficiently the intolerance and violent behaviour of these conservative catholic bigots and to make it a case of civil liberties for non believers.

    In brief, I see no good reason to change horses for the time being. When you’ve found a good one, keep riding it.

  700. #700 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    So we shouldn’t be upset or angry when people come in to our religious services and are duplicitous by taking the Body of Christ?

    No, you shouldn’t.

    While someone may not know that rule, it is to be expected that they would comply once it is pointed out to them.

    No, it shouldn’t be expected, and that’s the point. It’s your rule based on nothing but your belief. It doesn’t apply to anyone else and asserting that it should is intolerant.

  701. #701 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    If PZ desecrates a wafer and a Koran, he will likely find himself on Fox News, characterized like that Native American professor who was misquoted as saying American deserved to die in the 9/11 attacks.

    What was his name?

  702. #702 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    Hmm… Perhaps one of the following (for those who can see them at all!) could be a “cracker” for the purposes of online “desecration”:

    UV ⊕ ⊗

  703. #703 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    So exactly why is it intolerant to expect people to be honest?

    Nice try. It is intolerant to make death threats for stealing a magic cookie. (If that’s your Christ, doesn’t he look a bit flat, small and stale?)

  704. #704 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    tsg,
    OK, obviously we don’t share the same moral code, but I assumed that honesty=good and deliberate lying for one’s own purposes=bad, even for atheists. This is the impression my friends who are atheists have given me, but perhaps I was wrong about that.

    I really don’t expect that atheists would respect our beliefs at all, as I don’t respect theirs. However, I WOULD expect them to respect people, regardless of their beliefs, by not trampling on things that are important to others with whom they disagree.

  705. #705 Pygmy Loris
    July 21, 2008

    Dave Mueller said

    Firstly, to receive the Host, one must signify that they are Catholic and believe the Catholic teaching by saying “Amen”.

    Huh? Amen signifies being Catholic? You mean during all those years of closing prayers with “Amen” in Baptist church I was actually signaling Catholicism to god? Wow, thanks for clearing that up Dave. I’ll have to go to Church with my fundy cousins now to make sure they know they’re showing allegiance to the Whore of Babylon (the RCC according to their beliefs) by saying “Amen.” Can’t wait to see how that goes over!

  706. #706 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “So we shouldn’t be upset or angry when people come in to our religious services and are duplicitous by taking the Body of Christ?”

    Be offended. No one gives a crap. Logically, you shouldn’t be since its just a fraking cracker, but if you really need to believe in your silly little fairy tales, go ahead and be offended. You don’t have a right to be protected from offense. You don’t have the right to silence others. You don’t have a right to threaten death on those who don’t share your cracker worshipping beliefs. This is not complicated.

    “Firstly, to receive the Host, one must signify that they are Catholic and believe the Catholic teaching by saying “Amen”. So in order to obtain a host to desecrate, one must lie. It is also a rule that the host must be consumed immediately.”

    No matter how much pomp and circumstance surround the cracker, its still just a cracker. Human lives are more important than your cracker worship.

    “While someone may not know that rule, it is to be expected that they would comply once it is pointed out to them. So exactly why is it intolerant to expect people to be honest?”

    Deliberately dishonest and misleading question. And you know it.

  707. #707 Sully
    July 21, 2008

    “What was his name?”

    LOL, exactly. He’s well on his way toward marginalizing himself. Everyone here thinks this is all super cool but in the mainstream it comes off as a stunt by a nut. He’ll advance his image as a hero to his crowd and as a jackass to everyone else. So it goes.

  708. #708 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    ” However, I WOULD expect them to respect people, regardless of their beliefs, by not trampling on things that are important to others with whom they disagree.”

    This coming from the douchebag who brushed off DEATH THREATS as unimportant. Screw you.

  709. #709 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    OK, obviously we don’t share the same moral code, but I assumed that honesty=good and deliberate lying for one’s own purposes=bad, even for atheists. This is the impression my friends who are atheists have given me, but perhaps I was wrong about that.

    Red Herring. It isn’t about honesty. It’s about insisting others believe what you do.

    I really don’t expect that atheists would respect our beliefs at all, as I don’t respect theirs. However, I WOULD expect them to respect people, regardless of their beliefs, by not trampling on things that are important to others with whom they disagree.

    Like issuing death threats against those who don’t believe a cracker is sacred?

  710. #710 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    #703,

    Yes, I agree with you. It is wrong to make death threats, period. 99.99% of Catholics agree with you on this, and the 0.01% who don’t are not following their religion.

  711. #711 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    Mueller,
    How fragile is your god, anyway? Can he not take care of himself? Didn’t he know this was all going to happen? Maybe he wants you to ponder on it more than you have, eh? Maybe it’s an object lesson in tolerance for you.

    Who are you to complain about it? Did your god tell you to get your dander up? Or did he go NT on you and say turn the other cheek? I thought your god said not to judge, yet here you are, judging the “hate” in PZ’s heart.

    Bummer about the damage your “soul” is taking here.

  712. #712 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    Yes, I agree with you. It is wrong to make death threats, period. 99.99% of Catholics agree with you on this, and the 0.01% who don’t are not following their religion.

    No True Scotsman.

  713. #713 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “Everyone here thinks this is all super cool but in the mainstream it comes off as a stunt by a nut. He’ll advance his image as a hero to his crowd and as a jackass to everyone else. ”

    you’re probably right. After all, the majority is “religious” and is so morally depraved that they will consider the objection to death threats and disrespect of cracker magic as worse offense than death threats over crackers.

  714. #714 Nerd of Redhead
    July 21, 2008

    Sully,

    The one’s with shame on their heads are the people and organizations who are persecuting Webster Cook. What are you doing to stop their unchristian acts? Inquiring minds want to know.

  715. #715 Steve
    July 21, 2008

    I just wanted to add a comment so we can get to 1,000. I’m DYING to see what PZ sounds like when he’s cranky!

  716. #716 Clay
    July 21, 2008

    Good news, Clay. So die and get your cheeses, already.

    Posted by: True Bob | July 21, 2008 1:12 PM

    Well, gosh, True Bob. That wasn’t very nice.

    I’m not even Catholic….and although I doubt eating the cheese would kill me, being lactose intolerant, I could get a nasty case of the winds.

  717. #717 Pygmy Loris
    July 21, 2008
    Yes, I agree with you. It is wrong to make death threats, period. 99.99% of Catholics agree with you on this, and the 0.01% who don’t are not following their religion.

    No True Scotsman.

    Posted by: tsg | July 21, 2008 1:33 PM

    Ya know, I’d argue that 0.01% are the only True Catholics, since they’re willing to risk death (at Caesar’s hands, no less) for their religion.

  718. #718 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    Ya know, I’d argue that 0.01% are the only True Catholics, since they’re willing to risk death (at Caesar’s hands, no less) for their religion.

    I notice he makes no mention of the 99.99% of Catholics (if he’s going to make up statistics, then so am I) who think it’s not intolerant to insist that others treat their cracker as sacred because they believe it is.

  719. #719 Longtime Lurker
    July 21, 2008

    I still get a kick out of picturing PZ tying the cracker to a chair (throw in a Koran for good measure, and use that Kabbalah red thread to do the tying), queuing up “Stuck in the Middle with You” on his sound system, and going to town. Maybe he can get Tim Roth to lie on the floor covered in fake blood, watching the proceedings in feigned horror.

  720. #720 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    True Bob,
    I might as well not even respond to you since you aren’t even reading my posts. Most of your questions are answered in there.

    BTW, when Jesus said not to judge, he was saying that we should not judge the state of their soul. As far as the hate, well, that is the point under discussion. I am attempting to find out what is motivating him to do that, if not hate.

    Look, there are plenty of belief systems I find really silly, but I have never had the inclination to go and harm their sacred objects, this is why I find it very hard to understand. Firstly, it would be disrespectful to those people and uncivil to the extreme. Secondly, since I do not believe in their sacred objects, I would be doing nothing, except pissing them off for the sheer sake of pissing them off.

    There is another possibility. At some deep level, I could know that some other belief system was true, but because of other commitments, may not be willing to admit it to myself. I might even hate the fact that it is true. In that case, I might be inclined to desecrate the sacred objects of that belief system.

  721. #721 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    It is wrong to make death threats, period. 99.99% of Catholics agree with you on this, and the 0.01% who don’t are not following their religion.

    No True Scotsman, indeed. I’ll have to point out again that “Catholics” are not some abstract ideal. Catholics are the sum total of the real people who profess to follow the Catholic faith. That includes the bad ones.

    You can’t cherry pick. If people are led to do immoral or stupid things (like send death threats) because of their religious beliefs, that’s a problem with the religion as much as the people, because the religion created those enemies for them. Someone with psychological problems would have a hard time finding excuses to act out against others within a Jain religious framework. So the religion matters.

  722. #722 Sully
    July 21, 2008

    “The one’s with shame on their heads are the people and organizations who are persecuting Webster Cook. What are you doing to stop their unchristian acts? Inquiring minds want to know.”

    The Florida kid, right? I don’t read all the posts around here (as there have been gads and gads of them) but I saw through a link above he was impeached by his schools student senate and may or may not be removed. What exactly is it you want done for him?

  723. #723 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    I really don’t expect that atheists would respect our beliefs at all, as I don’t respect theirs. However, I WOULD expect them to respect people, regardless of their beliefs, by not trampling on things that are important to others with whom they disagree.

    Mutually exclusive, Dave M. We respect your right (anyone’s right) to believe whatever they want. That does NOT mean we have to respect what they believe. The last clause of what I quoted demands we DO respect your beliefs.

    You admit you do not respect your atheist friends’ beliefs,and that you don’t expect us to respect yours. Great, we are in agreement. Do you also understand that we can ridicule your beliefs? It seems to me that you get that pretty clearly, since you came in here to “pray” for us. That’s as patently offensive as if I offered a live human sacrifice to Xipe, on your behalf.

    And we want to drag so many of you deluded folks into the 21st century, with the rest of us. Kicking and screaming, if you must, but we pity that your are living in the Bronze Age. Besides, we have flying cars and jet packs and…oh wait, sorry, we only what’s real.

  724. #724 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    #705, look up “Amen” on wikipedia, dude. It’s an expression of affirmation.

    #708, where did I say that the death threats were unimportant? I said they were very bad. However, PZ himself seems not to have taken them too seriously.

  725. #725 NoAstronomer
    July 21, 2008

    Well, as of this writing, we’re 71.9% of the way to one thousand. Way to go people! This is my first comment on Pharyngula regarding Crackergate so I don’t feel guilty about upping the post count.

  726. #726 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    Well Mueller (we have another Dave around here, nothing personal), have you considered that instead of hate, it might be contempt? Contempt that some fraction think their religious beliefs should be respected by everyone else, and all should hold sacred whatever they consider sacred? That’s the crux of the issue. Catholics want their precious wafer respected as if we all believed it to be carne de cristo*

    *h/t BT Murtaugh

  727. #727 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    However, I WOULD expect them to respect people, regardless of their beliefs, by not trampling on things that are important to others with whom they disagree.

    Really? Because teaching the truth of evolution in schools is important to me. Stem cell research is important to me. Sex education is important to me. Contraception is important to me. And the Catholic Church does a damn good job trampling on those things.

    That’s the problem. If religious people just got together in the privacy of their own homes and had circle jerks in homage to their gods, I would say more power to you. But they consistently try to push their superstitions on the rest of us. That means their beliefs must be challenged and even ridiculed if they are absurd enough.

  728. #728 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    True Bob,

    Ridicule away! We don’t care; we’re big enough to take it. It doesn’t advance the discussion any, but I probably have ridiculed others beliefs before, and though it’s not productive in the least, I suppose it makes us feel better somehow…

    But as far as desecrating the Host, how exactly is that going to drag us into the 21st century? Especially since neither of us expects anything to happen.

    I’m glad that you have so much zeal for the cause, and I appreciate you trying to enlighten me (and I’m serious about that). I hope that you won’t get angry, then, when Christians or other religious believers try to share their beliefs with you.

  729. #729 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    However, I WOULD expect them to respect people, regardless of their beliefs, by not trampling on things that are important to others with whom they disagree.

    Hmm.

    Do you eat beef?
    Do you work on Saturday?
    Do you work on Sunday?
    Does any woman in your family go out uncovered?
    Has there ever been divorce in your family?

    You can start with those.

  730. #730 qbsmd
    July 21, 2008

    Look, there are plenty of belief systems I find really silly, but I have never had the inclination to go and harm their sacred objects, this is why I find it very hard to understand. Firstly, it would be disrespectful to those people and uncivil to the extreme. Secondly, since I do not believe in their sacred objects, I would be doing nothing, except pissing them off for the sheer sake of pissing them off.
    Posted by: Dave Mueller

    How many of them have you had to financially support? How many of them have tried to have you fired for not following them?

    There is another possibility. At some deep level, I could know that some other belief system was true, but because of other commitments, may not be willing to admit it to myself. I might even hate the fact that it is true. In that case, I might be inclined to desecrate the sacred objects of that belief system.
    Posted by: Dave Mueller

    I find the idea of self-deception on that level to be very alien. Apparently you don’t

  731. #731 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    Of course normal Catholics deplore the death threats.

    Yes, the “true” Catholics aren’t sending death threats: they are too busy sharpening their pitch-forks to join Fra Donohue of the Inquisistion on the witch hunt to subject Webster Cook to an auto da fé for the heinous hate crime of “possession of a cracker with no intention of eating it”.

    It’s fuckwittery so demented that it would shame a demented fuckwit.

  732. #732 Kobra
    July 21, 2008

    Do you disagree with PZ Myers?

    Read this then go fuck yourself: http://www.kobrascorner.com/opine/nothing-is-sacred.php

    ~ kobrasrealm@gmail.com

  733. #733 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    Look, there are plenty of belief systems I find really silly, but I have never had the inclination to go and harm their sacred objects, this is why I find it very hard to understand.

    And PZ has been an atheist for a very long time who, until now, hasn’t had that inclination either. You have to understand the context. This is all in response to the absurd reaction among Catholics to Webster cook. Let’s remember, they made a big deal about it first (physically assaulting Cook, according to his story, demanding that the Host be returned, and sending death threats).

    The point of the exercise, in my mind, is to challenge the absurd, histrionic reaction of Catholics to offenses against their faith, more than it is about making a point about the Host. Even more, it’s to challenge Bill Donohue. PZ has stated that he would return the wafers to the nearest Catholic church if the Church disowned Donohue.

  734. #734 Pygmy Loris
    July 21, 2008

    #705, look up “Amen” on wikipedia, dude. It’s an expression of affirmation.

    Gosh, I’ll do just that!

    From wikipedia:
    “The word Amen (Hebrew: ?????, Standard Amen Tiberian ‘Amen ; Arabic: ?????, ‘?m?n ; “So be it; truly”[1]) is a declaration of affirmation[2][3] found in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. ”
    “It has been generally adopted in Christian worship as a concluding word for prayers and hymns.”

    Huh? Nothing in there about it meaning you’re declaring your allegiance to the Catholic Church.

  735. #735 qbsmd
    July 21, 2008

    Huh? Nothing in there about it meaning you’re declaring your allegiance to the Catholic Church.
    Posted by: Pygmy Loris

    In context, what you’re agreeing with is that the cracker is literally the body of Jesus. His statement about lying makes sense.

  736. #736 Cheezits
    July 21, 2008

    So we shouldn’t be upset or angry when people come in to our religious services and are duplicitous by taking the Body of Christ?

    You don’t see Protestants getting all bent out of shape over the idea.

    It’s certainly rude and disrespectful to violate the rules of a church service to pull such a stunt. But some churches have so damn many stupid rules they practically beg to be violated. Treating communion wafers as if they were Sacred Objects borders on idolatry.

  737. #737 Dave Mueller
    July 21, 2008

    Neural T,
    Actually, to be honest, I don’t much like Donohue, and neither do most Catholics. He does tend to find offense at times where none is warranted. This time, though, I think he was largely right, though he came down too hard on Mr. Cook, I think.

    The Church doesn’t really have to disown Donohue, though, since it doesn’t “own” him. His organization is separate from the Catholic Church, and is funded entirely by donations. The organization itself has been a pretty good one, but I do think they need a new leader.

  738. #738 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    Dave M, please don’t assume that since I am atheist that I am ignorant about religious practices.

    You probably missed it above, but my feeling is that in order to get people to consider their beliefs, a number of means are necessary. Some people respond to gentle discourse, some respond to seeing inanity in the actions of others (i.e. the death threats), and some respond to shock. Here, I am backing PZ’s use of shock.

    As for hate, I can’t hate by the group. I can only hate individuals. It takes a lot to get me to hate someone, much more likely is disdain or contempt. Hate takes too much energy.

  739. #739 Sully
    July 21, 2008

    “His organization is separate from the Catholic Church, and is funded entirely by donations.”

    This is just the sort of thing that makes that cash register ring too. I’m sure he’s grateful.

  740. #740 qbsmd
    July 21, 2008

    The Church doesn’t really have to disown Donohue, though, since it doesn’t “own” him. His organization is separate from the Catholic Church, and is funded entirely by donations. The organization itself has been a pretty good one, but I do think they need a new leader.
    Posted by: Dave Mueller

    He claims to speak for catholics, and obviously non-Catholics perceive him as having official status. It would go a long way if a bishop clarified that he has no official standing and the Catholic Church does not support his statements. PZ even promised to return the wafers he’s obtained if that happened.

  741. #741 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    OFFS, please replace my i.e. with e.g.

  742. #742 Sully
    July 21, 2008

    Some people do seem to take Donohue seriously though.

    http://www.catholicleague.org/images/upload/image_200807181917.pdf

  743. #743 BobC
    July 21, 2008

    “We’ll be praying for you, PZ.”
    Okay, I’m going to ask this again – why do you people insist on telling us you talk to yourselves? Why do you think we care you’re going to talk to yourself about PZ? Loonies.
    Posted by: Endor

    We’ll be praying for you are code words that mean ‘fuck you’ or ‘my invisible friend will torture you because you don’t respect my crackers’.

    Catholics are loonies, that’s for sure. They can also be called world-class assholes.

    For more strong evidence Catholics are assholes, and deserve to be ridiculed, please look at the link provided by MartinM in comment #565.

    If accurate, this report surely dispels any notion that the correct course of action here is to sit down and shut up; apparently, the student who accompanied Cook to church is now himself under investigation.
    Posted by: MartinM

  744. #744 Abner Doubleday
    July 21, 2008

    PZ:

    The Christian tradition of martyrdom is different from the Muslim one.

    In Christianity, martyrs are people who are persecuted for practicing their faith. They are passive.

    In Islam, martyrs are warriors fighting to defend their faith against infidels who may or may not be attacking them.

    I doubt that there is much danger of a Christian attacking you physically because of a desecration you commit. However, a small minority of Muslims may feel that it is their duty to their religion to do so.

    I hope you will be careful about how you desecrate the Koran, and choose some marginal act that will not greatly inflame believers.

    Could you clear something up for me? I’m a little confused. Is a vanilla wafer still a wafer, or is it a cracker now?

  745. #745 Dave
    July 21, 2008

    The Church doesn’t really have to disown Donohue, though, since it doesn’t “own” him.

    If anything, that should make it easy to disown him. But, in fact the Church wants to keep his status grey, so he can do their dirty work for them, but if it gets too much they can simply say, “he doesnt speak for us.”

    If Donohue really didnt represent the Church, he would get no press, he would be similar to Fred Phelps, a wackaloon that was paid marginal attention. But that is not the case. He gets a fair bit of attention, because he is seen to represent Catholics in general. And the Catholic Church gets an attack dog that they can distance themselves from at will, “Oh he doesnt really represent us.” Well if he doesnt, then say so, clearly.

    If the church wants to hang its hat on the fact that the Magisterium hasnt actually said anything against Cook or PZ or the taking of the cracker, then they should make it very clear that the Magisterium has nothing to do with Donohue and the nutcases making death threats and asking for Cook’s and PZ’ careers. They can do that by the Magisterium disowning Donohue. And as a bonus, PZ said hed give the crackers back if they did. That alone should be reason enough to do it, unless the Magisterium prefer’s to have its attack dog than undesecrated crackers.

  746. #746 Pygmy Loris
    July 21, 2008

    Dave Mueller said

    Firstly, to receive the Host, one must signify that they are Catholic and believe the Catholic teaching by saying “Amen”.

    In context, what you’re agreeing with is that the cracker is literally the body of Jesus. His statement about lying makes sense.

    Ahh, but he didn’t put it in context. He specifically stated that you’re signifying Catholicism by saying “amen”

    Dave didn’t say “by responding to the priest’s statement “the body of christ” with amen, you’re affirming that you believe the host to be the body of christ.” Read his above statement. You’re right that it could be construed as lying, but so what? I know lots of Catholics who don’t believe in transubstantiation, but do it all the time. Lying to the Church, which itself lies constantly, isn’t a big deal to me.

    Dave, be more specific.

  747. #747 Prof MTH
    July 21, 2008

    Group Says it Ordains 3 Women Catholic Priests

    An activist group hoping to pressure the Roman Catholic church into dropping its long-standing prohibition barring women from the priesthood says it ordained three women on Sunday.

    Church officials did not recognize the ordination, and the Vatican has previously warned that women taking part in ordination ceremonies will be excommunicated.

    They excommunicate a priest solely because of the possessed “divinely designed” plumbing–female reproductive system–but will not officially excommunicate pedophiles or Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. Why should we respect these misogynistic fucktwits!!

  748. #748 BobC
    July 21, 2008

    These comments are for the moderate Catholics who think the asshole Catholics overreacted to cracker abuse.

    There’s nothing moderate about you. If you had any moral values at all, you would throw out your religion to protest Catholic terrorism.

    You should throw out your religion anyway because your beliefs are idiotic, childish, and disgusting.

  749. #749 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    BTW, when Jesus said not to judge, he was saying that we should not judge the state of their soul.

    You have no proof that Jesus said that.

    Also, there is no such thing as a soul.

    Look, there are plenty of belief systems I find really silly

    You see how much alike we are? You dismiss all beliefs except your own. I just dismiss one more.

    Firstly, it would be disrespectful to those people and uncivil to the extreme.

    So the fuck what?

    Secondly, since I do not believe in their sacred objects, I would be doing nothing

    Except exposing how silly those beliefs are. As has been pointed out to you oodles of times. And you accuse others of not reading your posts?

    At some deep level, I could know that some other belief system was true

    Oh Jebus Tapdancing Christ, the old “you must be so angry because you’re insecure” gambit. Shove it.

  750. #750 Karen
    July 21, 2008

    “I agree with Andy and Bevans.

    I really think you shouldn’t desecrate that Koran in public. We have proof that Muslims are crazy enough to react very badly to that. It takes only one, and once you’ve publicised it, you can’t take it back. Some Imam who wants to get publicity might put a fatwa on you, and you’ll have to live in hiding. It happened to Salman Rushdie.

    Seriously, PZ, it would be great to watch, but please don’t do it.”

    So in other words PZ is studly enough to take on a Communion wafer, but you think he’d be afraid the Muslims would kick his ass if he desecrated a Koran.

    Got it. Yeah, that PZ’s a guy of principle.

  751. #751 Kseniya
    July 21, 2008

    Mr. Mueller:

    I am attempting to find out what is motivating him to do that, if not hate.

    Really? Is “hate” all you can imagine?

    Have you considered “bemusement”?

  752. #752 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    They can do that by the Magisterium disowning Donohue. And as a bonus, PZ said hed give the crackers back if they did. That alone should be reason enough to do it, unless the Magisterium prefer’s to have its attack dog than undesecrated crackers.

    Ah, but of course, the Catholic Hierarchy don’t really believe all that “the Eucharist is Christ” bollocks any more than the average atheist does: otherwise they would do almost anything to get it back. Proof positive that the Church regard it as, at most, symbolic and really nothing more than a cracker is that they haven’t said a damn thing. If they actually believed what they claim to believe, the Pope himself would be on the phone to PZ in a second. Truth is, they don’t give a rat’s ass if PZ makes cruciform buttplugs out of them and hands them out in bath houses with altar wine lube. They’re just frackin’ crackers and they know it.

  753. #753 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    Look, there are plenty of belief systems I find really silly, but I have never had the inclination to go and harm their sacred objects, this is why I find it very hard to understand. Firstly, it would be disrespectful to those people and uncivil to the extreme. Secondly, since I do not believe in their sacred objects, I would be doing nothing, except pissing them off for the sheer sake of pissing them off.

    This is what I mean about not having any desire to understand. It isn’t “pissing them off for the sheer sake of pissing them off.” It’s pissing them off to expose their intolerance. They are pissed off because they are intolerant to anyone believing their cracker isn’t sacred.

    There is another possibility. At some deep level, I could know that some other belief system was true, but because of other commitments, may not be willing to admit it to myself. I might even hate the fact that it is true. In that case, I might be inclined to desecrate the sacred objects of that belief system.

    Ah, yes. It was inevitable. The old “athiests are only angry because they know god exists” routine. Yet more willful ignorance from yet another religious bigot.

  754. #754 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    So in other words PZ is studly enough to take on a Communion wafer, but you think he’d be afraid the Muslims would kick his ass if he desecrated a Koran.

    This bullshit has been brought up so often that it now occupies the top 2 hits for “koran envy” on Google.

  755. #755 BaldApe
    July 21, 2008

    A whole day and only 752?

  756. #756 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “They excommunicate a priest solely because of the possessed “divinely designed” plumbing–female reproductive system–but will not officially excommunicate pedophiles or Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. Why should we respect these misogynistic fucktwits!!”

    THANK YOU.

  757. #757 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    because there is no other rational reason to steal a Host and do whatever PZ is intending to do to it

    There is no rational reason to throw away a useless object received through the mails, apparently.

  758. #758 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    tsg: Heh. Near-identical final sentences… spooky stuff.

  759. #759 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    and the 0.01% who don’t are not following their religion.

    Nope, they’re following their deity, who demands blood sacrifice for offenses.

  760. #760 Steve Zara
    July 21, 2008

    If the church wants to hang its hat on the fact that the Magisterium hasnt actually said anything against Cook or PZ or the taking of the cracker, then they should make it very clear that the Magisterium has nothing to do with Donohue and the nutcases making death threats and asking for Cook’s and PZ’ careers. They can do that by the Magisterium disowning Donohue.

    They, or at least some of them, have:

    This is from wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PZ_Myers#Eucharist_controversy

    “In a talk show featuring Myers on Catholic Radio International, the host Jeff Gardner made it clear that Donohue has no authority to speak for the Catholic Church, and is not even a theologian, and Father Loya fully agreed with PZ Myers that people claiming to be Catholic and issuing death threats or demanding that Myers should lose his job were behaving unacceptably and were an issue for the Catholic church.”

    PZ Says:

    No Jews have threatened me over my beliefs or what I choose to do in my own home. Neither have any Hindus or Buddhists.

    I think it is simplistic to offend, no matter how mildly, many, many catholics over what a minority of them do, especially when such actions have been clearly condemned by other Catholics.

    I am not terribly concerned about whatever PZ does. I just think that to stick your tongue out at millions of people based on what a minority (who have been condemned by others in the same community) do is going to look petulant when there are deep and serious issues about religion in our societies to be dealt with, and when such moderate Catholics could even be our allies in dealing with the nutters such as Donohue. Richard Dawkins has worked with Christians to deal with fundamentalists within the UK. PZ has dealt with these other issues effectively and has inspired others in the way he has done it. I think this issue is a distraction.

  761. #761 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Yet more willful ignorance from yet another religious bigot.

    Nope. That, “They’re pissed because they hate god” shit is willful stupidity.

  762. #762 Dark Matter
    July 21, 2008

    Dr. Myers wrote:

    Since I now own one entirely superfluous copy of the Koran, it will meet the very same fate as the crackers. Thanks to all who have demanded that I treat that silly book with disrespect, I’ll have to treat both equally.

    This seems to me a slippery slope..Will every criticism of
    Judaism or Christianity be met now with a email torrent
    of angry demands that Dr. Myers is *obligated* to present
    a “fair and balanced” criticism of Islam as well?

    When in fact the complainers are owed nothing, nothing at all.

  763. #763 Pygmy Loris
    July 21, 2008

    A whole day and only 752?

    Posted by: BaldApe | July 21, 2008 2:46 PM

    I’ll add to the total. Is anyone else developing a case of fatwah envy? I know it’s awful, but I’m beginning to wish I could issue fatwahs….you know, denouncing things all day would be fun and it would be awesome to have followers. I could say things like “the Pope says god is real, but we know better. Everyone, to the blogosphere to show them!” But of course, I don’t really want these things, I’m not really looking to take over the world.

    Pay no attention to the loris in the corner :)

  764. #764 Sully
    July 21, 2008

    “This seems to me a slippery slope..Will every criticism of Judaism or Christianity be met now with a email torrent of angry demands that Dr. Myers is *obligated* to present a “fair and balanced” criticism of Islam as well? When in fact the complainers are owed nothing, nothing at all.”

    It is sort of uncomfortable thing. He’s now getting goaded into desecrations, that rings a little odd.

  765. #765 Deus Vult
    July 21, 2008

    You atheists bore me. Honestly, people have been doing this sort of stuff for awhile… trying to mock and disprove God. Those who do believe aren’t going to stop believing just because of one stinking website full of repetitious “proofs.” If you would listen, Meyers, I would sit down with you and explain why those 50 “proofs” are easily disproved.

    Oh, and if you don’t believe in God, don’t use His name in vain. It just makes you sound silly. Consider this example: “God is a delusion. I mean, omg get a life.” Sounds odd, no?

    Leave the Faith alone and continue on with your jawless fish to monkey to human theories. That’s where your expertise lies.

    Besides, lots worse has happened to the Body of Christ for anything you do to get under our skin now. He was whipped and spit on by even more disgusting people than you.

    Oh, and all of you might not believe this is a hate crime, but it IS stealing whether you believe in Real Presence or not.

  766. #766 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    I just think that to stick your tongue out at millions of people based on what a minority (who have been condemned by others in the same community) do

    Wait, only a minority of Catholics eat the magic cookies? And they get condemned for it?

  767. #767 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    You atheists bore me. Honestly, people have been doing this sort of stuff for awhile… trying to mock and disprove God. Those who do believe aren’t going to stop believing just because of one stinking website full of repetitious “proofs.” If you would listen, Meyers, I would sit down with you and explain why those 50 “proofs” are easily disproved.

    Oh, and if you don’t believe in God, don’t use His name in vain. It just makes you sound silly. Consider this example: “God is a delusion. I mean, omg get a life.” Sounds odd, no?

    Leave the Faith alone and continue on with your jawless fish to monkey to human theories. That’s where your expertise lies.

    Besides, lots worse has happened to the Body of Christ for anything you do to get under our skin now. He was whipped and spit on by even more disgusting people than you.

    Oh, and all of you might not believe this is a hate crime, but it IS stealing whether you believe in Real Presence or not.

    The stupid! It burns!!!!!

  768. #768 Patricia
    July 21, 2008

    #348 – Wowbagger – “Don’t count your chickens until they’re desecrated…”
    BLASPHEMY!!!
    I have fired off a cackle to the High Holy Council of Cluckheads alerting their Biddyships of this offensive remark.
    Pullet pollution will not be tolerated. You have ruffled feathers across the known universe. Repent!

  769. #769 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Besides, lots worse has happened to the Body of Christ for anything you do to get under our skin now. He was whipped and spit on by even more disgusting people than you.

    More torture fetishism.

    They sure do like that stuff.

  770. #770 John Phillips, FCD
    July 21, 2008

    @Dave Mueller, see there is your problem. Thinking that Donowhore is right about the student. The student himself simply took the cracker back to his seat to show his friend before eating it. This is that, as other catholics have said on other threads, not eating the cracker immediately it is given is not that unusual in some catholic churches. However, he was then assaulted by a church official who was the one making a fuss and at that point decided to just get out of there sans cracker. Those church officials then threatened him and made official complaints and the student also received various threats, including ones of death.

    PZ then made his original post in protest at the actions taken against the student. Iironically, for those complaining that PZ and us atheists hate catholics we are the ones defending the catholic student. That was when Donowhore got on his high horse and shortly after PZ also started receiving death threats.

    So what we have here, is that at worst, the student made a mistake taking it back to his seat in this particular church and the officials grossly overreacted. It now appears that in support of their stance and to try and defend their actions they are prepared to lie about what happened and have even gone so far as to threaten the student’s friend standing at the college by taking action that could have him kicked out of college. Yet the friend did nothing expect be with his friend when this all happened. I just love the show of xian forgiveness and love. And please, don’t tell me they are not proper cathloics, these are the officials at that church taking this action.

    So who is acting reasonably here or being the xian. It certainly doesn’t appear to be the catholics, most ot the ones visiting here getting on their high horses and others sending death threats or who have tried to rationalise or minimise the death threats while emphasising the cracker. You are one of the few, I have counted about 3 or 4 over all the threads to do with this issue, who when pushed, have actually said the death threats are wrong. Though often grudginlgy while they harp on and on about the cracker while dismissing the threats. Either using the no true scotsman fallacy or downplaying their significance. As someone said up thread, when your priorities are that screwed that a cracker is more inmportant than somebody’s life, something is seriously screwed with you people.

    However, PZ, when on the recent radio show with the priest on the catholic radio station offered to hand over the crackers he has been sent in exchange for the catholic church reining in its attack dogs, including Donowhore, off of the student. Yet the response was either more of the no true scotsmen fallacy, i.e. Donowhore deoesn’t represent us, or nothing at all from those with the power to say and do something to help the student.

  771. #771 D
    July 21, 2008

    Posted by: Deus Vult | July 21, 2008 3:00 PM

    Looks like someone is upset they can’t take part in a real crusade anymore.

  772. #772 Steve_C
    July 21, 2008

    I think he was being funny. All he has to do is do away with both to prove his point. And he only has to do it once.

  773. #773 Steve Zara
    July 21, 2008

    Those who do believe aren’t going to stop believing just because of one stinking website full of repetitious “proofs.”

    Actually, I agree with you. I also agree that PZ’s gesture (whatever it is) will probably be a waste of time. But what matters more than anything is the future of science and of education. Far from “stinking”, this website is an inspiration and education to many.

    I have no objection to people messing about with their crackers in private, but when they challenge science, and particularly when they try and influence the scientific education of schoolchildren, I will be as assertive as anyone in fighting against them.

    Also, monotheistic faith is a poison in modern democratic society, and has to be challenged at every opportunity.

  774. #774 Dave
    July 21, 2008

    Steve,

    Most of use have heard that interview. In fact, it was in that interview that the host pointed out that the Magisterium hasnt demanded a return of the cracker or threatened PZ or Cook in any way, to which PZ responded by saying if the Magisterium officially disowned Donohue and the death threats, he would return the crackers to the nearest church.

    So far the Magisterium has continued its silence.

  775. #775 True Bob
    July 21, 2008

    …get out of there sans avec cracker…

    Fixed it for you. Sorry I’m so anal.

  776. #776 Steve_C
    July 21, 2008

    Deus is pure comic genius!

  777. #777 Steve Zara
    July 21, 2008

    I suggest you might actually read the posts you respond to before you post.

    Wait, only a minority of Catholics eat the magic cookies? And they get condemned for it?

    Only a minority of Catholics made any threats.

    Do you understand now?

  778. #778 John Phillips, FCD
    July 21, 2008

    @Steve Zara: Yet it is church officials who have brought charges against the student originally involved and, even worse, have now done the same thing against his friend who was with him. How many more times are they going to trot out the no true Scotsmen fallacy. Even if the catholic powers that be couldn’t call off Donowhore they could call off their own officials, don’t you think. I am sure PZ would settle for that as what happened to the student was the reason for the original post by PZ.

  779. #779 Randy
    July 21, 2008

    Oh, and if you combust the wafer on Wednesday, PZ, it could be Ash Wednesday!

  780. #780 John Phillips, FCD
    July 21, 2008

    True Bob, cheers, I noticed that immediately after posting DOH :)

  781. #781 Endor
    July 21, 2008

    “You atheists bore me.”

    You theists scare me.

    “Honestly, people have been doing this sort of stuff for awhile… trying to mock and disprove God. Those who do believe aren’t going to stop believing just because of one stinking website full of repetitious “proofs.”

    That might be true. I mean, people who cling to their imaginary friends do tend to get murderous when you try to show them the truth.

    “If you would listen, Meyers, I would sit down with you and explain why those 50 “proofs” are easily disproved.”

    With my handy-dandy bible! *lol*

    “Oh, and if you don’t believe in God, don’t use His name in vain. It just makes you sound silly. Consider this example: “God is a delusion. I mean, omg get a life.” Sounds odd, no?”

    Since you do believe in god, don’t use words like “science”, “reality”, “evidence” or “sanity”. It’s clear they don’t mean much to you cracker worshippers.

    “Leave the Faith alone and continue on with”

    the death threats and the orgiastic fantasies of all of us burning in hell forever. Feel the love!

    *lol* god, save us from your painfully stupid followers.

  782. #782 Steve Zara
    July 21, 2008

    So far the Magisterium has continued its silence.

    OK. That is interesting. How does it relate to the Loya statement?

    To be honest, I don’t think PZ can expect a statement from the Pope!… but considering the threats, he is certainly entitled to a statement from someone senior.

  783. #783 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    There is no rational reason to throw away a useless object received through the mails, apparently.

    Avoiding being buried under all the junk mail, which would accumulate quite rapidly over the years in many households, not rational enough for you? ;-)

    It’s not convincingly saleable and generally not much use as a hostage either. Some of it can plausibly be saved and burned at the next bonfire party or used as fire-lighters by those people who have real fires. Most useless objects received through the mail don’t even have much potential for mockage. Round here, crackers would probably count as green/garden waste for recycling purposes (though perhaps not poisoned ones!) whereas the binding on a Koran might preclude it from anything other than the landfill bin collection.

  784. #784 Dave
    July 21, 2008

    Steve,

    I relates because it was the same conversation: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/an_evil_atheist_and_a_catholic.php#c994366

    As you can see there, PZ is not expecting a comment from the Pope, but simply someone authorized to speak for the Church.

  785. #785 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    I think it is simplistic to offend, no matter how mildly, many, many catholics over what a minority of them do, especially when such actions have been clearly condemned by other Catholics.

    Their offense is entirely of their own doing and entirely within their own control: stop thinking that others must treat these crackers as sacred just because you believe they are and it won’t bother you when they don’t. Problem solved. Anyone who is offended by this stunt deserves to be.

    Really. We don’t worry about offending the sensibilities of racists. I fail to see why we should worry about bigots of a different variety.

  786. #786 Steve Zara
    July 21, 2008

    they could call off their own officials, don’t you think.

    Yes, indeed, they should. This is something that should have been discussed.

    The thing is, that PZ Myers is a skilled promoter of science. He may even be a successor to Dawkins. Dawkins is wise enough to realise who his potential allies are. Being even trivially rude to the majority of a religious group when who you really want to deal with are the extremists is not wise.

  787. #787 Owlmirror
    July 21, 2008

    You are assuming that Jesus is just like a normal human being, who would defend himself if possible from any attack. Just as he didn’t defend himself from crucifixion, he will do nothing to defend himself here either.

    Actually, I just now read Matthew 26-27, John 18, Luke 22-23, and Mark 14-15, and I confirmed something: Jesus does not defend himself physically, but he does answer questions, both when arrested, and when on trial. So you are wrong: Jesus did defend himself while being tested.

    As far as we can tell, this is out of sheer hate (because there is no other rational reason to steal a Host and do whatever PZ is intending to do to it)

    Not necessarily.

    One can liken this to a psychologist dealing with a large population of patients who have a deep-seated delusional phobia about yellow #2 pencils which have had the magic words “hocus-pocus whamadocus” said over them, and these patients wish to punish someone who dared to chew on the end of the magic pencil. The psychologist, in exasperation against the delusional patients, grabs a bunch of yellow pencils, and breaks them in two in order to demonstrate that there’s no big deal about biting pencils, since there’s no big deal about breaking pencils. The Giant Pink Rubber Eraser in the sky does not come down and erase him, or anyone else.

    Perhaps, however, it is out of a misunderstanding, and PZ thinks that according to Catholic teaching, something bad will happen to the Host when he desecrates it. In point of fact, nothing will happen according to Catholic teaching, except that PZ will damage his own soul.

    PZ is quite certain that nothing bad will happen to the “host” when “desecrated”, because IT’S JUST A PENCIL CRACKER. And he’s quite certain that he has no “lead” “soul” to damage.

    I think it’s important to re-emphasize what got this whole silly thing started: a student is in trouble with his publicly-funded school for events taking place in a religious service. And a religious services which he did not interrupt, but rather, was interrupted because of a minor violation of procedure.

    If the Church had chastised, disciplined, censured, or even excommunicated the student for this — with no other consequences — there would not be quite this level of upset. Again, as ever: Your club, your rules.

    However, because the repercussions are going beyond the “club” of the Catholic Church — such as the recent impeachment, for example, not to mention to demands for expulsion of both himself and his friend — the Church is demanding power that does not belong to it. It is demanding control over the secular world as well.

    People of all religions should recognize this as being wrong, and indeed, downright illegal, and should oppose it.

    Or in cruder language: “You break-a my church-state separation wall, I break-a you cracker.”

  788. #788 Sully
    July 21, 2008

    “To be honest, I don’t think PZ can expect a statement from the Pope!… but considering the threats, he is certainly entitled to a statement from someone senior.”

    It would be nice if there was some official senior type statement on death threats and very appropriate as well.

    Will PZ get some sort of official statement though? I doubt that for the same reason that I think it was a misstep for PZ to offer to return them in exchange for this action or that action. Firstly, to let PZ dictate their actions in exchange for the return of the wafers would be an invitation for anyone with a gripe to recreate the same stunt. So in the long run it would not prevent desecration but promote it.

    Secondly, PZ’s statement on an exchange boils down to “I have something you hold sacred, do what I tell you and I will return it. Do not and I will desecrate it.” It basically boils down to extortion. I don’t suppose many here will see it as such or if they do will just compare it to the tactics of TCL, but it’ll play out that way to the mainstream.

  789. #789 Steve Zara
    July 21, 2008

    OK, that is my contribution for now. It has been an interesting discussion.

    Really. We don’t worry about offending the sensibilities of
    racists. I fail to see why we should worry about bigots of a different variety.

    Most Catholics aren’t bigots, because most people aren’t bigots.

    I am gay, and I have had catholic friends come to my gay marriage. Most people stick with a religion out of tradition and because it is a family thing.

    I don’t think what PZ does actually matters. I think it will have no impact other than to make him look petulant. I am not sure how that helps the cause of rationality and reason.

    However, I am often wrong, and if this creates a positive anti-religious reaction, I will celebrate!

  790. #790 Steve_C
    July 21, 2008

    Concern noted. Zzzzzz.

  791. #791 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    To be honest, I don’t think PZ can expect a statement from the Pope!

    If the Catholics really took it as seriously as they claim to — and that’s what they’ve been using to justify fatwa envy — the Pope would have flown to Minnesota days ago. A godless liberal actually has Jesus Christ, not some wishy-washy metaphorical biscuits, in a jiffy bag in a desk drawer, and will probably chuck them onto the compost heap on Wednesday! Surely the True Presence of Christ is more important than a little Church pride, no? This is the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the most important thing in Catholicism, not some symbolic Protestant cracker!

    I don’t think PZ can expect a statement from the Pope either: actions consistent with words is far too much to expect from Razi, the child-rape Abettor in Chief, or his minions.

  792. #792 Sully
    July 21, 2008

    Get back here! Nobody leaves until we get to 1000!

  793. #793 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    You atheists bore me.

    The feeling would be mutual if religions did not try to force themselves upon us.

    Honestly, people have been doing this sort of stuff for awhile… trying to mock and disprove God.

    We aren’t trying to mock, we are mocking.

    And there is no such thing as disproving any god. You say there is a god, it is up to you to prove it. Go on, we’re waiting.

    If you would listen, Meyers, I would sit down with you and explain why those 50 “proofs” are easily disproved.

    And yet another theist assclown proves that religion addles the brain to the extent that spelling a five-letter name becomes impossible.

    Also, what the hell are you talking about? Which “proofs”?

    Oh, and if you don’t believe in God, don’t use His name in vain.

    Fuck you. You don’t get to tell anyone one to do.

    Leave the Faith alone

    We would, if it would leave us alone. It doesn’t.

    continue on with your jawless fish to monkey to human theories.

    Way to show you have no clue what evolution is.

    lots worse has happened to the Body of Christ for anything you do to get under our skin now.

    We know, it’s terrible. Mixed, folded, rolled, baked…

    He was whipped and spit on by even more disgusting people than you.

    Prove it.

    Oh, and all of you might not believe this is a hate crime, but it IS stealing whether you believe in Real Presence or not.

    If it is freely given? Really? How does that work?

    By the way, “Real Presence”… thanks for the laugh.

  794. #794 Nemo
    July 21, 2008

    Neural T #689:

    The information won’t be lost.

    That’s not the point. Book-burning is a symbolic act — most book-burnings don’t result in a loss of information, although there are tragic exceptions — and what it has symbolized, historically, is ignorance and authoritarianism. It’s been a particular pastime of Christians and Muslims.

    Dave Mueller #659:

    But, PZ, since Catholics do not claim that anything is supposed to happen when you desecrate the hosts,

    If you’d been reading the comments in these several threads, you’d find that some Catholics do, in fact, claim exactly that. There are numerous stories of cracker miracles. I vaguely remember one such tale myself, from back when I was a Catholic — how some kid was supposedly hiding a collection of crackers from some oppressors, under his shirt, and absorbed them into his body.

  795. #795 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    It would be nice if there was some official senior type statement on death threats and very appropriate as well.

    Yes, indeed. It will be interesting to see if the Catholic Church is excoriated in the media for failing to denounce death-threats issued by Catholics in the same manner as senior Imams had opprobrium heaped upon them for failing to condemn death-threats issued by Muslims.

  796. #796 StuV
    July 21, 2008

    Steve Zara: read what you write. I know what you meant, but it was not what you wrote.

    I was just teasing in any case. Peace?

  797. #797 themadlolscientist, FCD
    July 21, 2008

    #503:

    I hightly doubt that PZ will be struck by a meteor

    Unless he pisses the Bad Astronomer off. Then it’s Death From the Skies!

    #556:

    is a T-wafer a boson or a fermion. Can it be host to more than one god of the same quantum state at the same time…? Does it transmute to further states under repeated Catholic spin operations, or revert to its original state just as if it were de-consecrated?

    Definitely a boson. The Higgs boson, to be precise. I mean, it is God, isn’t it?

    There. Goddidit. We’ve just rendered the dreaded LHC unnecessary. :-|

    #572:

    Why doesn’t PZ raise some money from all of us to get that kid a decent attorney? PZ – it’s a disgrace if you don’t use this forum more wisely.

    Concern troll is concerned. BTW, if the second kid is catching hell for this, does that make him krollateral damage?

    #573:

    Gotta make it a bigger deal by making the leftovers more than leftovers.

    I wonder if there’s a recipe for that in the parish cookbook?

  798. #798 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    By the way, “Real Presence”… thanks for the laugh.

    Yes, it’s a “Real Presence” if your educations ends with the medieval Platonism which was all the rage when the Church made this ridiculous shit up and boiled people in oil for not believing it. It must be quite embarrassing for modern Catholic theologians that this patently witless stupidity has survived until the 21st century when they successfully abandoned so much other arrant nonsense like geocentrism. I suspect that the only reason why they’ve doggedly persisted with this ludicrous half-wittery for so long is because it was the only thing which really differentiated Catholicism from High Church Protestantism in many places.

  799. #799 Don
    July 21, 2008

    On the cracker, I am a Christian and believe in evolution and it IS a cracker.
    The RCC misunderstands an “I am…” verse in John, just as Jesus is NOT a door, neither is Jesus a flatbread.

  800. #800 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    But if you do include the Koran, I hope you find a way to deal with it that doesn’t evoke either the specter of book burners, or the horrors of Guantanamo.

    Let me echo this request. I would also prefer that the Koran be left alone this month since it was just Catholics behaving badly toward Cook that started this.

    But if when it’s time to mess with the Koran (and Muslims will ask for it again, just wait), then it’ll be difficult to be creative and interesting, but very easy to be the ugly American.

  801. #801 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    On the cracker, I am a Christian and believe in evolution and it IS a cracker.
    The RCC misunderstands an “I am…” verse in John, just as Jesus is NOT a door, neither is Jesus a flatbread.

    Good thinking. Jesus is one of two things.

    Either he is a pile of dusty bones, or he is a complete fairy tale.

    Hey, let’s have a poll!

  802. #802 me
    July 21, 2008

    But if you do include the Koran, I hope you find a way to deal with it that doesn’t evoke either the specter of book burners, or the horrors of Guantanamo.

    I know…let’s waterboard the crackers! It wouldn’t be torture, would it?

  803. #803 Grammar RWA
    July 21, 2008

    Leave the Faith alone and continue on with your jawless fish to monkey to human theories. That’s where your expertise lies.

    Here’s an interesting statement. Taken at face value, there’s nothing wrong with it. PZ’s expertise is in evolutionary biology, and there is in fact a lineage from jawless fishes to monkeys to humans.

    But the emphasis on “monkeys” is usually a creationist dog whistle.

    So tell us, Deus Vult, are you in fact a Catholic who denies evolution? Because that would be wonderful. It’d do so much to promote respect of Catholics.

  804. #804 Paul W.
    July 21, 2008
    Oh, and all of you might not believe this is a hate crime, but it IS stealing whether you believe in Real Presence or not.

    If it is freely given? Really? How does that work?

    See the earlier “Fresh thread [...]” for OMH’s argument, and my comments attempting to clarify.

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

    IANAL and don’t know if it’s true, but apparently lots of incredibly petty things are technically theft, and the vast majority of those ridiculously petty thefts would never be prosecuted.

    The basic idea is that pretty much any time you trick somebody into giving you something, that’s theft by deception. Kneeling and saying “amen” to get something that’s for believing Catholics only would count.

    By the same token, though, thousands of Catholics commit the same kind of petty theft of a two-cent cracker every week. Many don’t believe in transubstantiation and don’t confess all their mortal sins before taking communion, so they’re violating the “terms of use” and tricking the Priest into giving them a two-cent cracker, too. They’re knowingly committing petty theft and sacrilege.

    (I certainly used to do that when I was Catholic but had stopped believing all the dogma about confession and communion. No way was I going to tell a priest all my sins, and no way was I going to refrain from taking communion, and have to explain why to my parents. I stole hundreds of wafers and committed sacrilege hundreds of times, before I finally clued in, came out, and gave it all up.)

    So the odd thing here is that maybe this is technically theft, but the Catholic church has a much bigger problem than a few nonbelievers sneaking out with wafers—they’re losing lots of wafers every week to “inside jobs.”

    I’d guess that Catholics commit orders of magnitude more wafer theft and sacrilege than the few atheists making a point.

  805. #805 kiri
    July 21, 2008

    Has PZ received wafers consecrated/transubstantiated by women priests?

    I think it important to have equality for which wafers are “lesser” consecrated as to their “true” status. Women having been the historic planters and threshers of grain in biblical times they deserve recognition in desecration.

    Particularly in recognizing what women had to endure at the hands of “the Church”.

    Women Ordained As Catholic Priests In Boston
    Arch Diocese Says Women Are ‘Excommunicating Themselves’
    BOSTON — Three Catholic women were ordained as priests in a Back Bay neighborhood church this weekend, despite the Vatican’s admonition that the trio would be excommunicated if they did so.

    “The women being ordained today have been called and they are following God’s guidance and direction for their lives,” said Dana Reynolds, a woman from California who became a Catholic bishop in a ceremony in Germany three months ago. “They have said ‘yes’ to God.”

    NewsCenter 5′s Rondella Richardson reported that a congregation of Catholic worshippers, both male and female, filled the Church of the Covenant on Sunday, singing the hymn “All Are Welcome” at the beginning of the ceremony. A procession escorted the three women past the dark, wooden pews to the front of the church, where Reynolds initiated them into the priesthood.

    “Excommunication or not, I will still be a validly ordained priest and still will be able to serve the people of God,” said Gabriella Velardi Ward, 61, a Staten Island architect and mother of two, before the ceremony.

    Also a grandmother of three, Ward said she had wanted to be a priest ever since she was 5 years old and once considered becoming a nun, but felt the priesthood was her true calling because she wanted to be able to celebrate the sacraments. She was joined by Gloria Carpeneto, of Baltimore, and Judy Lee, of Florida. Mary Ann McCarthy Schoettly, of Newton, N.J., was ordained as a deacon.

    The Vatican, however, said the ordinations would be illegal and the Boston Archdiocese sent out an e-mail to all priests saying that women who try to receive sacred orders and priests who try to confer them are automatically separating themselves from the church.

    The Catholic Church has always said women cannot be priests because Jesus did not have female apostles.

    The ordination ceremony took place Sunday at the Church of the Covenant on Newbury Street, which is affiliated with two Protestant denominations, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ, the Boston Globe reported.

    They are all part of an organization called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which has been holding ordination ceremonies for women since 2002; the organization says there are now 28 women Catholic priests in the United States, according to the Globe.

    The group says its ordinations are valid because its first female priests were ordained by bishops who were in good standing with the Vatican. They won’t reveal the names so those bishops can avoid sanctions.

    The Boston ordinations will coincide with the first Boston conference of four organizations that are pushing for the admission of married men, as well as of women, to the priesthood.

    Jean Marchant, who once worked for the Boston Archdiocese’s health care ministry, has already been ordained and, together with her husband, serves a small Catholic congregation in Weston, Mass.

    —————————————————–

    Boston Archdiocese Statement On Ordinations
    For 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has served to carry on the ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church is made up of women and men, equal in rights and diverse in gifts and ministries.

    Following our devotion to Mary, the Church is committed to, and sustained by the many important contributions of women each and every day. As members of our religious communities, lay members in leadership roles within the Church, educators, canon lawyers, and as pastoral and social service providers across many other critical areas, women are helping to shape the course of our Church in following the will of God.

    The ordination of men to the priesthood is not merely a matter of practice or discipline within the Catholic Church, but rather, it is part of the unalterable Deposit of Faith handed down by Christ through his apostles.

    The organization calling itself “Roman Catholic Womenpriests” is not recognized as an entity of the Catholic Church. Catholics who attempt to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the women who attempt to receive a sacred order, are by their own actions separating themselves from the Church. That said, the Catholic Church is prepared and eager to welcome back those who seek reconciliation.

    As a faith community rooted in the loving ministry of Jesus Christ, we pray for those who have willingly fallen away from the Church by participating in such activities. And, we pray that they find reconciliation through and comfort in the Catholic Church by willingly returning to the community of believers.
    ———-
    “In most Protestant churches the sermon is the center of the worship service.

    “In the Catholic Mass, the Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Mass, is the center of the service (and of the universe, if you want to get right down to it.)

    “Because Christ was male, and the priest at the altar stands in Christ’s place when he celebrates the Eucharist for Christ’s Bride, the Church, it is ontologically, liturgically, and physically impossible for a woman to stand in that place.

    “Putting a woman into the priesthood, as opposed to ‘ministry’, starts all kind of gender-bending nonsense going. Just look at what has happened in the Episcopal church.

    “There are many good and historical reasons also (the questionable function of ‘priestesses’ in the old days, and the sexual revolution against promiscuity and temple prostitution begun by the Jews and continued by the Christians), but the role of the priest as “alter Christus” sets the seal on the impossibility.”
    ——–
    Remember, you can purchase any number of tasteless communion crackers on the web at $5.99/250. + S&H.

  806. #806 AgnoAtheist
    July 21, 2008

    Been out working all day.

    If atheists do not have the right to disparage what they (we) consider outlandish beliefs of Catholics because it is considered hate speech or offensive then CNN, Fox News, TV Preachers, Prelates, wise guys in cubicles do not have the right to disparage the deeply held, precious beliefs of Jihadists.

    IT’S A FRACKIN’ BOMB!

  807. #807 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    No way was I going to tell a priest all my sins

    I think this is probably why a lot of teenagers drift away from the RCC: they’ve successfully stigmatised (no pun intended) sex and masturbation to such a degree that there’s no way in hell any kid is going to sit in a confessional box and fess up to spanking his monkey.

    and no way was I going to refrain from taking communion, and have to explain why to my parents.

    I was spared that particular problem: religio-political events of the time made a lot of liberals drift away from the Church. I’d be surprised if any of my relatives are “Mass-going Catholics” and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they pegged that time as a watershed.

    In any case, as far as I remember, they (religion teachers) kinda “glossed over” the whole transubstantiation thing. It may be my faulty memory, but I seem to remember at least one of them being faintly embarrassed by the idea. I recall learning that “we” believed that the wafer “really” became the body of Christ and that this was one of the main theological differences between “us” and Protestants, who believed it to be symbolic. TBH, I think the kids mostly thought, “Well, the Protestants got that one right, it’s never turned into a chunk of manburger in my gob” and never gave it another thought.

    By OMH’s reasoning, the vast majority of Catholics would seem to be “thieves” by default.

    You only realise how absurd the whole notion is when you hear the preposterous rationalisations in terms of ancient notions of essence and accident: it “really” becomes the body of Christ… where “really” is defined in terms of some arcane invention totally at odds with post-medieval science or common sense.

  808. #808 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    He was whipped and spit on

    Aha – so the correct way to serve one of these cracker thingies is with cream (whipped and/or double or perhaps even triple given the trinity thing) and maybe a spot of (blown) raspberry jam too …

  809. #809 AgnoAtheist
    July 21, 2008

    I would like to know who has pulled a stupid stunt in church (related to crackergate). The kid put a wafer in his pocket instead of his mouth.

    As far as I can tell no one has advocated disrupting a service except the ones who accosted the kid physically.

  810. #810 Dervin
    July 21, 2008

    Hmmm. Well I support you in your fight against Donahue, but you are wrong in casual dismissal of the faithful.

    Let’s look at an example from bio class, say you were handing out live frogs for dissection. A student takes the frog and instead of walking back to his desk and doing the deed, starts playing with it. And when you ask him what’s he doing, he starts to leave class with the frog. What do you do? Do you let him walk out? Do you contact Campus Security? Do you take administrative action against him?

  811. #811 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    The Catholic Church has always said women cannot be priests because Jesus did not have female apostles.

    A statement contrived to be true by wiping out the records which said there were female apostles/disciples and priests early on. If you get to re-write the Bible, adding and deleting verses and whole books, and destroy all former rival editions (as well as rival religionists themselves) you can do stuff like pretending the Jesus character fit the description of a messiah rather than that of a false prophet too. Roman Catholic tyranny was so convenient for each of the people who wanted to re-model the god concept and the religion in their own image/ideal for their own prejudiced purposes.

  812. #812 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    I would like to know who has pulled a stupid stunt in church

    When I was about 10, I sat in the back of a church wearing a large pair of plastic ears from a comic toy “disguise” set (the kind that comes with a one-piece Groucho Marx glasses/nose/moustache combo).

    About 10 years ago, I had to leave a funeral because I was about to burst out laughing. The crowd all rhythmically speaking at once reminded me of “cannibals” chanting “Bah-gah oom, Bah-gah yay”, in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, while dancing around a cauldron (with Humphrey Bogart in it).

  813. #813 Neural T
    July 21, 2008

    The whole idea behind Christianity is absurd. Humans are sinful and God demanded a blood sacrifice, so somehow he was “all loving” by sending a demigod version of himself to get sacrificed. The whole premise is primitive and disgusting — exactly what we would expect from ancient people.

    How about a God who simply forgave you, without the need for blood?

  814. #814 AgnoAtheist
    July 21, 2008

    Emmet (807)

    “You only realise how absurd the whole notion is when you hear the preposterous rationalisations…,”

    That is precisely why reason will win out as this is pushed into daylight. That and over the top caterwauling about it being their most precious thing.

    Stonewall isn’t remembered for being a riot.

  815. #815 Patricia
    July 21, 2008

    PZ – You should also add some ramen noodles and an old Robert Anton Wilson book. That would offend the pastafarians and discordians. Shall we just assume you already have a hammer and a pentacle, to offend the heathens and wiccans?
    Oh, don’t forget an egg, then I can be offended on behalf of chickens. I promise to run about madly, flapping my arms, and clucking loudly.

  816. #816 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    he starts to leave class with the frog.

    I’d certainly want to rescue my frog (and ideally all the others too) to stop it being dismembered (or eaten). Free all the cracker-Jesus clones from their Catholic persecutors now!

    Can we re-use some of those Free Nelson Mandela placards (and the song)? Eg just replace the face with a cracker picture and the words with “Free Cracker Jesus – the special cracker” and so on. There were lots of other Free The W Xs type campaigns too.

  817. #817 NanuNanu
    July 21, 2008

    #810 Dervin

    That was perhaps the most idiotic analogy in this entire debacle. Congratulations, that is no easy feat.

  818. #818 BobC
    July 21, 2008

    On the cracker, I am a Christian and believe in evolution and it IS a cracker.
    The RCC misunderstands an “I am…” verse in John, just as Jesus is NOT a door, neither is Jesus a flatbread. Posted by: Don

    Don, that’s good you accept modern biology, and that’s good you don’t believe crackers are sacred.

    I’m just wondering, why do you worship a cousin of chimpanzees (also known as Jesus)?

  819. #819 Emmet Caulfield
    July 21, 2008

    Let’s look at an example from bio class, say you were handing out live frogs for dissection. A student takes the frog and instead of walking back to his desk and doing the deed, starts playing with it.

    Uh huh, OK, I’m with you. Not sure that “starts playing with it” is exactly equivalent to “shows it to his friend”, or that one might not have legitimate concerns about a frog that might not apply to a cracker, but lets not quibble.

    And when you ask him what’s he doing, he starts to leave class with the frog.

    A bit more accurate to say “when one of the other students attacks him, starts trying to wrestle the frog from his hands, and he flees.”

    What do you do? Do you let him walk out? Do you contact Campus Security? Do you take administrative action against him?

    That’s easy. You insist that he be expelled from the university, prosecuted for theft and hate-crimes, suggest that frognapping is equivalent to kidnapping a human child, and post armed guards on the biology lab to prevent any further heinous frognapping!

  820. #820 SC
    July 21, 2008

    Let’s look at an example from bio class, say you were handing out live frogs for dissection. A student takes the frog and instead of walking back to his desk and doing the deed, starts playing with it. And when you ask him what’s he doing, he starts to leave class with the frog. What do you do? Do you let him walk out? Do you contact Campus Security? Do you take administrative action against him?

    What the…? Tentatively give him an ‘F’ on the assignment, and email him or ask him the next time you see him in class to come see you during your office hours to explain his actions. (I’m not a science teacher, but this is what I’d do in an equivalent situation in one of my classes; and believe me, students behave strangely like this all the time.) Really, these silly attempts at analogies have gotten way out of control. Please tell me that one was a joke.

  821. #821 Sven DiMilo
    July 21, 2008

    When we dissected frogs in high school biology, I took the skin home and made a little drum. It sounded OK, but started smelling pretty bad.

    IN OTHER NEWS: Those of you following this thread only to see when it hits 1000 comments and PZ gets “very, very cranky” may be interested in a little graphical analysis I just did because I should be grading exams and must Must MUST procrastinate instead. It’s a simple plot of # comments in this thread over time, and I have posted it to my laughably barren blog (which I just remembered I had).
    Current projections, based on an extremely scientific eyeballed extrapolation of curent commenting trends, have PZ going cranky at or shortly after midnight tonight!!!
    You read it here first.

  822. #822 SC
    July 21, 2008

    P.S. We were never given live animals for dissection. Had we been, I would probably have been tempted to “liberate” them myself. :)

  823. #823 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    @ Sven #821: If you’re projecting, how sure are you, or can we be, that it won’t be you rather than PZ becoming cranky around midnight? ;-)

    If PZ, then will he become bloated like a puffer-fish, or a cranky toad, or zoom off in a cloud of ink, or turn green …

    Inquiring minds want to know and hence must perform the experiment. :-D

  824. #824 Sven DiMilo
    July 21, 2008

    man, if I’m not asleep by midnight tonight “cranky” won’t begin to cover it…

  825. #825 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    Round here, the rule is that all frogs are mine (as are an increasing proportion of the baby birds when I can successfully get them away from the neighbours’ cats alive).

    Perhaps over there, all crackers belong PZ. He certainly gets more on his blog than many bloggers do, ie without having to be one himself.

  826. #826 SC
    July 21, 2008

    I think there’s a good chance we’ll get there before midnight.

  827. #827 Sven DiMilo
    July 21, 2008

    You “think” there’s a “good chance”? C’mon, what kind of scientifical is that? At least my prediction is based on real data which I then squinted at real hard to derive my wild guess scientifical prediction!

  828. #828 SC
    July 21, 2008

    Or not.

  829. #829 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    Your midnight is different from mine though. It’ll be tomorrow here. I generally miss much of the “action” on Pharyngula through the time-zone mis-match. That and the political, cultural and even language mis-matches! The science is the shared thing – and the recognition of religious idiocy.

  830. #830 tsg
    July 21, 2008

    Most Catholics aren’t bigots, because most people aren’t bigots.

    If that is the case, then most Catholics won’t be offended by a non-Catholic refusing to observe a Catholic tenet, and those who are deserve to be offended. So, what was your point again?

    I am gay, and I have had catholic friends come to my gay marriage.

    Good for you. However, I fail to see how it applies to what we’re talking about in any way whatsoever.

  831. #831 Lowell
    July 21, 2008

    Paul W @804,

    I appreciate your tracking down those Minnesota statutes. (I was the poster on the other thread who complained that OHM was making broad accusations of criminal conduct without pointing to any particular statute that he thought might be violated.)

    Maybe you’re right. Maybe an overzealous prosecutor could bring charges alleging that someone in Minnesota “swindled” a church out of a communion wafer within the meaning of Minn. Stat. 609.52 subdiv. 2(4) in order to send it to PZ.

    I guess it’s also conceivable that, if a wafer sent to PZ was proven to have been “swindled” from a church, PZ could be charged with causing damage to “another person’s physical property” (i.e., the church’s property) “because of the property owner’s or another’s actual or perceived . . . religion” under Section 609.595.

    (Of course, there are many evidentiary assumptions in these hypotheticals, and PZ hasn’t done anything to any wafers yet, as far as we know.)

    That being said, I don’t practice criminal law or civil rights law, nor do I practice in Minnesota, so my opinion that these things are “conceivable” is pure speculation. I would be very happy to be shown that they are, in fact, inconceivable.

    Also, there are principles, such as the one you touched on, called de minimis non curat lex (“the law does not concern itself with trifles”), that might kill any such case, assuming that the political will to bring the charge even existed. Not to mention the First Amendment challenge that I suspect a good civil rights attorney could make.

    Just for the record, I support PZ completely in this episode, and I think it would be ridiculous public policy to prosecute anyone in the scenarios above. But it is sometimes worth looking at issues from a purely legal perspective.

  832. #832 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    It’s supposed to be cracker-Jesus who is somewhat thin-skinned. ;-) And yet he remains silent on the whole issue of the alleged desecration (as he does on the cannibalism issue and wanton distortion of his words and rituals by the Catholics). It’s only his rabid followers who can be seen to take offence.

    Cracker-Jesus is free to leave the building with whomever he pleases. If he’s not up for a one-night stand with the priest or doesn’t want to be imprisoned in the monstrance, he has every right to hint to people whom he likes better that they should take him home with them instead.

  833. #833 Patricia
    July 21, 2008

    We could pull off 1000 real easy if the right troll pops off.

  834. #834 Sven DiMilo
    July 21, 2008

    Your midnight is different from mine though.

    …and PZ’s is different from both of ours! I am going by the timestamp that appears with posts and comments, which is in my time zone (East Coast US)…PZ’s on Central time, an hour earlier. Hey, wait, does everybody see the same timestamps, or do the times get converted to your computer time somehow?

  835. #835 Owlmirror
    July 21, 2008

    Being aware of All Internet Traditions™, I think we all know that no Internet Phenomenon is complete blah blah blah blah…

    Narrator: In A.D. 2008, WAfeRgate was beginning.

    PZ Myers: What happen ?
    Cook: Somebody set up us the bomb explosion expulsion.
    Pharyngula: We get signal.
    PZ Myers: What !
    Pharyngula: Main screen turn on.
    PZ Myers: It’s you !!
    CATlolicS: How are you gentlemen !!
    CATlolicS: All your base are belong to us.
    CATlolicS: You are on the way to destruction.
    PZ Myers: What you say !!
    CATlolicS: You have no chance to survive make your time.
    CATlolicS: Ha Ha Ha Ha ….
    Pharyngula: PZ Myers !!
    PZ Myers: Take off every ‘CRACKER’!!
    PZ Myers: You know what you doing.
    PZ Myers: Move ‘CRACKER’.
    PZ Myers: For great justice.

  836. #836 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    another person’s physical property

    Cracker-Jesus can’t be property if he’s a real person (or zombie clone). The Catholics would first have to own up to the fact that they’ve known all along the crackers were never really Jesus. Or confess to being slave-holders and traders …

  837. #837 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    does everybody see the same timestamps

    I see that post of yours as being labelled “July 21, 2008 6:42 PM”. Whereas, here that would really be 23:47 BST (or 22:47 GMT by my preference).

    Cracker-Jesus might be in a different time-zone again. He could be really cranky every time a priest in the US incarnates him.

  838. #838 Patricia
    July 21, 2008

    It’s about 10 minutes to 4:00 PM here in Oregon. Let’s see what the time thingy says to that.

  839. #839 Sven DiMilo
    July 21, 2008

    Ah, so everybody sees US Eastern time. More proof that the world revolves around MeMeME!!!!

  840. #840 JeffreyD
    July 21, 2008

    No Sven, it revolves around me, but you are welcome to be a satellite. (grin)

    Pax Nabisco or Pox Nabisco, take your pick.

  841. #841 LanceR
    July 21, 2008

    At the sound of the tone, there will be 139 messages before PZ has to get cranky.

    <grin>

    *BEEP*

  842. #842 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    I’ve just been out slug hunting (on which to feed my rescued frogs tomorrow). Which raises the issue of how long cracker-Jesus can go without food and water. Is it one of those 40 days and 40 nights things? Should PZ be drip-feeding the crackers which are residing with him at the moment? Or are they quite happy to snack on each other, being part of a cannibalistic tradition?

  843. #843 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    some kid was supposedly hiding a collection of crackers from some oppressors, under his shirt, and absorbed them into his body.

    Like Adiposes in reverse.

  844. #844 SC
    July 21, 2008

    Dr. DiMilo – I had performed my own scientifical calculations on the side to determine when you would begin fishing the other threads. Right on schedule.

  845. #845 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    Isn’t it rather rude/tactless of the Roman Catholic church to be summoning Jesus into a cracker using the language of his oppressors? Shouldn’t the magic words be in biblical hebrew or whatever the local folk spoke in the relevant time and place?

    NB Re-posted here after I somehow ended up in the wrong thread/tab/posting box last time. :-/

  846. #846 Sven DiMilo
    July 21, 2008

    heh. Busted.

  847. #847 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    The whole sinister ceremony, with its cracker-devouring ritual, is somewhat reminiscent of a scene out of the Damiano stories by R.A.MacAvoy – the “come and be slaughtered” perversion of the summoning spell.

  848. #848 negentropyeater
    July 21, 2008

    BTW just for fun a nice one from ole Dumbski today on uncommon dissent :

    Could we please dispense with any patronizing nonsense about Darwin being less than the messiah of a materialistic religion that pretends to find its justification in science. If Darwin was not the alpha and omega of evolution, the he was either a knave or a fool or a madman. Darwin did not leave us any other options. He did not intend to.

  849. #849 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    O come, O come Emmanuel. We only want to eat you a little bit at a time. You’ll easily regenerate by next week. Very Prometheus and his liver with eagle or Catholic vultures.

    http://www.theoi.com/image/img_prometheus.jpg
    http://www.the-pantheon.com/images/prometh_eagle.jpg

  850. #850 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    Could we please dispense with any patronizing nonsense about Darwin being less than the messiah of a materialistic religion that pretends to find its justification in science. If Darwin was not the alpha and omega of evolution, the he was either a knave or a fool or a madman. Darwin did not leave us any other options. He did not intend to.

    So, when we eat squid we’re eating Darwin?

  851. #851 windy
    July 21, 2008

    At the sound of the tone, there will be 139 messages before PZ has to get cranky.

    I see you people act brave when going against a mild-mannered biology professor, but why don’t you go post your 139 comments on a Koran!

  852. #852 SC
    July 21, 2008

    neg,

    I’ve been meaning to ask you: Do you ever go out to Sitges?

  853. #853 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    why don’t you go post your 139 comments on a Koran!

    They would hardly be the same comments – or annotations as they tend to get called when made onto books. I do correct some mis-prints in books though and even factual errors.

  854. #854 Patricia
    July 21, 2008

    To do a summoning spell you need a white candle and Eddie Izzard.

  855. #855 Owlmirror
    July 21, 2008

    Could we please dispense with any patronizing nonsense about Darwin being less than the messiah of a materialistic religion that pretends to find its justification in science. If Darwin was not the alpha and omega of evolution, the he was either a knave or a fool or a madman. Darwin did not leave us any other options. He did not intend to.

    LOGIC: You’re doing it fractally wrong.

  856. #856 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    Could we please dispense with any patronizing nonsense about Darwin being less than the messiah of a materialistic religion that pretends to find its justification in science.

    I didn’t know anyone was actually claiming that Darwin was lesser in some way than L.Ron Hubbard. ;-)

  857. #857 MAJeff, OM
    July 21, 2008

    To do a summoning spell you need a white candle and Eddie Izzard.

    And a flag.

  858. #858 DingoDave
    July 21, 2008

    Dervin wrote:
    “Let’s look at an example from bio class, say you were handing out live frogs for dissection. A student takes the frog and instead of walking back to his desk and doing the deed, starts playing with it. And when you ask him what’s he doing, he starts to leave class with the frog. What do you do? Do you let him walk out?”

    Dervin, having worked as a technical officer for a University Zoology department, and having been tasked with the job of preparing specimens for undergraduate laboratory anatomy classes, let me assure you that at no time were students ever presented with live animals for dissection, whether they be invertebrates, fish, sharks, amphibians, reptiles, placental mammals, or marsupials.

    I always euthanised any such specimens long before they went anywhere near the students. An unpleasant task to be sure, but hey, somebody had to do it. From what you have written, I doubt that you yourself have ever been anywhere near a universitity teaching laboratory. After the classes, the specimens would be appropriately disposed of in accordance with both university and government ‘health and safety’ regulations. At no time did I ever witness any student attempt to EAT any of their dissection projects, and indeed I would have been disgusted if any had ever done so. Your analogy fails on so many levels that it is simply ludicrous. I’m afraid that you are ‘fractally wrong’(TM) about this one. Your perceptions about university laboratory procedures are an almost exact mirror image of what actually occurs in the real world.

  859. #859 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    What strange material components. Is it VSM or just M?

    It must be hard to make Eddie Izzard go around and also fast enough to all the people who need a delivery. Perhaps that’s why there are so many Eddies in the space-time continuum. Rather like the Santa Clause situation.

  860. #860 brokenSoldier, OM
    July 21, 2008

    This campaign of “ridicule and mockery”, as it’s been called, is not going to help anything. It is not effective at changing the minds of religious believers. It’s tribalism, plain and simple.

    Posted by: J | July 21, 2008 8:47 AM

    Just because you can’t muster a general comprehension of the situation doesn’t mean that the rest of the people in this world are victims of such ignorance. The mockery of inane religious beliefs has been the catalyst for many people to take a second look at what they hold supposedly sacred. This “campaign of ridicule and mockery” is intended to be just that – and if you’re not literate enough to have read what PZ posted as his reasons – or intelligent enough to get past the feigned indignation to see exactly how it might alter some people’s perceptions – then that’s an intellectual failing on your part.

    Oh, and another one…PZ’s proposed actions are simply insult directed at tribalistic religion. For you to call his methods tribalism simply shows how much you really do not understand that term.

  861. #861 windy
    July 21, 2008

    They would hardly be the same comments – or annotations as they tend to get called when made onto books.

    meh – reverse concern trolling is no fun when you go all pedantic ;) You could use post-it notes!

  862. #862 Patricia
    July 21, 2008

    Hot damn MAJeff, we’re half way there. Bring your flag, I’ve got my frame drum – now if we can get the sluts to dance – SPELL ON!

  863. #863 Phentari
    July 21, 2008

    Oh, good gravy. They’re still up in arms?

    Y’know, it occurs to me that a tremendous amount of time is being wasted here. The folks sending these hate-mails aren’t exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer to begin with; some of these little screeds must take them hours to compose.

    In the interests of efficiency, I respectfully present a generic form-letter of mindless rage and righteous fury. Those whose wrath against Dr. Myers knows no limits may feel free to copy and paste it, thus saving themselves countless man-hours that could be more profitably used memorizing talking points from Answers in Genesis.

    “Dear Godless Heathen Commie Pinko Scum,

    Blah blah blah greatly offended by your recent attack on all things good and holy. Blah blah one of the most evil men in the history of the world, specifically including Hitler, Pol Pot, and Jerry Springer. Blah blah bet you wouldn’t do that to a Koran, blah blah blah. Blah blah catch you on the street, blah barbed-wire baseball bat, blah blah proctologist with some very specialized equipment to remove it.

    In the name of the God of infinite love and mercy,
    [Insert Name Here]

    (For the severely humor-challenged: yes, it’s a joke.)

  864. #864 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    we’re half way there

    By what accounting system? :-/

  865. #865 negentropyeater
    July 21, 2008

    SC,
    haven’t been for a while now, used to. Will wait for this autumn though, now it’s too crowded, and with the dog, it just gets crazy.
    And you ?

  866. #866 SEF
    July 21, 2008

    You could use post-it notes!

    Not really. Firstly, I’m not at all convinced I have any. Secondly, I wouldn’t then be able to fit my books on the shelves any more (ie not even as