FYI

By their actions you will know them. We have had a number of raving angry Catholics in various threads here…or have we? I've had a moment to clean up a few threads and post some of the stuff that was held in comment moderation, and discovered that Naz, k8, promo, baker, PZ is a fool, Burns, rumrunner, Dobbs, NYTs, KKKAthiest, Andy, CDV, BradJ, Brett, b7, PCD, NVFU, Your daddy, facebock, baker and several other loud-mouthed asses who have been braying here are all one and the same person.

This is called sock puppetry. It is trying to generate the illusion of a consensus on one side of an issue by pretending to be a multitude. It is cowardly, contemptible, and stupid — not just because a blog owner can look at the stats and detect it, but because it suddenly diminishes your point of view. It makes you look so weak that you have to lie to put up a pretense of popular support, and it makes your side, in this case the fundamentalist Catholics, look like a troop of posturing frauds.

Thanks!

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This whole thing is truly top-notch entertainment. Thank you.

Heh heh heh

The gift cracker that keeps on giving.

It's also a brilliant way of trolling.

also, fyi.

(I don't why I felt the need to say that)

Ha! Called it! Do I win a cracker?

Hah, 'big' surprise right?

By Stephen Ockhamn (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

We have had a number of raving angry Catholics in various threads here...or have we? I've had a moment to clean up a few threads and post some of the stuff that was held in comment moderation, and discovered that Naz, k8, promo, baker, PZ is a fool, Burns, rumrunner, Dobbs, NYTs, KKKAthiest, Andy, CDV, BradJ, Brett, b7, PCD, NVFU, Your daddy, facebock, baker and several other loud-mouthed asses who have been braying here are all one and the same person.

Almost certainly isn't even Catholic.

Told you it was a mentally ill troll posting from his secure lockup cell with multiple IDs.

And he will be back with a new collection within minutes. You'd think if they give the patients internet access, they could also provide a TV so they have something to fill their days with.

KennyisNOTdead:

LOL! There are more people posting emails against Myers than there are active people on this blog.

By Dutch Delight (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Incidentally, Kenny was here earlier and admitted to trolling with sockpuppets... so personally I think it's all just him.

Sockpuppets!!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy!!!! I wonder...... were they all Bill Donohue?

PZ, you stubbornly refuse to perceive the miracle that is right before your eyes! While the Christian God has at best managed to work up a trinity, Naz et al. has shown up his own triune deity by manifesting himself as an n-headed sock puppet, where n is evidently unbounded. All hail the multitudinous singleton!

Ditto on #1

I've seen so many catholics use the term "vile" to describe PZ's views. Well, "vile" is a perfect adjective that describes the catholic doctrine.

But Jenn was a separate person? She was amusing.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that cracker doesn't make sense. It was more of a tasteless, dissolving wafer in my day.

"Can't you fit just one more wafer-thin mint?"

I SMELL DUNGEON!!!

So apparently there are no True Christians. I am shocked, SHOCKED, to learn of liars for cheeses on teh intertoobz.

Now how about that super-dedicated/dessicated concern troll from Houston?

Sorry, link broke. Which rather screws up the joke. Oh well.

First link here.

I'll get my coat.

The use of multiples is an all too common and unfortunate technique on a number of minimally moderated debate sites. It's so good to see the perpetrators exposed for the fools they are. Congrats and hang in there on the Donohoe thing. Is there a contact authority where I can send a supportive email?
.
.
Jim Et Al

By Jim Et Al (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

@ #10, probably!

The entire Catholic League is essentially the biggest sockpuppet scheme of all time - who are the members of the Catholic League?

Bill Donohue, and that's it! BY the WAY Bill I flushed a eucharist craker down the toilet the other day in your honour!

Can we just make Crackergate go away. I mean, come on, really. I can't imagine the most devout priest in the world actually believing for a minute that a wafer turns into flesh...and still tastes and looks like bread. Hey PZ, can you get somebody to run a transubstantiated consecrated triscuit through some comatography?

Damn you sockpuppetteer... bringing shame upon others who would use this handle.

was that Ron in Houston idiot one?

Your mockery of others' beliefs is shameful, but some are beyond shame. I fear that when most of you realize the error in your ways, it will be far too late. Seek help and have a blessed day. :-) JG

By John Galt (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Comatology - study of the peculiar phenomenon wherein religious believers put the inquiring portion of their brain into a coma.

So the answer to the sock puppetry question is "I am Legion"? Demon-possessed pig indeed.

Fitz,

For the nth time: It's the substance that's transed - not the accidentals. Do read up on you Aquinas (it was Aquinas who did all this jumping through hoops, wasn't it?).

Sure it looks like a cracker, but it HAZ TEH SOAL UV JEEEEEEEBUS!

Your mockery of others' beliefs is shameful, but some are beyond shame. I fear that when most of you realize the error in your ways, it will be far too late. Seek help and have a blessed day. :-) JG

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Seek help and have a blessed day. Posted by: John Galt

I sure hope that's your actual name, because the irony of a religionist hectoring others about their beliefs and actions while using the pseudonym of an Ayn Rand hero would be just too rich.

John Galt, Lifetime Membership in Smug Bastards for Cheeses.

Watch out, Loki may be preparing some mischief for you. Have a damned day!

Jeff, God bless you my friend. Peace. John

By John Galt (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

While we're still on a related topic, a peculiarly ironic potential form of cracker abuse just crossed my mind. A few years ago, a Belgian artist created a machine called "Cloaca" that was supposed to simulate human digestion. Essentially it was a poop machine.

Were anyone to construct a similar machine to be used on sacred wafers (as so many have suggested how disrespectful they find digestion and excretion), I could think of no name better than "Deuce ex Machina".

No, "Legion" was my nickname for Larry Fafarman... hey! Are we sure this troll WASN'T Larry Fafarman?

Nah... no Monday morning lawyering.

(FWIW, professor Myers, you have this Catholic-raised atheist's support)

By Aureola Nominee, FCD (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Tulse, Alas it is not my true name, but I love irony.

True Bob, God bless you too. JG

By John Galt (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

To think he was so prolific typing with just one hand, because, obviously, he was masturbating with the other.

"Your mockery of others' beliefs is shameful."

And your taunting about my eternal damnation is just plain weird.

JG, you just don't understand. You have chosen...poorly. Picking the wrong god is an epic fail.

I pity the sorry afterlife you will have. God of reason was the correct answer, thanks for playing. Here's a nice parting gift cracker for you.

Cool. Another vile idiot gets a one-way ticket to the Dungeon. Somehow, I find these actions very entertaining. Keep up the good work, PZ!

"So the answer to the sock puppetry question is "I am Legion"?"
Perhaps it meant "I have lesions"... All those syphlitic priests from the middle ages, you know.

Nanunanu

Nope only 1 id for me. Idiot. Real nice. You've shown what a sterling debater you are.

Raven

Mental illness really isn't a joke. I'll be the first to agree that some of the people that continually post are probably somewhat mentally ill, but show a little sensitivity.

I don't know how many of you are also atheists, but a number of you are really pretty sophomoric.

I tend to put a high standard on atheists because like PZ, they tend to be very educated and erudite people.

If you're serious about convincing anyone but yourselves about the necessity of atheism, then you need to lose the attitude and the sophomoric BS.

I'm sorry that so many of you feel ownership of PZ's blog and feel free to call people that disagree trolls, idiots, or the like.

I'd much rather have a discussion with my nice but deluded theistic friends than with most of the people I've encountered here.

This been an educational experience. There are a lot of very ugly atheists. If anyone thought I was being ugly, then accept my apologies.

By Ron in Houston (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

To the dungeon!

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

craig: Ha! Called it! Do I win a cracker?

Hey, thats a great idea. PZ -- you want to start offering a cracker as a prize, kind of like the OM?

You can buy supplies at the wonderfully named site: www.kingdom.com/Communion_Supplies.

They won't have had the magic words said over them yet, but close enough. And cheap too: $5 for a few hundred.

-kevin

Oh, goody! The Houston guy is here. Wait... I'm going to make some popcorn. Please don't start without me.

#44:
[There are a lot of very ugly atheists. If anyone thought I was being ugly, then accept my apologies.]

I don't think it's so much that atheist are being "ugly" as it is that the are faced with a completely irrational decision and their brains can't make heads or tails of it. The inanity is overwhelming and any attempts to rationalize the irrational cause them to become flippant and frustrated.

http://www.kobrascorner.com/opine/wafers-donohue-catholic-league.php

Bah. One person with multiple sock puppets, lots of people with one identity each--who cares? They might as well be clones, for all the originality of thought they demonstrate.

As far as I'm concerned, they all deserve 'special screening' from the security personnel at the nearest airport.

Buncha fucking stupid assholes. John Galt included.

I, too, have been a pantyhosing marionette. But I have also been Jesus H. Crispycritter and God, and let me tell you, it got me lots of hot dates with Catholic girls. So I'm sticking with that "eat of my body" pickup line.

Ron, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, and a sense of humor is a wonderful thing to have. Get one.
You said everything you needed to say in your first two posts, everything after that was just your attempt to control everyone elses' behavior. Yes, we value your opinion, but not over our own individual opinion. Thanks for playing.

-Ugly Atheist

Ah, transubstantiation is a wonderful thing. Remember the Irish clergy asking for drink driving leeway because they had to finish the wine? "I don't like to use the word wine, as it is Christ's blood in the Eucharist, but it still has all the characteristics of wine when in the blood stream."

Thank you Little Paul, Brownian et al. This was my first experience here. Found it via Bill Donohue email -> wiki --> scienceblogs. In my view, you guys are pitiful. Probably just as you view me, but I'm still smiling.

Off to yardwork, cookout with family and friends (real people), then Mass in the morning. If you're ever in Pittsburgh and want to have a real conversation, I'd welcome it. ijohngalt@hotmail.com
God Bless,
JG

By John Galt (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"I don't like to use the word wine, as it is Christ's blood in the Eucharist, but it still has all the characteristics of wine when in the blood stream."

Moderation, my child.Too much of that has been known to cause cirrhosis of the savior.

Kobra

I understand the frustration. You could feel it in PZ's cracker post. However, it not about us. It's about getting acceptance of atheism in society. If we don't understand that premise, then nutjobs will continue to issue death threats and fly airplanes into buildings.

I just happen to believe that PZ in his bit of frustrated satire went over some poorly defined line and worsened the acceptance of atheism in society. I really hope that some of the fence sitting Catholic I interact with don't catch wind of the whole debate.

I really don't want to debate you guys. Popcorn sounds good to me also.

By Ron in Houston (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Sooo, where do we go from here, seeing as the much-anticipated, foaming-at-the-mouth, starkravingmad Catholic mob never showed up? Are we off to spray-paint the Wailing Wall ("It's just a f**king WALL, you stoopid Semites!!!") or take a sledgehammer to the Kaaba ("You're worshiping a METEORITE, you muthaf**king camel-humping *&%$#!!!")? Where-o-where do we go, seeing as we're fizzling out here? Personally, I'd like to see the Itsukushima Torii set on fire ("You built a GATE out in the middle of the water--you, you, you....*&%$# Asians!!!")

You see, the Taliban had the right idea when they dynamited the Buddhas of Bamyan a few years back: Who needs some religious wackos and their Sacred Cows in OUR backyard? Sure, they earned the opprobrium of the world, but afterall, that's what the Buddhists get for thinking some ROCKS were, like, sacred or something.

So: Go Taliban! Go Prof. Meyers!! More Götterdämmerung!!!

Ron, the problem isn't the discussion, you ought to check the place out once in a while. Drive by trolling, that'll get some dander up. We take our umbrage early in the morning, see.

RiH, you never seemed to consider any of the comments addressed to you. You never considered that there is more than one way to skin a cat. You assumed that your goals are common to PZ's goals.

Do you think all atheists have as their goal the quiet persuasion of theists that they are mistaken? Do you not realize many atheists are sick and tired of being treated as 3rd class subhuman entities (I won't say citizens - care to guess why?).

You are at least as rigid and unbending as the most devoted of those sock puppets. Can you not acknowledge that anger is a meaningful and useful emotion, or is the world all peaches and cream for you?

BTW, are you still in the god-closet? Or are you out as an atheist? You don't seem to want to rock the boat, that's why my guess is you're closeted. Do you fear upsetting someone's tender sensibilities?

A useful thing that Ace of Spades does -- one of the few intelligent things on that site -- is to hash the commentor's IP address into a 5-character alphanumeric string and add it to the label. That means that sock puppets using multiple names from a single IP are exposed.

They use a "one-way hash" which means that the result string for a given IP is unique but CANNOT be used to determine the IP; the hash cannot be done in reverse. UNIX has been using this trick to store passwords forever; the entered password is hashed and compared to the file.

By Bob Munck (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Oh, my...John Galt has friends who are real people. That puts him one up on us, who only know fake people.

I'll post photos of all the fake people at the Atlanta Pharyngufest late tonight! Unless, of course, god strikes us all dead, which could happen, since there is a rumor that someone went to mass this morning and is bringing a souvenir...

I'd much rather have a discussion with my nice but deluded theistic friends than with most of the people I've encountered here.

This been an educational experience. There are a lot of very ugly atheists.]

Fine. Bye. Don't come back.

Jeff, God bless you my friend. Peace. John

Now this is a typical example of the kind of self-centered posturing that makes people hate Christians. It's pretty evident to all but the most brain-dead, self-involved, morally-masturbating theist that saying 'God Bless' only offends atheists. If John 'Kissing Ass for God' Galt was really interested in bestowing peace upon us, he'd shut the fuck up, or at the very least say something to the effect of "It's clear my presence here only upsets you; I'll leave now. Peace."

Of course, since it's obvious that he doesn't really give a shit about whether we feel at peace or not, but instead is only interested in notching his little scorecard so he can run off to his Cathobot friends or pray to God later tonight and brag about how he "brought the message of peace to atheists, but they just wouldn't listen," he'll just keep on repeating his insincere 'God Blesses' like a fucking parrot.

"I don't like to use the word wine, as it is Christ's blood in the Eucharist, but it still has all the characteristics of wine when in the blood stream."

"I'm sorry, Father, but your Blood Jesus Content is over 0.08%. I'm going to have to take you down to the station."

Ron: "Off to yardwork, cookout with family and friends (real people)..."

Oh, good to know that your family and friends are real people - unlike Jesus, god, angels, sockpuppets over here and whatnot.

Ron in Houston. I am curious as to whether you have ever considered taking the blasphemy challenge or do you think this to be in bad taste also?

By Richard in Edmonton (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

E.V.

You're really a sad and pathetic individual.

By Ron in Houston (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

One day, jb might realize that ancient works of art do not fall into the same category as mass-produced food products. Until then, we'll, just pray for him.

I'd much rather have a discussion with my nice but deluded theistic friends than with most of the people I've encountered here.

Curious. You put "nice" in front of "deluded" when talking about "discussion". I thought the "deluded" cancelled out any possibility of a meaningful "discussion". Let me get this straight -- to you, it's better to wallow in ignorance and stupidity than to be harsh?

Anyway, you had some typos in your last sentence. Let me correct them for you.

If everyone thought I was being a retard, then accept my apologies.

Sorry, I cited John Gall and attribute the quotation to Ron. Once again, sorry Ron.

s/we'll/well

Pray for my slippery fingers! I don't know what happened. They were certainly functioning well enough when they were clasped in prayer with your sister last night.

Blake, perhaps your fingers got slippery while praying with said sister...

Saying "God bless" is just as preposterous as saying "Zeus bless." John Galt and other religious people should realize that they adopt the beliefs they do out of custom/credulity/some other contingency rather than out of an objective view of the world.

By The Adamant Atheist (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Multiple pseudonyms from one person? Is this a bona fide miracle?

I mean c'MON y'all! This is like the bread and fishes miracle all over again!

Art, like religious objects, is in the eyes of the beholder, Blake: Are you saying that if the Eucharist were 'prettier' and 'older' it should be given more respect? Afterall, bread is bread; rocks are rocks; walls are walls (and how does the Wailing Wall fall into the "ancient works of art" category, again?).

All of that aside, the principle should be the same: Sacred. Cows. Should. Be. Done. Away. With. PERIOD.

If anyone thought I was being ugly, then accept my apologies.

I'll only accept your apology if you promise not to do it again.

Your continual whining that PZ said something that you, personally, didn't approve of went way past annoying. Your protestations that you didn't want to put words in anyone's mouth and, sometimes in the next sentence, demands that PZ clarify or withdraw his initial comment were quite arrogant. Finally, your insistence that you were the sole arbitrator of The One True Atheism were extremely aggravating.

Go, my child, and sin no more.

As much as I hate sockpuppetry and trolls in general, I would have to consider the alternate possibility that all those posters are not, in fact a single person, but are simply sharing time on a single computer. I have visions of the staff at Bill Donohue's office sitting around coming up with venom to spew, and taking turns posing it. (In that case, though, they might just as well be one person, for all the independent thinking that would be happening.) I still think banning that address is justified; if they are indeed individuals, they should have the sense to go and post from their own computers.

By Ubi Dubium (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Ron,

I'm trying to discuss different atheists' goals and techniques with you. Why won't you discuss this with me? I hope I didn't offend.

Sooo, where do we go from here, seeing as the much-anticipated, foaming-at-the-mouth, starkravingmad Catholic mob never showed up?

JB, what fucking lobe did you just have removed? They did show up, fuckface, on cue, as predicted.

I've got an idea for you and some dynamite; why don't you hold a stick in your teeth and see if Jesus comes back before the fuse burns all the way through?

Fucking willfully blind motherfuckers.

I gotta take a break from these asshats. Apparently an H. pylori infection isn't absolutely necessary for a peptic ulcer; constant exposure to abject stupidity works just as well.

Jenn outed herself as a sockpuppet on the "I get email -special cracker edition" thread.

Capital Dan. My comments started in the 200's under another name, so no, you wouldn't understand - mainly because it makes sense.
Posted by: Jenn

Don't know if that should get her a seat in the Dungeon. I mean, I think she's a cutter, and this might be enough to move her from razorblades up to steak knives.

Richard

I really want to get away from all the highly unpleasant people on this blog. However, I do want to respond to your question.

No, the blasphemy challenge is not in bad taste. It's probably not productive to getting acceptance of atheism. But to anyone that wants to blaspheme the holy spirit blaspheme away.

I'll be the first to admit that there are a whole lot of religious people need to be metaphorically slapped. PZ does an excellent job doing that to creationists.

However, just because someone is religious, in my opinion, doesn't mean they should be alapped.

By Ron in Houston (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I am shocked--SHOCKED!--to learn that there are sockpuppets posting comments on Pharyngula.
Me, I can't even type with my hand up a sock. It all ends up looking like this:
kfemdsalkvcoortoiiuruygrthmzd;/;,xlkmbxzoij4,,jzfdbnvo['

...which, come to think of it, is as good a Kenny parody as I used to do with all 10 fingers. *shrug*

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

OK, is he gone now?

Ron in Houston

So you believe that the ritual of a cracker taking on the "substance" of christ is off limits as a focus for ridicule but the blaspheming of the holy spirit is not? Why the duality?

By Richard in Edmonton (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I'm feeling very optimistic about this whole cracker "crisis".

Anything that focuses attention on the absurdity of religious claims is bound to help move the zeitgeist forward a bit. Superstition thrives in the dark.

Expose religion and watch it shrivel.

By The Adamant Atheist (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

jb, nobody here dynamites cathedrals. At most, we try to get people to consider the possibility that they're wasting their time sitting in them.

hahaha, awesome. What a loser.

Ron, Doesn't that seem inconsistent? You approve of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, the ONLY unforgivable sin in christianity, but you are palpably upset with the notion of desecrating a foodstuff?

Again I must say, it seems your sense of proportion is either entirely out of whack or inverted entirely.

no ron, YOU are the idiots

and then ron was a zombie

people would take you more seriously if you didnt come into this whole thing claiming PZ was telling people to disrupt masses and other such nonsense

True Bob

You really appear to be the type of person that I'd love to have a lengthy discussion with. If you have a blog or even would like to start one to have this discussion I'll be happy to come by and chat.

There's just too much BS chatter on this place.

Besides I've been told to leave and I really have no desire to stay.

By Ron in Houston (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

HA! Rob Zombie reference. I get jokes.

"However, just because someone is religious, in my opinion, doesn't mean they should be [s]lapped."

I agree. What about because they were issuing death threats?

"Naz, k8, promo, baker, PZ is a fool, Burns, rumrunner, Dobbs, NYTs, KKKAthiest, Andy, CDV, BradJ, Brett, b7, PCD, NVFU,"

What is Donahue's IP address? That coincidence would be even more unimaginably megaLOL.

Ron in Houston wrote (#44): If you're serious about convincing anyone but yourselves about the necessity of atheism, then you need to lose the attitude and the sophomoric BS.

"The necessity of atheism"? Meh. Secularism, maybe. But not atheism, necessarily. I wonder if you get what atheism actually is.

You see, "atheism" is not really a thing at all. It's not an idea, and it's certainly not a "necessity." It's the lack of a belief in a deity. Nothing more. Nothing less. It requires nothing and expects nothing. It is a description of what we're not, not what we are. In the end, in fact, it's probably used too often and has become entangled with the notion of a belief system and a set of ideals. It has none of the above.

Now, I think it would be ideal if religion disappeared yesterday. In itself, it does nothing worthwhile, other than give people false hope for ultimate judgment after themselves and others die. Letting go of that would be the best option. But it's not necessary, if the people who hold onto these beliefs stop trying to insert it into everyone else's life through public policy.

Atheism would be nice, but it is by no means a "necessity." Secularism is, for the health of the Republic.

ron the concern troll:

Raven

Mental illness really isn't a joke. I'll be the first to agree that some of the people that continually post are probably somewhat mentally ill, but show a little sensitivity.

Who is joking? You think someone who posts incoherent rubbish 24/7 with hundreds of IDs and threatens to kill people is sane?

And no they are not somewhat mentally ill, they are seriously locked up somewhere crazy.

On another website, long ago, there was a poster who was clearly having difficulties although he was much saner than the christofascist trolls who haunt these boards. He disappeared from the board and then disappeared for good. He was shot dead by the cops during a spectacularly inept daylight robbery of a jewelry store.

People don't self censor on anonymous threads and they don't try to hide their internal mental states. If they seem crazy, they are.

Since Donohue has never posted here, I don't know. The sockpuppet's IP is 68.231.166.138, though, which looks like it's at least coming through Atlanta...which is not reassuring to me right now.

Socky, you are NOT invited to the Pharyngufest!

NanuNanu

Dude I wasn't calling you an idiot. You did it and I was saying that such an ad hominem attack was just juvenile.

Honestly it's a total failure to communicate. I certainly have to take responsibility for my 1/2 of that failure.

Maybe you're s really nice person in real life.

By Ron in Houston (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well Ron, come back sometime. This has been a particularly firestormy few days.

You'll find lots less vitriol when the theist trolls aren't lobbing their mortars of ignorance about.

Most of the commenters around here are quite educated, and some are amazingly well informed in a number of subjects. Most are more than willing to have a nice pleasant discussion, with anyone. Legions (couldn't stop myself) express themselves far more eloquently than I do.

One thing to remember when dealing with rabid fundies: They intentionally misspell the word ""Prey", to make it appear more innocuous.

So, the next time you get a message offering to "Pray for your soul", just mentally correct the spelling, and see if you don't get shudders up your spine...

By Blaidd Drwg (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

??? Ron, that post didn't make any sense. Sure, the words had meaning, but you seem to have put them together incorrectly.

Anyway, it's rather obvious, from this post if not from your other ones, that you're just here to troll and don't really have an argument of substance or stance of conviction, so I won't worry too much about the horrible lack of coherence this post has shown.

Hey, Brownnoser OM: I'm quoting your prof: "We have had a number of raving angry Catholics in various threads here...or have we?" Who peed in your mother, that you're too stupid to get the point of this thread? That link you provided is a bunch of "I'm-calling-your-college-president"s and "I-demand-an-apology"s. Where is the foam? The cacophony of voices calling for his literal, honest-to-goodness HEAD--not his job? IT. AIN'T. THERE. Prof himself had to *photoshop* a pic of Muslims (LOL) threatening death to someone: Why couldn't he get himself a REAL one of the Catholic mob?

The sock puppetry was very obvious. Many people noticed it.

Anyone here feel like ridiculing Christian fundamentalists? They have a thread about the cracker incident here: http://tinyurl.com/584lcx

Registration is easy. Why not visit them and tell them what you think about Catholic terrorists who are willing to kill and/or ruin people's lives to defend a cracker. While you are there you can tell them what you think about the fundamentalists who are even worse than Catholics.

Typical comment from the fundies: "Knowing what Catholics believe, this is beyond hate speech. This is physical attack, along the lines of destruction of property."

hmm, I suppose this is what I get for not updating my pages often. The post I'm referring to was #44

Typical comment from the fundies: "Knowing what Catholics believe, this is beyond hate speech. This is physical attack, along the lines of destruction of property."

They do have vivid imaginations, don't they? I suppose that's a requirement.

Yeah Ron, come back when you're ready to use your brain and answer all those questions you've been dodging. What a thin-skinned retard.

If you wanna go, then GO, and stop coming back.

Good riddance.

According to the catechism textbook which I was forced to read and internalize as a child, the REAL miracle is that the cracker continues to appear to be bread after the priest consecrates it, even though it has in fact become deified flesh. As Aquinas explained, the substance of the hallowed cracker changes while its accidents remain the same. This divergence of substance and accident is entirely unique to the Eucharistic miracle. We should all stand in awe.

So, for proof of God's existence, look to the bread that miraculously appears to remain bread after the priest does his hocus pocus. If you aren't floored by the truly amazing spectacle of bread continuing to be bread, you're just not seeing with the eyes of faith.

Just thought I'd put that out there.

Eric, I suppose that's pretty much the same argument the fundies use to 'splain creationism. It may LOOK LIKE completely natural evolution, BUT if you look with the eyes of faith, you will surely see the Hand of God(TM) at work.

Right?

By Blaidd Drwg (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

@Ron

I admit i was a bit out of line when insulting you but insults aren't ad hominems
I was insulting you because when you first showed up you falsely claimed that

"I'm all for taking stands against plutocratic religions. What PZ did was take it one step further. He (perhaps tongue in cheek) advocated going into their sacred places and causing chaos."

He did no such thing, tongue in or out of cheek.

Blaidd Drwg: Yes, that's what I keep thinking. So why do they make such a fuss about evolution? Can't they just say, look, the scientists have discovered the Hand of God, and be done with it?

...the REAL miracle is that the cracker continues to appear to be bread after the priest consecrates it, even though it has in fact become deified flesh.

Posted by: Eric | July 12, 2008 1:41 PM

I remember a funny story about this when I was in catechism class. The nun was teaching us that when the priest consecrates the bread and wine, it changes into the body and blood. At that point, curious little me raised my hand to ask a question. The nun recognized me and I asked (it's a paraphrase - this has been a good 20 years ago) a question to the effect of "If it's a sin to cast spells, how come the father does it right in front of the church?" For that particular misunderstanding, the back of my right hand got a larger than normal dose of slaps with the ruler.

Eric

It is amazing is it not? Faith{belief despite the lack of evidence} is what is required to allow the claims of a priesthood{who's livelihood is dependent upon faith} that the ritual they perform actually changes the cracker into the body of christ{for whom there is no real evidence either} and that to question what appears to be a silly notion is to demonstrate a lack of faith itself.

One must simply hangs ones jaw slack and wonder how such reasonable, logical, coherent mental clarity such as this completely escapes we Crazy atheists.

Perhaps my birth was more difficult that I have been led to believe?

By Richard in Edmonton (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Thanks for trying to keep the hilarious euphemism alive, Blake...

In the meantime, let's all pray for Ron and John and jb et.al.

Good that that's been resolved.

Also noteworthy is the willingness of the loyal hounds to howl endlessly at the sock puppet, replying to each and every insult ten to one. How fascinating to read, about 2500 times, that the cracker is not real Jesus-flesh, that those who believe it are stupid and in need of psychiatric treatment, that assault and death threats are worse than giving offense, and that the Catholic church has a nasty history.

It's stunning how many Pharyngulites find these notions new and exciting. But to be fair, the folks who post 30 times a day may not be truly representative, but rather people with specific emotional and entertainment needs.

So with all that clutter and noise in the comments, it's maybe not so amazing that no more than 2% of all discussion touched on the specific cause of this firestorm that is surely sucking many hours out of the working life of a university president: PZ's request to his readers to obtain, at the very least by deceitful means if not by actual disruption of a voluntarily attended legal gathering, one of these thingamabobs, and the promise to subsequently "abuse" it on the web.

Again (and I have to repeat this because it's clearly so easy for Pharyngulites to suppress this distinction): it was this request-and-promise that caused the other guys to be outraged (and please don't tell me they're uppity -- yes, I really do get it); it was NOT the criticism and ridicule of their beliefs and their past and present misdeeds and hypocrisy, such criticism being long-standing and mainstream features of the public conversation.

So, the question remains: did PZ's request-and-promise cross a line? Did it come close?

(The request-and-promise could charitably be interpreted as more rhetorical than actual, something PZ hinted at in a later interview, but PZ well knows the range of folks in his audience.)

Where is your line, reader? Is an action that pushes the emotional hot-buttons of the people least likely to give your point of view serious consideration always a good thing? Does it matter whether your action has the redeeming feature of plausibly being persuasive to people "in the middle" or more tentatively on the other side?

One more thing. I love that PZ drew attention to the Webster Cook story and the CathLeag reaction. In hindsight, what if instead of his request-and-promise, he had asked readers to snow the admin of Cook's university and church (and media) with demands that the woman (people?) who laid hands on him be publicly identified and charged with assault?

By Neil Schipper (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Gotta love the Ayn Rand lurvin' religious dude. As a Catholic, the name "John Guilt" would be more appropriate.

By Longtime Lurker (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

#80
I'm confused (not being aware of all internet traditions,and all). If that many of the posts were all from the same guy, how many are left? Is there really a horde of fundo-catholics or not?

I suppose if you're means of communication is sock-puppetry, you might as well go on believing in an invisible being that lives in some etheral place in the heavens dictating your life through every whim and fancy. You might as well believe some idiot in Rome has moral, intellectual, and ethical supremacy over you. You might as well think a 2000 year old legendary dead jew whose blood you drink and flesh you eat is your savior. You might as well believe that you can be a lying, obnoxious, venemous, disrespectful human being, but if you go to a house of worship on a given day of the week and confess these acts to an idiot who can be a pedophile, your behavior is forgiven. Wow, I can keep going, but the poing is made. Reality's so much better than this heap of shit these fundy bastards try to expell.

By Helioprogenus (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Nanu, the Eucharist isn't given out willy-nilly to anyone who wants it: it is strictly for Catholics 'in good standing' with the group as a whole. Thems the rules. Anyone else getting in line to receive it is a poser, and a fraud. Prof here asked for some posing, and encouraged fraud in order to illicitly get his hands on someone else's sacred item, *regardless* of whether that sacred item is something given out literally millions of times everyday to millions of believers: It would have been no different than if he'd asked someone to make the hajj posing as a Muslim believer and bring him back the Ruknu l-Aswad for him to desecrate.

Reginald @21 wrote:

The entire Catholic League is essentially the biggest sockpuppet scheme of all time - who are the members of the Catholic League?
Bill Donohue, and that's it!

Full disclosure, I'm firmly against desecration of the host (among other things, it involves taking something that someone else values without their permission), but I share this sentiment. Every now and then you hear about a different contact person at the CL, but it's not like the DI, it's practically all Donohue. It's overused, I know, but he doesn't speak for me.

Never mind the grammatical and spelling errors. No sleep and broken spell check makes for such disasters.

By Helioprogenus (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

PZ Myers! You horrible foolish person! First, you laugh at our crackers, then you insult our most ancient tradition!!!!!

By Apostle #3 (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I haven't been reading here as closely as I should, but I'm hoping you hold a contest for the best and funniest ideas of what to do with the Holy Cracker.

@ jb in # 109:

You weren't seriously offering that example as defense of a position that seeks to equate atheists with those who bomb buildings out of religious fanaticism, were you? Because that would either be extremely intellectually dishonest on one hand, or ridiculously idiotic on the other.

Stalin, in his destruction of that cathedral, was motivated by the desire to remove religion from life, to supplant it with Communism, not atheism. One ideology had no room for the other, specifically religion's ability to inspire tenacity when faced with majority opposition and repression. He sought to control the national mind, so he removed religion as best he could and filled in its place with communist ideology. But go ahead, keep parroting the Stalin comparison - and throw in a few Hitler jabs too, just to make sure you're keeping up with your contemporaries.

Besides, all Blake said in the first place was that people here don't dynamite cathedrals, so your reference to Stalin is plainly incorrect, along with being completely irrelevant.

I totally agree with Apostle # 3 above. This is an outrage!

By Apostle #7 (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Neil, your last comment makes it clear that you know full well PZ did NOT start this mess. Which means that describing his post as "the specific cause of this firestorm" is a lie, not a mistake. It may (arguably) have been an escalation, but it certainly wasn't the cause.

If you have to lie to make your point, your point is probably wrong.

Ron, its a comment chain, it's going to be sophomoric

By Paul Johnson (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I'm firmly against desecration of the host

What's your stance on death threats and pedophilia? I can't be too impressed by all you Catholics whining about desecrating the magic cracker when I haven't seen one single one of you on these boards denouncing the other Catholics offering to kill Cook and PZ. Nor have I seen any of you admitting that raping altar boys and trying to cover up the rapes might not be good in God's eyes.

"The fool says in his heart,
"There is no God."
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.

So it is written. Psalm 14. The Bible.

By Apostle #11 (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

The fool says in his heart,
"There is no God."
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good.

So it is written. Pslam 53 The Bible.

By Apostle # 2 (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Now now. They can wish their god's blessing on me all they want and I won't take offense.

As long as they don't take offence when I bless them with

"And may the Great Cthulhu eat you and yours first".

Posted by: Neil Schipper | July 12, 2008 1:57 PM

Shorter Neil: Shut up you uppity _________ (oppressed group of choice) and stay the victim.

Short Moses: You can't win if you don't fight.

I'm confused (not being aware of all internet traditions,and all). If that many of the posts were all from the same guy, how many are left? Is there really a horde of fundo-catholics or not?

Probably not. Most of the nonsockpuppet bigots and wingnuts are trolls using an excuse to be trolls and rant and rave and may be Catholic but probably aren't. The fake priest probably isn't even Catholic.

I'm guessing there might have been 3 or 4 real Catholics but have no intention of counting them. They are also clearly outnumbered by lapsed and ex Catholics who find crackergate amusing in a morbid sort of way.

#127: Ooooh, so a few fanatical atheists (like, say, Stalin, or Mao) don't speak for the whole? *chuckle*. You aren't nearly so forgiving when those 'few fanatics' are theists of some sort.

"Stalin, in his destruction of that cathedral, was motivated by the desire to remove religion from life, to supplant it with Communism, not atheism."

Ummm, you *do* know that 19th and 20th C. Communism WAS atheist, right? And what THEY did reflects badly on atheists EVERYWHERE, if what some pedophile priests did reflects badly on Catholics everywhere, right?

Prof here asked for some posing, and encouraged fraud in order to illicitly get his hands on someone else's sacred item... It would have been no different than if he'd asked someone to make the hajj posing as a Muslim believer and bring him back the Ruknu l-Aswad for him to desecrate.

Posted by: jb | July 12, 2008 2:00 PM

Wrong. Fraud as you used the term is a criminal act, very strictly defined in the legal system, and certainly does not - in any way - conform to PZ's actions and words. Either you used the word without knowing what it meant, or you know full well the legal definitions of fraud, and simply used it in a misleading fashion anyway. Either way, it makes you sound like a ranting hack who contributes nothing to the discussion.

As for the comparison of the communion wafer to the Rukun I-Aswad, or Black Stone (which is claimed to be a relic from the time of Adam and Eve), it is equally ridiculous. A sacred artifact or text kept in a religion's holy city is quite different from a small portion of unleavened bread given out to millions around the world each and every day.

As Blake was trying to point out to you, the regulars here are much too intelligent to fall for a load of bullshit like you just dumped in that last post.

Not only is it easy for trolls to repeatedly comment under various names on a blog..it is also..

super easy for supporters of the blogger's position to post in opposition to the position in the most ignorant voices possible.

Thereby making the opposition to the blogger seem all the more ignorant.

Even bloggers have been known to do this on their own blog.

I call bullshit on Meyers and his Klan, big time.

The Washington Times has now pick up the story . The comments are pretty much all the same from the letters PZ has been receiving.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Sorry for playing Junior PI, but I think the reason PZ got that 68.231.166.138 is in Atlanta is because it's owned by Cox Communications which is HQed in Atlanta and he found this when he looked it up: "Cox Communications Inc. NETBLK-COX-ATLANTA-7 (NET-68-224-0-0-1)" Whoever is using that IP doesn't necessarily have to be where his ISP is based. (I'm in WA and my ISP is HQed in Louisiana, so looking up my IP will show a LA address, unless you use that site I gave above, which gives my correct state and city.)

Ooooh, so a few fanatical atheists (like, say, Stalin, or Mao) don't speak for the whole? *chuckle*. You aren't nearly so forgiving when those 'few fanatics' are theists of some sort.

A few fanatical COMMUNISTS. You need to bone up on your history and what the driving force behind communism was. Atheism while part of the ideal was no where near as important as the paranoia, power grab and totalitarianism in the practice.

Ummm, you *do* know that 19th and 20th C. Communism WAS atheist, right? And what THEY did reflects badly on atheists EVERYWHERE, if what some pedophile priests did reflects badly on Catholics everywhere, right?

bad analogy. The communist did what they did because of power. Period. It was a means for control of the population.. Atheism is purely the non belief in a deity(s). Period. They did what they did despite or in no relevance to atheism. Stalin's Paranoia is probably the biggest factor in his crimes.

Pedophile priests were able to do what they did because of the church. The church enabled them to continue to do it. The church was supposed to protect those kids and not only did it not, it facilitated some priests ability to continue to do it.

jb, lack of a belief in gods was not what communism was about.

Also, as has more or less been accepted, about 1 in 25 priests were pedophiles (!). It's not the crime, it's the coverup, which went (and still goes) all the way up to Ratzinger.

History: ur dewing it rong

Not only is it easy for trolls to repeatedly comment under various names on a blog..it is also..

super easy for supporters of the blogger's position to post in opposition to the position in the most ignorant voices possible.

Thereby making the opposition to the blogger seem all the more ignorant.

Even bloggers have been known to do this on their own blog.

I call bullshit on Meyers and his Klan, big time.

yawn

Below is the quote from PZ on "scoring" some crackers. Get me a frackin cracker because I can't, I paraphrase. Then he makes reference to the grim nuns and armed guards and smuggling.

Apparently the good Nazis, I mean Catholics, assume everyone else follows orders - literally - as they do. Please, any regular reader of this blog who didn't understand the irony in this smuggling paragraph, speak up so we can remove sharp objects from your environment.

To everyone complaining that PZ was encouraging anyone to be disruptive of any superstitious rituals, Catholic or not, you're either praying liars or really stoopid, too stoopid to understand irony, and I'll pray for you all.

Geez people, get a praying life - score, smuggle, armed guards, grim nuns, heinous cracker abuse - you may not think it's funny, but don't pretend he's a physical threat because you don't have a witty retort.

This isn't the first time the moral police have accused PZ of "crossing the line" and if it's the last, his readership will certainly shrink.

"So, what to do. I have an idea. Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers? There's no way I can personally get them -- my local churches have stakes prepared for me, I'm sure -- 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. If you can smuggle some out from under the armed guards and grim nuns hovering over your local communion ceremony, just write to me and I'll send you my home address."

To add to what BigBumbChimp has said, if the Catholic Church on becoming aware of allegations of child abuse by a priest informed the police, and removed the priest from duties involving the public until the investigation was complete then people would have accepted that in any large organisation there are likely to be people who behave in an unacceptable manner. The blame would be laid on the individuals, not the church.

However when the church decided it would simply move priests to another parish, and when those priests continued to abuse children then the Church has to accept a good deal of blame.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

jb,
Attacking PZ for his cracker comments comes out of Catholics belief that the cracker is Jesus in the flesh. It follows from the belief. Stalin and Mao's actions do not follow from atheism. This is the key point: do one mans actions follow for the whole? Is communism and/or mass murder part of atheism? No. Are nonsense cracker beliefs part of catholicism? Yes.

And thus by one, we may judge many. Unless of course there are a great many catholics who arbitrarily pick and choose what they will believe to be literal. Though their inconsistency in spite of their profession of belief in the truth of catholicism leaves them no better off intellectually than the cracker worshipers.

By Michael X (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

>>>>Art, like religious objects, is in the eyes of the beholder, Blake: Are you saying that if the Eucharist were 'prettier' and 'older' it should be given more respect? Afterall, bread is bread; rocks are rocks; walls are walls (and how does the Wailing Wall fall into the "ancient works of art" category, again?).

All of that aside, the principle should be the same: Sacred. Cows. Should. Be. Done. Away. With. PERIOD.<<<<
jb

you can not be serious I do not know if you mean that or are just being inflammatory.
The Wailing Wall is actually very old as were the monuments destroyed by the Taliban. Should we then remove all thing that are old because they are old what is history and its study for. What about art? the symbolic representing of objects and ideas?
No one would advocate going into any others private property and think it would be OK to commit any acts of vandalism.
no one thinks that you should not be shocked or offended by what someone else says or does with there own property. You do not have to like it and unless it is a danger to others you probably can not stop it either.
If I make an art work showing a "religious image" in a bucket of vomit you do not have to like it.
If I obtain some "communion wafers" and feed them to my dog so what?
It shocks you good that is the point!
It is all about symbols and stories we use to help explain the experience of life and living to others. there are thousands of these stories they are just stories some are closer to "objective reality" than others. All of them illustrate the attitudes of those who made them up and /or the culture they came from about the place of humans in the world.
the big problem occurs during periods of change from older understanding of the world to a new one. It appears that there are a lot of people who do not see a difference between a symbol and the thing it represents.
I trust reason and science to help me understand what the hell is going on and to separate opinion from fact.

By uncle frogy (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Posted by: jb | July 12, 2008 2:15 PM

#127: Ooooh, so a few fanatical atheists (like, say, Stalin, or Mao) don't speak for the whole? *chuckle*. You aren't nearly so forgiving when those 'few fanatics' are theists of some sort.

No, you just - predictably, though - missed the entire point of the post. I simply pointed out that your argument that Stalin destroyed that cathedral for reasons driven by his atheism was patently false. Your argument attempts to portray Stalin as a sort of evangelical atheist, when he was, in fact, a man driven by power-lust and paranoia.

Ummm, you *do* know that 19th and 20th C. Communism WAS atheist, right? And what THEY did reflects badly on atheists EVERYWHERE, if what some pedophile priests did reflects badly on Catholics everywhere, right?

In the sense that they allowed for no god in their belief system, that is correct. What you fail to understand, though, is that in looking through your self-centered looking glass on the world, you project your own structured beliefs onto atheists. Atheism is not an affirmation of what something or someone is (as Christianity or any other religious system is), but rather an affirmation of what they are not - believers in the divine. Communism was an atheist ideology in the same way any other group that denounces the existence of a god or gods, many of which are very distinct from Communism - and each other, for that matter - in many different ways. Your attempt to define an organization or ideology on the basis of a belief that group has excluded is silly. Entities are necessarily defined by those things which they are and fight for, not what they don't believe. For example, you'll have a hard time finding atheists running to Stalin's defense. In the case you mentioned, however, Catholics came out of the woodwork to defend these pedophiles and shield their crimes, not to mention the diplomatic and administrative gymnastics performed by the Church itself to do the same. That is precisely why your analogy does not work, and never will.

But by all means, keep on sounding just like Bill O'Reilly, spouting off your assertions that something is a matter of record and that it is widely known, all the while failing to have a full grasp of the basic facts in your own head.

JoJo @131

Let me be the first, then. If I've given short shrift to death threats, it's because I believe they are made by cowards and are highly unlikely to amount to anything (much as PZ does), but anything above and beyond a blog sock puppet or an anonymous email should be traced and prosecuted. So consider that batch of idiots condemned. And as for pedophiles and those who cover their crimes (and thankfully I've never encountered them even through second- or third-hand accounts), there aren't suitable words to express how vile their crimes are - it's a blight on the entire religion. Please don't think I was equating host desecration with either - now if Donohue would get the message....

The Apostle postings are lame. If I wanted to hear that nonsense, I would turn my TV to channel 7.

So when does the Koran desecration begin?

I'm serious.

This fellow should get..what...a consecrated Host, a Koran, a Torah scroll, something sacred to Hindus and Buddhists and desecrate them all at the same time.

Will he? Is he that courageous?

I somehow doubt it.

And I doubt he will publicly address why he wouldn't desecrate a Koran, either.

This will be my last comment. It is a waste of time trying to debate with toddlers. The same things said over and over again. Modern education has really declined. PZ has contributed to that.

"By your actions you shall know them." That cuts both ways PZ. Think about it. Look at what you are doing and how your atheist allies are acting. See how atheists act in China and North Korea. Look at what they do to religious believers. They make even the radical Islamicists look good. Also you might post some of the atheist sock puppets. Or do you imagine that atheists never have sock puppets? Once again you complain about something peripheral and avoid dealing with the substance of the criticisms against you.

PZ, I suspect you are enjoying all of this. Much like any rebellious child who likes tormenting his parents. Some get tattoos or piercings. You have your own way to show what a "cool" rebel you are. In so doing you have violated your institutions code of conduct and the ethics expected of a professor. You have demeaned yourself and your profession. You have diminished all teachers. All for 15 minutes of infamy. What a legacy to leave behind. This is what you will be remembered for. How pathetic. How sad. Pax.

So when does the Koran desecration begin?

I'm serious.

This fellow should get..what...a consecrated Host, a Koran, a Torah scroll, something sacred to Hindus and Buddhists and desecrate them all at the same time.

Will he? Is he that courageous?

I somehow doubt it.

And I doubt he will publicly address why he wouldn't desecrate a Koran, either.

Mark you don't know what the fuck you are talking about. Before you come to a blog and spout off about something it may be worth your time to do a bit of research.

Atheism by itself can't drive anyone to do anything. It's simply not equipped for it. Atheism is just a state of disbelief in gods.

Religion contains many affirmative beliefs and tenets on the other hand. One can cite its generally barbaric texts or else just say "my faith tells me so."

I don't fault Stalin for being an atheist. He probably didn't believe in elves, either. I fault him for being a murderous dictator.

By The Adamant Atheist (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Rev: Try as you might, your mental calisthenics cannot separate Communism from atheism. Russian Communists were atheists, even if not all atheists were/are Communists.

Broken: "In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them - usually, to obtain property or services unjustly." -Wiki on "Fraud", quoting the trial of Ken Lay. Tell me again how the Prof's actions aren't legitimately encouraging a "fraud"..?

TrueBob: You're a liar. The study, "The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests and Deacons," prepared by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and released in 2004, examined 94,607 priests for the period 1960-2002, finding 4,392 priests accused of abusing. (Read that again: *Accused* of abusing, not *convicted*.) That comes to less than 5% of the whole.

Does it matter whether your action has the redeeming feature of plausibly being persuasive to people "in the middle" or more tentatively on the other side?

No.

If the point is to defend a student from expulsion, assault and battery and death threats, then the point is not to proselytize for atheism.

It is because of attacks by religious extremists on individuals, on reason and on scientific discovery that people like PZ, other atheists and agnostics, and even more open-minded people of faith fight against.

The notion that comment threads are populated by a monolithic group of atheist proselytizers, all with bad manners and persuasion skills, is patently absurd. With different ideas, different levels of education, experience and age, different motivations and different senses of humors, commenters here, like everywhere, do not conspire for one aim. We may debate, inform, mock, insult, play, introduce snarkasmic bursts of genius, resort to the gospel according to the Moe, the Larry and the Holy Curly, or seek to persuade. Many attempt to direct the conversation back to the original point, which was not about atheism but about fanatical excess towards a student based on a belief that a holy object had been 'kidnapped', which remains a logical impossibility.

Thanks Feynmaniac for the link to the Washington Times article.

Many (most, all?) of these religious types are simply projecting their behavior onto the rest of us.

PZ has "followers" (not readers, as Peter Lusman notes) who will do as he orders because that's the way their lives work. If you're not following the pope, you must be following PZ or some mullah or Karl Rove - YOU MUST BE TAKING ORDERS FROM SOMEONE!!! because I am...

Rev: Try as you might, your mental calisthenics cannot separate Communism from atheism. Russian Communists were atheists, even if not all atheists were/are Communists.

jb Try as you might or rather.. aren't, you can't seem to grasp that that has nothing to do with anything.

If a man kills his wife because he caught her cheating and he is a christian, is it Christianity's fault? Even if the man's reason had nothing to do with his Christianity but everything to do with his jealousy and mental illness?

#166:

The difference is that no one who reads PZ's blog is willing to die for him, but someone who follows Catholicism is often willing to die for the Pope.

"In the case you mentioned, however, Catholics came out of the woodwork to defend these pedophiles and shield their crimes[.]"

What a crock. The *very* individuals involved in bringing the scandal to light and demanding accountability for the coverup were incensed Catholics, more than likely the very type that would demand the professor here be held accountable for *his* insulting of their faith.

Rev. Big Dumb Chimp:

So you're an anonymous commenter and blogger who spends all day on comment threads on the internet?

Good for you. You're a person I take seriously.

Mark, when Hindus and Buddhists begin creating uproars on the scale of stupidity that the Christians, Catholics and Muslims operate on, then yes, they too will receive their share of concentrated scorn and ridicule.
But, it only shows your ignorance to assume that PZ hasn't criticized any of those religions before.

But you miss the point in any case. The actions being railed against right now are those of Catholics. It would be non-sequitur to flush a Koran or complain about Hindus.

By Michael X (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

jb is right. The rate of pedophilia in priests is less than 5% not the ridiculous and absurd 4% that truebob has slanderously stated

Rev. Big Dumb Chimp:

So you're an anonymous commenter and blogger who spends all day on comment threads on the internet?

Good for you. You're a person I take seriously.

Did you have a point gregy or were you just going to come in like a child and say something completely irrelevant?

And I doubt he will publicly address why he wouldn't desecrate a Koran, either.

Dear nitwit;

It was Bill Donohue who tried to get the kid expelled, not a Muslim, Hindu or Confucianist.

Furthermore, Professor Myers has not, to my knowledge desecrated anything. He has exposed the hypocrisy of religious extremists. He has mocked extremists of many faiths, including Muslims. And he has more important things to do than to respond to childish dares to make his points quite successfully.

"Try as you might, your mental calisthenics cannot separate Communism from atheism. Russian Communists were atheists, even if not all atheists were/are Communists."

Logic: ur doin it wrong!

'C implies A, and C implies D, so A implies D!' seems to summarize your train of thought. It's like saying that gazelles eat only plants, and gazelles live on grassy plains, so all herbivores must be associated with living on grassy plains. See how absurd that is?

So he's flushed a Koran?

Really?

Missed that.

I don't believe he's getting death threats from Catholics. Not for one minute.

Why should I? If he's sophomoric enough to engage in this - why should I believe that any of this is authentic? Why should I believe that it's all not just fabricated by PZ and his followers to "prove" a point?

It's been done in other contexts, and on the Internet, it's very easy to do.

So he's flushed a Koran?

Really?

Missed that.

I don't believe he's getting death threats from Catholics. Not for one minute.

Why should I? If he's sophomoric enough to engage in this - why should I believe that any of this is authentic? Why should I believe that it's all not just fabricated by PZ and his followers to "prove" a point?

It's been done in other contexts, and on the Internet, it's very easy to do.

I believe mark likes to stare at his mothers ass. Why shouldn't I? People like him do it all the time. Any protesting from mark is just him hiding his guilt. I also think that mark likes to wear woman's clothing. There are pictures on the internet. Just go find them. Why won't mark denounce men wearing woman's clothing.

See how easy that is?

Now back up what you are saying.

jb, not paying attention again:

Broken: "In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them - usually, to obtain property or services unjustly." -Wiki on "Fraud", quoting the trial of Ken Lay. Tell me again how the Prof's actions aren't legitimately encouraging a "fraud"..?

Gladly. Maybe next time you should try to find a decent, less malleable source for your legal terms. For your benefit, I give you the definition of fraud as our courts have defined it.

http://dictionary.law.com/default2.asp?selected=785&bold=||||

fraud
n. the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some dishonest means to deprive another of his/her/its money, property or a legal right.

PZ's "call" was for individuals to walk into a church, take an item - of no monetary value - that is given to them freely, and send it to him. While the action may be against your religion's tenets of belief as to how the item should be handled, that has absolutely no bearing on criminal law. The item was free, therefore no fraud has been solicited.

Rev: Try as you might, your mental calisthenics cannot separate Communism from atheism. Russian Communists were atheists, even if not all atheists were/are Communists.

It takes no mental "calisthenics" at all to separate the two. Communism is an ideology, a political belief system built upon certain social and economic beliefs, and athesim is simply the lack of one belief. So your assertion that "Russian Communists were atheists," while true in the ideological sense, still completely ignores the fact that the things done by Stalin perverted even the original purposes of the principles of Communism (had you read The Communist Manifesto, you would realize that), not to mention that his actions were in no way representative of the intentions of people identifying themselves as atheist.

The whole reason this will not fit through your skull is because you insist upon shoehorning "atheism" into the box of your own faith. You have structured beliefs and spiritual leaders who guide the community. Atheists have no such thing, and never will. I find it funny that you and those of your ilk try so hard to denigrate atheism by equating it to a religion - just seems counter-productive to me. But by all means, continue, because I do enjoy the humor in it.

P.S.: Sorry to butt in on that one Rev, but I couldn't resist.

Gophers, then why-o-why can't we get a state that is either Communist without being atheist or atheist without being Communist? Why do the two go hand-in-hand, thick as thieves?

Perhaps they are all real? Just multiple facets of Bill Donohue's personalities?

By Bubba Sixpack (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

But it's such a beautiful story!

When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great forum of atheists come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we make posts, that these may read?

...

Philip answered him, one account is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may read a little.

...

And Jesus took the accounts; and when he had given thanks, he distributed posts across the internet, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the trolls as much as they would.

When they were annoyed, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

...

Then those atheists, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that douchebag that should come into the world.

It brings a tear to my eye every time I read it.

By Ryan Cunningham (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

P.S.: Sorry to butt in on that one Rev, but I couldn't resist.

Butt in alllll you want brokensoldier. The weather is clearing and I'm about to head out for some photo projects shortly, so feel free to continue.

PZ has "followers" (not readers, as Peter Lusman notes)

LOL. I can't be the only one to notice the punmanship in that guy's screenname. He's religious repression personified.

Gophers, then why-o-why can't we get a state that is either Communist without being atheist or atheist without being Communist? Why do the two go hand-in-hand, thick as thieves?

Jebus fucking Christ. Are you really that dense? Please go back and read what everyone has posted on the subject, hit yourself in the head with a frying pan three stoges style and then come back.

We have a communist state ?

Where ?

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dear jb,

Because Communism IS a religion. The "Great Leader" replaces god, and the party replaces the church. They borrow all the trappings of religion, from grandiose rituals, mass gatherings for worship, public shaming of the unfavored, lionization of the favored as "saints", inquisitions etc.

A communist state cannot allow any other religions to stick around and compete with it. Hence it suppresses all of them. Thus from the outside it appears to be "atheist."

It is "atheist" in the same way the Roman Catholic Church is atheistic towards Baldur.

"The item was free, therefore no fraud has been solicited."

No, it isn't 'free'. It is strictly for Catholics in good standing with the whole. No one else. That is understood, even if the persons giving it out are acting in good faith, working on the assumption that if you are in line you are a said Catholic. If you are a person of goodwill, but not a Catholic in good standing with the whole group, it is understood that you are not in line.

If I infiltrate a nursing home pretending to be a senior citizen that belongs there in order to receive one of their meals at mealtime, I cannot claim that, "Well, there was a long line of folks getting a plate and no one was checking IDs; ergo, it was being given out for free."

Fr. J the fake priest:

This will be my last comment. It is a waste of time trying to debate with toddlers. The same things said over and over again. Modern education has really declined. PZ has contributed to that.

What do you think about a noncatholic impersonating a priest? And then lying a lot while being dumb?

Oh, that's right, you are troll and trolls don't think.

By Archbishop his… (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Okay, so let me get this straight:

What you're asking me to believe is that PZ Myers is telling the truth about the letters he is receiving and the comments being placed on this blog...without evidence?

You are asking me trust PZ Myers with blind faith, without concrete evidence that any of this is based in real events or coming from people who really exist?

Huh.

I don't know if I can really do that.....

John Galt,

Your idea of irony is disgusting. The real Galt would have let you perish with the rest of the world. Thanks for the email, expect massive amounts of very offensive spam.

PZ,

Thanks for the IP, here it is again for a refresher 68.231.166.138, His crimes will not go unpunished, and much much lolz will be had. The lasers are charged, and the target is locked.

Ah well, I tried to post a comment over at Vive Christus Rex !, I tried to be as polite and courteous as possible, but it got deleted, I guess it wasn't in line with, as it says "the Roman Catholic Church's Magisterium".

That tells you something about some of these Catholics doesn't it ? They only will accept comments that are in line with the Catholics teachings on their blog !

I wonder what would happen if PZ did the same. Only accept comments that are in line with "the Minessotean New Atheist Magisterium".

That would be refreshing.

Any Catholics here who might want to comment on this kind of attitude of speech censorship ?

BTW here was my comment which was deemed unacceptable by the blog owner, you will notice how offensive it was !

Why do you bellitle your faith and react to this ?
Actually this verse 27 takes much more significance in this version, especially after reading verse 24;

"24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me."
"27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."

It's quite clear isn't it ? Do not eat this bread if you are unworthy.

If the non faithful takes the Eucharist and destroys it, there is nothing to worry about, it's actually what they are supposed to do, so why react to this ?

When Christ gave these instructions, they were never meant for the non faithful, they loose all significance, so why focus on ritual and forget the message ?

Why can't Catholics lead and behave according to the example of their own saviour instead of trying to force others to obbey their rules ? Isn't it obvious that if you show the example and that you are above all of this you will be much greater ?

Nothing stops you from continuing to enjoy and practice your faith according to its most sacred rituals. It's only when you react to this kind of simple provocations that you belittle it.

BTW, maybe some Catholics here might want to think about this, and comment, still haven't managed to get an answer from any of them on this, rather than waste their time on trying to convince us that we should believe in transsubstantiation or something like that...

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

To add to what Amphiox has said, there is a good argument that political systems such as Stalinism, fascism and national socialism have a good deal of similarity to religions. The concept is called political religion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_religion

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

You're right, jb. Now that you've put it that way, I can see that the threats of death and expulsion from school leveled against that kid were completely warranted.

Twat.

By Wolfhound (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"What you're asking me to believe is that PZ Myers is telling the truth about the letters he is receiving and the comments being placed on this blog...without evidence?"

Well there is a whole blog entry full of the emails PZ has received. You could always go and read those, and all the comments that have been left in response to the various blog entries. Just an idea, but you did say you wanted evidence and I thought maybe if you went and looked at some it might help.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Ah well, I tried to post a comment over at Vive Christus Rex !, I tried to be as polite and courteous as possible, but it got deleted, I guess it wasn't in line with, as it says "the Roman Catholic Church's Magisterium".

Better have a subtle knife handy when you go up against the Magisterium.

Don't wail at Jebus, Rev. Just name me a Communist state that wasn't officially atheist, or some state-system set up by atheists that wasn't Communist. That's all.

Why do the two go hand-in-hand, thick as thieves?

Posted by: jb | July 12, 2008 3:10 PM

Maybe you should do a little reading about Communism, and maybe the answer to your question will be a bit more obvious than it already is to the rest of us.

One of the underlying assertions of Communism is that religion is immaterial, in that Communism concerns itself with the world as we live in it, and does not bother with unnecessary explanations of the supernatural. (As for your lack of understanding of what Communism actually is, I'd suggest reading John Cort's "Christian Socialism: An informal history." It would be a good read for you, and would shed light on the fact that you are ignorantly confusing Communism as an ideology with the perversions and crimes committed in its name that has made it a bad word in today's society. But I wouldn't expect comprehension of such deep reflection from you, considering that the intellectual depth of the ideas and comments you've posted so far, shown in your lack of willingness to consider valid and widely documented points, barely reach kiddie-pool levels.

"No, it isn't 'free'. It is strictly for Catholics in good standing with the whole. No one else."

ahh...one of them private membership clubs down the ubiquitous back alley is it?...wot time will to the gud time gals git their kit off then...?..or is the entertainment only from gud time choir boys?

By the strangest brew (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well it is not an independent country, but how about Kerala ? You will of course know where that is.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I've read them.

My point is how do I know they're not all fabricated?

How do I know that they were written by whom they purport to be written by?

How do I know any of those people really exist?

How do I know that this isn't one big scam foisted on us by Myers and others for their own benefit?

Just presenting something to me and saying, "Look, someone wrote this" doesn't tell me anything about the truth of what's written there or the authentic authorship.

To present all of these emails and comments in this environment in which things like this can be so easily fabricated without firmer evidence that these writers are actually who Myers says they are is asking me to take Myers' word..

...on faith.

jb you've 100% missed the point.

100%. Please re-read everything above. I'm not typing it out again. I'll be back later to see if you've had a sudden strike of rational thought or reading comprehension.

I'm pulling for you. I really am. But just in case, I'll hedge my bets and put some money on no.

Wolfhound: Thank-you for proving that those in support of the professor are above making reductio ad absurdum arguments, you fab canine, you. Only those *against* him in this are capable of that, as we both know.

"I've read them.

My point is how do I know they're not all fabricated?

How do I know that they were written by whom they purport to be written by?

How do I know any of those people really exist?

How do I know that this isn't one big scam foisted on us by Myers and others for their own benefit?

Just presenting something to me and saying, "Look, someone wrote this" doesn't tell me anything about the truth of what's written there or the authentic authorship.

To present all of these emails and comments in this environment in which things like this can be so easily fabricated without firmer evidence that these writers are actually who Myers says they are is asking me to take Myers' word..

...on faith."

Fine.

Don't believe him then. I doubt it will bother him much.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

A Cat'lic doctrinal question for ya, Faddah. If the Host transsubwatchamacallits when swallowed, what happens to it, oh, 8-12 hours later?

(Full disclosure: i'm a VERY fallen ex-Lutheran who was ejected several times from confirmation classes for asking questions that the pastor would rather i'd shut up about. That and the laughing box.)

Gophers, then why-o-why can't we get a state that is either Communist without being atheist or atheist without being Communist? Why do the two go hand-in-hand, thick as thieves?

Communism, from dictionary.com:

1 a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

2.(often initial capital letter) a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.

Not a single reference to atheism. It does mention totalitarianism, however, which refers to absolute control. Therefore, any other source of authority is a threat to it, be it a commercial, political, military or religious authority.

Atheists who are not communists, do not seek total control. But since communists in most instances have been totalitarian in their practices, they must seek to eliminate religious authorities. Not because they believe in God or ritual, but because religious leaders can influence people.

It is entirely conceivable that a communist government can exist while permitting religious people to practice their faiths. This has already occurred. So long as the ministers of that faith do not challenge the communist control of capital, commerce and political power, some Communist governments have allowed - officially or unofficially - church services to occur.

I was out communing with "real people" and family, so I missed Ron in Houston's hysterical swipe. I notice he never aknowledged if he was out of the closet, so to speak, or if he has the stones to upset his god-deluded friends by being forthright and authentic rather than shushing us to not rile all the god-believin' folk.
Ron, your posts are the definition of "Concern Troll". Your control/authority issues are annoying, it makes me wonder if you are abusive to your family.

I'm not anti-religion as long as the followers don't try to proselytize to me. I was religious. I ran around with Youth Evangelists and went to the Seminary, for chris'sake. Now, I'm anti superstition and anti ignorance.

If believing in an eternal reward gets you through life, go for it, just don't tell me I'm a bad person just because I no longer share your delusion. If you get in my face, don't get pissy when I get back in yours. Turn the other cheek ? What idiot came up with that?=)

jb, the 1 in 25 figure I got from a poster of the catlick apologist variety, the other day. You are correct, I should've carefully vetted the obviously lying source.

HOWEVER, that was not the point. If there had been only one single pedophile priest, the good thing to do would be turn him in and let him stand trial, not shuffle him from parish to parish when the complaints arose. The church did a bad thing. As I noted earlier, it's the COVERUP.

Along the lines of communism being atheist. The library is atheist. The fire department is atheist. The police force is atheist. My country is atheist. My alma mater is atheist. The postal service is atheist.

Do you see at all how they are not part and parcel of the same thing? You are blinded to the concept because your life is ruled by superstition. It's a pity your mind is so blinkered. Perhaps you once had the potential to be a decent human being. Sad, really.

Stalin's favorite hobby was not collecting stamps. Now prove that it wasn't.

JohnGalt, since you and your fellow religious types never tire of telling us ad nauseam that god hates atheists, and we will all end up in hell, isn't it somewhat redundant to say "god bless you"? Not to mention completely hypocritical?

Mark apparently thinks he's being somehow clever by trying to equate the written threats directed at PZ to scripture, listing many of the failings of proving the validity of the Bible as reasons for rejecting PZ's claims.

Better watch them mental gymnastics, sonny-boy'; you don't wanna' go a-straining yerself, do ya'?

By Wolfhound (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"i'm a VERY fallen ex-Lutheran who was ejected several times from confirmation classes for asking questions that the pastor would rather i'd shut up about."

Awwww--you martyr, you!! lol.lol.lol...

Thank you, James F, for finally doing in post #153 what the rest of your co-religionists posting here have steadfastly refused to do. Also I do realize that Bill Donohue is a professional victim pushing not only a religious agenda but a conservative political one.

Most Catholics are upright, honorable people trying to live their lives as best they can according to the dictates of their consciences. What many Catholics, and other believers, either fail or refuse to recognize is that most atheists are living their lives in the same way. I don't kill, rape, steal, defraud, or commit any other offenses against my fellow man. Yet many theists accuse us of having no morality because we don't believe in a deity. After a while, it becomes very frustrating.

I don't know how many times I've tried to explain my beliefs, including moral beliefs, to a theist who refuses to accept that any such moralism is possible without a belief in God. What's especially annoying is when these theists throw Stalin or Pol Pot at me but refuse to acknowledge Paul Shanley and John Geoghan, not to mention Cardinal Law's coverup of them.

MB # 166,
PZ has "followers" (not readers, as Peter Lusman notes) who will do as he orders because that's the way their lives work. If you're not following the pope, you must be following PZ or some mullah or Karl Rove - YOU MUST BE TAKING ORDERS FROM SOMEONE!!! because I am...

I'm sorry but you fail reading comprehension. What Peter Lusmman here when commenting on someone using the term "followers" was: They're called 'readers'. Myers leads no cult, sect nor organization". That is the exact OPPOSITE of what you claim he was saying.

If you are taking orders good for you, but because you are taking orders from someone doesn't mean everyone else is. If PZ gave me an order I wouldn't follow it (I have yet to see him give orders to anyone). As for his request for communion crackers, I won't be sending him any. Sorry but after years of a Catholic education I don't have the stomach to sit through mass. PZ is merely a blogger many of us enjoy reading. He's certainly not our pope and is nowhere near as evil as Karl Rove.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Is jb stilling trying to find out where Kerala is ?

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

That's funny, I thought k8 was someone boasting about having completed both elementary and junior high school. For a fundie theologian, I have to admit, it's an accomplishment, though it's kind of sad that there clearly wasn't much by way of retention.

I guess this guy, or gal, puts the mental in fundamentalist. Crackers for Jesus, indeed (and thank you to whichever commenter who said that in the first round of this kerfluffle).

Why does Mark sound EXACTLY like the other sockpuppets in tone and style? Hmmmmmm.....

And by the way, the idiot posting as Mark in #153 is NOT the same Mark that posted at #219. I've changed my tag to remain a bit more distinctive. Sheesh.

I was thinking the same about jb...

I mean the idiot posting as Mark in #155 is NOT the same Mark that posted at #219. Sheesh x2.

#131:

What's your stance on death threats and pedophilia? I can't be too impressed by all you Catholics whining about desecrating the magic cracker when I haven't seen one single one of you on these boards denouncing the other Catholics offering to kill Cook and PZ. Nor have I seen any of you admitting that raping altar boys and trying to cover up the rapes might not be good in God's eyes.

I spent a few minutes on the Catholic League site to see what they had published about the priest pedophilia issue. Not surprisingly, the content was almost entirely focussed on the shameful persecution of Catholics, the witch hunt by the media, the damage to the church. That's really all you need to know about Billy Donahue and his ilk, isn't it?

By the way, Donahue seems to be delighted to have finally garnered our attention. Too bad I can't say the same--I never heard of the guy until yesterday.

I wasn't going to post this, but since nobody has made the exact same point (that I could see), I figured I might as well...

OK, my fiancé and I and a few college kids play a fantasy role-playing game (of the paper and dice variety) on weekends. In the sense I mean, "Fantasy" means loosely based on ancient myths, legends, fairy tales, and superstitions, and on comparatively modern novels in that vein such as Conan the Barbarian and the Lord of the Rings.

Fantasy RPGs practically always involve some sort of system of deities that are active in the fantasy setting through direct and indirect intervention, often in the form of magically charged objects (such as magic swords or amulets). Typically the worshipers of these gods carry "holy symbols," eat "holy food" at the temples where they perform their community devotions, and so forth.

The pantheon of gods in our fantasy setting are few; there are a total of five, representing the four classical elements and magic energy. There is an equally powerful "adversary" whose goal is to dissolve the order imposed by the elemental deities and to create disreality and chaos. (Note that this is not the same as the usual good/evil dichotomy.) The priests of the "adversary" carry a magical amulet formed out of the desecrated holy amulets of the other deities.

Now, this sort of thing only has power because magical energies and deities exist within the imaginary, storytelling setting. Desecrating a holy symbol is a cause for concern only for the fictional characters we create. If any of us playing the game slipped into a mental disease and began to lose their sense of the difference between improvisational theater and "away from the table" reality, we might act like these frightened Catholics.

These Catholics seem to think that someone who takes their holy food and does something unintended with it is a moral monster who should be eliminated for the good of society. Hell, anyone who believes the Catholic story can't help but think so. They are drastically unable to tell the difference between their imaginary game play and reality. They're no different than some teenager who goes off the deep end and believes he is a wizard who can cast spells. They can't fathom that spells themselves are imaginary, magic is imaginary, and religion is likewise imaginary.

By speedwell (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"What you're asking me to believe is

I didn't hear anyone ask you to believe anything.

How do I know that you're not actually PZ Myers acting like a troll to pose ridiculous questions, solely for his twisted amusement?

I don't. I don't put that much faith into what cannot be proven or disproven. But I do believe that Bill Donahue tried to get that student expelled. It made him look bad when that news account was published, he has clear motive to deny it if untrue, but instead of refutation, we've seen more of the same, directed at Professor Myers.

You can understand why I believe that's true. Do you believe it's true? Or do you intend to continue to distract attention from the rotten way that student was treated?

jb said at #191:

No, it isn't 'free'. It is strictly for Catholics in good standing with the whole.

This makes me wonder: how can the priest tell? How does he know people aren't just going along with it, trying to belong, while not really believing any of it? Do you have to take a polygraph test first before you can accept communion or something?

Sorry, jb, while I AM, in fact, a fab canine, I have a hard time sniffing out which of the atheism=communism/ boo-hoo-hoo-poor-outraged-religious-nutbags is the most odious and then peeing on their legs. Probably why I'm a sighthound and not a scenthound.

By Wolfhound (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

The Bible is just a book.
It's a book filled with violence, slavery, sociopathic tribalism, hatred of women, and irrationality.
The Jesus character seemed like a decent fellow, though; it's too bad most modern Christians are nothing like him.

So it is typed. On the Internet.

By Seraphiel (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Maybe "in good standing" means "paid up," and you get your hand stamped, or something.

Mark and jb are WANKERS! Gettin' a little chubby goin' on by inciting the rational folk with silly deceptions and outright lies. Pullin' their puds for Jebus.

Don't wail at Jebus, Rev. Just name me a Communist state that wasn't officially atheist, or some state-system set up by atheists that wasn't Communist. That's all.

Posted by: jb | July 12, 2008 3:27 PM

Again, you're being ignorant, quite deliberately. There has never been a Communist government, and there will never be a true Communist government, that has any sort of religion. The two are mutually exclusive. But that exclusivity in no way means that people identifying themselves as atheist are then somehow Communists.

And as for your statement about state systems set up in absence of religious preference, we in the grown-up world call those secular states, which the US is supposed to be. I doubt you will ever find a state system based on the sole premise that there is no God - that makes for a shitty platform if you ask me. While some ideologies that exclude the idea of God may run governments, you will never find a nation solely based on a singular negative belief. For one, atheism is not a political belief, which are necessary to form a political ideology such as Communism. And second, atheists are far from united in the remainder of their viewpoints and political beliefs, specifically because the lack of a belief is not effective as a grouping criteria.

And Stalin, like his other dictatorial counterparts in history, was a man devoted not to the eradication of religion, but merely power and greed. Religion was a roadblock to his ultimate - very material and selfish - goals, so he did what he could to remove it. That in no way defines his motivations as primarily atheistic. Just as religion was a roadblock to him, the lack of religion was a tool which he used to accomplish the removal.

But if you want to talk about an evil government using an ideology to push their own, mundane and morally bankrupt agenda, I don't think Communism is the example you need to be looking at. The different faiths all have examples that are much more interesting and quite a bit closer to home, from the ever-cited Crusades, to the current incarnation of our Chief Executive, who has done all of the following:

- stated that God chose him for the office
- stated that God approved of his decision to invade Iraq
- hired, financed, and fielded a mercenary army (Blackwater) led by right-wing Christians to operate in a middle eastern war zone with impunity from either country's laws or military regulations

You can fret over atheism all you want, but the major threats we are dealing with in today's world are hardly ones motivated by a lack of belief in a divine being.

@60

... hash the commentor's IP address into a 5-character alphanumeric string and add it to the label. That means that sock puppets using multiple names from a single IP are exposed.They use a "one-way hash" which means that the result string for a given IP is unique but CANNOT be used to determine the IP...

There is a (very slight) probability of false positives. Looking at comments on Ace of Spades shows that the characters used are just digits, upper/lower case letters, plus, and slash; 64 in all, meaning that the five characters can only encode 30 bits, while an IP address is a 32-bit quantity. Note that if there were only one IP corresponding to a given string, then it would be possible to discover that IP, by brute force.I'm all in favour of the Ace of Spades scheme, and I hope that scienceblogs will implement it. But keep in mind before jumping on somebody that multiple addresses can hash to the same string, and an ISP can assign the same IP address to different users at different times.

By Ted Powell (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Gophers, then why-o-why can't we get a state that is either Communist without being atheist or atheist without being Communist? Why do the two go hand-in-hand, thick as thieves?

Well, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, and the Czech Republic would disagree about the "why can't we get a state that is atheist without being Communist" part. But that is just a small point compared to the larger point that you continue to miss, jb.

By Citizen Z (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Huh. And here I was thinking the cracker worshipers had popular support. How wrong I was.

"Posted by: Fr. J | July 12, 2008 2:38 PM"

Yawn. Don't let the front door hit ya on the way out.

"Posted by: Mark | July 12, 2008 3:02 PM"

Fatwa envy. Yawn.

Neil Schipper:
"So, the question remains: did PZ's request-and-promise cross a line? Did it come close?"

No. Maybe, maybe it would cross the line if we were to operate under the assumption that PZ commanded a horde of super-loyal followers. But I guess I'm crazy in that I believe that very little will actually come of PZ's "request". The worst that could happen is that he gets a few postal-service-smashed wafers in the mail. Many of them may not actually be consecrated (since there's no way of telling whether they have been or not), and even if they were, most likely no one in the various churches will ever know. And if they do catch on, then maybe one or two stern lectures will be doled out at one or two Catholic churches.

PZ's post could be considered a call to disobedience. But really weak-sauce disobedience. Undisruptive disobedience. Victimless disobedience. And like I've said before, it's not as if he's actually going to do anything. I doubt he will. I think it was just hyperbole.

"Ummm, you *do* know that 19th and 20th C. Communism WAS atheist, right? And what THEY did reflects badly on atheists EVERYWHERE, if what some pedophile priests did reflects badly on Catholics everywhere, right? "

Well, in my mind, the critical distinction is that atheism does not have a centralized organization that systematically covers up abuses made by its members. I am not affiliated with communism, or any communists, or Stalin, or Stalinists. I just don't believe in any gods. There's no atheist authority I report to, no atheist dogma I must follow, and moreover, no atheist church that will spirit me away from wherever I have caused harm. The Communists may have protected their own, but no other (non-communist, even right-wing!) atheists would likely give Stalin the time of day. Pedophile priests do not reflect badly on ALL Catholics everywhere, but the actual Catholic Magisterium has an awful bloody LOT to be held accountable for.

Um, Feynmaniac #217, still, thanks for the link to the W Times article, but maybe someone needs to take the sharp objects away from you.

In the paragraph preceeding your quote, note that it says the religious types are projecting their behavior. The paragraph you quoted was simply a view of that projection...

I'm not praying for you - yet... and I guess I failed Irony 101!

Call me a failure again and I will pray for you.

I'd love to stick around, but this wanker's got better things to do. (It IS such a sunny day and all.) I stopped by just to ask what the difference was between doing what the prof is asking and, say, spray-painting graffiti on the Wailing Wall and *then* getting upset if the ADL calls for your job. Or dynamiting Buddhas the way the Taliban has done and wondering why the international community calls it a crime. Or beating a hornet's nest and getting angry at the hornets for, well, being hornets and wanting to defend their own. No one proffered a decent explanation, so I'll assume there isn't one and make my call anew: Go, Professor! Go Taliban! More Götterdämmerung!!!

...on faith.

Posted by: Mark | July 12, 2008 3:32 PM

Here it is AGAIN!! If it truly were a leap of faith to believe PZ, it would seem to me that you and your religious peers would be adequately equipped to deal with it.

Since, however, you're trying to discredit PZ's claims here with snide comments about blind faith, all you are accomplishing is equating the foundations of your religious belief with PZ's claims, and calling them ridiculous for it.

Again, we see this argument:

"Since (atheist's actions/ words here) is simply too much like religion, requiring blind faith and capitulation to higher authority, it is obviously ridiculous. Excuse me, I now have to go to church and eat a piece of flesh."

jb: Spraypainting a wall is vandalism.

The fucking priest gave him the fucking wafer. It is now HIS. End of fucking story.

Spraypainting a wall involves damaging another person's property.

THAT is the difference.

MB:
OK, I'll play your silly little game: You're a FAILURE! What do I win?

"Posted by: jb | July 12, 2008 4:07 PM"

Owned.

Or beating a hornet's nest and getting angry at the hornets for, well, being hornets and wanting to defend their own.

Posted by: jb | July 12, 2008 4:07 PM

Since you brought it up, you could do us all a favor and go personally research that whole hornet situation, and then come back and tell us exactly how the two situations differ. Just as in this case, I assume once you dive in and actually learn something about the subject matter, you'll answer your own question.

#216

JoJo,

You're very welcome. I know what you mean - I've observed people on internet forums bring up the canard that morality is impossible without theism (generally in the context of the other canard that evolution = atheism). I think one strong argument is to point them toward the U.S. Constitution and all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, which are secular in nature and to a large extent codify ethics. They need to think for a moment about who is the better neighbor: the law-abiding, ethical person who doesn't share their religious beliefs (or doesn't have any religious beliefs), or the person stridently pushing specific religious beliefs upon others.

I don't think the administration at the University of Minnesota has any choice but to impose sanctions on Dr. Myers. As a faculty member of a university for 16 years, I know it is a part of our employment agreement that we engage in no behavior, university related or otherwise, that would reflect negatively on the reputation of the University. The University of Minnesota is a public institution and as such is responsive to the people of Minnesota, many of whom are Catholic. Also, a significant part of the student body is Catholic. You simply cannot have a faculty member going around trashing their deeply held Eucharistic beliefs. The vitriol of the critique suggests underlying anger and hatred which could conceiveably place it within the purvue of a hate crime. Inviting people to steal a whole bunch of "crackers" is, at the very least, an attempted conspiracy to commit thief. In light of this, I don't see where the university administration has any choice but to protect itself by imposing sanctions. Anything less than that would be negligence on their part.

By Max Verret (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

but just so we are all clear here:

there was no desecration of any cracker by mr. cook.

mr. cook went into the church for a service with his friend. he went up and received a communion wafer which he brought back to his seat to show his friend, to show him what it looked like. a "church leader" then grabbed his wrist, attempting to pry mr. cook's fingers open to take the wafer from mr. cook. mr. cook and his friend left the church after the assault, mr. cook filed a complaint.

the church officials then concocted a story to cover up the assault, going so far as to file a complaint against mr. cook, claiming he was a thief and a disrupter of church services. meanwhile, mr. cook took the wafer home.

the church officials began spreading the malicious tale that mr. cook had come in, stolen a wafer and was holding it hostage because of his disagreement with distribution of school fees. the church officials lied to cover up the criminal assault which had been committed inside the church by a "church leader."

the only desecration that happened here was that committed by the church officials and the perpetrator of the assault on mr. cook, a "church leader."

this is all verifiable by looking at the various news stories and putting the details together. unfortunately "the journalists" "reporting" on this have failed, across the board, to do so in a responsible way. there are many stories which do contain actual information but it is buried down toward the middle to end whereas the lede sentences push the maliciously spun story that he stole the wafer to hold it hostage.

he didn't steal it. why did he not either put it in his mouth after leaving the church or throw it away? i don't know. he held onto it. i can only imagine that once the insanity broke out he may have figured it was the only thing he had which would increase his chance of people listening to him. he gave it back.

again, no desecration of any cracker occurred, only a desecration of a church sanctuary by a church leader who then participated in an outrageous series of lies, aided and abetted by that megaphone bill donahue and his catholic league to assassinate mr. cook's character, credibility and reputation. the church officials did it to cover their asses for liability reasons, donahue did it as an attention-seeking event.

all of the above resulted in mr. cook receiving death threats. pz myers, reading that, was justifiably upset that so-called believers in god and the bible were threatening to kill an innocent person who had been pointed out as a desecrator by ... drum roll ... church officials covering up an assault on mr. cook by one of their church leaders.

now don't let me come back here and find you still all chattering about desecration.

let's have a little outrage at the fact that mr. cook was assaulted in the church and the church engaged in a coverup which included smearing mr. cook and inciting others to violence.

thanks.

By karen marie (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Salute to brokenSoldier, OM for this:

"that the things done by Stalin perverted even the original purposes of the principles of Communism (had you read The Communist Manifesto, you would realize that), not to mention that his actions were in no way representative of the intentions of people identifying themselves as atheist.

The whole reason this will not fit through your skull is because you insist upon shoehorning 'atheism' into the box of your own faith."

Here here. The best spirit of Communism probably died when one of Stalin's agents put an ice pick through Leon Trotsky's skull in Mexico. Also the early deaths of Rosa Luxembourg at the hands of Freikorps thugs who tossed her body into the Spree River, and Antonio Gramsci's passing after a long stay in Mussolini's prison system.

(Even Lenin was leery of Stalin, but that was too little, too late.)

Oh, and Stalin was once a seminary student, for that matter.

And the Russian Orthodox Church were among the wealthiest landholders in the years leading up to the revolution and just as keen on serfdom as the Russian nobility.

Christians will also bring up that the Soviets diagnosed religious activists as mentally ill and forcibly incarcerated them and drugged them. While true, and while I firmly disagree with their involuntary and harsh "treatment" methods, I can't knock the original diagnosis.

I stopped by just to ask what the difference was between doing what the prof is asking and, say, spray-painting graffiti on the Wailing Wall and *then* getting upset if the ADL calls for your job.

Posted by: jb | July 12, 2008 4:07 PM

And the simple fact that you had to ask such a ludicrous question is evidence that you :

A) honestly don't know, which means you have absolutely no functioning moral compass or analytical skills, OR

B) you already know it is a specious comparison, in which case you are simply the latest in a line of intellectually dishonest trolling apologists.

I can't tell which one. And honsetly, I don't care, because either one supports the conclusion that you're failing in the credibility department.

jb @ 237

I stopped by just to ask what the difference was between doing what the prof is asking and, say, spray-painting graffiti on the Wailing Wall and *then* getting upset if the ADL calls for your job.

There is a species of speech knows as sarcasm. This is when someone is purposely rude to others. Sometimes sarcasm involves sneering at some object or ideal the targets of the sarcasm hold important.

What PZ did was sarcastic. While he hasn't said so, I believe that PZ was angered by a bunch of Catholics issuing a fatwa against a student who did something these Catholics didn't like. So, in the spirit of sarcasm, PZ offered to up the stakes, if you will.

Bill Donohue, a man who makes a very good living out of being a professional victim, thundered and screamed and whined about the supposed threat that PZ made against the magic cracker that you and your fellow Catholics hold sacred. As a blind follower of superstitious mumbo-jumbo, you jumped on your high horse and rode off in all directions. Which isn't surprising, considering that in all the posts you've made at this website, you've proved that you're a particularly stupid person.

Incidentally, the above post is another example of sarcasm.

Allow me to clarify on my previous post:

Business and property laws, if my memory serves me right, is always based on transactions.

For example, if I load a bunch of groceries into a cart, they aren't mine until I have completed a business transaction. If someone hands me something and does not indicate that, for example, they are only letting me hold onto it for a second, then that counts as a transaction and it becomes my property.

If I decide to eat at a buffet and walk out with food, I have to pay for the food I'm carrying out because I served it to myself. However, if the workers hand me a plate full of food, then it becomes my property.

The wafer was given to the young man and it was expect of him to consume it then and there, but it was not legally REQUIRED. There were no contracts. He said a prayer, and handed the piece of bread dough to the young man, and it became the young man's property.

THEN, a bunch of people who did not like what he did with an item that was now his property got physical with him. THEN he received death threats.

THEN, PZ Myers commented on this and tried to appeal to our common sense using "satire and protest."

THEN, he started receiving hate mail and death threats because he thinks the whole situation is silly.

... and it has gone downhill from there.

We know you're offended, but you don't have a right not to be. If you don't want to be offended, DON'T READ HIS FUCKING BLOG!

Call me a failure again and I will pray for you.

I didn't call you a failure, I merely stated you fail reading comprehension because the person you cited was conveying the exact opposite of you said he was. I stand by my words. If you wish to pray for me good ahead.

Oh, and your welcome for the link.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

MB:
OK, I'll play your silly little game: You're a FAILURE! What do I win?

Posted by: E.V. | July 12, 2008 4:09 PM

It's really straight forward, E.V. #240 - I'll pray for you.

Posted by: MB | July 12, 2008 4:16 PM

In layman's terms, that means you win a brand new, shiny nothing.

The fucking priest gave him the fucking wafer. It is now HIS. End of fucking story.

But remember one thing : if you intend to do the same thing, don't get caught whilst in the church's premises, keep the fucking wafer in your mouth, go outside or otherwise, take it out, just do it so that you do not disrupt church services.

Otherwise, the church can press charges for disruption of church services which is codified in the penal system in most states.

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

i found this statement by mr. cook over at a website which, despite having posted this statement, persists in calling mr. cook a liar.

this is mr. cook's statement [not yet verified by me but appears to be legitimate]:

I want you to read this, carefully:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

As you hopefully know, this is the beginning of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Its general interpretation prohibits government from aiding religion in any way and from supporting a religious idea with no identifiable secular purpose. In a 1822 letter, James Madison called it a "perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters".

Due to another part of our Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, the State of Florida is required to uphold this separation of church and state. All UCF Student Government Association funds are property of the State of Florida. Therefore, it is illegal to allocate funds to a religious organization, such as Catholic Campus Ministry.

I also oppose public funding for NORML and the Chocolate Club; however, it is actually legal for them to receive it.

This is only half of my problem with the Catholic Campus Ministry. If Sean Lavin was capable of broadcasting a complete and accurate story, you would know that the other half is their use of physical force against me.

A member of the church grabbed me after I took a mere three steps from the altar. This physical aggression continued until I loudly asked them to "STOP TOUCHING ME" three times. A member of the Catholic Campus Ministry told me I was attacked because they thought I was going to use the holy wafer to perform WITCHCRAFT or BLACK MAGIC. In fact, I was going to show it to my non-Catholic friend and then consume it. Although my friend attended the mass, non-Catholics are prohibited from receiving communion, explaining the need to delay consumption.

According to the organization, the Catholic Church mandates this policy of using physical intervention against people who fail to immediately consume the holy wafer. Therefore, the individuals who attacked me were enforcing the policies of their organization. This prompted me to file a student conduct violation against the Catholic Campus Ministry for personal abuse.

Their initiation of physical force was inappropriate and unnecessary in this situation. It is also the reason I did not eventually consume the holy wafer. I will keep the holy wafer until I receive a sufficient apology and a meeting with the bishop to discuss the Catholic Church's policies.

Now I need to address your conclusion that I am an idiot.

An idiot is someone who lacks intelligence, which is partially the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. Modern moral principles are a form of knowledge. I espouse moral principles that do not tolerate the use of physical force. Consuming or returning the holy wafer until I have addressed this violation of my moral principles, would constitute an inability to apply them, and therefore my knowledge.

Before you apply an insulting term to someone, think about what the word actually means.

This logic can also be used to create an argument for calling you an idiot. As I previously stated, intelligence is partially the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. As a journalism student at UCF, you are taught to write objectively using reliable information. Sean Lavin's news stories are far from reliable. Basing your writing, and your reputation, on his two minutes of information is highly unprofessional and displays an inability to your apply knowledge. Unlike you, however, I'll let the readers reach their own conclusion.

Webster F. Cook
Senator, Student Government Association
University of Central Florida

[found at http://fratres.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/webster-f-cook-video-of-a-thief…]

By karen marie (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Stalin was an atheist -- so what? Hitler was a Catholic and a one-time alterboy (which might have been why he walked funny). The former did not stamp out religion in the Soviet Union in spite of determined efforts, and the latter encouraged it as long as it was Christian.

There's two examples of vicious, historical douchbags, one for each side of the argument. I'm sure there are many more, although the hitleroids greatly out number the stalinarians, and always will because religion is such a handy tool for dictators to wield. Gott mit uns, eh? But it really makes no difference at all, does it, because, as so accuratly mentioned in previous posts above, it's not about atheism/religion; it's about control -- power.

Thus, Donohue, among many other demogogues past & present, gets a phony knot in his knickers over such silly shit as a completely symbolic bit of psuedo-magic and attempts to exert power over those who sneer at the whole, frackin' thing, notably, but not limited to PZ, thereby strengthening his position amongst the believers.

Me, I feel sorry for the cracker. What did the innocent thing ever do to deserve all this?

doov

Ok, I feel bad. I pontificated to Ron about being authentic. I was only in the Seminary for a semester and a half, over twenty-five years ago, but it pushed me into a deep state of agnosticism that eventually lead to my total lack of belief in the supernatural/mysticism. I had been a pious and zealous evangelical motherfucker throughout middleschool and high school though.
There. I feel better now.
Sometime I'll regale you with tales of the types of people that tend to end up in Seminaries, some are altruistic and well-meaning, some are self-hating gays who think prayer and ordination will cure them, some are bullies/control freaks and ideological zealots, and some just want to please and pacify authority figures.

jb, I refute your hypothesis thusly:

I am an atheist. I am not a communist.

There you go. That is how the two can be separated... by not being a communist.

Now, can you please shut up about subjects with which you are unfamiliar or those which you seem incapable of understanding?

[Otherwise, the church can press charges for disruption of church services which is codified in the penal system in most states.]
I don't endorse taking a wafer home to make a political point, nor do I endorse holding it over your head Link from the Legend of Zelda series. Be discreet!

this is the letter from mr. cook regarding his returning the magic cracker obtained from the same site as above (http://fratres.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/webster-f-cook-video-of-a-thief…) and which, although not verified, appears to be legitimate:

Dear members of the Catholic Campus Ministry,

I am returning the Eucharist to you in response to the e-mails I have received from Catholics in the UCF community. I still want the community to understand that the use physical force is wrong, especially when based on assumptions. However, I feel it is unnecessary to cause pain for those who are not at fault in this situation.

I want to thank the individuals who explained the emotional and spiritual pain my possession of the Eucharist caused them to experience. They have demonstrated that the use of reason is more effective than the use of force.

I was strongly assured by a woman that this action would help me obtain an apology and a meeting with the bishop. I hope her assurances were correct.

Sincerely,

Webster F. Cook

By karen marie (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I'm getting an odd whiff of a sort of cousin to Fatwa Envy in all those people who are calling on the University to punish PZ in his professional capacity. They're mad that they can't directly discriminate against or harass women or gay people in their workplace, so they take it out on PZ, who is, on his private non-university-affiliated blog, criticizing religious ideas.

Being aware of All Internet Traditions™, I think we all know that no Internet Phenomenon is complete until it has been properly LOLCATIFIED.

Thus, we present for ur lolz:

WAFERGATE

OR

CEILING CATLOLIC IS WATCHING YOU MASTICATE

Act I, Scene I
University of Central Florida, Catholic Chapel

PRIEST: JEBUS HAS A FLAVR!

PARISHIONER 1: I CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER?
PRIEST: YES, YOU CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER.
PARISHIONER 1: NOM NOM NOM

PARISHIONER 2: I CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER?
PRIEST: YES, YOU CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER.
PARISHIONER 2: NOM NOM NOM

PARISHIONER 3: I CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER?
PRIEST: YES, YOU CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER.
PARISHIONER 3: NOM NOM NOM

WEBSTER COOK: I CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER?
PRIEST: YES, YOU CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER.
WEBSTER COOK: YAY, JEBUS CRACKER SOOVENEER!
PRIEST: WAIT, WHUT?
WEBSTER COOK: KTHXBYE

PARISHIONERS: NO! YOU NO CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER! NOT YOURS!

WEBSTER COOK: FEETS DON'T FAIL ME NOW

PARISHIONERS: OMGWTFBBQ!!!!!
PARISHIONERS: NOOOOOOO! HE BE STEALIN OUR JEBUS CRACKER!!!

Act II, Scene I
Diocese of Orlando

GONZALEZ: HALP! JEBUS CRACKER IS KIDNAPPED!
SUSAN FANI: STEALIN JEBUS CRACKER IS HAET CRIEM!

Act II, Scene II
Catholic League

DONAHUE: STEALIN JEBUS CRACKER IS TERRIBLE HAET CRIEM!
DONAHUE: EXPUL-SION-ATE! EXPUL-SION-ATE! EXPUL-SION-ATE!

Act III, Scene I
University of Central Florida

EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE SAD
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE WANT JEBUS CRACKER
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE MAD
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE WANT JEBUS CRACKER
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE FIND YOU
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE RESCUE JEBUS CRACKER
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE BRAEK IN
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE RESCUE JEBUS CRACKER
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE KEEELL YOU
EMAIL TO WEBSTER COOK: WE RESCUE JEBUS CRACKER
WEBSTER COOK: DO! NOT!! WANT!!!

Act III, Scene II
University of Central Florida

WEBSTER COOK: DO NOT WANT JEBUS CRACKER. TAEK IT.
PARISHIONERS: YAY! WE CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKER!
PARISHIONERS: WE GET COPS TO GAURD JEBUS CRACKERS NOW.
WEBSTER COOK: WTF?

Act IV, Scene I
Pharyngula Headquarters

PZ MYERS: WTFBBQ!!!
PZ MYERS: CATLOLICS GO APESHIT OVER JEBUS CRACKER!
PZ MYERS: IT'S A GODDAMN FRACKIN' CRACKER!
PZ MYERS: TEH STUPID, IT BURNZ!
PZ MYERS: WANT CAN HAS JEBUS CRACKERS!
PZ MYERS: DE-SE-CRATE! DE-SE-CRATE! DE-SE-CRATE!

PHARYNGULA: LOL
PHARYNGULA: SAD CATHOLICS ARE SAD
PHARYNGULA: CONCERN TROLLS ARE CONCERNED
PHARYNGULA: ANGER TROLLS ARE ANGRY
PHARYNGULA: HATE TROLLS ARE HATIN
PHARYNGULA: SOCKPUPPETS ARE SAD+CONCERNED+ANGRY+HATIN
PHARYNGULA: WTF! SOMEONE IS WRONG ON TEH INTERNETS!
PHARYNGULA: THEY SEE US SCOFFIN, THEY HATIN
PHARYNGULA: (Repeat above 1000 tiems)
SCIENCE BLOGS PHARYNGULA DATABASE: AAAAOOOOOGAAAAH! OVERLOAD!
SCIENCE BLOGS PHARYNGULA DATABASE: ERROR 500 SERVER ERROR!
PZ MYERS: WTF! NEW THREAD.

Act IV, Scene II
Catholic League

DONAHUE: DESECRATIN JEBUS CRACKER IS WORSE THAN HAYT CRIEM!
DONAHUE: EXPUL-SION-ATE! EXPUL-SION-ATE! EXPUL-SION-ATE!

Act IV, Scene III
Pharyngula Headquarters

PZ MYERS: WILLAIM DONAHUE IS DEMENTED
PZ MYERS: PHARYNGULA! HALP!
PHARYNGULA: PZ MYERS IS TEH AWE SUM!
PHARYNGULA: SAD CATHOLICS ARE SAD
PHARYNGULA: CONCERN TROLLS ARE CONCERNED
PHARYNGULA: ANGER TROLLS ARE ANGRY
PHARYNGULA: HATE TROLLS ARE HATIN
PHARYNGULA: SOCKPUPPETS ARE SAD+CONCERNED+ANGRY+HATIN
PHARYNGULA: WTF! SOMEONE IS WRONG ON TEH INTERNETS!
PHARYNGULA: THEY SEE US SCOFFIN, THEY HATIN
PHARYNGULA: (Repeat above 1000 tiems)
SCIENCE BLOGS PHARYNGULA DATABASE: AAAAOOOOOGAAAAH! OVERLOAD!
SCIENCE BLOGS PHARYNGULA DATABASE: ERROR 500 SERVER ERROR!
PZ MYERS: WTF! NEW THREAD.

Act IV, Scene IV
Pharyngula Headquarters

PHARYNGULA: SECOND THIRD FOURTH FIFTH VERSE, SAME AS TEH FIRST
PZ MYERS: HEY! SOCKPUPPETS! GET OFF OF MY LAWN!
PHARYNGULA: (REPEAT SUM MOAR)

TEH END.......?

By Owlmirror (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I went to a catholic wedding last week that included a mass where I observed the cracker and wine ritual for my first time. The cracker part was fine (didn't realize its significance until PZ's story broke later) but what had me gagging was that they all drank the wine from the same cup. All those microorganisms being transferred. Sure, a girl was wiping the cup between turns, but she was using the same part of the rag each time, so she wasn't cleaning the cup, she was smearing the germs. I concluded right then and there that I would never want to be part of an organization that required the weekly drinking of backwash. Warm backwash. Gagging again. I'll go have a disk o'jesus to settle my stomach.

Ummm, you *do* know that 19th and 20th C. Communism WAS atheist, right? And what THEY did reflects badly on atheists EVERYWHERE, if what some pedophile priests did reflects badly on Catholics everywhere, right?

So is Democracy. So are free market economics. So is facism. So is any non-theocratic or divine right system of economics and/or governance. Seriously, it's not a difficult concept to realize that religion isn't responsible for every good or bad thing. And many things, are simply just outside religion.

You've only proven you don't get it.

As far as the buggery is concerned, the problem isn't the pedophile priests. It was the WORLD-WIDE CATHOLIC-CHURCH EFFORT TO HIDE THEM and KEEP THEM FROM THEIR LEGAL PUNISHMENT.

OK, I am now convinced that the catholics are due an apology so here goes, and speaking only for myself:

I am sorry that your vision of a god is so weak that he cannot protect his cracker form.

I am sorry that you engage in idolatry in regards to said cracker.

I am sorry that you are offended by people pointing out that religious people often believe things that many of us find silly at best and dangerous at worst.

I am sorry that you have continued to hide evidence of crimes within your church, thus giving people easy targets during verbal and/or blog battles.

I am sorry that you allow Bill Donahue to speak for many of you.

I am sorry you do not have the courage to speak out against those who make you look bad, such as Donahue.

I am sorry you hate gay and lesbian people - yes, YOU DO, you church requires you to hate them, or at least their "sin".

I am sorry your church continues to block AIDS awareness programs in places like Africa.

I am sorry your church compels you to hate Africans by requiring you to believe that them not having condoms is somehow good for them.

I am sorry you do not know what your own prophet and bible say.

I am sorry you do not practice what Rabbi Ben Jesu asked you to practice - you do not love your neighbor as yourself, you will not eat with publicans and prostitutes - you condemn them. (No, there is no need to comment on the name folks, I do not really care, call him what you like.)

I am sorry you are offended when someone tells you to fuck off after you offer to pray for our souls. As many have noted on here, "pray for you" often effectively equates to fuck you. On, to get ahead of the curve a bit, fuck you if you offer to pray for me.

I am sure there are catholics that do not believe in the oppression of gays and lesbians or allowing Africans to die of AIDS. I am sure there are catholics who do not believe the cracker and wine are more than a symbol. I am sure there are catholics that are outraged by the protection of pedophile priests. I am sorry you do not have the courage to slip off your chains and take responsibility for your own life, your own morals, your own dealings with the world. This one makes me especially sad.

Pax Nabisco

MB:
A prayer? Hmmm. I reread your post and it sounds like more of a threat, as in "call me that again and you'll need to be prayed for. But, of course, you would never threaten anyone beyond eternal damnation for not believinging the way you do, now would you.
Thanks, MB, but praying for me would be a tad onanistic - the only one involved would be you.

Owlmirror @ 262

Bravo!

Try as you might, your mental calisthenics cannot separate Communism from non-belief in fairies. Russian Communists were non-believers in fairies, even if not all non-believers in fairies were/are Communists.

Therefore what, you praying eejit?

Fuck over 20 nicknames? This guy must have had much time to lose...^o)

Rev: Try as you might, your mental calisthenics cannot separate Communism from atheism. Russian Communists were atheists, even if not all atheists were/are Communists.

I have to agree with this statement from the perspective of you. That is, you're irreducibly dense. But your ignorance and inability to comprehend isn't his failure.

There are, frankly, some people so brainwashed that they can't be educated. No matter how long or hard you try.

Even more than that, it may be a perceptual/cognitive defect that you possess. There has been shown, in some recent work I read in the Journal of Psychology, that some people (a large subset of the population) have a cognitive defect and are incapable of seeing a random universe. Their brain processes simply lack that ability.

It's early work. And was done with believers of ESP, not religion. But the author pointed out that it may explain why people made up religions to explain the universe that appeared so random and chaotic. Or, in other words, you've got a process-equivalent of "color blindness." And while we can tell yo about red, you're incapable of actually seeing it.

Bad things happen because they do. Not because of original sin. Or that you're an inherently bad person. Even if you are an asshole and could piss off the Pope. But just because "wrong place, wrong time."

Ron, you have absolutely no moral standing to criticize others.

You spent all of yesterday blatantly lying about PZ, attributing things to him he never said.

You repeatedly demanded that PZ retract his statements and revise them in a manner which you approved. You then repeatedly lied and said you wouldn't think to tell a blogger what to say.

At least once you said you would never dare tell PZ what to say, and then proceeded to make multiple DEMANDS that he do so within the span of a few sentences.

You repeatedly criticized other commenters for the content and delivery of their comments, and then when yours were criticized, you told anyone who didn't like what you said that they could just ignore your comments.

You repeated this behavior ad nauseum, revealing yourself to be a dishonest hypocrite, your essential message being that everyone must agree with you and do as you say and no one must criticize you.

Worst of all you repeatedly threatened to leave and then broke this promise.

You have no standing to criticize. You have proven your words to be worthless. You put words into the mouths of others and then damn them for them.

Who the hell cares what a lying hypocrite thinks?
If we should care, then we need to worry about what Bill Donohue thinks.

Isn't cannibalism - the eating of human flesh - illegal? Are there any cities or states here in the US where one could be prosecuted for deliberate knowing ingestion of human flesh? Anybody know what the law is on this?

If there is such a law (and I would be shocked if there isn't - does the name "Jeffrey Dahmer" ring a bell?) what is to prevent PZ (or somebody...) from humbly pointing out to the authorities that there is a cult performing ritual cannibalism right here in River City? Anybody?

(Of course, when presented with the possibility of being arrested and charged with cannibalism, do you think some of these Death Cultists might waffle and say it's just a cracker after all?)

I wonder if some of the more aggressive/name-calling "ugly atheists" were also put-ons for attention.

Seriously, I wanted to ask a few if they were teenagers.

We have Godwyn's Law for Nazi's - I think there should be a law about making pedophile priest arguments.

Ron seemed like a reasonable guy most of the time, and still a few attacked him mercilessly whilst characterizing people offended at what PZ suggested as being violent religious zealots.

An evil little part of me would really enjoy observing the more ridiculous "players" (like the people that assaulted the student, Bill himself, and everyone actually sending threats) watching creative uses of unsubstantiated unleavened wafers.

To the great majority of Catholics (whose only crime is being indoctrinated into the religion as children in the first place) - actually following through on the "cracker threat" would simply be cruel.

I know those who are not religious and have never been religious can't wrap their brain around it - but these people REALLY do think a consecrated "cracker" is incredibly precious.

MOST of the letters I read in the previous post by PZ were people desperately trying to make PZ understand what the "host" meant to them emotionally. It's just so incredibly sad.

I do realize how it can be amusing, but in the end it IS just being hurtful for kicks.

Also, I completely agree with Neil's (#118) assessment of all this.

By sinmantyx (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Re: Moses @ 271

I heard this somewhere and liked it:

Nothing is either good or bad, but only thinking makes it so.

teh stoopid. iz not ur fawlt.

Re: #245

What Mr. Cook did or did not do has nothing to do with Dr. Myers inviting people to steal a whole bunch of "crackers" and give them to him so he could desecrate them in public. It has nothing to do with "property rights" but with Dr. Myers invitation to others to commit thief. If Mr. Cook felt that his rights had been violated and that he had a cause of action he should have sought a remedy in law. What Mr. Cook did or did not do and Mr. Donohue intemperate remarks have nothing to do with the obligation of the University of Minnesota to hold Dr. Myers responsible for his actions. Dr. Myers does not have to accept responsibility for either Mr. Cook's or Mr. Donohue's behaviors.

By Max Verret (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

@245
"In light of this, I don't see where the university administration has any choice but to protect itself by imposing sanctions. Anything less than that would be negligence on their part."

Are you sure you work at at a university? Administrations don't want to get involved with this. They want it to blow over as fast as possible. Maybe an assistant to the dean will scowl at PZ some day, but that's about it.

Let's get this straight. Education is a very minor part of administrative activity and faculty evaluation is still less. Administrators are concerned with making sure they get their latest budget increase and looking good to the higher ups so they can get their next promotion.

If an administrator gets mad at PZ, it won't be because of his comments. It will be because he has interrupted the great game of bureaucratic navel gazing.

By --PatF in Madison (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Oh hell, Max poked his head out again and I am leaving for a showing of Hellboy II (The Golden Cracker) as soon as my son gets here.

Well, Max, your concerns are noted. I will "pray for you".

Pax Nabisco

Has anyone seen this? http://www.koco.com/news/16860079/detail.html

Church Cancels Teen Gun Giveaway
Windsor Hills Baptist had planned to give away a semiautomatic assault rifle until one of the event's organizers was unable to attend.

The church's youth pastor, Bob Ross, said it's a way of trying to encourage young people to attend the event. The church expected hundreds of teenagers from as far away as Canada.

"We have 21 hours of preaching and teaching throughout the week," Ross said.

A video on the church Web site shows the shooting competition from last year's conference. A gun giveaway was part of the event last year. This year, organizers included it in their marketing.

"I don't want people thinking 'My goodness, we're putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn't respect it who are then going to go out and kill,'" said Ross. "That's not at all what we're trying to do."

Ross said the conference isn't all about guns, but rather about teens finding faith.

"You make a lot of new friends down here," said Vikki Goncharenko, who attended the conference. "You get to meet new people. There's a bunch of things that are going on. It's just, you have a wonderful time."

Friday evening, Ross said the gun giveaway had been canceled. Pastor emeritus Jim Vineyard, who ran the event, injured his foot and wouldn't be able to attend. The gun giveaway was also removed from the church Web site.

Ross said the church would give the gun away next year instead. He said the church spent $800 buying the gun for the promotion.

------------------------------------

EEEEEK!

By leeleeone (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Hey, Brownnoser OM: I'm quoting your prof: "We have had a number of raving angry Catholics in various threads here...or have we?" Who peed in your mother, that you're too stupid to get the point of this thread? That link you provided is a bunch of "I'm-calling-your-college-president"s and "I-demand-an-apology"s. Where is the foam? The cacophony of voices calling for his literal, honest-to-goodness HEAD--not his job? IT. AIN'T. THERE. Prof himself had to *photoshop* a pic of Muslims (LOL) threatening death to someone: Why couldn't he get himself a REAL one of the Catholic mob?

Hey, JB, fuckhead: learn to read dipshit.

Here's some foam from the emails in the post, you slavering Hooked on Phonics failure:

I own 4 guns. I bet liberal vermin like you don't own any.

IT. AIN'T. THERE?

Come on down to Florida. We know how to welcome bastards like you.....with a bullet.

IT. AIN'T. THERE?

You are really fucked now. Lock your doors at night, and check under your car before you turn the ignition key.

IT. AIN'T. THERE?

You will discover soon enough what your blasphemy gets you. Since you have said your hateful lies where me and my friends can see them, it will be sooner than you think. You'll wish you had a cracker in Hell!

IT. AIN'T. THERE?

IF Catholics had half the testosterone of muzzies, the answer would be simple. Holy hollowpoint. But alas, I expect they will whimper and grovel as usual.

IT. AIN'T. THERE?

Go choke on your Padre's cock, you fucking offal stain on the abattoir floor of humanity.

i feel sorry for you, max verret.

you have a lot of growing up to do.

By karen marie (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Have I been quote mined by Feynmaniac in my four sentence comment? What fun!

I said
"Many (most, all?) of these religious types are simply projecting their behavior onto the rest of us."

My next sentence was an attempt at constructing an example of how they think and might be projecting their behavior onto the READERS of this blog:

"PZ has "followers" (not readers, as Peter Lusman notes) who will do as he orders because that's the way their lives work. If you're not following the pope, you must be following PZ or some mullah or Karl Rove - YOU MUST BE TAKING ORDERS FROM SOMEONE!!! because I am...

Like I said, I apparently failed Irony 101. So sorry I didn't spell that out!!!

AND I really enjoyed the comments by Calludus #144 in the link below

"The more I read, the more I realize that "I will pray for you" is just a euphemism for, "Fuck you!"

It's always said in the same way, the same tone. And it usually ends the conversation.

Posted by: Calladus | July 11, 2008 8:02 PM"

and #151 by Blake Stacey in the same link:

"Calladus (#144):

The more I read, the more I realize that "I will pray for you" is just a euphemism for, "Fuck you!"
"Oh, yeah, well I'll pray for you too!"

"Yeah, well, I prayed for your mom last night!"

"Shut your pray-hole, or I'll pray for yo' sister until she's like, 'Oh God oh God oh God oh God'!"

Posted by: Blake Stacey | July 11, 2008 8:08 PM"

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/i_get_email_special_cracker_…

So, I guess I'll pray for all of you! But not your Moms or sisters - that's too sexist, even if it is funny.

Broken Soldier, I win a brand new shiny nothing for saying fuck you to Feynmaniac and E.V. because they didn't understand my apparently feeble attempt at humor?

I'll keep my illusion that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE understood what I was saying, thank you. And I'll be like Mark and not believe any evidence to the contrary.

Pray for me, Owlmirror, that was good.

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Ok. I'm getting of my ass to print t-shirts:
REASON IS THE ENEMY OF FAITH. - THINK ABOUT IT

Who wants one?
(my apologies if this slogan has already been used)

"The *very* individuals involved in bringing the scandal to light and demanding accountability for the coverup were incensed Catholics, more than likely the very type that would demand the professor here be held accountable for *his* insulting of their faith."

And the VERY individual who wrote the guidelines for hiding and protecting child rapists was YOUR FUCKING POPE.

Not some isolated individuals, the infallible leader of your religion.

Protecting child rapists is the official policy of the Catholic church and apparently the policy of protecting child rapists comes from God himself.

There's actually 3 parrallel cracker threads going on...

So how many comments up till now on this cracker affair ?

Let's count :

its_a_goddamned_cracker 1007
now_ive_got_bill_donohues_atte 842
fresh_crackers 807
fight_back_against_bill_donohu 1227
internet_getting_full_heres_a 596
can_this_possibly_get_more_ins 554
i_get_email_special_cracker_ed 1209
fyi 271

TOTAL = 1007+842+807+1227+596+554+1209+271 = 6513

HOLY CRACKER ! MORE THAN 6500 COMMENTS, IS THIS A RECORD ?

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I forgot who said this, but:

Why is it that when we fuck up it's a "sin," but when a member of the clergy fucks up, it's called a "scandal?"

"We have Godwyn's Law for Nazi's - I think there should be a law about making pedophile priest arguments."

The Nazis (the original ones anyway) are dead.
The pedophile priests are still actively being protected by the church.

Why on earth would a CURRENT policy of the church be beyond criticism? Because its a shockingly BAD thing they're doing?

"Oh gosh, no fair pointing out the really really BAD things the church does!" Yeah, that makes sense.

Glad this was posted for the simple minded so they could understand Communism:

Communism, from dictionary.com:

1 a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

I shall now point out that is EXACTLY how the original church in Jerusalem was organized. That's right, baby, the earliest Christian fathers were COMMUNISTS!!! It says so right in the bible. And when a husband and wife sold their property and withheld some of proceeds they otherwise were to give to the Apostles, and LIED ABOUT IT, they were STRUCK DEAD BY GOD. Don't believe me? Here it is:

Acts 4:32-5:11

4:32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.

33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.

35 They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

36 There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement").

37 He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

5:1 But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property;

2 with his wife's knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet.

3 "Ananias," Peter asked, "why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?

4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God!"

5 Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it.

6 The young men came and wrapped up his body, then carried him out and buried him.

7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

8 Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you and your husband
sold the land for such and such a price." And she said, "Yes, that was the price."

9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."

10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.

11 And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things. [NRSV]

Really, where do you think Marx got Communism? I've often wondered if he copped it from the parts of the Bible you guys don't read. I can't prove it. But I really do wonder if that's where it came from. Get back to the biblical ideal instead of the pursuit of money and the obvious evils of late 19th century capitalism.

BTW, when Jesus was alive, they did the same thing with their funds. Judas, in fact, was in charge of the groups funds. Something for which is later used as, well, a way to disparage his character in Mark.

But that's not emphasised in the Bible. After all we're a "God Fearing People" opposed to the "Godless Commies."

Ironically, though, when it comes to wealth and the early principles of the Church, the Commies were nominally closer to the Apostles and Jesus than the US and it's love of Mammon. I mean, really, how many Billionaires did the Commies have? Exactly zero.

Yet there are a number of preachers whose estimated worth is approaching that number, if it hasn't exceeded it. (Robertson & Copeland are the two closest.) Never mind THE INCREDIBLRE RICHES of most large churches and just how LITTLE they act like Jesus or the Apostles when it comes to taking care of the poor and downtrodden...

MB:
So sad. That's the problem with obscure inside jokes. Feeble...your words, not mine.

" Trust me", now there's a euphemism for "fuck you" that I like. As in: MB, you are the master of written humor - trust me.

JB, lets concede, just for the sake of argument (and only for that sake because your actual claims are bullshit) that taking the "host" and not consuming it on the spot is theft.

Well then, you and other Catholics are outraged to the point of tying to get someone fired over a half-serious joke that someone should steal A CRACKER.

A fucking CRACKER. With everything else going on in the world, its important to threaten a man's jobs for making a joke about "stealing" a cracker. Get some sense of perspective for chrissakes.

@229: "The Jesus character seemed like a decent fellow, though..."

Up until he used his awesome magic powers to kill a fig tree for no discernable reason, after which he just looked like another one of yer typical bilblical nutjobs.

I meant "biblical" nutjobs. No, I meant "typical, destructive, fictional, biblical" nutjobs.

MB:

Broken Soldier, I win a brand new shiny nothing for saying fuck you to Feynmaniac and E.V. because they didn't understand my apparently feeble attempt at humor?

This one was freakin' hilarious, in light of your attempt to claim that we somehow couldn't understand you, because the plain fact is, I never said you'd win a damned thing. If you go back and actually read what was written, you'll see that E.V. asked what the prize was for "playing your game" and calling you a failure, to which you replied that you'd pray for him.

To which I commented to E.V. that he'd won nothing. To put it politely, it was a slight directed at the efficacy of prayer, just in case you still hadn't caught it.

Next time, before accusing others of failing to understand something, make sure you at least get the basics straight, and maybe even work on keeping with the discussion a little better.

MB,
My next sentence was an attempt at constructing an example of how they think and might be projecting their behavior onto the READERS of this blog

I feel stupid. I did not understand that was pardoy, it is difficult to tell sometimes on internet. I have been reading too many posts of trolls lately and mistook yours for one. Perhaps it was too good. I sincerely apologize MB. Please pray for me.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

MB: I'll keep my illusion that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE understood what I was saying, thank you.

I did. How did it all get so praying confused?

I don't think the administration at the University of Minnesota has any choice but to impose sanctions on Dr. Myers. As a faculty member of a university for 16 years, I know it is a part of our employment agreement that we engage in no behavior, university related or otherwise, that would reflect negatively on the reputation of the University. The University of Minnesota is a public institution and as such is responsive to the people of Minnesota, many of whom are Catholic. Also, a significant part of the student body is Catholic. You simply cannot have a faculty member going around trashing their deeply held Eucharistic beliefs. The vitriol of the critique suggests underlying anger and hatred which could conceiveably place it within the purvue of a hate crime. Inviting people to steal a whole bunch of "crackers" is, at the very least, an attempted conspiracy to commit thief. In light of this, I don't see where the university administration has any choice but to protect itself by imposing sanctions. Anything less than that would be negligence on their part.

Well it's a good thing you have absolutely no say so in the matter because you are incredible confused.

I guess I'll stop all these alias atheist personas. Goddamnit, I was enjoying the Dissociative Identity Disorder component.

Ah, good. Confusion among allies lifted. I can now go peacefully to the beach.

Broken Soldier & Feynmaniac:
Pig + singing lessons = wasted time + annoyed pig.
Cheers!

God help me, there's just something intensely funny sounding about the phrase "Eucharistic beliefs."

"[T]he lack of a belief is not effective as a grouping criteria."

brokensoldier, as usual, makes a crucial point. (With the caveat that the singular of "criteria" should be "criterion.")

But the same mental defect that produces christian group-think, authoritarianism and illogic seem to make it impossible for them to understand that atheism is not a philosophy, religion, or organization, and that atheists are not a group.

You can generalize about atheists about as much as you can generalize about people-who-are-not-in-love-with-redheads, a category that may have, for all I know, included Josef Stalin.

Anyone who thinks atheists engage in groupthink is somehow intentionally not noticing the fact that we fight amongst ourselves almost as much as we fight the crazy.

MB:
If you were truly being facetious and not a troll, I apologize. Sincerely.
(must. stop. can't. resist.)
Trust me=)

(With the caveat that the singular of "criteria" should be "criterion.")

Posted by: AdamK | July 12, 2008 5:40 PM

Indeed it is. As an english major, I hang my head in shame.

Anyone who thinks atheists engage in groupthink is somehow intentionally not noticing the fact that we fight amongst ourselves almost as much as we fight the crazy.

Bullshit, craig. Complete bullshit. You're totally wrong.

Craig:

The Nazi's aren't dead. I met an old German man in the mall the other day. He told me about how being part of the "German Youth" gave him pride and congratulated me on having a blue-eyed blond-haired son.

I didn't mean to imply that the Catholic church's handling of sexual abuse by priests is somehow "off limits" only that it is mentioned ALL THE TIME. If it is actually directly relevant to the discussion - mention it all you want.

I just think if you are going to attack the Catholic Church (and more power to you!) - there are SO many horrible things they have done and are doing, that going straight for the crusades (the Children's Crusade is the BEST) or pedophile priests seems unnecessary.

Also, general crimes against humanity perpetrated by Catholicism and religion in general, in this case, certainly dilutes the conversation. (Of course, I hang out on "antitheism" on lj an hour or so a day - so I understand the appeal.)

By sinmantyx (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Do you think these comments will make it to the floor of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals? If so, give me a case of Keeblers while they are read aloud through a loud (as loud as Donohue or Dinesh)tube amplifier. Mmmunching on Jaysus is the life for me...da da da da...

Damn, Brownian, you win; you are the master of terse irony. Sincerely.

Sin the reason I personally mention it a lot is because its the elephant in the room.

When Catholics criticize others about supposed morality and ethics, yet have not taken strides to clean their own house and in fact make one of the prime architects of the heinous policy their Pope, their infallible leader, it seems to me that it's not only valid but proper to raise the issue repeatedly.

In my mind, an organization that not only has a still-current policy of hiding and protecting child molesters, but that actually makes the chief architect of that policy their infallible leader, has no business criticizing others, EVER.

It's only once they address that they they can even begin to presume to preach to others about morals.

"I just think if you are going to attack the Catholic Church (and more power to you!) - there are SO many horrible things they have done and are doing, that going straight for the crusades (the Children's Crusade is the BEST) or pedophile priests seems unnecessary."

Oh, and I should also mention that I am not intimately familiar with the Catholic church, so I also don't mention other crimes of the church in part because I'm not familiar with them.

So by all means, if there are more horrible things the church is currently doing, please fill me in.

No shame, brokenSoldier. It's a common enough phenomena!

Well done, Owlmirror @ 262! CAN YOUR JEBUS CRACKER HAS PEANUT BUTTER for such a excellent effort!

doov

Posted by: Mark | July 12, 2008 2:38 PM

Another lying fuckwit whose never been to the site before.

These right-wing liars for Christ certainly are dipshits.

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

True, Kobra, but hopefully not for long.
I just took some psyllium fiber.

Lying for Jesus! Just as relevant today as it has been for 2000 years.

By Carolus Hereticus (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Thank you so much SC - someone DID understand, (but, broken soldier, Feynmaniac and E.V. were not among him)!!!

I'll stop praying for you all and keep my praying for the religious - as long as I don't have to trust E.V.

I cracked up when I read the praying euphemism whenever that was (was it only yesterday?) and wrongly assumed more of you did also - and that more of you had actually read those comments in the 6000+ posts on this topic.

I still really like the idea of saying, "No, I'll pray for YOU."

Kobra:
I saw the hate mail on your website. Makes you proud to be an American doesn't it?
Keep up the good work, you 18 y.o. atheist, you.

So, I guess I'll pray for all of you!

Please do. It's rather pleasant when y'all do nothing.

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Is PZ's job in any real danger?

I don't think people who believe a cracker transconbobulates into the flesh of a deity deserve any intellectual respect, but they may deserve the kind of "respect" you give to rattlesnakes when you're careful where you walk.

Be careful, Catholickers -- no one likes to be intimidated. If PZ does loose his job or anything else we'll remember you for the vengeful ass-hats you seem to be.

To those who think PZ should be disciplined:

The balance between allowing freedom of expression on campuses while ensuring that students and faculty do not feel intimidated or threatened, is not an easy cut-and-dry issue.

Generally speaking, if an allegation of violating the code-of-conduct of a school based on speech comes up - some sort of governing body decides whether or not the "speech" is so horrible that it interferes with the right of students and faculty to feel safe. I think that's fair.

What goes too far is to demand respect for ALL viewpoints. I think the new culture of putting two extremists on TV - let them yell at each other for half an hour - and call it "news" is eroding any sense of REAL honest debate.

Honest debate makes you feel uncomfortable. REAL differences of opinion in the "marketplace of ideas" can be painful. Learning involves cognitive dissonance - not just memorizing a bunch of crap and then getting a piece of paper that says you bothered showing up and vomiting onto scan-trons.

Honest discussion allows for a person to mention that women's brains are physically smaller than men's brains. Honest discussion allows the teaching of evolution. Honest discussion includes mentioning that Martin Luther hated Jews. Honest discussion includes the fact that King James was gay.

I said it once and I'll say it again: I, personally, will not be muzzled by institutional forces because I teach.

There is NO evidence that PZ is constructing a hostile environment at UM-Morris.

If you don't like what he has to say, keep up the debate. Once you decide some authority of some sort should shut him up - YOU are the one who has crossed the line, not PZ.

There will be no precedent that college teachers highly critical of religion cannot speak out without FEAR from above.

I've had plenty of discussions after class with students who disagree with me strongly. It's part of college life. To me, those were the best learning experiences in my college career.

Having your ideas challenged is the whole frickin' point.

By sinmantyx (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

#331:
Thanks. :D

Why has none of the Catholics responded to this yet?

#250:

Business and property laws, if my memory serves me right, is always based on transactions.
For example, if I load a bunch of groceries into a cart, they aren't mine until I have completed a business transaction. If someone hands me something and does not indicate that, for example, they are only letting me hold onto it for a second, then that counts as a transaction and it becomes my property.
If I decide to eat at a buffet and walk out with food, I have to pay for the food I'm carrying out because I served it to myself. However, if the workers hand me a plate full of food, then it becomes my property.
The wafer was given to the young man and it was expect of him to consume it then and there, but it was not legally REQUIRED. There were no contracts. He said a prayer, and handed the piece of bread dough to the young man, and it became the young man's property.
THEN, a bunch of people who did not like what he did with an item that was now his property got physical with him. THEN he received death threats.
THEN, PZ Myers commented on this and tried to appeal to our common sense using "satire and protest."
THEN, he started receiving hate mail and death threats because he thinks the whole situation is silly.
... and it has gone downhill from there.
We know you're offended, but you don't have a right not to be. If you don't want to be offended, DON'T READ HIS FUCKING BLOG!

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/fyi.php#comment-980351

I'm waiting. If Mr. Cook was guilty of a crime, why haven't I received a response yet?

So, I guess I'll pray for all of you!

Please do. It's rather pleasant when y'all do nothing.

My thought too. The more time they spend on their knees praying, the less they can muddle around in our lives.

Kobra, just read your hate mail.
Florida does indeed suck ass. I just escaped recently myself.

Of course, maybe the jeebus is closer to Florida... after I left the state the nasty boils I kept getting went away. Either that it it's just a nasty humid miasma down there.

Ideology is a poor substitute for rational thought.

So it is written. Afarensis 7:12 The Bible.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
So it is written. Voltaire 12:25 The Bible.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
So it is written. Seneca 19:51 The Bible.

By Apostle #5 (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I really don't see what all the confusion is for. We know religious people tend to be crazy, so if they have a belief that says that the cracker is their god then you would think there would be significant outrage.

Also I'm sick of the infallibility folly argument.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility#Instances_of_papal_inf…

Also, the number of pedophiliac priests fits in nicely with the expected numbers when comparing priests to the rest of american society (this of course takes into account the fact that some are not revealed yet).

Now i still dislike the catholic church overall but what specifically does it do to protect pedophiliacs? Of course i do not expect it to have a witch hunt, but it seems a rather hard thing to protect given the outrage even within the church itself.

Also a church that preaches that people are imperfect, when found to have imperfect members is not going to suddenly collapse. The main point of contention should be that a lot of people think that they should do more to fight against pedophilia because somehow, by fitting in perfectly with the rest of society the church failed. But why before the scandal would you ever in your life expect it to meet some sort of moral high ground? Pedophilia should have nearly nothing to do with why you hate the church. There are dozens of broader and more complete reasons.

By Paul Johnson (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Owlmirror @ 262 FTW!
You're my fucking hero dude.

By Orlando_Atheist (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

MB:
Sorry. The "pray for you' euphemism was lost in a sea of k8s and SFGs. No hard feelings, and really -don't waste any prayers on me.

Lemme see ...

Theists making death threats and generally behaving badly ... dozens.

Atheists making death threats ... umm, none?

Behaving badly? well now, we're already damned aren't we? Were we SUPPOSED to behave?

By Carolus Hereticus (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Craig

#266 had a list of Catholic wrongs

By sinmantyx (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

re#262 Owlmirror:
Long time lurker, but I lol'd so hard.

Is PZ's job in any real danger?

I don't think people who believe a cracker transconbobulates into the flesh of a deity deserve any intellectual respect, but they may deserve the kind of "respect" you give to rattlesnakes when you're careful where you walk.

I wouldn't think so right now. All he did was call a cracker a "frackin cracker". Well within the 1st amendment.

He should really drop the idea of doing something to a real, consecrated cracker. That may or may not be over the line. But you can be 100% in the right and still be wrong.

There have already been a few dozen death threats. No point in finding out the hard way which ones were the serious ones.

#262

As eloquent as a Shakespearean wotsit...and quite true to life...!

A sad and cautionary tale...but such passion... such sadness... and such utter imbecilic waffle...truly the Catholic church at it's very best...cos it's dogma is the very worst....

By the strangest brewn (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Welcome back MAJeff and Rev Chimp.

But sweet fucking jesus, - you don't know what that left hand is doing when we're praying for you, now do you? Doing nothing, indeed. And have you learned nothing about Catholic priests and their preying? It wasn't the priests on their knees...

Please see #285.

We all kissed and made up - you must have missed those posts... but broken solidier may still be pissed at me...
I was NOT an English major and I took his "you" to refer to the immediately preceeding "posted by MB" rather than the aforementioned winner, E.V. So I thought I won, when in fact, E.V. had won. Story of my life.

Thanks AdamK @ 323, I had just reconnected my irony meter, believing the worst was over...

I appreciate the tenacity and computer skills that some of the banned, mentally ill commenters use continue their sock puppetry. I'm thinking of Kenney and Davison, lately. Seems like Seed needs filters for IP addresses, or some tech answer I'm clueless about. Meanwhile, they are spoiled brats throwing tantrums, knowing that they they will get the attention they crave from the grown-ups, positive or negative. Which also makes me appreciate that most of those banned stay away.So, did all of the sock puppet comments of the past few days disappear? Maybe they could just be flagged as crap, because it would make the rest of those threads difficult to follow, given the numbering system and replies.

O/T

-"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,"
-"We have sort of become a nation of whiners,"
-"Misery sells newspapers, thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day."

Former Sen. Phil Gramm, vice chairman of Swiss bank UBS, is co-chairman of Sen. John McCain's campaign in an interview today with the Washington Times.

http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/jul/09/mccain-adviser-addresses-ment…

McCain does choose his advisers wisely !

By negentropyeater (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Re: #245

What Mr. Cook did or did not do has nothing to do with Dr. Myers inviting people to steal a whole bunch of "crackers" and give them to him so he could desecrate them in public. It has nothing to do with "property rights" but with Dr. Myers invitation to others to commit thief. If Mr. Cook felt that his rights had been violated and that he had a cause of action he should have sought a remedy in law. What Mr. Cook did or did not do and Mr. Donohue intemperate remarks have nothing to do with the obligation of the University of Minnesota to hold Dr. Myers responsible for his actions. Dr. Myers does not have to accept responsibility for either Mr. Cook's or Mr. Donohue's behaviors.

Posted by: Max Verret | July 12, 2008 4:59 PM

Off-duty, private time is off-duty private time. Game, set & match. Or, as I like to say: "Ought isn't is." Whether you think the University "ought" to punish him isn't relevant. The University doesn't have the power and could find themselves at the bottom of a deep, dark and very expensive hole if they try.

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners,"

Hey, as long as we're not "bitter", right?

Owlmirror deserves 20 OMs for that play

Hey PZ - I support you!

By robotaholic (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

His taking the the cracker was theft because it was meant only for true christians and no true christian would take a cracker under the false premises that he was a true christian when he wasn't a true chr

aw fuck, I give up.

Former Sen. Phil Gramm, vice chairman of Swiss bank UBS

I doubt Gramm is worried about where his next Lexus is coming from. Like so many conservatives, he appears to deny the recession the U.S. is in. Apparently to admit the recession would cast doubt on the voodoo economics of the neocon leader, Shrub Bush.

Speaking of disciplining PZ, does anyone know why school teachers can be fired for their social site postings?

Does this guy not have a union or a contract or something? It seems school boards would have a hard time firing a teacher here in Cali over something like this - unless it really is porn? I know they don't have tenure, but they still have unions and contracts, don't they?

http://www.local6.com/education/10838194/detail.html

raven wrote:

He should really drop the idea of doing something to a real, consecrated cracker.

What about some non-consecrated crackers (how would anyone know?) with various Mr. Bill "Oh Nooo!" faces drawn on them (so you could switch them around during cuts)? And what if the cracker is blindfolded and water-boarded (is water-boarding torture?)

there is no such thing as a consecrated cracker.

''trolling with sockpuppets''

That seminal prog-rock album by influential German band 'Transubstantiation' 1973.... heady days.

"What about some non-consecrated crackers (how would anyone know?) "

For some reason you just made me think of a video with a parody of the old "We're replacing their coffee with Folger's Crystals, will they notice?" commercial. You can see where I'm going with this.

Owlmirror (#262) for a Molly or something!

If you're serious about convincing anyone but yourselves about the necessity of atheism

We aren't, moron. Atheism is only a "necessity" as a consequence of the application of intelligence and reason, and no one can do that for you.

then you need to lose the attitude and the sophomoric BS.

We don't need to lose anything, you hypocritical troll.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I stopped by just to ask what the difference was between doing what the prof is asking and, say, spray-painting graffiti on the Wailing Wall and *then* getting upset if the ADL calls for your job. Or dynamiting Buddhas the way the Taliban has done and wondering why the international community calls it a crime. Or beating a hornet's nest and getting angry at the hornets for, well, being hornets and wanting to defend their own.

It's a frackin' cracker.

By Citizen Z (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"I stopped by just to ask what the difference was between doing what the prof is asking and, say, spray-painting graffiti on the Wailing Wall and *then* getting upset if the ADL calls for your job. Or dynamiting Buddhas the way the Taliban has done and wondering why the international community calls it a crime. Or beating a hornet's nest and getting angry at the hornets for, well, being hornets and wanting to defend their own."

or posting your thoughts on your blog and having people threaten to kill you for it.

Hey Kobra.

I was stumbling around the internet and happened to land on your site. I enjoyed the funeral pyre for the crackers and the commentary as well.
Perhaps you could also add the following for the enlightenment of those who do believe. Why is it that christ,who is alive according to any christian I have met, is singularly incapable
{ in the same way that Mohammed, vis-a vis a certain Danish cartoon}
of defending himself in the matter concerning this imagined desecration on his body rather than the zealots who worship his long dead ass?

Please keep up the good work trashing such silliness and perhaps one day the ones who sit in the background of church pews wondering just what all the madness going on around them is about may also stumble upon your web page.

By Richard in Edmonton (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

but broken solidier may still be pissed at me...
I was NOT an English major and I took his "you" to refer to the immediately preceeding "posted by MB" rather than the aforementioned winner, E.V. So I thought I won, when in fact, E.V. had won. Story of my life.

Posted by: MB | July 12, 2008 6:34 PM

I generally don't get pissed until someone gives me reason, which you did not. I was merely pointing out irony of the fact that you accused others of completely misunderstanding what you said while at the very same time completely misunderstanding what I said.

What about some non-consecrated crackers (how would anyone know?) with various Mr. Bill "Oh Nooo!" faces drawn on them (so you could switch them around during cuts)? And what if the cracker is blindfolded and water-boarded (is water-boarding torture?)

Then it probably doesn't matter. Just about everyone has access to crackers from their kitchen. Anyone can do whatever they want to their own crackers.

I guess we will find out.

Admins. have one main rule. Don't rock the boat. PZ is rocking their boat. They may or may not be able to fire him because of tenure but they have infinite ways of making his life miserable.

...a video with a parody of the old "We're replacing their coffee with Folger's Crystals, will they notice?" commercial. You can see where I'm going with this.

I don't know where you're going... unless you're thinking the video would occur in a church and you'd see communion taking place and then the announcer whispers to the audience, "we've secretly replaced their communion wafers with Satan's freeze dried shit."

Now, what if you had the cracker saying, in a Mr. Bill voice, "Eat me! Eat me! I'm your savory Lard."

I don't know where you're going...

"We've secretly replaced these worshippers hosts with new deChristinated wafers. Will they notice the difference?"

"Pardon me... how was your Jesus?" etc.

I wonder if some of the more aggressive/name-calling "ugly atheists" were also put-ons for attention.

Seriously, I wanted to ask a few if they were teenagers.

Seriously, you're a pathetic concern troll in need of prayer.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"We've secretly replaced these worshippers hosts with new deChristinated wafers. Will they notice the difference?"

"Pardon me... how was your Jesus?" etc.

I immediately imagined the cast of SNL from 78 doing that skit / commercial.

Awesome.

Thing I find amusing about this whole thing (amongst many things) is the very palpable perception by the nutters that PZ is somehow a terrorist ringleader bent on overthrowing our government. Or maybe that's just me.

Or maybe.....

I immediately imagined the cast of SNL from 78 doing that skit / commercial.

Awesome.

Yep Larraine Newman as one of the worshippers, etc.

Try as you might, your mental calisthenics cannot separate Communism from atheism. Russian Communists were atheists, even if not all atheists were/are Communists.

And Vikings were air breathers. Of course, being a Viking is not separate from breathing air, but breathing air is separate from being a Viking.

Cretin.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I'd like to thank Jeffery D for his new signature "Pax Nabisco". I got a hearty laugh out of it when I first read it early yesterday and I still get a good chuckle out of it now.

HOLY CRACKER ! MORE THAN 6500 COMMENTS, IS THIS A RECORD ?

Maybe. But let's keep in mind some 2500 of them will probably turn out to be all from the same guy...

(Which, come to think of it, is also probably a record. So never mind.)

Owlmirror, that was a prayin' tour de farce! I still can't reread it without a dozen involuntary LOLs. Definitely Molly worthy.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

@ (#164) in which "jb" called "True Bob" a liar...
Here, from the source quoted by "jb":

1. Estimated prevalence of Sexual Perps against juvenile victims
(%, based on reports to civil or church authorities)
Catholic priests 4.3
US population, men 2.5

2. Estimated prevalence of Sexual Perps against juvenile victims
(%, based on surveys)
Catholic priests 8.4
Protestant clergy 0
Psychotherapists (men) 0.2
Educators (men) 0

For a summary, see:
Hidalgo ML
Sexual Abuse and the Culture of Catholicism:
How Priests and Nuns Become Perpetrators.
New York, NY Haworth Press, 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0-7890-2956-0

By dubiquiabs (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

dubiquiabs, that comment is worthy of a bookmark.

@brokenSoldier

I was merely pointing out irony of the fact that you accused others of completely misunderstanding what you said while at the very same time completely misunderstanding what I said.

Which just might have something to do with not having stated it clearly. You wrote "In layman's terms, that means you win a brand new, shiny nothing." ... immediately following your quote of MB's post. Since you meant "you" to refer to E.V., not MB, you should have written "In layman's terms, that means E.V. win a brand new, shiny nothing."

BTW, it really isn't "ironic" when two people make the same sort of mistake for similar reasons. Usually, one accuses someone of irony when they are the one making the mistake rather than the person being accused.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

SCIENCE BLOGS PHARYNGULA DATABASE: AAAAOOOOOGAAAAH! OVERLOAD!

Ha! So full of win, that post was. Owlmirror needs a Lolly (LOL-inated Molly) for that!

It sucks that atheist are only gaining in numbers due to an influx of already atheistic immigrants from latin America....

Oh wait,i got mixed up.that is what is going on with the catholics.

you're on your way out

I was voting Owlmirror for Molly before it was cool.

Is anyone else familiar with the sock puppetry master, Terry Burton? He is a Ray Comfort follower.

The fool says in his heart,
"There is no God."
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
there is no one who does good.

So it is written. Pslam 53 The Bible.

Posted by: Apostle # 2 | July 12, 2008 2:07 PM

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

So it is written Luke 6:30. A Bible (in this case, NIV)

Give me $20. I take Paypal.

By Skipbidder (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

#262 = Epic

By John Morales (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I stopped by just to ask what the difference was between doing what the prof is asking and, say, spray-painting graffiti on the Wailing Wall and *then* getting upset if the ADL calls for your job. Or dynamiting Buddhas the way the Taliban has done and wondering why the international community calls it a crime. Or beating a hornet's nest and getting angry at the hornets for, well, being hornets and wanting to defend their own. No one proffered a decent explanation, so I'll assume there isn't one

You might as well have stopped by a tattoo parlor and had "I'm a cretin" engraved on your forehead.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Which just might have something to do with not having stated it clearly.

It's clear enough when you read the comments prior to - rather than just poking in towards the middle - and realize that it was quite obvious who was talking about winning something.

But please, more quibbling over ridiculous tangents...

"2. Estimated prevalence of Sexual Perps against juvenile victims (%, based on surveys)
Catholic priests 8.4
Protestant clergy 0
Psychotherapists (men) 0.2
Educators (men) 0"

EDUCATORS....0?!? LOL...

"AP: Sexual Misconduct Plagues US Schools"

"An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic.

"There are 3 million public school teachers nationwide, most devoted to their work. Yet the number of abusive educators -- nearly three for every school day -- speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.

"Most of the abuse never gets reported. Those cases reported often end with no action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proven, and many abusers have several victims."

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2007/10/20/1037899-ap-sexual-misconduct-p…

It's clear enough

It wasn't to MB. Or do you think he feigned misunderstanding?

But please, more quibbling over ridiculous tangents...

Congratulations on joining the ranks of the intellectually dishonest.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dammit theres nobody left here but us atheists.

What's wrong with these Catholics? No wonder they're losing membership. They just don't have the commitment to their crusades that they used to.

Pushovers.

@BS

P.S. "rather than just poking in towards the middle" and "But please, more quibbling over ridiculous tangents..." are both ad hominems that have no bearing on my points. I didn't poke in towards the middle, I read the whole context. I had no trouble understanding what you meant, but MB clearly did, and the misplaced pronoun clearly contributed. Yet you felt free to "quibble over ridiculous tangents" and accuse him of "irony". Apparently you live on a one-way street.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Jb, thanks.
It's no surprise to me that some school teachers sexually abuse kids, having been the victim of it myself.

There is a part missing from that article though. You know, the part about the massive coverup and attempt to protect the abusers, headed by the most powerful school administrators in the world.

It's pretty easy to reduce the numbers of of alleged abusers when one of the most powerful organizations on the planet is dedicated to that task from the very highest levels.

P.P.S. We're pretty firmly in the territory of the tangential, the ridiculous, and the quibble (where not swallowing is theft) already, and have been for thousands of posts.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"and the quibble (where not swallowing is theft)"

Oh MAN... why the FUCK did I not think of that argument years ago?!?!?!?!

TM:
Let's hope those people from Crete aren't as touchy as those guys from Lesbos...

I have to join the chorus and say Owlmirror's comment # 262, or Wafergate, deserves a Molly, or at least a Tony or an Osacar or some sort of award that is also a first name. It captured the past few days, 5 threads and 3000+ comments beautifully.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Boilermaker #406. If ya want TiA discussion, try here.

By John Morales (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

jb,
The position of the Catholic church is that the pope is infallible.

The position of the Pope is that allegations of child rape must be kept secret, and that alleged child rapists must be protected from prosecution.

Therefore if its the position of the Catholic church, and its God, that alleged child rapists must be protected from exposure and prosecution.

You are an adherent the the Catholic faith, so you are an adherent to your God's commandment that alleged child rapists must be protected.

You're a good Catholic, you're doing that job well with your "we don't fuck THAT many kids" apologetics.

The worst part about it all, as voiced by Kelly Bell in the other thread: All of these people going crazy over a cracker? These people vote.

jb,

Your mom told me she wants you to stop praying with yourself and come upstairs for supper.

It's eerily quiet. I guess there are a bunch of Pharyngulites sitting in a bar in Atlanta having a beer or three.

I just got an idea: what if someone where to get ordained online and bless a whole bunch of crackers. They could have a party or something where people could get together and desecrate their hearts out. Even better, PZ could get ordained and do it himself - or it could be a youtube meme..!

I wonder what it takes to be able to bless a cracker the "right" way?

So Dubi's stats are bullshit. Got it. Thanks, Craig.

jb, those aren't dubi's stats, those are YOUR stats. He went to your cite.

Fail.

Way to judge an entire group of people and their beliefs based upon one idiot. How enlightened you are. Do you treat other groups this way, too? Do you always argue against those who have the weakest arguments and credibility while ignoring those who challenge you the most?

Why not argue against the theological teachings of the Pope? And when I say that I do NOT mean take his writings out of context and misrepresent them. I have little faith that you will do this, however. It would be too much of a challenge and would do little to inflate your own ego. I would take a bit of intellectual honesty, wouldn't it?

May God have mercy on your soul. (And no, I do not say this to imply that I'm perfect. We are all in need of his mercy.)

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

I wonder what it takes to be able to bless a cracker the "right" way?

Papal bull.

By truth machine (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

That's quite funny, it's nice to see people who are claiming the moral high ground partaking in underhanded behaviour in order to show that they have the moral high ground. Now THAT is parable material, is it time for another human edit of the bible? ;)

""The position of the Catholic church is that the pope is infallible. The position of the Pope is that allegations of child rape must be kept secret, and that alleged child rapists must be protected from prosecution. Therefore if its the position of the Cathol...blahblahblahadnaseum."

Whoa. Hold on. Shit! OMG. You are so right and logical and blessed with amazing gifts of perception because everything you said is TRUE. Absolutely, unequivocally, TRUE. What have I been thinking!

Except...wait. No...no...you aren't right about any of it. Damn. (Sigh. I sooo wanted you to be right.) Your A+B=C scenario was going alright until... BAM! Turns out the Pope's not infallible about anything except the dogma of the Faith. "Dogma" doesn't cover discipline of clerics.

Oh, well--try again. And thanks for playing.

Way to judge an entire group of people and their beliefs based upon one idiot.

Please. There have been scads of catlicking idiots blathering on this. Which of those many idiots do you mean?

And BTW, does the Pope believe in transubstantiation? Great, you're infallible leader is a deranged idiot.

Thanks for playing, have a free cracker, and don't let the screen door hit ya where the dog shoulda bit ya.

I haven't been reading here as closely as I should, but I'm hoping you hold a contest for the best and funniest ideas of what to do with the Holy Cracker.

Send it as a reward to the nut who makes the craziest comment. Most other ideas I have heard would delight people one one wing of the argument, enrage people on the other wing and result in making many people in the middle decide that PZ is just an ignorant, insensitive jerk. In short, very little, if anything, positive would be achieved.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

TrueBob, what 'cite' was that? I didn't list a 'cite', but the John Jay Report. Dubi[ous]' stats are his own, not in said Report. TrueBob fails.

May God have mercy on your soul.

You're asking a non-existent entity not to be cruel to a non-existent entity, but you talk of "a bit of intellectual honesty"? That's on top of all your intellectually dishonest strawmen.

By truth machine (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"AP: Sexual Misconduct Plagues US Schools"

"An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic.

"There are 3 million public school teachers nationwide, most devoted to their work. Yet the number of abusive educators -- nearly three for every school day -- speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.

"Most of the abuse never gets reported. Those cases reported often end with no action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proven, and many abusers have several victims."

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2007/10/20/1037899-ap-sexual-misconduct-p…

Posted by: jb | July 12, 2008 8:25 PM

Yeah. Here's the problem with that article. You don't know what the term "sexual misconduct" means and are falsely conflating it with molestation.

31% of all the "sexual misconduct" that article is referring to is either between adults (typically prostitution stings) with no children/students involved. Or it's stupid stuff, like urinating in public when you're drunk. Things that until idiots like voted in morons that made them "sex crimes" weren't and shouldn't be classfied that way today.

The vast majority of the rest is inappropriate verbal conduct towards students. Making an off-color comment about a girls boobs or a guy's package. Sometimes they're inappropriate e-mails, etc. Sexually graphic jokes is another category.

Some are actually LEGAL sexual relationships where both parties are over the age of consent. However, it is still considered "sexual misconduct" because of the teacher/student relationship (even though they're, like I said, over the age of consent).

When it comes to actual child-raping pedophilia, like your catholic priests, the number is much smaller than the general population. One, because the MEN ARE SCREENED and those with issue kept out. But, mostly because the majority of teachers are WOMEN and they rarely commit pedophilia.

The reason I know this is because Catholic Church apologists have been quote mining that article since it came out. So I did a bit of research and discover YOU'RE QUOTE MINING ASSHOLES LYING TO PROTECT YOUR FUCKING CORRUPT CHURCH.

Man, I wish we had a kill file for this board... Because JB is one of the worst quote mining, ignorant, pointless trolls I've run into during this entire tet-a-tet.

"Man, I wish we had a kill file for this board..."

Thanks, Moses, for showing how rational, coolheaded and non-violent you are when compared to the Big Bad Theists!

"The reason I know this is because Catholic Church apologists have been quote mining that article since it came out."

Ummm....since it came out...*less than a year ago*? Those wascally Catholics have been hiding behind that single article for the last 8 or 9 months, even tho 'the scandal' broke, like, 8 YEARS ago? Riiiight, pal.

True Bob:

Which of these idiots did I mean? How about the idiot Myers was talking about in his entry? I'm sorry I didn't spell that out for you. I assumed that one with so great an intelligence as yours would be able to connect the logic, but I suppose I was wrong. I shall not over-estimate your intelligence again.

And your theological argument is impeccable. Since when is being dismissive a valid tactic in debates? Oh -- since the New-Atheists have assumed the helm of "Rationalism."

As I said earlier: You guys aren't intellectually honest enough to have a true debate about theology. As Christopher Hedges said, you guys are theologically illiterate and proud of it, too. Therefore, there's not much point in debating theology with you. You don't even know enough about it to make it worth the time.

Perhaps you will find the humility to crack open a book by St. Augustine some day. I hope so, but I doubt it.

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

@SC

Your mom told me she wants you to stop praying with yourself and come upstairs for supper.

You're good. :-) That reminds me a of gimmick "cal larrye" I went on where all the L's and R's were switched. There was one question about "election signs" -- Sam Yorty was running for mayor of L.A. (yeah, it was long ago) -- which actually referred to a construction site.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

As Christopher Hedges said, you guys are theologically illiterate and proud of it, too.

Indeed, we lack what it takes to accurately determine the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

'You're asking a non-existent entity not to be cruel to a non-existent entity, but you talk of "a bit of intellectual honesty"?'

Is that a scientific conclusion? If so, I'd like to see your experimental research. Don't hide these things from us, Mr. Truth Machine. The Truth must be told to all!

Do probably don't belief in the existence of music, either, since one cannot PROVE music exists. After all, sound waves are provable, but music is not.

Therefore, music does not exist since you cannot prove it does. Makes "rational" sense to me.

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"Man, I wish we had a kill file for this board..."

Thanks, Moses, for showing how rational, coolheaded and non-violent you are when compared to the Big Bad Theists!

jb has reached the heights of self parody.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

jb, again, I erred in connections. Big deal. I made a mistake. I trust you understand the difference between a mistake and a lie.

Still, the "under 5%" you mention is consistent with the 1 in 25 I used, as provided by one of your brothers (as an example of how little child-rape was occurring).

Three kinds of lies, remember? Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Out of curiosity, why do you put scare quotes around cite? I get the impression you do not understand the word or are confusing it with another word.

Come to Japan! We only have a few Christians here, and as a result, it's a really peaceful country!

"Indeed, we lack what it takes to accurately determine the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin."

What arrogance it takes to reduce an entire disciple to one argument and judge it based upon that. But then again, that's what you guys do best, isn't it? That's what Myers does in his original posting -- judging all Catholics based upon one person.

That would be like me dismissing mathematics and saying, "Yeah -- I don't need anything so idiotic which would concern itself over whether one plus one makes two."

You accused me of using "strawmen" arguments, although didn't demonstrate how. I accuse you of using reductionist tactics and have given two examples -- yours and Myers -- to prove my point.

Who's being more rationalistic then?

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dutch, if you want an intellectual convo, let's go.

Please explain what a 'god' is? I want to be sure we have the same understanding.

Dutch, I am still left with at least three idiots to choose from: Cook, the idiot catholic who didn't follow the dictates of the ritual, Donoghue, idiot extroardinaire and professional WATB, or the multi-sock puppet idiot mentioned in this post?

Is that a scientific conclusion?

It's an empirical conclusion.

If so, I'd like to see your experimental research.

The entire body of empirical evidence is available to you.

Do probably don't belief in the existence of music

See, here you make yourself out to be a completely dishonest idiot, since of course you believe that I do have that belief.

either, since one cannot PROVE music exists. After all, sound waves are provable, but music is not.

You have no idea what you're talking about. Both sound waves and music can be defined in terms that make them objectively observable.

Therefore, music does not exist since you cannot prove it does.

You and I and everyone else agrees that music exists, moron, so your analogy is immediately dishonest. And I didn't claim that God doesn't exist merely because you cannot prove it does, that's your idiotic strawman.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

God is too complex to describe in a single comment. The best I can do is say that God is Perfect Reason and Perfect Love. I can, however, point you to the Catechism for answers to your questions. It would do a better job that I could:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s1c1.htm

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"[You] probably don't belief in the existence of music, either, since one cannot PROVE music exists."

Music is a construct defined by the listener and society. After agreeing upon a description of what it means for something to be music, we can indeed prove that music exists.

Unless, of course, we are using a non-standard description, and it does NOT exist, or is completely undetectable.

"God is too complex to describe in a single comment. The best I can do is say that God is Perfect Reason and Perfect Love."

What about ponies? There have got to be ponies!!!

True Bob:

I was referring to the sock-puppet idiot Myers mentioned in this post. I know of no other "idiots" Myers mentioned. I agree with Myers when he says that if the Truth is on one's side, there's no need to hide behind under-handed tactics.

That's why I agree with the Sock-Puppet being an idiot. I take exception, however, to Myers coming to the logical leap into concluding that this is an indication that all Catholics are idiots and Catholicism itself is idiotic.

This, I believe, is intellectually dishonest. I cannot see it as anything but. Myers has set high standards which he himself has not met. I'm just holding him accountable to them.

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

You keep on keepin' on, P-Zed. As a godless liberal liberal arts high school teacher, I can tell you that we need people with your irreverence, your intelligence, and your courage to keep the sheeple on edge. We'll never make any progress otherwise.

Dutch:
"Who's being more rationalistic then?"
1.The word is RATIONAL, no ISTIC.
2.Your music analogy is pathetically laughable.
Understand there there is a properly vague line in determining music versus noise. Yet we can identify music through melody, harmony counterpoint, etc.
If you're trying to convince anyone that you are an authority on philosophy, physics, art or even religion, you've failed.

What arrogance it takes to reduce an entire disciple to one argument and judge it based upon that.

That's not what I did, moron. What I did was admit that we lack what it takes to provide that answer -- the sort of answer that can be achieved from the study of theology. We also lack what it takes to answer esoteric questions about the finer details of astrology. But that's not a lack of any significance.

The best I can do is say that God is Perfect Reason and Perfect Love.

I believe that meaningless drivel really is the best you can do, which is a sorry effort indeed.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dutch, your brief description tells me that "god" is thought and emotion. Not yet a physical entity in my understanding.

I have my own copy of the catechism, but I will not read the entire thing, I thought you wanted to discuss. Now I'm left with a very specific discussion with the Vatican, not with you.

Here's something simpler:

Why do you think a god* was necessary to create the universe?

I do not, because all our observations (not me personally, of course) indicate no need for outside intervention. Every point at which the god argument is used, as Dawkins wrote, merely pushes the problem back a notch. If god was always there, why can't the universe always have been there? If a god was needed because the universe is so complicated, what created this complicated** god that created the universe?

*Whatever that is.
*Perhaps an order of magnitude more complicated than the universe.

"Still, the "under 5%" you mention is consistent with the 1 in 25 I used, as provided by one of your brothers (as an example of how little child-rape was occurring)."

Not so--just take the stats with a pinch of salt, and keep them in context. Nonetheless, are you really interested in discussing this? Are you interested in what studies of 'the scandal' seem to suggest, like the fact that the majority of the cases involved ephebophilia (or the attraction of an adult to a post-pubescent minor) and not genuine pedophilia? After all, 78.2% of the cases involved victims between 11-17--those on the threshold of puberty or well after it.

BTW--Are *you* trolling, TrueBob? You answered the post for "craig" as tho it were yours...

"And I didn't claim that God doesn't exist merely because you cannot prove it does, that's your idiotic strawman."

Sorry -- I was getting you confused with "Truth Machine."

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"I take exception, however, to Myers coming to the logical leap into concluding that this is an indication that all Catholics are idiots and Catholicism itself is idiotic."

Did you even bother to read the original cracker thread? You've jumped in with both feet in your mouth. READ THE FUCKING THREAD that started 3000 comments ago. Then assess PZ's motives. It's all spelled out in black and white.

I take exception, however, to Myers coming to the logical leap into concluding that this is an indication that all Catholics are idiots and Catholicism itself is idiotic.

He took no such leap, you lying moron. He wrote "it makes your side, in this case the fundamentalist Catholics, look like a troop of posturing frauds" -- and indeed the behavior of the sockpuppet creates that appearance. As for Catholicism itself being idiotic, there are plenty of other reasons for that conclusion, which have been discussed at length here.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dutch... Hey, Dutch... Right up near the top of the page, there's a link to a CURRENT article dealing with the scientific study of music. As a classical music major, I think it's the best such article to come along in 30 years. Check it out:

http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2008/07/the_shape_of_music.php?utm_sou…

In other words, way to shoot yourself in the foot with an ignorant analogy.

By speedwell (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"like the fact that the majority of the cases involved ephebophilia (or the attraction of an adult to a post-pubescent minor) and not genuine pedophilia?"

Well gosh, that's like hardly even bad, then. The people they molest are mostly TEENS!
And the numbers of reported cases after the entire mechanism of the Church suppresses as many reports as it can according to official Pope policy, is hardly even more than normal people!

And besides, those kids WANTED it, looking so... so virginal and everything.

"And I didn't claim that God doesn't exist merely because you cannot prove it does, that's your idiotic strawman."

Sorry -- I was getting you confused with "Truth Machine."

You're confused, period. And a liar.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dutch Hedrick whined #436,
As Christopher Hedges said, you guys are theologically illiterate and proud of it, too. Therefore, there's not much point in debating theology with you. You don't even know enough about it to make it worth the time.

Please refer to The Courtier Reply . We don't need to know a thing about the royal fashion to tell you that the Emperor is naked.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

No trolling for me, thank you. I think you actually mean dubiq..., who spoke up in my defense. As I said, I made an error. But I post here semi-regularly, and no, I do not sock-puppet. I think one alias is enough.

I personally am not big on the entire scandal thing. The qualifiers you are now tossing out sound much like the ones that reduce the % of educators in the same category. I am more concerned about the cover up and cash payoff aspects of it, in avoidance of actual criminal prosecutions. I would hope you would want these kinds of allegations pursued criminally, and appropriate justice meted out for those convicted, just like I would.

"If god was always there, why can't the universe always have been there? If a god was needed because the universe is so complicated, what created this complicated** god that created the universe?"

Because God is the Creator and the Universe is the creation. Included in the Universe is Time, which is also a creation. Nothing created God because God is the uncreated Light.

This is also something St. Augustine discusses quite thoroughly.

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Nice. Go, Dutch!

I've got the pomposity meter calibrated, and the irony meter offline. Logic modules are offline, too (they don't handle continual resetting well) - but the Truth Machine is online elsewhere, so no problem there.

By John Morales (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Incidentally, the only name I EVER post under on this blog is Craig. My given name.

We're pretty firmly in the territory of the tangential, the ridiculous, and the quibble (where not swallowing is theft) already, and have been for thousands of posts.

Posted by: truth machine, OM | July 12, 2008 8:36 PM

I took a break from the screen for a while and read over the whole thing again after, and I see I was being a bit of a dick over a simple misunderstanding. I got all worked up over a different commenter, and I let it bleed over, so my apologies for that, MB.

And TM, my street's not quite one-way, though I do have to say that it can get congested at points. But thanks for the slap - it was quite needed.

Truth Machine, on the atheism-communism relationship, said (#386)

And Vikings were air breathers.

Multiple category errors there. Atheism and communism are related by their connection with human beliefs about people and the good life. Viking-ness is a condition one is born into, and breathing air is a biological necessity.

See the dishonesty employed by the compulsion to pretend a complex question is trivial.

By Neil Schipper (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"Because God is the Creator and the Universe is the creation. Included in the Universe is Time, which is also a creation. Nothing created God because God is the uncreated Light."

So basically God is like the ultimate, like, wow. Like God can touch everything except himself because he's everywhere but nothing, like wow. He's just like, the "is" of the world. Because you know, "is" is like a word, man. But GOD... God "is." Right? Did I just blow your mind, bro? It's awesome not having to, like, explain things or need evidence. Look at how cool my hands look when I wave them back and forth really fast. Woooooow.

By OctoberMermaid (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Truth Machine:

A liar, eh? How can you tell? You have special knowledge of what goes on in my heart? Is this another "empirical conclusion"? How does an "empirical conclusion" differ from a scientific conclusion? Does science not use empirical data to come to its conclusions?

In short: You're just guessing. And that's what you presume to call "science."

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

"[...] That's why I agree with the Sock-Puppet being an idiot. I take exception, however, to Myers coming to the logical leap into concluding that this is an indication that all Catholics are idiots and Catholicism itself is idiotic."

As well you might, if he had done so, which he didn't. He said that this individual makes his side (not ALL Catholics) look bad. He did not say that it meant, or indicated, that everyone on that side is an idiot.

Awesome, OctoberMermaid, you're blowing my mind... but don't bogart that joint. :)

True Bob: "Please explain what a 'god' is?"

Dutch Hedrick: "God is too complex to describe in a single comment. The best I can do is say that God is Perfect Reason and Perfect Love."

Conclusion: Dutch Hedrick is too stupid to understand True Bob's question.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Because God is the Creator and the Universe is the creation. Included in the Universe is Time, which is also a creation. Nothing created God because God is the uncreated Light.

Your "argument", or maybe St. Augustine's, seems to boil down to this: The universe had to have been created because it was.

So you are stating categorically that 1) The universe was created, 2) The universe had to have been created, 3) Time had to have been created and 4) God is uncreated without providing a shred of proof or even logical reasoning to back up your assertions.

Nice try. Next?

Is there any part of theology that does not assume it's conclusion?

Dutch, "St" Augustine has missed out on a lot of technology, hasn't he? Died in the 5th century? I don't believe he's a very good source.

Your words mean nothing. Saying something is so doesn't make it so. I think you are actually going backwards.

Let's get even more basic:
What makes you think the universe needed creating?

Adrienne, seems to me its even simpler than that.

Their entire argument for their religion seems to boil down to "because I said so."

In short: You're just guessing. And that's what you presume to call "science."

It's called inference, you ignorant cretin.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dutch Hedrick said:

"Because God is the Creator and the Universe is the creation. Included in the Universe is Time, which is also a creation. Nothing created God because God is the uncreated Light."

And why should anyone accept that assertion based on no evidence?

Neil Schipper @466 wrote:

Atheism and communism are related by their connection with human beliefs about people and the good life.

Incorrect. Atheism says nothing either about people or what constitutes "the good life". Atheism is merely disbelief in god(s); it is either 1) a lack of belief in god(s) or 2) A belief that god(s) do not exist.

Communism may include atheism as part of its overall philosophy, but it is quite possible to be an atheist without being a Communist or believing in Communist utopias or the like. Ayn Rand is a prime example of an atheist whose beliefs in what constituted "happiness" and "the good life" were diametrically opposed to what Communism envisions.

Dude, you guys are just scoffers and mockers. And it's REALLY starting to harsh my mellow. I'm talking hardcore.

You just don't believe because you haven't felt the truth. You gotta, like, open your heart and your mind and your lungs. You gotta see the things I seen and smell the things I smelled and inhale the things I inhaled. I mean, I know it to be true, like right in my heart area, bro. That counts for, like everything. Why would you heart lie to you, man? Benjamin Franlkin even said that a body divided can't stand because it doesn't have legs and he was a Christian, dog. I'm just saying.

By OctoberMermaid (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

OctoberMermaid:

You guys are the ones who are making evidence your criteria for belief. Yet you can't even provide the evidence for your own beliefs. You have faith that there is no God. I have faith that there is. It's a simple as that.

It's a strawman to say that I'm insisting upon evidence for existence of abstract concepts. I'm not, but you guys are. So I'm just holding you to your own standards.

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Oh what a comforting notion that philosophical thought, not to mention science, have not progressed since St. Augustine...
Catch up, Dutch. You're living in the wrong century.

Multiple category errors there. Atheism and communism are related by their connection with human beliefs about people and the good life. Viking-ness is a condition one is born into, and breathing air is a biological necessity.

a) you have no idea what the phrase "category error" means. b) Your "argument" here is an idiotic non sequitur to my point about logical relationships between sets.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

The trolls persist, with or without the sock puppets: sectarian idiocy from jb and that aforementioned meaningless drivel from DH, as well as his illiterate reading of PZ's words.

So Dutch.

What is your proof Thor does not exist?

Sock puppetry, eh? That's hurtin'. One would almost think he was a member of the imaginary "pit bull lobby", desperate times calling for desperate measures and all that.

Betcha five bux he isn't even an RC, which I suspected from the beginning.

Polly want a cracker?

Dutch Hedrick #437,
'You're asking a non-existent entity not to be cruel to a non-existent entity, but you talk of "a bit of intellectual honesty"?'

Is that a scientific conclusion? If so, I'd like to see your experimental research. Don't hide these things from us, Mr. Truth Machine. The Truth must be told to all!

I'm sorry but the burden of proof is on you. You are arguing that God and souls exists which means you need provide the evidence, not TM.

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dutch Hedrick @480 wrote:

Yet you can't even provide the evidence for your own beliefs. You have faith that there is no God. I have faith that there is. It's a simple as that.

And speaking of strawmen....

OK, Dutch, I don't believe in God, gods, or the supernatural. I do not say that God does not or cannot exist, only that I do not think there is a good reason to believe in God or the supernatural.

See, I don't need to provide evidence for this belief, because it's not a positive claim. It's merely the absence of belief. You, on the other hand, who claims there is a God, are the one with the burden of proving that. Good luck.

You guys are the ones who are making evidence your criteria for belief.

Yes.

Yet you can't even provide the evidence for your own beliefs.

You're an idiot and a liar. Not sticking the entirety of scientific discovery into one blog comment is not the same as not being able to provide evidence.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

E.V.:

If God is unchanging -- as we believe -- then it is absurd to say that "philosophical thought" has not progressed since St. Augustine. That would be like saying that math has not progressed since Aristotle.

Truth is eternal. There's no need to "catch-up" with something that never changes.

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Call it what you will, Craig, you just can't call it 'pedophilia'. Disgusting tho it might be, an adult having sex with a 15 year-old is a compleeetely different thing than an adult abusing a toddler. (I mean, I am *supposing* we agree on that--it isn't toooo hard to grasp, is it?)

"I am more concerned about the cover up and cash payoff aspects of it, in avoidance of actual criminal prosecutions. I would hope you would want these kinds of allegations pursued criminally, and appropriate justice meted out for those convicted, just like I would."

If that is all you want, we're on the same page. Personally, I wanted every priest guilty of abuse/sex with minor defrocked and thrown out, and their crony bishop-superiors laicized. I don't know a Catholic who wouldn't.

However, it just don't work that way. For reasons too long-winded to go into, the Church isn't a corporation, and the pope ain't a CEO. Different rules apply: Like the laws of charity and forgiveness [and yes, I am knowingly opening this post up to your guffaws on this, but t'is true]: charity even towards the priest-abuser, even tho the Church knows what that looks like, and that it'll cost tons of money.

Viking-ness is a condition one is born into...

Not necessarily so. The word refers to coming from fjords, but by common usage, vikings were the Norse who went exploring, mostly pirating and pillaging.

So you could become a viking though not from the fjords, or you could be from the fjords and not be a viking. Obviously, you are belaboring the point, as I am. I think the analogy is apt, in that there is no compulsory connection between communism, an ideology, and atheism, the lack of a certain ideology set.

As I said before, my government is atheist, our libraries, fire departments, police forces, postal service, etc., are all atheist. Do they do good things because they are atheist? No. It only means they are not religious entities, and have no opinion on theology.

Victor Stenger said at the future of naturalism conference that he wishes that Carl Sagan had never said that an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, because, actually it is pretty good evidence of absence.

There is no reason for us to believe that there is a God, up to and including the point where evidence is discovered.

Dutch Hedrick wrote

That would be like saying that math has not progressed since Aristotle.

Umm, but math *has* progressed since Aristotle, dude. A lot, in fact. Just saying this makes you look even more ignorant than you were before, which I would have not thought possible.

Adrienne:

Nice double-speak. Saying your "absence of belief" is not a belief is simply absurd. Belief does not have to be positive to be belief. Either you belief or you don't or you're not sure.

If you don't believe something, however, then you are asserting a belief that is negative. Nevertheless, it is still a belief.

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

The burden of proof is on you to prove your god exists, just as the burden of proof would be on me if I claimed the world rode on the back of a turtle. By your standards anyone can make any outrageous claim without any empirical evidence to back up their claim besides a compilation of Iron Age texts and a few devoted followers who wrote opinions about it.
Anyone up for Hinduism? Zorastrianism?

jb @490 wrote:

Call it what you will, Craig, you just can't call it 'pedophilia'. Disgusting tho it might be, an adult having sex with a 15 year-old is a compleeetely different thing than an adult abusing a toddler.

You are correct, it is called ephebophilia. See this URL: http://www.childmolestationprevention.org/pages/diffephebophile.html

But it is not the same thing as homosexuality, if that's what you're trying to imply.

If God is unchanging -- as we believe -- then it is absurd to say that "philosophical thought" has not progressed since St. Augustine.

You're talking complete rubbish. "philosophical thought" refers to the thoughts of human beings, which have progressed since St. Augustine, whether you are familiar with this progression or not.

That would be like saying that math has not progressed since Aristotle.

Math is a human enterprise, you blithering idiot, and it has progressed a great deal since Aristotle. And if you're trying to refer to math as some sort of Platonic ideal -- which displays ignorance about the nature of axiomatic systems -- it is transparently dishonest to conflate that with the human enterprise, which includes discovering inferences within such systems, a process that continues over time and yields fresh insights.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Adrienne:

Math has progressed? Really! So -- you mean that possibly one plus one was three until presto! it became two? Because that's what I was talking about.

There are mathematical laws which always remain unchanged. The laws are there for us to discover. We just need to discover them. The laws themselves, however, do not change.

By Dutch Hedrick (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Adrienne @ 478:

Atheism says nothing either about people or what constitutes "the good life".

It's a counterclaim to claims about explanations for the existence of the world, people and what people are supposed to do. Your definition is true, but in an uninteresting way, as in, "my coffee cup is atheist." With your definition, it simply wouldn't be a topic of discussion.

By Neil Schipper (not verified) on 12 Jul 2008 #permalink

Hey everybody, Dutch believes not believing in leprechauns is a belief. I guess you have a belief in no belief in Flying Purple People Eaters? Wow, what a powerful mind you have.