The Great Desecration

It is finished.

I wonder how many of our Catholic friends have heard of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215? This is the event where many of their important dogmas were codified, including the ideas of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, that the Eucharist was the sacrament that only properly ordained priests of the Catholic church could give, and that the Jews were a pariah people, who could hold no public office, had to pay a special Jew tax for their right to exist, and were required to wear special clothing to distinguish them from Christians. The yellow badge marking the Juden was not an invention of the Nazis, but a decree by faithful Catholics in the Middle Ages. That's an interesting juxtaposition, that a symbol of Christian exceptionalism was formalized at the same time that they formally decreed the Jews to be inferior, and a target of hatred.

That combination was useful, too. Declare something cheap, disposable, and common to be imbued with magic by the words of a priest, and the trivial becomes a powerful token to inflame the mob — why, all you have to do is declare a bit of bread to be the most powerful and desirable object in the world, and even if it isn't, you can pretend that the evil other is scheming to deprive the faithful of it. Now you could invent stories of Jews and witches taking the communion host to torture, to make Jesus suffer even more, and good Catholics would of course rise in horror to defend their salvation. None of the stories were true, of course — Jews and infidels see no power at all in those little crackers, and the idea that they were obsessing over obtaining a non-sacred, powerless, pointless relic is ludicrous — but heck, it's a cheap excuse to make accusations illustrated by cheesy woodcuts of hook-nosed Jews hammering nails into communion wafers and lurid tales of blood-spurting crackers and hosts that pulsed like and beating heart, and thereby providing a pretext to encourage massacres.

The first recorded accusation was made in 1243 at Berlitz, near Berlin. As a consequence all the Jews of Berlitz were burned on the spot, which was subsequently called Judenberg. Another famous case that took place in 1290, in Paris, was commemorated in the Church of the Rue des Billettes and in a local confraternity. In 1370 in Brussels, the charge of host desecration, long celebrated in a special fest and depicted in artistic relics in the Church of St. Gudule, led to the extermination of the Jews of the city. The case of 1337, at Deggendorf, still celebrated locally as "Deggendorf Gnad", led to a series of massacres across the region. In 1510, at Knoblauch, near Berlin, 38 Jews were executed and more expelled from Brandenburg. The alleged host desecration in 1410, at Segovia, was said to have brought about an earthquake, and as a result, the local synagogue was confiscated and leading Jews were executed; the event continues to be celebrated as a local feast of Corpus Christi. Similar accusations, resulting in extensive persecution of Jews, were brought forward in 1294, at Laa, Austria; 1298, at Röttingen, near Würzburg, and at Korneuburg, near Vienna; 1299, at Ratisbon; 1306, at St. Pölten; 1325, at Cracow; 1330, at Güstrow; 1338, at Pulkau; 1388, at Prague; 1399, at Posen; 1401, at Glogau; 1420, at Ems; 1453, at Breslau; 1478, at Passau; 1492, at Sternberg, in Mecklenburg-Schwerin; 1514, at Mittelberg, in Alsace; 1558, at Sochaczew, in Poland. The last Jew burned for stealing a host died in 1631, according to Jacques Basnage, quoting from Manasseh b. Israel. Casimir IV. of Poland (1447).

That is the true power of the cracker, this silly symbol of superstition. Fortunately, Catholicism has mellowed with age — the last time a Catholic nation rose up to slaughter its non-Christian citizenry was a whole 70 years ago, after all — but the sentiment still lingers. Catholicism has been actively poisoning the minds of its practitioners with the most amazing bullshit for years, and until recently, I had no idea that a significant number of people actually believed this nonsense, or that the hatred was still simmering there, waiting for an opportunity to rise up in misplaced defense of absurdity.

All of the regular readers have seen it — thousands of mindless comments by Catholics, demanding that no harm come to a cracker. My email is melting down with swarms of insults, threats, pleas, and promises of prayers because I threatened to violate one of their holy crackers. In my years of loud and often inflammatory blogging, it is the most impressive demonstration of mass lunacy I have ever seen.

Mark Sutton is representative of the majority of my email. No threats, at least, but instead he simply takes for granted an astonishing piece of insanity.

Professor Myers,

I was saddened to hear of your plans to harm our Lord Jesus Christ.

It obviously isn't the first time and it won't be the last.

I know you do not believe, but what if it truly is Jesus that you are attempting to hurt?

You are in my prayers.

You would not believe how many people are writing to me, insisting that these horrible little crackers (they look like flattened bits of styrofoam) are literally pieces of their god, and that this omnipotent being who created the universe can actually be seriously harmed by some third-rate liberal intellectual at a third-rate university (the diminution of my vast powers is also a common theme).

Jim Nicholson cranks up the crazy even more. Not many accused me of being a freemason — I've got lots that call me a Jew, which is illuminating given the history of this issue — and I cringe at the thought of a circumcised heart. But yeah, this kind of angry rant is fairly common, too.

You must be the devil himself as even he knows the power in the Holy Eucharist (don't you dare disparage the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by calling Him Who died for you a cracker!). You must be a freemason, or just a very sick man who needs healing and believe me, I will pray for your conversion. Pray you live to see that day so you can ask Him to forgive you and your uncircumcised heart. Just the mere thought of desecrating the Holy Eucharist is enough to get one into hell, but, maybe that is, for now, the horrible place you are aiming for. I dare you to read about Our Lady of Fatima and the accounts of hell as the three children saw, then, maybe you will change you sick mind. God forgive you. However, it was great that you got many people praying for your conversion since you showed the world how sick you are, and maybe God will convert your hard heart. Pity you. From a lay evangelist who prays for you and the rest of this sick world of secular humanists.

Another common theme has been the attempt to turn away the desecration of a Catholic symbol into the desecration of an Islamic symbol. Obviously, it's not desecration they find disagreeable — it's the idea that someone would offend their weird sectarian sensibilities. Here's one from Jack Isaacks that fits the mold.

Dear Professor Meyers,

If you REALLY want to do a courageous, revolutionary act, defecate publicly on a copy of the Quran.

Or do you have the cojones?

Christians won't attack you for desecrating a host, but will those wonderful cuddly peace-loving Muslims be as forbearing if you used their book for a toilet?

Well, how brave are you?

Yeah, right. Catholics won't attack me, but Muslims will. Never mind that the Catholic League demands that I be fired, thousands of Catholics write to me demanding I be kicked out of the university immediately, and that they send me death threats, both the explicit kind and the vaguely menacing kind. Let's not forget Webster Cook, who started this all by simply walking back to his seat with a cracker, and now faces censure and possible expulsion from his university. Oh, those Catholics sure are forbearing and tolerant.

And since I mentioned yesterday that I was taking my oldest son to the movies, these good Catholics have leapt to the opportunity. Since I'm not demonstrating any fear over their threats against me, well hey, let's try a new target! KJ Atkins of Bellarmine University thinks cowardly warnings against my family might be effective.

You fool, the vengeance for your sacrilege will not be . exhausted against you, but it will be carried out on your child. Wait and see.

Oh, I'm sorry, KJ. I'm only impressed by significant material concerns, and yours and other slanders against my family (I'm looking at you, Miki Tracy, the despicable person who thinks making up lies about my father might be persuasive) are not going to convince me of anything other than that religion breeds the most disgustingly vile haters in our country, and that Catholicism fits right in with the rest. I will note, however, that since Bill Donohue tried to get CAIR to join him in his crusade, I have gotten no email from outraged Muslims, over a span of time in which I've received thousands of Catholic hate mail messages.

If you want to see the deep danger of religion, you have to read this comment from Isaac.

As a Christian it is an insult for anyone to call my beliefs stupid shit. I have respected every religion and every idea for years.

Ah, what a beautiful illustration of the complete open mind — utterly undiscriminating, lacking any criteria for acceptance, simply blissfully and uncritically according every idea his full respect. Although, of course, it's also a lie: Isaac does not regard every idea as equally deserving, since he clearly considers the atheist idea that the sacraments of his faith are empty foolishness to be an outrage. Rather, what he loves is the idea that everyone else must respect his beliefs, no matter what they are, and that any disagreement is an insult. This is exactly the kind of uncritical, unskeptical, nonjudgmental idiocy all religions seek to promulgate, because they all know that if we tore off the blinders of tradition and artificiality and mindless etiquette, we'd see right through their lies. Respect every idea! Especially mine! And if you find the idea that this cracker is a god stupid, why, you must be disrespectful and no gentleman!

For even deeper inanity, let's not forget the Catholic blogs! We're talking some serious derangement there: look at Mark Shea's reaction.

I won't mince words. Myers is an evil man. And as evil men, particularly evil intellectuals, tend to be, he is also a mad man as are most of his acolytes and followers.

Myers and Co. are enmeshed in these lies because they have chosen evil. It is evil--archetypally evil--to desecrate the Eucharist. It's the sort of stuff archetypal bad guys in the movies do. It's completely unnecessary gratuitous evil.

To the Mark Shea's of the world, I would say…it's just a cracker.

I think if I were truly evil, I would have to demand that all of my acolytes be celibate, but would turn a blind eye to any sexual depravities they might commit. If I wanted to be an evil hypocrite, I'd drape myself in expensive jeweled robes and live in an ornate palace while telling all my followers that poverty is a virtue. If I wanted to commit world-class evil, I'd undermine efforts at family planning by the poor, especially if I could simultaneously enable the spread of deadly diseases. And if I wanted to be so evil that I would commit a devastating crime against the whole of the human race, twisting the minds of children into ignorance and hatred, I would be promoting the indoctrination of religion in children's upbringing, and fomenting hatred against anyone who dared speak out in defiance.

I'm sorry to say that I only aspire to be a teeny-tiny bit evil, and my target is a handful of virtually inedible crackers in my possession. It's not much, and all I can say in my defense is…it's a start. A very small start. I'm going to need lots and lots of people to rise up and follow suit, subjecting old, dishonest institutions of hardened dogma to our chief weapon of ridicule and deris…our two weapons of ridicule, derision and laughter…no, three weapons of ridicule, derision, laughter, and skeptici…oh, never mind. You know what I mean. Get to work.

OK, time for the anticlimax. I know some of you have proposed intricate plans for how to do horrible things to these crackers, but I repeat…it's just a cracker. I wasn't going to make any major investment of time, money, or effort in treating these dabs of unpleasantness as they deserve, because all they deserve is casual disposal. However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus's tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel. My apologies to those who hoped for more, but the worst I can do is show my unconcerned contempt.

i-257338cb344684ea469cb3ee02346036-desecrated.jpg

By the way, I didn't want to single out just the cracker, so I nailed it to a few ripped-out pages from the Qur'an and The God Delusion. They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanity's knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality. You will not find wisdom in rituals and sacraments and dogma, which build only self-satisfied ignorance, but you can find truth by looking at your world with fresh eyes and a questioning mind.

More like this

You asked for it, I deliver. Here's a good chunk of the opposition email that I've received in the last two days; not quite all of it, though, since I got bored and a lot of it has just been going straight into the trash. I've tried to cut out most of the identifying names and so forth, but if I…
I've barred the doors — I'm sure that any moment now, a squadron of goose-stepping nuns will come marching up the street to wag their fingers at me and rebuke me for what I've started. It seems the Youth of Today are going on YouTube and…flaunting their disrespect for crackers! People can find a…
Maybe it's my imagination, but the great desecration in cracker-gate died down more quickly than I would have imagined. That's some kind of internal imagining contradiction, I suppose, quite appropriate for talking about religious questions, which themselves seem to be endless sources of linguistic…
Over the last couple of days, I've considered posting something on the controversy that's been sparked by PZ Myers' comments about the eucharist, and the reaction of Bill Donohue and the Catholic League to those comments. I've been putting it off because it's not an easy post for me to write. The…

May God have mercy on your soul.

It is done.

Well done.

By FormerMilitary (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well this is going to be epic.

PZ: My gin and tonic will be hoisted up in your name tonight.

Well, if you thought the deluge of email was bad now! :)

Thanks for pointing out that nothing should be held sacred.

Well said PZ. Wish I could think of something more to add.

Brian

Let the games begin!!

Hahah... I hope Seed's servers are ready for the influx of crazy that this post will bring.

And yet I fail to see the remains of last nights spaghetti bolognese. Do you cower in fear of His Noodley Appendage?

I think we should be told . . .

By Mystic Olly (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything.

Very nice. This did not disappoint.

A response to a post in a previous thread, carried forward (since, y'know, I'm sure this'll be going on for a bit, anyway)...

I've been thinking about this for awhile now. I originally agreed with those saying that PZ is needlessly provoking the religious, but their batshit crazy responses tell me it isn't so needless.

Yep. Or sorta. I'd never have gone as far as 'needlessly provoking', but I sure did see it as pretty trivial, initially.

And I still do. But only in the one sense. More precisely, I was never much for or agin' it, initially. I mean, as I understood it, it started out as a snarky (and, in context, entirely appropriately snarky) riposte to the sheer nuttiness of what happened at UCF anyway. I don't think any of us even figure he even meant it terribly seriously, at first. I mean, seriously, why would anyone bother, either way? And I think if he'd actually done it two weeks ago, my reaction woulda been: oh, okay... an odd thing to do... and... ummm... why, seriously? I'm still trying to wrap my head 'round the fact that the folk taking Donohue's bait haven't thought about that, more. I mean honestly, do you really think Donohue even thought PZ meant it that seriously? Or that Donohue even cared if he did? His reaction was pure political opportunism. Somethin' he figured he could make some hay with.

But making that hay, it leads places, whether he and his followers like it or not. And the sheer lunacy of those objecting shifts things, oddly. I mean, you say you're going to do something that should be so trivially silly, and all of a sudden, there's this windbag demagogue getting all red-faced, going on and on about what a horror this is, working on whipping up the outrage, and oh my, but people are actually falling for it. And there are people trying to get people fired, and the trolls are winding up and sockpuppeting the hell out of this place, there's nuts making threats and getting their wife fired, and you get to thinking: well, y'know, yeah, okay, maybe you should do that cracker thing. Sure it's silly, sure it's trivial, but, strangely enough, it does prove a modestly significant point, in this now truly bizarre context. Which is that pushy, arrogant gasbags like Donohue and the loud but not terribly bright folk he's managed to mobilize do not get to call the shots--not here, not anywhere. They don't get to demand anything, let alone respect, from anyone else, not with an attitude like that. Death threats, huh? Demands folk be fired, huh? Endless attempts, in fact, to demand punishment and suffering for what in the end is mere expression of an opinion they don't happen to like--and yes, folks, not that it's even entirely relevant, but I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it is, all their mumbo jumbo and handwaving about mystical rites and transubtantiation notwithstanding. Same as it's always been, same old excuse for any extremism they might want it to justify.

And this is how they presume to command 'respect', is it? And is this to be the way of things: the gasbags who threaten most and who scream 'bigotry' loudest gets to say what is and what is acceptable mockery of their particular irrationality of choice? What next, will we begin prosecuting blasphemy in the west again, jail those who dare to fail to show proper respect for the currently dominant faith?

So, okay, if they want to be like that about it, I'm with him all the way. And the cracker's toast. Sure it might still seem sorta a silly thing to do, on the face of it. But it's a madness with a certain method after all.

(And the banana peel sure is a nice touch.)

The secret addition was a few papers from the God Delusion?

Very appropriate! I say this without an ounce of sarcasm, by the way.

PZ,you should eat your bananas before they turn brown.

+1 to PZ Myers.

I can't wait to hear what Richard Dawkins thinks of this. :)

Also, don't you still have a whole bunch of other crackers? What're you gonna do with them?

By Anne Nonymous (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Shit, pz, I hope you've got a lid on that garbage lest the cracker rise again! Great post. Ahhhhh, men....

I don't think anything is done at this point. I think the shitstorm is just about to start. You should really have a composting bin for all of that organic matter. Ashes to ashes and all that.

Oh, and PZ, don't close this thread. Let's see just how high this sucker will go.

Nothing Sacred - reminds me of a Zen story...Bodhidharma telling the pissed off Emperor of China that "Nothing is holy"... Then there is the old:"If you meet the Buddha, Kill him" Tossing a wooden Buddha on the fire etc... all to prove that nothing should be held above "reality". Why can't we have more "religions" like that? Or better yet, none at all...

You don't compost your banana peels and coffee grounds? You ARE evil.....

Now we wait for the lying press release from Bill Donohue and the deranged Catholic hordes that follow.

Good work, PZ. You used it to make a good point: No cheap, little material object should be considered sacred. Adding the pages from the "God Delusion" was a good move.

Nice to see that you threw in some pages from The God Delusion. I know it's just a book, like the Qur'an, but it's still an excellent way to demonstrate that your goal is to show that nothing is, or should be, "sacred", and not simply to piss off some extremists (although I'm sure they'll find a way to get worked up just the same).

By TripMaster Monkey (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Cheeses Christ, PZ, you've already bogged down the server.

Now we wait for the lying press release from Bill Donohue and the deranged Catholic hordes that follow.

Good work, PZ. You used it to make a good point: No cheap, little material object should be considered sacred. Adding the pages from the "God Delusion" was a good move.

Well done; the "it is finished" is a nice touch too.
But.. don't they have recycling in Morris? Paper and food waste in the trash? That's sacrilege here in the Bay Area...

Hopefully after the howls of outrage from the godbots subside we'll see no more fourteen hundred reply threads!

Anyway, well done PZ...the picture just shows it's a "fracking" nailed cracker and some paper.

oh, and Maria (#1): There are no gods to have mercy on non-existent souls. Just thought you might like to know as you seem to be stuck in la-la land.

Martin

Brillant PZ. Loved every word of it. You have my support.

Bellarmine University

How fitting.

+1 to PZ!

Hopefully after the howls of outrage from the godbots subside we'll see no more fourteen hundred reply threads!

Anyway, well done PZ...the picture just shows it's a "fracking" nailed cracker and some paper.

oh, and Maria (#1): There are no gods to have mercy on non-existent souls. Just thought you might like to know as you seem to be stuck in la-la land.

Martin

It is easy to see the titles of the books, but where is the proof that is a consecrated host? I think it is nothing more than an attention-getting stunt for noteriety. Weak.

We wait with bated breath to discover what trepid outrage the god-botherers will cast down upon you.

What a hollow god they serve! How delicious a treatment of their sacred relics!

By Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

You, sir, handled this perfectly! Bravo!!

Well done... I'm glad this ordeal is over

*ignores the following 2000 comments about the damn cracker*

By David Wegehaupt (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

KJ Atkins of Bellarmine University thinks cowardly warnings against my family might be effective.

I wonder whether that Louisville college ever considered calling itself Torquemada University. Bellarmine would be unknown except for his treatment of Galileo. Torquemada was famous.

By freelunch (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

TG, why do you doubt it is a consecrated host? Do you doubt his ability to get one? Do you doubt his willingness to desecrate one? You're grasping at straws.

And it is done. Couple thousand more comments and the troll-fest will come to a close.

I'm quite sure it's unintentional but the banana peel (you know, the atheists worst nightmare!) is a wonderful bit of irony to top it off. ;P

By Hessenroots (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

The God Delusion, too. Brilliant!

Yay! Splendidly anticlimactic, nicely judged. Just a bit unsure about the rusty nail, a hint of Voodoo tetanus going on there. Could be uncomfortable for those who believe in magic....

And sad to see the desecration of books, which are all special, but fair's fair.

Great article PZ!

By Dylan Dog (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Thank you PZ for posting this, it is needed.

Faith inebriated, lunatics, ridiculed and mocked me as a teenager for daring to question God' existence. For several years they wasted my time and forced me to ingest prodigious fables of super heroes. I look forward to the response or rather the maunderings, of His Excellence, the CEO of the Roman Catholic Church when this news reaches him. His mental gymnastics is a treat and I have little doubt that he and his lieutenants will have no difficulty in further embarrassing themselves in the eyes of the civilized world.

Faithaholics have enjoyed power far too long and have abused it repeatedly yet they continue to demand respect. Fuck their feelings and fuck their intellectually lazy minds. I celebrate this occasion with all sane people around the planet. Screw all gods especially the sketsophrenic trio, Jesus, his Daddy and Casper from the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa.

Peace everyone, please. Man created God and no amount of violence will change that.

Andrew

I wonder if PZ's gonna be woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of some Catholic digging through his trash trying to "rescue" the cracker.

Seriously, this is awesome entertainment.

By Anne Nonymous (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I wonder how many of our Catholic friends have heard of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215?

That Darwin and his time machine; always causing trouble.

By Reginald Selkirk (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

#39 It is easy to see the titles of the books, but where is the proof that is a consecrated host? I think it is nothing more than an attention-getting stunt for noteriety. Weak.

That's pretty much the point. 'Consecration' is meaningless drivel. Not sacred.

Bravo PZ, nice ending to this mess.

By Josh West (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

KJ Atkins of Bellarmine University thinks cowardly warnings against my family might be effective.

I wonder whether that Louisville college ever considered calling itself Torquemada University. Bellarmine would be unknown except for his treatment of Galileo. Torquemada was famous.

By freelunch (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dawkins will undoubtedly smite you in his terrible wrath!

But thank God that's over!

(I don't really mean the "thank God" part, of course. It's just an expression.)

Oh brilliant. Simply brilliant.

The God Delusional is a nice touch. The only thing I might have added is a page from Origins.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Good going! Justice has been done. The text's a bit too long for me to read right now so I'll be sure to read it later in depth!!! I skimmed through it and saw the mighty picture.

Unfortunately I'm sad you didn't try to make a cross out of popsicle sticks. Now THAT would've been funny.

Wait uh... w...what's the brown stuff? O_o

...coffee? PHEW

It is easy to see the titles of the books, but where is the proof that is a consecrated host?

I'm sure that will be forthcoming, just as soon as somebody provides PZ with evidence that his consecrated host was transubstantiated into the Body of the Living God.

Why does one matter without the other?

Beautiful, and point well taken. I would have longed for some pages of On the Origins of Species in there as well, but The God Delusion was likely more fitting, so again, beautiful.

By Richard Wolford (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Meh...

By Quinn Martindale (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

It is finished.

Father, into Your hands I commend my crumbs.

And I never again want to hear about sophisticated modern theology, and how nobody takes that magical- thinking stuff seriously anymore.

Oh no, the hand-wringing has begun.

PZ,

I hope you saved that piece of art you have created. You could sell it on eBay and give the money to a pro-science charity.

ripping a few pages out of those books is ok, as long as the aren't completely ruined. I hate to see ANY book destroyed.

Great.
Excellent.
Now, all they have to do is pray. Right? The Lord listens to them

Right?

Come on, people, stop writing e-mails. Have TRUE faith.

Holey crackers!

"TG, why do you doubt it is a consecrated host? Do you doubt his ability to get one? Do you doubt his willingness to desecrate one? You're grasping at straws."

I am a man of science. I want proof, not claims based on authority.

Excellent write-up as always PZ! There are some un-rational people who might accuse you of copying something that has already been done, but I can think of nothing more fitting than to nail that ort of stale tasteless bread to some processed wood fiber. Well done PZ!

By SteadyEddy (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Amazing writing in your prelude to the main event. A+ as far as I am concerned.

As for the festivities themselves, I liked the casual utilitarianism of the desecration. Adding a page from The god Delusion was also thoughtful and helps showing that the truly unbiased, rational mind doesn't revere icons, even if their meaning agrees with their own conclusions. I think a page from 'Origin of the Species' would have been FAr more effective in rubbing on the faces of fundies how we do not hold Evolution or science as a religion.

He desecrated The God Delusion??? Forget excommunication; BURN HIM!!!!!

By Physicalist (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Nice touch there with the God Delusion. That should sufficiently perplex them.

It won't, of course.

@TG: I seem to recall others asking how to prove it's consecrated, and you refuse to say how.

PZ, I'm a little disappointed in what you did. I think you gave too much consideration. IMHO, you should've forgone the nail and just tossed it all in the garbage.

It is easy to see the titles of the books, but where is the proof that is a consecrated host? I think it is nothing more than an attention-getting stunt for noteriety(sic). Weak.

Can't you hear the little jeebus cracker screaming?

That's the giveaway there, innit?

#39 It is easy to see the titles of the books, but where is the proof that is a consecrated host? I think it is nothing more than an attention-getting stunt for noteriety. Weak.

That's pretty much the point. 'Consecration' is meaningless drivel. Not sacred.

Bravo PZ, nice ending to this mess.

By Josh West (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

TG sez:

It is easy to see the titles of the books, but where is the proof that is a consecrated host? I think it is nothing more than an attention-getting stunt for noteriety. Weak.

Tell you what, TG. If you can pick a consecrated host out of a lineup of unconsecrated ones, I'll concede that your question is relevant, and I'll ask PZ to provide proof of consecration. Sound fair?

By TripMaster Monkey (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Dawkins will undoubtedly smite you in his terrible wrath!

But thank God that's over!

(I don't really mean the "thank God" part, of course. It's just an expression.)

It's weird, but the destroying of books disturbs me regardless of their sacred status.

By Quinn Martindale (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

PZ, you nailed it.

Bravo! Not bad for a "third rate" intellectual.

By BluesBassist (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

* applauds *

While it does kinda bother me that you destroyed two perfectly servicable books instead of giving them to people who could read them (not sacreligious, just not cool) I found the conclusion (if it truly is such) to be suitably anti-climactic, which is exactly what the disposal of a cracker should be.

TG #39:

Can't you see the blood and ichor oozing from the stabbed host?

Wait...

That's because there's no difference between a fracking cracker and a consecrated host. (mumble mumble Hoc est corpus christi mumble mumble [nice ass on that choirboy] mumble mumble)

Why don't you use your amazing christo-powers to discern the cracker's consecrated nature?

Martin

PZ,

This is one of the finer essays you've written. Thanks for the history lesson, and well done.

-jcr

By John C. Randolph (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

stupid simple cracker

May is decompose like the trash it is.

...Wait a sec guys. Where's the blood?! I thought they said there was a guy that had a flood of blood, and that jews had stains of blood coming out of there! HEY!

Could it be that it's... it's just a tasteless sheet of paper? Oh no.

I wonder if PZ's gonna be woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of some Catholic digging through his trash trying to "rescue" the cracker.

Seriously, this is awesome entertainment.

By Anne Nonymous (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

The picture makes it a bit grittier than it should seem, but...

I liked the conclusion best. It's a good take home message.

By Jack of Knives (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

God damn it, PZ. Now I have to start the universe all over again.

I suspect Teh Big Oxidized Spike is deeply offended at this disgraceful treatment of a rusty nail, and its followers will send a congregration of angry screws after you. Pay attention as to whether they are normal, Phillips, Robinson, of other types of screws, this is a matter of great division in Spikemythical, with much flaking of the rust.

As the dead Jew that Catholics claim to worship, I would just like to say that I entirely approve.

By Jesus, called Christ (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Excellent, i loved the inclusion of the god delusion pages, i think they helped prove a point.

PZ, you have a typo!

All of the regular readers have seen it -- thousands of midnless comments by Catholics, demanding that no harm come to a cracker.

GULP - The God Delusion...in the trash?!

You my friend, have Large Brass Balls.
You may need a wheelbarrow to carry those in...
(Yes - a Bill Hicks reference)

Wow.
I stand here shaken (not stirred)

Bravo, PZ, Bravo!

Amazing writing in your prelude to the main event. A+ as far as I am concerned.

As for the festivities themselves, I liked the casual utilitarianism of the desecration. Adding a page from The god Delusion was also thoughtful and helps showing that the truly unbiased, rational mind doesn't revere icons, even if their meaning agrees with their own conclusions. I think a page from 'Origin of the Species' would have been FAr more effective in rubbing on the faces of fundies how we do not hold Evolution or science as a religion.

Standing ovation!
Bravo PZ! Bravo!

Good blog. The preamble was perfect.

I wouldn't have bothered with the nail, although the page of the God Delusion was a nice touch. Unconcerned throwing out with the trash. Perfect.

Good luck wading through the hate mail.

Brace yourself PZ. I've been reading your blog for several years (since sometime in '05) and this seems to be some sort of culminating event. I think you've definetly got the attention of the worlds Godbotherers now. It's been fun, and will continue to be fun to watch your antics. Changing the world one post at a time.

By S. Fisher (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

TG,

Surely Catholics will be able to tell if the wafer is consecrated or not. In fact this whole thing has been about just that claim, that there is a difference. Well if there is, Catholics presumably will be able to tell. After all if that wafer really is the body of Christ it will not be the same as just an ordinary wafer.

So come Catholics, tell us. Is that wafer consecrated or not ?

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I'm an atheist and think religious beliefs are stupid but I wish you hadn't done this. It will just inflame them. It would have been better to do nothing and let their own intolerant words condemn them. The Catholics have revealed their true nature.

Love your web site otherwise.

By Michael Hogan (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I hope your trash is picked up before the third day. I wouldn't want to have a holey cracker rise from my trash can and walk around my house.

PZ, you have a typo!

All of the regular readers have seen it -- thousands of midnless comments by Catholics, demanding that no harm come to a cracker.

The God Delusion is about what we don't believe; the Eucharist and the Koran are symbols of what other people do believe. I would've preferred a genuine work of science to be among the desecratees.

Vivek

God damn it, PZ. Now I have to start the universe all over again.

GULP - The God Delusion...in the trash?!

You my friend, have Large Brass Balls.
You may need a wheelbarrow to carry those in...
(Yes - a Bill Hicks reference)

Wow.
I stand here shaken (not stirred)

Bravo, PZ, Bravo!

I'm sure that will be forthcoming, just as soon as somebody provides PZ with evidence that his consecrated host was transubstantiated into the Body of the Living God.

Why does one matter without the other?

++++++++++++

No desecration would have taken place were the host not consecrated, and thus no Catholic would even bother to notice. Yet, PZ claims the host was consecrated. Let him prove hi8s claim. Nobody has to believe it is the body of Christ for the act of consecration is a public act perfomed by a Catholic priest.

So, where's the proof, or is this place not about science after all?

HOW DARE YOU! YOU HAVE DEFILED THE GREAT TENANT OF MY FAITH! I WILL NOW PRAY TO MY GOD:

OH MIGHTY AND MERCIFUL BAZELKESH, FORGIVE THIS MAN FOR COMBINING COFFEE GROUNDS WITH YOUR SACRED 'SPOTTILY BROWNED BANANA PEELS' HE KNOWS NOT WHAT HE DOES.

Woot finally. The God Delusion desecration was predicted (Prophesied?) by a few people in the earlier threads.

Brace yourself PZ. I've been reading your blog for several years (since sometime in '05) and this seems to be some sort of culminating event. I think you've definetly got the attention of the worlds' Godbotherers now. It's been fun, and will continue to be fun to watch your antics. Changing the world one post at a time.

By S. Fisher (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

This is so G-rated compared to all of the atrocities done in the name of Jesus.
I applaud your family values PZ!

Brilliant. I especially liked the abuse of the book by Dawkins, just to prove atheists consider nothing to be sacred.

Also brilliant was the massive evidence for the idea that Catholics are the most immoral people in human history, a problem that obviously continues today.

Well done, sir.

TG #39:

Can't you see the blood and ichor oozing from the stabbed host?

Wait...

That's because there's no difference between a fracking cracker and a consecrated host. (mumble mumble Hoc est corpus christi mumble mumble [nice ass on that choirboy] mumble mumble)

Why don't you use your amazing christo-powers to discern the cracker's consecrated nature?

Martin

Wow! That's got to be the quickest trip to 100 comments ever!

Well done PZ.

Some may hoist a G&T, but I shall have a Rusty Nail tonight in PZ's honor.

By fireant451 (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

HOW DARE YOU! YOU HAVE DEFILED THE GREAT TENANT OF MY FAITH! I WILL NOW PRAY TO MY GOD:

OH MIGHTY AND MERCIFUL BAZELKESH, FORGIVE THIS MAN FOR COMBINING COFFEE GROUNDS WITH YOUR SACRED 'SPOTTILY BROWNED BANANA PEELS' HE KNOWS NOT WHAT HE DOES.

Great post PZ! It was exactly what was needed. Thanks for going through with this and not caving to the threats.

Incidentally, how did you manage to get the consecrated host? Did someone sneak it out of Mass or did you find a disgruntled ex-priest to Jesusize it for you?

Whatever your attitude towards the Host may be - your actions and bragging about them display a hatred and utter disdain for those who believe differently from you.

I understand that YOU don't hold it sacred. That's fine, if you don't believe, you don't believe and that's your business. That is, it's between you and God (and if you don't believe in Him, also your business).

The fact is, the Host IS sacred to millions if not billions of people. Your actions reveal a deep seated hatred, contempt and disdain for those people and their beliefs. I guess nothing matters to you except what YOU think, how YOU feel and what YOU want. Must be nice being god on You Planet.

Sorry for the double post, but I got a message telling me my comment had been aborted. (Sorry, Catholics, for using that terrible word.)

I assume the double post is a miracle!

Well, it's somewhat of an anticlimax for sure. No daylight instantly turning to night, no curtains ripping, no blood gushing, ground shaking...

I guess God either doesn't give a shit about crackers, Q'urans and mindless followers or perhaps...

Man made up the whole God thing.

hmmm

Either way, god doesn't give a shit. Live life, enjoy your family and friends and show respect to your fellow man/woman and not to crackers and silly beliefs.

That was beautifully done.

Given that the picture was below the fold, as well as the length of the post, any people claiming to be outraged about it are obviously going to great lengths to find images which offend them. How sick is someone who really, really needs to be angry all the time?

Oh, P.S.: I just want to say how sorry I am for everything you've been through with this, PZ. You took one for the team. Thanks, dude.

(And I also want to say that, when I started my initial comment, the comments were at 7, and yet mine came in at #61. Fracking hilarious.)

Don't let the bastards grind you down

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind"

By Gene Goldring (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Congratulations PZ; you made the point even more forcefully than I had hoped by treating this whole preposterous affair with the casual contempt it so rightly deserved. The God Delusion was a great touch!

Hope the fuckwits leave you alone now.

By BaldySlaphead (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

The books I destroyed were ones that I had duplicate copies of -- I've actually got several other copies of The God Delusion still. I think Richard will forgive me. In fact, he might join me in encouraging all of you to go buy a second copy so you can desecrate your first.

Nobody is going to be going through my garbage. The date was picked intentionally to be after the weekly garbage pickup here. I suppose some Catholic crazies could head out to bless the Morris landfill, if they want.

Hell laughed indeed.Did God hurt? I'm sure God wouldn't burn in hell, but you have chosen to be. hahahahahaha

By e.citizen (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Argh, sorry for the double post, I see the server is already toasted. I'm sure PZ's overlords at Scienceblogs are just thrilled. But boy has this ever been worth it.

By Anne Nonymous (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

As a worshiper of the Great Spotted Banana, I will express a modicum of outrage at 4pm, over tea. Followed by a nap.

By Wayne Walker (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

May God forgive you.

Fantastic ending to an embarrassing display of MIddle Age irrationality and sickening idiocy.

Good one. Nice touch by adding in Dawkin's book.

I was starting to get bored today.

PZ,you should eat your bananas before they turn brown.

No way! Bananas have to be brown to taste right. Chiquita says so!

Fabulous post, PZ. Very well-written and thought out.

I can't desecrate my first copy of The God Delusion - Professor Dawkins consecrated it with his signature.

Beautiful. Elegant. Poignant. Thought-provoking. A glass raised to you, my friend.

And, a request to the rest of my atheist friends here. We all know the "righteous" will come here bellowing. I suggest we sit back, and quietly let them, in our own form of silent protest. I'd love nothing more than to let this thread fill up with nothing but hate-filled vitriol from the catholics, reinforcing PZ's post. Let it fill with the complaints and screeches of those who don't get the point. I myself will contribute not one more word to this matter, and although I would never insist that you do the same, I think it would be great to just sit back and let it sink in... silently.

CE

By Celtic_Evolution (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Hell laughed indeed.Did God hurt? I'm sure God wouldn't burn in hell, but you have chosen to be. hahahahahaha you are not posting my comment, huh....where's your son tonite?

By e.citizen (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

TG's got a point and no logic driven being can deny that! We need proof it was consecrated. But unfortunately that proof will only be the word of the guy/girl that got it from him. Annecdotes aren't great as we point out to the silly christians/various fanatics. I doubt they let people videotape masses.

Guess for that one we'll just have to take it on... gasp... faith. Or start over and try to sneak camera proofs!

I would like to personally thank Dr. Myers for not desecrating spaghetti or pasta of any kind.

His holyness the FSM is pleased.

sorry, but the Koran does not look like an official Koran it looks like a translated version, which would diminish its sacredness.

Some may hoist a G&T, but I shall have a Rusty Nail tonight in PZ's honor.

By fireant451 (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

TG, if you were actually a man of science you would never demand proof of anything. It is impossible to prove anything outside of mathematics and formal logic. Scientists deal in evidence. It is clearly a host. PZ is clearly capable of getting a host from his blog horde. PZ is clearly unconcerned with desecrating a consecrated host. Only extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Without evidence to the contrary there is no evidence to doubt his claim.

May God have mercy on you.
Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins and save us from the fires of hell. Please lead all souls to heaven especially those most in need of thy mercy. Amen.

Just a thought to all the people wishing for God to Punish PZ - according to your shtick, all you have to do is "not believe" to go to hell, so what's the big deal about poking a hole in the bread wafer? Doesn't really add anything to the imagined tortures that were already imagined to be waiting in some imaginary after life...

As an ex-catholic, just let me add that whatever you have done to that cracker, it is not nearly evil as what those priests did to those children for so many years.

Well done! I'm going to raise a glass of Laphroaig in toast, and munch on some cheese and 'crackers'.

By thundergunn (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I will not stand for the desecration of the God Delusion. May science have mercy on your soul.

Beautiful!

"...you can find truth by looking at your world with fresh eyes and a questioning mind."

Sagan, Feynman, Dawkins, Aasimov... All have inspired me at one point or another. It may be that you are not such a "rockstar" as them, but now it is your turn to inspire, PZ.

Thanks. Well done!

May God forgive you.

Posted by: Mike | July 24, 2008 2:31 PM

He won't, he's always pissed off. Sour guy, that G fellow.

I was starting to get bored today.

if you mean germany as a catholic nation 70 years ago, that's wrong, germany was (is) majority protestant (more then than now, as more secular germans have protestant than catholic background). as for the muslim vs.catholic comparison, i think the point is that the catholic league wants to fire you, the muslim league would want to set you on fire :-) that's a difference between obnoxiousness and savagery.

Nothing is sacred, nothing I say! I'm going to set my browser to your web site, then drive a nail through my monitor. That will show you who's serious.

By Reginald Selkirk (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

The pages make me a little sad, but I recognize I'm pretty irrational when it comes to books. Took me the better part of the first year of college to be willing even to write notes in a textbook.

Bravo.

But why a rusty nail? I thought it took wooden stakes or silver bullets to kill the undead?

A reply to a comment on a prior post who compared this to destroying a family heirloom or something to that effect, These things are mass produced by the thousands, if not more everyday. It was by no means a rare or one of a kind item. No catholic had to forgo communion because of a shortage of crackers.
When everything becomes sacred, then nothing is.
Anyway, the world seems to not have ended. Everyone as you were.

Absolutely perfect, PZ-- glad to see you did this right. I also appreciate the historical leadup, which was very interesting.

Gotta wonder, though... how long before some nutjob sees the face of Jebus in the coffee stains?

Since I'm not demonstrating any fear over their threats against me, well hey, let's try a new target! KJ Atkins of Bellarmine University thinks cowardly warnings against my family might be effective.

You fool, the vengeance for your sacrilege will not be . exhausted against you, but it will be carried out on your child. Wait and see.

wikipedia Bruno
His trial was overseen by the inquisitor Cardinal Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno eventually refused. Instead he appealed in vain to Pope Clement VIII, hoping to save his life through a partial recantation. The Pope expressed himself in favor of a guilty verdict. Consequently, Bruno was declared a heretic,

What sort of morons name a university after a torturer who condemned Giordano Bruno to burn at the stake and almost torched Galileo. Both for thinking that the earth orbits the sun. Must be for the Catholics who are desperately homesick for the middle ages.

I can't wait to hear what Richard Dawkins thinks of this. :)

Dawkins would pad PZ on the back saying job well done you showed how science disproved the wafer being God. And since you got some bad responses it clearly justifies you in provoking such anger in the first place. Your such a martyr for the militant atheist cause which is a movement to wipe out religion all together. Oh that was also a lovely picture of the Quran I wish I could hang that up on my wall.

People with common sense just shake their heads, them militant atheists are like little kids fighting on a playground or in an alley somewhere. I wouldn't be surprised if someone burns PZ picture...lol

Ah, well said and well played.
It is, after all, *just* a cracker.
...and *just* paper.
...and *just* a banana
(the latter of which, I have had and will have, no nightmares regarding, I'd like to add)

May God have mercy on you.
Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins and save us from the fires of hell. Please lead all souls to heaven especially those most in need of thy mercy. Amen.

May God have mercy on you.
Oh my Jesus forgive us our sins and save us from the fires of hell. Please lead all souls to heaven especially those most in need of thy mercy. Amen.

Wow. I've never considered myself an acolyte of yours PZ (I just happen to also be a liberal atheist who's prone to ranting at stupidity), but I might have to become one now.

This little dénouement of yours, including the Judge Jones-esque preamble on the history of host desecration, was fitting, tactful, and if I may, somewhat graceful. No bloodthirsty foaming at the mouth like the goddies hoped for ("He hates the cracker! More proof of God's love!"), no disgusting freak show antics, but a simple statement of our intent as activist atheists: toss those sacred relics out with the rest of the things we no longer need. Bye-bye to gods, be they deities or Dawkinses or Darwinses.

I was wondering if you'd have the guts to toss out The God Delusion, though. We Darwinist atheists invented Hitler, you know.

Hell laughed indeed.Did God hurt? I'm sure God wouldn't burn in hell. But you are a good candidate...hahahaha

By e.citizen (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Kind of a waste of a rusty nail, if you ask me.

By OctoberMermaid (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I do like the anti-climax. Hell, one could even argue that the nail was a fitting tribute to Xian superstition.

It's diplomatic (and safer--which should be aimed for) to "violate" various supposedly sacred texts.

By the way, though, I don't know if a Quran in English really counts. The "real Quran" is believed to be only the Arabic version. Not that some Muslims wouldn't be offended by "violating" an English translation, it's just that the "real offense" would probably require the original Arabic.

Just saying.

I'm certainly not suggesting a re-do with an Arabic version, of course. That, too, is a silly superstition.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Good work PZ! It has been fun to see just how seriously these religious nuts take their religion. I would love to see any of them justify their reactions using their own holy book. As a recovering christian I would especially love to hear how they think their Jesus would react to this. I am fairly certain they will not find passages where Jesus commanded people to threaten someone or their family with physical harm. Again, the whole episode has shown the fundie true colors.

Well done. As far as the lack of Muslim complaints go, Zizek noted that European Muslims found that they allies were atheists after the Danish comic controversy.

So now, evidently, you've harmed (and caffeinated) Jesus. I've been wondering which *part* of Jesus, exactly has been harmed; which blessed bodily bit of flesh is the cracker. Since dogmatically speaking, Jesus is whole and eternal and all that in Heaven, it must be some part of his allegedly sinless flesh that didn't make the trip, perhaps some part of the, er, Holy of Holies separated at a young age.

Just *picture* it, my Catholic friends, chewing over that bit as it transubstantiates in your gullet. Holy indeed.

-TTm

By Ticktockman (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

So, will Dawkins now show stigmata? I'm confused.
Also, why are some people so eager to see this end? This is great entertainment for a long, hot summer.
May Thor forgive you all, then torture you.
Peace and Love ;<)

By MicroZealous (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well done PZ. I can't imagine a more appropriate post.

BRAVO!!!

By Andrew Cramb (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

How did you manage to get a nail *through* one of those brittle crackers? I would expect it to simply break...

Perhaps I should repeat the experiment. You know, for science and stuff.

And still no one has substantively countered my analogies. I'm not surprised.

Myers, I had hoped you would prevent you perverted desire from taking hold but you gave in. I still hold out hope for you somehow despite this.

By Pete Rooke (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Nothings sacred are you nuts? Every sperm is sacred, especially mine! I give each one a name and would provide them with crackers but thy have no mouths and as such eating (and screaming) are right out.

@ #151: Oh, please.

*applauds PZ's brilliant blasphemy* Great job!

Pax Nabisco, people!

From V for Vendetta:

Finch explains to Party leader Adam Susan the transcript of a recording made as V assassinates Archbishop Tony Lilliman.

Mr. Finch: There's something that sounds like "Kill me sentiment"... just gibberish... and then they talk about Communion and the Communion Wafer...There's the word "Transubstantiation": That's the miracle of Transubstantiation when the wafer transforms into the Body of Christ. Catholic concept originally. There, now listen to this...

V (on tape): And at the moment this enters your mouth it becomes the flesh of the Saviour?
Archbishop Lilliman (on tape): Yes. Yes. Look, please...
V (on tape): And whatever it is made of now, it will become the Body of Christ?
Archbishop Lilliman (on tape): Yes. Whatever it is now. Whatever.
V (on tape): I want you to swallow it.

Mr. Finch: And then there's a funny little human noise. And then there's just Beethoven's Fifth. End of tape. We've just had the Path reports through. The Bishop was poisoned. The Host was full of cyanide. And do you know what? When it reached his abdomen it was still cyanide.

By Nick Winnick (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Since I'm not demonstrating any fear over their threats against me, well hey, let's try a new target! KJ Atkins of Bellarmine University thinks cowardly warnings against my family might be effective.

You fool, the vengeance for your sacrilege will not be . exhausted against you, but it will be carried out on your child. Wait and see.

wikipedia Bruno
His trial was overseen by the inquisitor Cardinal Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno eventually refused. Instead he appealed in vain to Pope Clement VIII, hoping to save his life through a partial recantation. The Pope expressed himself in favor of a guilty verdict. Consequently, Bruno was declared a heretic,

What sort of morons name a university after a torturer who condemned Giordano Bruno to burn at the stake and almost torched Galileo. Both for thinking that the earth orbits the sun. Must be for the Catholics who are desperately homesick for the middle ages.

Dear Mr. Meyers,

I don't think you can claim unconcerned contempt for the host with the treatment that you've given it. Well, perhaps contempt, but not a lack of concern. Where did you find this rusty nail that you drove through the crotch of this jesus cracker? If you had to go searching for a rusty nail for just this purpose, your claim to a lack of concern loses its force. If you happen to have rusty nails sitting about, why?

As for desecration, there are many options you could have entertained, yet you chose to make a minor spectacle. You could have, as a colleague of mine suggests, painted it pink and placed it in a urinal in a church; you could have nailed it to a tree, or you could even have chosen to ignore it completely... Why the minor spectacle?

But seriously, the coffee and banana are a nice touch.

By very clever (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Still haven't made my mind up about this. As an atheist (Russell agnostic technically) I don't respect crazy beliefs that tradition says we should; but there is a level of provocation here I feel slightly uncomfortable about.

I've been trying to think of a suitable analogy - the closest I got was taking a sacred Hindu cow and making a decent barbeque from it in front of the temple. Does that not make you feel slightly strange?

By Rodney Trotter (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Quote from
http://markshea.blogspot.com/

Repeatedly tried to get Myers to verify the "death threat" bit, but was shouted down by the throngs of Myers cultists who took the claim on faith

Oh the irony

Nothings sacred are you nuts? Every sperm is sacred, especially mine! I give each one a name and would provide them with crackers but thy have no mouths and as such eating (and screaming) are right out.

Mark: Eucharist!
Jack: Cojones!
KJ: Sacrilege!
PZ: It's only a cracker.

It would not surprise me in the least to find out that a group of Catholics would go through PZ's trash, or even to the local dump to search for the Eucharist and then take it back to a church, douse it in "Holy Water" and then give it a "proper" burial.

Well done, PZ. That's a history lesson worth learning there.

*claps*

By Timothy Wood (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

You rock.

By Gary Hilson (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I am a man of science. I want proof, not claims based on authority.

Posted by: TG

Bwahaha.... if there were any way of proving that a host had been consecrated, it would lend at least some weight to the argument that it is special. But there isn't. All the "accidents" of the wee wafer are the same. There can't be proof, because there is no transubstatiation.

By Epinephrine (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Ite missa est.

I knew the first thing that would happen is that the loons would claim it is a fake cracker. The one I chose to photograph is one that the sender actually provided video documentation of where it came from.

Not that there's any substantial difference between the consecrated and unconsecrated version.

We're going to have to demand that the St. Paul police increase security and put a cordon around these nasty "Catholics" who say they're coming to the city to worship their gods at the RNC convention. They've already made numerous threats of violence and death to local residents. We can't have them wandering among the public.

Excellently done, PZ.

Well said, of course, and AJ Milne @ #12 - also well said. Right to the crux of the matter, I'd say.

A little less seriously, I was saddened to find that PZ's heart is not only uncircumsized, but hard as well. Not just the arteries from all the filthy things we're all sure an eeeevil man like him does to his own body, but the entire heart. That's unfortunate.

As for myself, I must admit to a bit of ambivalence about being called an acolyte. On the one hand, no one has ever called me that before and it sort of has a nice ring to it - on the other hand I get the sneaky feeling mark Shea didn't mean it in a very nice way.

PZ,

surprisingly, I have to say, seing this picture: I really don't care about this desecregation-thing.

But you should think about seperating your biological waste from paper. I don't know how that is handled in the U.S. but here in Germany they would tell me to keep my garbage if I don't care for recycling (there are actual laws about that). That in fact I found much more offensive than the desecregation (though, of course, hardly offensive at all).

But the Koran and the cracker - It just so doesn't concern me. What deluded moron could possible care about that? I am afraid, we are to see...

Wish you luck,
Andy

And still no one has substantively countered my analogies. I'm not surprised.
Posted by: Pete Rooke | July 24, 2008 2:38 PM

Analogies? Which crazy one were you again? There's so many we lost track.

The "surprise entry" was pages from the God Delusion? Brilliant! Very impressive show, PZ. Well played.

*claps*

By Timothy Wood (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Hell laughed indeed.Did God hurt? I'm sure God wouldn't burn in hell. But you are a good candidate...hahahaha

By e.citizen (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well said.

Well, before this thread gets to the thousands, let me just say that I'm very curious to see how long it takes for the bloviating Donohue to issue another press release, how long it takes for the hordes of believers to register their outrage, and how long before the first Muslim shows up. I think this may draw one into the fray. But we await with bated breath.

The Donahues will have a big problem here. There is no way for them to prove that the cracker was consecrated.

I DARE THEM TO PROVE THAT THE NAILED CRACKER IS JESUS!

You really nailed it, PZ!

By Joe Cracker (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Bravo PZ!

The anti-climax is genius. This post reads, from top to bottom, like one of your brilliant science posts that attracted me to this site in the first place.

No ranting or vulgarities that would prevent sensitive souls from reading it or make it inappropriate for sharing with children - just a recitation of historical facts and logic conclusions.

This is the art of teaching, in the finest sense of the word.

Well done with the documentation PZ. That is more evidence then we'll ever get for any recognized "miracle" by the church.

This is such a enlightening and fun post it ought to be illegal. Oh, wait...

No desecration would have taken place were the host not consecrated, and thus no Catholic would even bother to notice.

Ordinarily, I would agree, but a Catholic (in another thread) asserted that:

Moreover, even desecration of a host which is known to be unconsecrated is simple sacrilege. So desecration still brings great pain to Catholics, since it *may* be a severe act of indignity to Christ, and it appears to be one.

Me, I've argued that desecration of crackers is impossible anyway, but no one listens to me.

By Owlmirror (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Excellent.

PZ, you continue to get my respect for your lucid treatment of the issue.

All the best to you and yours.

How did you manage to get a nail *through* one of those brittle crackers? I would expect it to simply break...

Perhaps I should repeat the experiment. You know, for science and stuff.

Seeing what Catholics have actually said to PZ, I have a hard time believing my eyes when I read a lot of Christians saying that he's the one that needs to get a grip. Threatening to disrespect a single wafer among trillions (probably an underestimate by a few orders of magnitudes) versus death threats? And there are people who actually consider the former a more serious offense? I can only hope that such people will be able to learn basic human decency that is common to most of humanity, instead of clinging to their religious faith used to justify horrendous things.

And still no one has substantively countered my analogies. I'm not surprised.

Myers, I had hoped you would prevent you perverted desire from taking hold but you gave in. I still hold out hope for you somehow despite this.

By Pete Rooke (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

what - no Velveeta® on this cracker? And I was hoping for a recipe for Nacho Cheesus.

At any rate, PZ, you've done the world (another) favour by pointing out how vile the Catholic "religion" really is. Truly disgusting, the lot of them.

By Don O'Treply (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

The pages make me a little sad, but I recognize I'm pretty irrational when it comes to books. Took me the better part of the first year of college to be willing even to write notes in a textbook.

Well done PZ. At least you are consistent, and it is good that you treat Evangelical Atheism the same way as Evangelical Catholicism........

PZ I have officially added you to my list of heros!

By anevilmeme (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well done PZ. I can't imagine a more appropriate post.

BRAVO!!!

By Andrew Cramb (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I've been reading your blog for a while but this is my first comment. I must say, this is one of the finest pieces of expression I've seen on the topic and is a marvelous example of how to respond to religious fanatics with both class and witticism.

Bravo!

"making a decent barbeque from it in front of the temple. Does that not make you feel slightly strange?"

Poor analogy only in that this wasn't done outside a mosque or church (as far as we know).

Taking pictures of the steak and posting them on a blog would be more like it.

By Hessenroots (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Bravo PZ!

The anti-climax is genius. This post reads, from top to bottom, like one of your brilliant science posts that attracted me to this site in the first place.

No ranting or vulgarities that would prevent sensitive souls from reading it or make it inappropriate for sharing with children - just a recitation of historical facts and logic conclusions.

This is the art of teaching, in the finest sense of the word.

Celtic_Evolution (#144) wrote:

And, a request to the rest of my atheist friends here. We all know the "righteous" will come here bellowing. I suggest we sit back, and quietly let them, in our own form of silent protest. I'd love nothing more than to let this thread fill up with nothing but hate-filled vitriol from the catholics, reinforcing PZ's post. Let it fill with the complaints and screeches of those who don't get the point. I myself will contribute not one more word to this matter, and although I would never insist that you do the same, I think it would be great to just sit back and let it sink in... silently.

Excellent suggestion. I will try my best to not respond to the Catholic insanity that's sure to come.

I hope the Catholics who come here read PZ's excellent summary of Catholic atrocities.

Catholics don't throw people in gas chambers anymore, and they no longer murder people who refuse to eat crackers, but this cracker incident proves beyond any doubt Catholics are still the most immoral people in human history.

Wonderful. Appropriate. Well considered. Beautifully stated. Highly moral.

Exactly what I would've said if I were articulate enough to do so.

And you even included a Python reference.

Today, PZ, you are the King of Blogdom.

By John Swindle (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Cool. It is, indeed, just a cracker.

And I'm glad you included some pages from the God Delusion, to emphasize the idiocy of holding ANYTHING sacred.

[Yawn]... I can't wait for this to die down and go away. I stay away from church so I can think about things that actually matter without having to deal with the crazies. Now the crazies are all over my favorite blog. Can we please cleanse our palate with some more blogging about developmental biology papers? Everyone knows that jargon-laden research papers are to fundamentalists as sunlight is to vampires.

By Leukocyte (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

[poe]
Look at the picture closely. I'm sure there is a Dilbert cartoon in the trash as well. You can just see the corner of it underneath the book.

Alert the Dilbots!!!!
[/poe]

As an ex-catholic, just let me add that whatever you have done to that cracker, it is not nearly evil as what those priests did to those children for so many years.

And, whereas sexual abuse is certainly the pinnacle of it, others, such as myself, were abused in other ways. For example, my second grade teacher, Sister Claire Marie Meyer never hesitated to hit us for doing bad things, like coloring outside the lines in art class. She would hit us with whatever she had conveniently in her hand, which could be a ruler, or the handle of a scissors. If she didn't have anything in her hand, she would just turn around her big fat nun ring and slap us upside the back of the head with the stone.

Again, we were in second grade. Find your nearest 8 year old and start whacking them over the head with solid objects.

Talk about a coward.

But at least she never desicrated a host, right?

Good riddance. Well done Dr. Myers. You are appropriately brave, and your arguments are sensible and well-written.

Tonight, we shall toast your name in Springfield.

JT

Well done PZ. At least you are consistent, and it is good that you treat Evangelical Atheism the same way as Evangelical Catholicism........

PZ,

This night I will drink (copiously) and have sinful vigorous sex in your honor.

By stevogvsu (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well done PZ; it proves that atheists have more compassion and forgiveness than all the religions combined.

Pray you live to see that day so you can ask Him to forgive you and your uncircumcised heart.

Uhh... Is there a weird sect of Catholicism which circumcises the heart?

PZ MYERS WILL DIE...eventually, and, emmm...that will be the end of it for him, like everyone else. Personally, if I'm still around at the time, I will mourn the passing of a great educator. Slainte mha!

I've been following this a bit but, I'm sorry, religion just isn't worth all this effort.

I have to say, I think the high point of all of this was the pages from TGD in the trash with everything else. One could have attempted to hamstring your argument of holding nothing sacred by claiming that you can dish it out, but not take it. However, I think that it would have been more impacting if you had done this with Origin of Species... you know... since we Atheists apparently worship Darwin.

Bravo for the wonderful post before that unsurprisingly anti-climactic picture of trash in a trash can.

Bravo, Professor.

By OneMadClown (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I've actually got several other copies of The God Delusion still.

I wouldn't mind one of those, if they're just sitting around. :)

Funny how Donohue threatened to tell CAIR that PZ was going to desecrate a Koran when it was his band of cracker crusaders that were the ones demanding PZ do it...

Great.
Excellent.
Now, all they have to do is pray. Right? The Lord listens to them

Right?

Come on, people, stop writing e-mails. Have TRUE faith.

Cool. It is, indeed, just a cracker.

And I'm glad you included some pages from the God Delusion, to emphasize the idiocy of holding ANYTHING sacred.

Amazingly well put.

Now, hopefully, sanity will return here.....maybe with the help of a ban hammer.

By Ryan F Stello (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Wonderful post. Wonderful desecration.

Can we talk about cephalopods now?

Zombie jebus cracker will eat your brains.

Pete Rooke #221

"And still no one has substantively countered my analogies. I'm not surprised."

And the conceit of the faithful continues...

PZ,

surprisingly, I have to say, seing this picture: I really don't care about this desecregation-thing.

But you should think about seperating your biological waste from paper. I don't know how that is handled in the U.S. but here in Germany they would tell me to keep my garbage if I don't care for recycling (there are actual laws about that). That in fact I found much more offensive than the desecregation (though, of course, hardly offensive at all).

But the Koran and the cracker - It just so doesn't concern me. What deluded moron could possible care about that? I am afraid, we are to see...

Wish you luck,
Andy

I see no response yet from either Bill Donohue (d/b/a the Catholic League) or Richard Dawkins.

Anyone wanna bet which one has more important things to do than comment on this, like wash the dog, and which one will throw a tantrum as soon as he recovers from the vapors?

You know what would be nice is a substantive post right about now.

This whole cracker business is too meaningless, and I hope that it will die down soon. It's hard to believe that either side can invest as many electrons to this business as they have.

Something meaningful on this blog would be most welcome right now.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Jesus?

Jesus!?

JESUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUS!

By OctoberMermaid (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Alah Akbar alert

This website link will be given to all the radical jihadis on youtube. You wanted attention so now you will get it.

Second rate, anybody can come university attention seeker will now get attention from the "religion of peace"

Fuck. A nail through a cracker is very mild in comparison with the things people the Catholics were fond of putting them through. I don't think Bruno and Vanini appreciated the sharp metal objects.

Here's a short list of things which are not goddamned crackers.

Absolutely brilliant! Of all the myriad ways I imagined you could deal with this cracker, I can't think of a more appropriate ending.

PZ, that was one of the most brilliant posts I have ever read, thank you so much for this!

Congratulations on the desecration, I hope it leads to mass cracker killings all around the nation.

Well done! My salutations.

Oh no PZ! Now the librarians will be after you. Nancy Pearl will lead them in their charge on you and terrify you with their "sushing action". Lo, feel the ground tremble! *Much humor* Seriously, good job.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Thanks for your enlighting us.

Thanks, P.Z.

This was one of your very best posts.

By waldteufel (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Hmm... some smart guy. Talk about being totally moronic, I can only think of God's mercy toward this guy is going to be a baseball bat to his head so he finally gets it through that head of his that the Eucharist is Jesus.

By Interested reader (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Strange, I thought everyone here looked for compelling evidence for everything before coming to a conclusion. There's no evidence given by Dr. Myers that this host was actually consecrated. I, for one, don't believe it.

Still seems a little too complicated for what it's worth. I think it was the right choice to go for something simple. As I was reading, I thought that flushing it down the toilet might be appropriately simple, but I realized that God might smite you by backing up your toilet.

Well done, PZ!

Well done Prof. Myers. I will raise a glass of Jack Daniels to you.

So when is this going to get national press coverage? NY Times? The Today Show?...oh forget it. Random thoughts seep out now and then.

Well done. Nothing is sacred. No idea is above challenge. In the words of Lenny Bruce, "Everybody's ass is up for grabs." At first it appears too studied to achieve that epic Zen casualness, but the randomness of coffee grounds, rusty nail (I wonder if Luther used a rusty nail to pound his message into the church door?) and overripe banana peel really tie it together. Titling the entire mess a God Delusion simultaneously twits and pays homage to the Zen Roshi of Atheism. What you did to the cracker is an apt punishment and a victimless crime.

Here's to the day when it can truly be said that religion is just dessert. As pictured, it sure looks like an ugly mess of a main course.

I'm proud humanity also consists of people like you, Mr Myers. Now, up to us to act with intelligence and humor.

PZ, that was one of the most brilliant posts I have ever read, thank you so much for this!

Congratulations on the desecration, I hope it leads to mass cracker killings all around the nation.

I've been trying to think of a suitable analogy - the closest I got was taking a sacred Hindu cow and making a decent barbeque from it in front of the temple.

FAIL. If you haven't noticed, this is happening on his blog, which does not show up by magic on people's computers. They have to come here to see it. The proper analogy would be having a barbeque at his own house. I'm sure no good Catholic has ever had a barbeque at their house before, out of concern for offending Hindus, right?

PZ,

surprisingly, I have to say, seing this picture: I really don't care about this desecregation-thing.

But you should think about seperating your biological waste from paper. I don't know how that is handled in the U.S. but here in Germany they would tell me to keep my garbage if I don't care for recycling (there are actual laws about that). That in fact I found much more offensive than the desecregation (though, of course, hardly offensive at all).

But the Koran and the cracker - It just so doesn't concern me. What deluded moron could possible care about that? I am afraid, we are to see...

Wish you luck,
Andy

You should have treated it like the cracker that it is and just eaten it for a snack.

Hmm... some smart guy. Talk about being totally stupid, I can only think of God's mercy toward this guy is going to be a baseball bat to his head so he finally gets it through that head of his that the Eucharist is Jesus.

By someone221 (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Bravo. I generally thought all of this was well done and am quite pleased how the ending came about. There was definite proof that it occurred, although the cracker blends into the pages in the picture. You have to find the nail, then look for the cracker on the nail. I normally wouldn't have agreed with the nail, seemed a tad overboard, but made it very easy to see that there was indeed a dry, tasteless looking cracker at the end of said nail.
All in all, bravo.

*Standing ovation*

Nicely done; and I mean the text.

I didn't give a crap what you did with what.

Absolutely brilliant! Of all the myriad ways I imagined you could deal with this cracker, I can't think of a more appropriate ending.

For Michelle at #205

That was funny as hell! Thanks for the crack up.

PZ:

Not that there's any substantial difference between the consecrated and unconsecrated version.

Nor any insubstantial difference, either, no?

By Bill Dauphin (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

It's all just stuff. That says it all.

"Class dismissed."

Well done.

By RamblinDude (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Nice move including the God Delusion, that was a surprise.

By NoAstronomer (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

It's weird, but the destroying of books disturbs me regardless of their sacred status.

You know, I had a very similar thought.

Quote from
http://markshea.blogspot.com/

Repeatedly tried to get Myers to verify the "death threat" bit, but was shouted down by the throngs of Myers cultists who took the claim on faith

Oh the irony

Posted by: adam | July 24, 2008 2:39 PM

I totally know what you mean. He's worse than those devil-spawn children who claimed to be molested just to give the church a black-eye, or those who claim that Galileo was excommunicated and held under house arrest for claiming that the Earth was not the centre of the solar system, when in fact it was Galileo who persecuted those scientific men of God in the Vatican. In fact, the world is so hostile to Catholics that, fearing more repercussions like the Crusades (a Freemason frame job), the Vatican didn't feel safe coming out with their heliocentric findings until 1992.

Besides, no one's ever been able to prove Mary wasn't a virgin and why would so many people risk their lives for a lie if the bible isn't true and what about frozen waterfalls and how come nobody's ever seen a consecrated host evolve into a pumpernickel? I can't wait to see how you Myers-ists try to deny God's love when you're all burning in Hell for eternity!

Dominoes Nabisco, et cum sirit tu tuo.

Brilliant post, PZ. We're very lucky to have you as one of the champions of reason.

Still seems a little too complicated for what it's worth. I think it was the right choice to go for something simple. As I was reading, I thought that flushing it down the toilet might be appropriately simple, but I realized that God might smite you by backing up your toilet.

Well done, PZ! I'm glad that no blood squirted out of the host when you stabbed it.

Great.
Excellent.
Now, all they have to do is pray. Right? The Lord listens to them

Right?

Come on, people, stop writing e-mails. Have TRUE faith.

Hmm... some smart guy. Talk about being totally moronic, I can only think of God's mercy toward this guy is going to be a baseball bat to his head so he finally gets it through that head of his that the Eucharist is Jesus.

Posted by: Interested reader | July 24, 2008 2:51 PM

I would find that totally funny... If I could figure out if you're serious or joking.

I'll go with joking cuz that's a great parody cartoon you just described there. :) (Cuz if you're serious... That's not very christian of you!)

PZ,

surprisingly, I have to say, seing this picture: I really don't care about this desecregation-thing.

But you should think about seperating your biological waste from paper. I don't know how that is handled in the U.S. but here in Germany they would tell me to keep my garbage if I don't care for recycling (there are actual laws about that). That in fact I found much more offensive than the desecregation (though, of course, hardly offensive at all).

But the Koran and the cracker - It just so doesn't concern me. What deluded moron could possible care about that? I am afraid, we are to see...

Wish you luck,
Andy

beautifully written, beautifully 'executed'. thank you Professor.

Why'd ya have to do that to a nail! As a designer and builder, don't you know what that nail represents to me! What that symbolizes? Damn you! I'd rather you would have come over and skinned my cats than to defile the sacred nail. I'll be praying to the almighty hammer for you.

Ok, with that, keep up the excellent blog PZ. Thanks.

"Class dismissed."

I just want to throw in my support for a job well done, PZ. Throwing away those items harms no one, and you've at least brought the issue of freedom of speech to the forefront of a lot of people's minds, right where it needs to be. Most of those people have been Catholics though, since the majority of atheists already favor and defend free speech regularly. Now we just have to wait and see if there are any Catholic Leaguers out there who poses the ability to look at this situation rationally and realize that you had, and continue to have, all the right in the world to perform this act.

You "nailed it" PZ.

Now we wait for the crucifying to come from Donawhore, et al.

By mayhempix (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

You ripped up a copy of "The God Delusion"? Richard Dawkins will surely strike you down with a great bolt of NOTHING!

By Longtime Lurker (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Michelle: "Analogies? Which crazy one were you again? There's so many we lost track."

An uncomfortable truth still remains a truth. Here is the compilation:

1) Suppose you were a milkman with rotting teeth and cankerous lips. Before delivering each milk bottle you would take a swig and place it on the doorstep. You continued to abuse you privileged access to other people's milk for years. Then one day you decide to retire. Before you leave however, you let all of your customers know what you've been engaged in by letter while also leaving a picture of your cankerous mouth under each bottle. You have gleefully proclaimed your actions to all who will listen. No one was physically harmed and yet every customer (read: Catholic) affected feels deeply violated and abused. PZ Myers is effectively that milkman.

2) Suppose your are an embalmer. You are busy embalming a person for an open coffin ceremony and you decide to pilfer there lush locks of blonde hair for the construction of high class wigs (a business you have going on the side).
This person happens to be a Sikh. In order to hide the fact you have stolen their hair you then purchase a cheap synthetic wig and replace it. In the small print of the contract (which the distraught family don't read carefully enough) you make mention of this.

After the event you then decide to publicize this gleefully on a blog. No physical harm has been done to either person and yet I would argue that this is equivalent to PZ Myer's theft and subsequent desecration of the Eucharist publicized on his blog (of which extra web traffic generates money).

3) Young ladies like to wear an item of clothing called a mini-skirt these days. The material is often sheer and by its definition does not even come close to covering the knee roll.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniskirt)
Now if someone chooses to wear such an item it does not in the least bit make rape and sexual abuse permissible despite the fact that the odds increase exponentially. In both the eyes of the secular law and of my religion the assailants are still just as culpable.

So merely because Catholicism may seem like a remarkably soft target for PZ Myers (he has since been roped into desecrating the Koran) he is still as culpable as someone who chooses to attack say the more benign and watered down religions of Quakerism/Unitarian-Universalism.

4) Suppose you had a very sacred book outlining your philosophy on life. This book also happened to be stitched together and bound in the skin and flesh of a loved one who had recently passed away.

Now desecrating the Eucharist would have the same effect as desecrating that book and posting the evidence in glee.

By Pete Rooke (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

*Standing ovation*

Nicely done; and I mean the text.

I didn't give a crap what you did with what.

I know you do not believe, but what if it truly is Jesus that you are attempting to hurt?

That's just it. These people live their lives based on the "what if". They don't actually believe, but they are scared into acting as if they do because they are afraid of being wrong.

I'm proud humanity also consists of people like you, Mr Myers. Now, up to us to act with intelligence and humor.

Hmm... some smart guy. Talk about being totally stupid, I can only think of God's mercy toward this guy is going to be a baseball bat to his head so he finally gets it through that head of his that the Eucharist is Jesus.

Mercy. You're doing it wrong.

Nothing must be held sacred.

Exactly!! People come up to me and say they respect that I am atheist. I tell them to fucken not!

There's no evidence given by Dr. Myers that this host was actually consecrated. I, for one, don't believe it.

Excellent! Congratulations! You may be on the path to recovery. Just start subjecting ALL ideas that are presented to you to this very same treatment. It may feel a little bit funny at first, but you will get used to it. Eventually, you will start abandoning bullshit... until you abandon the last god that you still cling to. This will be good: you will be able to walk around without you security blanket... And it will free your mind.

Wow I think this all caused a terrible server comment lag. Comments are bumping into each other so much that the comments numbers are moving up and down and some comments are being fitted inbetween.

PZ,

surprisingly, I have to say, seing this picture: I really don't care about this desecregation-thing.

But you should think about seperating your biological waste from paper. I don't know how that is handled in the U.S. but here in Germany they would tell me to keep my garbage if I don't care for recycling (there are actual laws about that). That in fact I found much more offensive than the desecregation (though, of course, hardly offensive at all).

But the Koran and the cracker - It just so doesn't concern me. What deluded moron could possible care about that? I am afraid, we are to see...

Wish you luck,
Andy

PZ,

Good job, brilliantly conceived, spectacularly finished. As said, you deserve a standing ovation for that. A second G&T's hoisted up for you tonight in London. (We can turn this into a flashmob drinking session, people, just a thought.)

I can imagine the Catholics furor now. Either they're gonna go on "demonizing" you, or they're gonna call you a coward because you haven't recorded it live, you don't show proof that the cracker's consecrated, etc. Either way, it's gonna be so much fun to watch.

Thanks PZ, and homage to your big balls of steel.

I just want to throw in my support for a job well done, PZ. Throwing away those items harms no one, and you've at least brought the issue of freedom of speech to the forefront of a lot of people's minds, right where it needs to be. Most of those people have been Catholics though, since the majority of atheists already favor and defend free speech regularly. Now we just have to wait and see if there are any Catholic Leaguers out there who poses the ability to look at this situation rationally and realize that you had, and continue to have, all the right in the world to perform this act.

You "nailed it" PZ.

Now we wait for the crucifying to come from Donawhore, et al.

By mayhempix (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well said PZ. I especially liked the part about "sacrilege to the host" as an excuse to murder non-believers. This blog got a lot of attention from a lot of people, PZ. I think the thing that drives Catholics crazy the most about the whole affair is that YOU DID GET SOME PEOPLE THINKING, especially young people who saw this, in spite of assurances otherwise. That is really what is driving them NUTS!

Watch out, P.Z., they're coming...

...to pray for you.

"What would he do if Catholics and other Christians, and even sympathetic members of other faiths, turned up en masse on his campus simply to pray quietly for him?"

http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2008/07/pz-myers-desecrates-the-eu…

For some reason, I think he might stop by to say "hey," then go about his business.

Fantastic end to a fantastically pitiful display of human progression and rational thinking.
I'm glad you desecrated the God Delusion to show that we don't even take our own books that seriously.
Oh but Kirk Cameron's gona be soooo pissed that you trashed his yellow proof of gawd.

May I have permission - or is it implied here - to copy your "If I wanted to..." portion of this? Positively spot-on.

JC

Alah Akbar alert. ...........Attention getter lol

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

Sending this to islamic jihadist websites

I guess I understand why...you see religion as dangerous. Ok I get it, I don't agree but I get it. I see Godlessness as being even more dangerous...and we could go back and forth all day with examples of how the Catholic church did this terrible thing and how communists and other athiest organizations did that terrible thing. (Funny how you left that out of your litany of people who killed in the name of belief.)

But you know what's really funny? Your picture is a fake. I handle unconcecrated hosts every day and concecrated hosts every week, just like the one in your picture. If you even pressed the tip of a nail to a host it would crack into pieces. So that nail sticking right through it is a product of some picture editing software. So I guess you didn't do all you say you did. It makes me wonder if you did any of the other stuff. Interesting...confusing but interesting.

By Tony Phillips (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

PZ, that was one of the most brilliant posts I have ever read, thank you so much for this!

Congratulations on the desecration, I hope it leads to mass cracker killings all around the nation.

PZ, will you be my stand-in grandpa when I move to Minnesota? Because I need one as awesomely cool and eloquent as you. Very beautifully handled, that.

Dr. Myers, my hat's off to you. That's better than anything I could've dreamed up, and the real cherry on the sundae is that this is one of your best blog posts ever - enlightening, informative, incisive, and ever-so-quotable.

Plus, of course, imagining what the riled-up-hordes will do with the image of the God Delusion 'desecrated' along with their fetish items.

I have an uncircumcised heart and an uncircumcised penis, and I'm happy about both.

That was a beautifully written essay, PZ. Screw the stupid cracker.

Kent @ #260:

Do you know a lot of "radical jihadis"? Hmmm, expect the NSA and Homeland Security to come down your parents basement stairs any moment.

someone221 sez:

Hmm... some smart guy. Talk about being totally stupid, I can only think of God's mercy toward this guy is going to be a baseball bat to his head so he finally gets it through that head of his that the Eucharist is Jesus.

Is that what it took for you, someone221, or were you just naturally mentally deficient enough to believe that a little round cracker is your God? c^_^ɔ

By TripMaster Monkey (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

If you believe that truth is relative, why can't you respect what "my truth" is? I believe that the host becomes Jesus. You don't. I respect that you don't believe; I have no issue with your disbelief. I don't make fun of you for not believing. As a fellow human, I would have expected the respect to be reciprocal.

Magnificent post, PZ. I hope the religiously inclined will
read it carefully. I mean REALLY read it, and understand it,
not just browse the picture and complain. There's nothing
evil here, nothing hateful. Just plain common sense, and
a reminder that freeing ourselves from religion is the
most moral thing that we humans can do. It's just a cracker.

It's all just stuff. That says it all.

Another echo from an acolyte here. Good work.

"This whole cracker business is too meaningless, and I hope that it will die down soon. It's hard to believe that either side can invest as many electrons to this business as they have."

Right, I'm afraid this blog has become too silly, and I'll 'ave to shut it down.

And the really troublesome part is as it gets more crowded, this thread will end up having even more replies due to that warning message that pops up in times of heavy traffic, and people re-submitting even though they most likely don't have to.

Stop posting, Andy! The intertubes are all clogged up. Don't worry, you're getting through multiple times, it just takes awhile.

Well done sir. Well done.

Lovely stuff and nicely done. Good on ya PZ

I'm proud humanity also consists of people like you, Mr Myers. Now, up to us to act with intelligence and humor.

adding the god delusion was clutch. well done!

PZ:

Not that there's any substantial difference between the consecrated and unconsecrated version.

Nor any insubstantial difference, either, no?

By Bill Dauphin (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

beautifully written, beautifully 'executed'. thank you professor.

@Tony Phillips

um...No. It's certainly a delicate operation sorta but it's perfectly doable. I actually already poked one of them crackers through. Not a church one, a "candy" one (who the fuck thought "hey let's use theses as candy"!? They're gross!) Yea, there was one on my birthday cake at one time. I poked a candle through it and it stayed in one piece. Honest to "god".

Anyway, if he couldn't do that, why did the church claim back then that the jews were doing it all the time?

Pete Rooke wrote:

And still no one has substantively countered my analogies. I'm not surprised.

Pardon me, but where are these analogies to be found? Not on this page, anyway.

PZ,

You should put the remains of that copy of The God Delusion on ebay, it may not be sacred but I for one wouldn't mind owning it.

By Cardinal Shrew (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Posted by Ticktockman and #178:

perhaps some part of the, er, Holy of Holies separated at a young age.

Just *picture* it, my Catholic friends, chewing over that bit as it transubstantiates in your gullet. Holy indeed

Ha! Nearly sprayed tea accross the room when i read this one.
Hehehe...

Beautiful job! I don't mean the actual desecration, I honestly don't care much about it other than being happy it's over. What you wrote though is the far more important thing for people to realize. Nothing is sacred or should be taken on faith, question, learn, give respect where it is earned and deserved not where it is demanded. If it takes seeing symbols destroyed for some to wake up and see it than it's worthwhile to do.

"They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything."

Amen.

Folks, this happens every time Myers Pharyngulates himself. Just hit the post button once and have faith that it will be carried by His Noodly Appendage to the comments where it belongs.

Waaaaah, PZ is being a big meany by sucking up blog hits for yet another day! Traffic is down on mine, and I just know its because of this whole "cracker" business. This includes the outrage hits, as I have yet to have someone make an angry comment about my post claiming Mark Steyn is full of hot air, or that cocaine use won't make the Barenaked Ladies seem hip and edgy.

Well said PZ. I especially liked the part about "sacrilege to the host" as an excuse to murder non-believers. This blog got a lot of attention from a lot of people, PZ. I think the thing that drives Catholics crazy the most about the whole affair is that YOU DID GET SOME PEOPLE THINKING, especially young people who saw this, in spite of assurances otherwise. That is really what is driving them NUTS!

Now if someone chooses to wear such an item it does not in the least bit make rape and sexual abuse permissible despite the fact that the odds increase exponentially.

OH MY NON-EXISTENT GOD NO IT DOESN'T. Pete, feel free to have your bizarre and irrelevant analogies, but don't be spreading actual untruths. Clothing has nothing do do with frequency of rape. Amazingly enough, the only thing that correlates with probability of rape is the presence of a rapist. And using something as horrendous as rape as analogy to an event involving throwing a cracker in the trash can is so wrong I can't even express my contempt that you tried.

Pete at #310: There is nothing to respond to; what you've written is simply irrelevant nonsense.

I, too, cringe at the desecration of books!

This was way cool. Well done!

By Melanogaster (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

When I started writing my last comment, there were 214 posts. By the time the server accepted it there were 356. Wow.

Holy motherfucking christ, John, get a fucking life you spammer!

How come there's no character limit on this blog anyway?!

P Z Myers in post #200 wrote

"Not that there's any substantial difference between the consecrated and unconsecrated version."

Hey, PZ is a comedian! To us Catholics, transubstantiation is *exactly* the difference. It is a wafer of wheat with the exactly the same form and taste as before the consecration, but after consecration the form is still of wheat but the substance is now the Body of Christ.

To share the bread is wonderful and beautiful sacrament, to those that believe - and surely worthy of respect. Those that eat the host are proclaiming "I am part of the Church and I believe in what it teaches and we are all one in Christ."

This incident is not going to damage the Church and I hope that it will strengthen people's faith and encourage people to find out about the Catholic faith in all its richness.

Incidentally, the Brompton Oratory, scene of the theft, is very beautiful and any visitors will enjoy the tranquility and reverent atmosphere, but please in future treat it and those that serve and worship there with respect.

Anyway, I would think that Jesus is having a good chuckle at all this. After all, he was renowned for eating with sinners rather than those who proclaimed themselves to be holy, the Gospels are full of dinners indoors and out. His message was one of forgiveness and encouragement.

By Nina in London (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well Done, PZ!

You might want to start worrying about that banana, though.
Next thing you know, Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron are going to come to Morris & paper your house with $1,000,000 bill tracts. See what you have started now?

By the way, I knew I was right a couple of threads back when I called out that coward to prove that UM Morris is a 4th tier University, as he so inaccuratly called it.

ps - I still think the Viking funeral would have been comical, yet dignified.

pps- The focus group results on ChristoCracker-Desecratingly Delicious haven't scored as high as we had hoped, so we sent the package down to marketing, & they have really done an outstanding job to upscale the product.

Announcing - CHRISTESSENCE Table Wafers - Baked in the Spirit

We're still working on the whole ad package, kind of a riff on the Keebler elves,
only with angels - what do you think?
...
..
.

By Benjamin Franklin (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Lovely stuff, well done PZ

It's the iron-fortified cracker.

By the way, to those offended, note what the Church itself did about all of this. Nothing.

Really, it does no good for the church (though it might convince you that you're good) to make a big deal about a common offense. I'm sure that much "worse" is done by many out of the public eye, so that you're not protesting the violation so much as the fact that it is well-known. Unfortunately (and I'm serious, I wish it had not been hyped), you are thereby ensuring that it will be even more well-known.

I wouldn't have done it, but that's my judgment, not to be confused with PZ's. I suggest giving it a rest.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Dear Mr Rooke, WTF is up with your miniskirt/rape obsession? You are a creep of the greatest magnitude.

Just to do some gratuitous priest-bashing... how many of those young male victims were wearing miniskirts, Mr Rooke?

By Longtime Lurker (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Absolutely brilliant! Of all the myriad ways I imagined you could deal with this cracker, I can't think of a more appropriate ending.

Ale #316:
"Just start subjecting ALL ideas that are presented to you to this very same treatment."

Ahh, but I do. I will grant Dr. Myers the same level of evidence I accept from the apostles and their disciples: if an actual eyewitness (e.g. the person who gave him the host) or someone with direct contact with the eyewitness (e.g., presumably, Dr. Myers himself), is willing to die rather than recant his claim that the host was consecrated, I will be convinced that it was, in fact, consecrated.

Couldn't have been done with any more style or substance. PZ, you're awesome.

whoops apology for repeated posts, the servers seem to have reached their final hour.

perfect . . .

By merkin j. pus-tart (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I am shocked and outraged by your treatment of The God Delusion. That was unnecessary and hurtful to my beliefs.

Now, I'll have to kill you in some painful and horrific way. I'm a little busy at work right now, so it might have to wait. hmmm. Come to think of it, I'm on the west coast, so it's a little far for me to travel to... whatever state you're in. I hear there's states other than California and Los Vegas, but I don't know what they are... It would really help if you came here. Perhaps I could give you a good killing over lunch. I know a fantastic sushi place you'll just love. Tuesdays and Thursdays are best for me. Just give your number to my people, and they'll set something up for us.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

Jonathan

How DARE you desecrate the holy writ of our Lord and Savior, Richard Dawkins? You will surely burn! BURRRRRN!

...you know. If you, like... go to the beach. And don't bring suntan lotion.

Excellent!

A post for the ages.

I don't know why you had to waste a perfectly good copy of The God Delusion to prove your point? At least that book is geared towards opening minds.

With that said, well done.

@106
"The God Delusion is about what we don't believe; the Eucharist and the Koran are symbols of what other people do believe. I would've preferred a genuine work of science to be among the desecratees.
Vivek"

Wouldn't the banana count since it has been scientifically engineered to reach its current edible-tasty state? Not to mention the trash can itself and the book pages and the ink on the pages and the coffee grounds and the rust reaction with the metals of the nail are a direct "symbol" of "scientism", wait, the cracker, too, used science to be "created". Don't forget about the breath PZ was exhaling and inhaling while he did this, that counts as science as well.
I guess we desecrate science every freaking day.

Not that there's any substantial difference between the consecrated and unconsecrated version

Wait, PZ! Didn't you mean there isn't any TRANSsubstantial difference?

And I heartily applaud including part of The God Delusion in this "public desecration". About the only thing missing was a page from Origin of the Species. Oh well -- can't have everything. Besides, it looked like your trashcan was getting full.

The prologue was worth the price of admission!

Congratulations on a spectacular non-event of less-than-epic proportions.

John

Have you ever heard of keeping things brief?

PZ Myers, you turned this into an object lesson. Bravo.

By Dr Doctor (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

imagine reading all of #355 and staying awake.

By Alexander Treseder (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

John,

Nice copypasta. Do you feel better now?

By TripMaster Monkey (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

PZ - it'd be cool if the entire episode could be recapped with highlights so I can pass it along (like to my kids) without making people wade through 1,000s of comments.

My only fear is that PZ has jumped the shark.

So, John at #355, are the contorted scribblings of deluded old men supposed to scare us?

"No desecration would have taken place were the host not consecrated, and thus no Catholic would even bother to notice. Yet, PZ claims the host was consecrated. Let him prove hi8s claim. Nobody has to believe it is the body of Christ for the act of consecration is a public act perfomed by a Catholic priest.

So, where's the proof, or is this place not about science after all?"

TG, that's a silly detail. The fact that the presence or absence of hand-waving and Latin mumbling near the cracker has any affect on whether Catholics should be pissed off or not just goes to highlight how incredibly stupid this mythology really is.

Just saw the proof video! This is not a matter of faith anymore! Thanks PZ, thanks mysterious dude! GOOD JOB!

Hey PZ, can you delete that long bullshit post that John made?

@ #373

Ahh, but I do. I will grant Dr. Myers the same level of evidence I accept from the apostles and their disciples: if an actual eyewitness (e.g. the person who gave him the host) or someone with direct contact with the eyewitness (e.g., presumably, Dr. Myers himself), is willing to die rather than recant his claim that the host was consecrated, I will be convinced that it was, in fact, consecrated.

That is only evidence for the strength of their beliefs. It's not evidence for the truth of their beliefs.

Very nice post. And you've handled the whole incident with remarkable restraint.

By Savagemutt (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

The only sacrilege in this case is a possible waste of food calories. If it had been a jar of peanut butter, that would have been MUCH worse.

By Happy Girl 300 (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

What a wild ride!

By Mohamed(real) (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I have been following this brouhaha with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I agree that PZ Myers' actions have instructive value; sometimes it's salutary for somebody to blatantly challenge our assumptions in a flamboyant fashion. On the other hand, I am uncomfortable with deliberate attempts to hurt other people's feelings. Let's face it, Mr. Myers' actions do hurt the feelings of Catholics and are intended to do so. Does the educational value of Mr. Myers' actions outweigh the emotional hurt inflicted? I don't know. It is fundamental to human nature that nobody learns without some pain. The advance of civil rights in the 1960s took place only by inflicting some pain upon racists. It was justifiable because the pain they inflicted through their racism was greater than the emotional discomfort that was wrought upon them to change their ways. But does the diffuse injury to society inflicted by religion justify the specific emotional pain the Mr. Myers visits upon Catholics? I don't know.

My greatest concern, however, is not with the mainstream reaction to Mr. Myers' actions, but with the reactions from the wingnuts. There will surely be Catholics who react with ugly ferocity, and these few may further polarize the cultural response. Mr. Myers is taking a significant risk here; while I admire his courage, I fear that violence directed against him will polarize the situation and make healthy progress more difficult.

There is an opportunity for a positive result in all this: if members of the Catholic community firmly and loudly declare that the essence of Christianity demands that Catholics turn the other cheek and love Mr. Myers as much as they love themselves, then the nobler side of religion will be asserted and perhaps some progress will be made against the ignoble side of religion. At this point, the ball is in their court. The challenge has been placed upon them: is Catholicism a religion of love or a superstitious tribe? I retain some small optimism that perhaps the outcome will a happy one.

By Erasmussimo (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

It's all just stuff. That says it all.

John (#355), thanks for the spam, but next time please just provide a link. Several screens of copying and pasting is a bit much.

PZ, that was one of the most brilliant posts I have ever read, thank you so much for this!

Congratulations on the desecration, I hope it leads to mass cracker killings all around the nation.

Well done, PZ. A wonderful essay and an appropriate final act to the drama.

What a wild ride!

@John (www.catholic.com)

Come on, man! That was infantile. Am I posting the entire TimeCube page over at your blog? No, I did not think so... So why do you do it here?

Bravo. I generally thought all of this was well done and am quite pleased how the ending came about. There was definite proof that it occurred, although the cracker blends into the pages in the picture. You have to find the nail, then look for the cracker on the nail. I normally wouldn't have agreed with the nail, seemed a tad overboard, but made it very easy to see that there was indeed a dry, tasteless looking cracker at the end of said nail.
All in all, bravo.

if you mean germany as a catholic nation 70 years ago, that's wrong, germany was (is) majority protestant (more then than now, as more secular germans have protestant than catholic background).

#1: Spain and Poland are both better contenders for what PZ was rattling on about.

#2: Look up the difference between 'majority' and 'plurality'. The latter is what Protestants in Germany are. The former is what they are not.

In fact, the single largest Christian denomination in Germany is Catholicism. Only when all Protestant denominations are added together do they outnumber the Catholics. And not by a whole lot.

By Sarcastro (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

The scene looks carefully staged what with the nail over two title pages that are facing us with the other trash off to the side. You are a schemer, PZ.

I think its time to impliment a maximum limit to the length of a post due to people like John. Here I was going along reading posts and BAM... A huge pile of words fell on me >.>

Fuck you, John.

Still working my way through the comments but wanted to get my "Bravo!" in here while the thread was still open.

I really like that any Catholic furbrains will have to try to read through the history of their religion before getting to the meat of the post. Perhaps one of them will get a bit of enlightenment...

Bravo. I generally thought all of this was well done and am quite pleased how the ending came about. There was definite proof that it occurred, although the cracker blends into the pages in the picture. You have to find the nail, then look for the cracker on the nail. I normally wouldn't have agreed with the nail, seemed a tad overboard, but made it very easy to see that there was indeed a dry, tasteless looking cracker at the end of said nail.
All in all, bravo.
Oh, and as a note: if a cracker is actually the body of someone (regardless of whom), Catholics are cannibals and should be thrown in jail. There have been a few cannibals in the past century who have claimed that they did it to become closer to God. Lovely, lovely religion you people have going on. Yeesh.

#79 - LOL!!

#355 John: nice copy and paste job. Now please go preach your neighbor's cows - and don't forget to pray for them.

To the actual topic: I'm impressed. PZ gave the whole story a excellent final turn, I can identify myself with - though I'm certainly far more respectful of religions than he is.

Well Done PZ. Let the religious beat thier chests and stand on their hind legs. Unlike real apes, they are nothing to fear.

Kudos,

TS

By TS Loosli (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well said, Professor. Thank you.

"Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanities' knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality. You will not find wisdom in rituals and sacraments and dogma, which build only self-satisfied ignorance, but you can find truth by looking at your world with fresh eyes and a questioning mind."

If you actually read Christian Scripture, you will see Jesus encouraging his followers to do EXACTLY THIS. That fact that humans, in all our wonderful wisdom, ignore Jesus call and teaching, doesn't mean he isn't right. He ate, afterall, with tax collectors and prostitutes, some of the most reviled people of his day.

John, go touch yourself, you're annoying.

Again with the copypasta, John?

Thanks for verifying you have nothing to contribute. I was going to ask you to discuss what you had posted, but now I see you're not really equipped for that sort of rational discussion.

PZ, could you please remove John's novels from the comments page? Thx.

By TripMaster Monkey (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

The challenge has been placed upon them: is Catholicism a religion of love or a superstitious tribe? I retain some small optimism that perhaps the outcome will a happy one.

Posted by: Erasmussimo

In the great ledger sheet of Catholicism's virtues and vices, history would seem to trump optimism every time.

Does this count as art? You might be able to get someone to buy your trash can.

It is appropriate that PZ destroyed books. Recall the library of Alexandria was burned by religious fanatics. I believe that the Catholic Church even canonized someone for the deed.

@#393

That is only evidence for the strength of their beliefs. It's not evidence for the truth of their beliefs.

Granted. This is why I stipulated that those professing the beliefs be eyewitnesses or have direct contact with eyewitnesses. I tend to believe eyewitness accounts when they are so strongly believed.

Hey, PZ is a comedian! To us Catholics, transubstantiation is *exactly* the difference. It is a wafer of wheat with the exactly the same form and taste as before the consecration, but after consecration the form is still of wheat but the substance is now the Body of Christ.

That is meaningless. It is just an abuse of the English language. What you are in effect saying is that it is both the same and different. That is simply nonsensical. What properties does it have after consecration that it did not have before ? If there are no physical differences then there is no difference. Did you not do science at school or something ? There is an important concept in science, that basically states if you cannot tell two things apart then they are identical.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Fuck, we need a block user option. Spammer StJohn is a shitbag.

PZ,

I too would like to add my sentiments before the thread gets too full. Well done!

By Cardinal Shrew (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Hey, I think I see the face of Jesus weeping in the banana peel. Seriously, though, I'm glad this is over. Enough of Wafergate.

Am I the only one that thinks John's long ass post can be aptly characterized as WHITE NOISE?

Someone's IP address needs to be banned.

Fucktard.

Wow... attacking FOUR sacred cows at once! The communion, the koran, the god delusion, and English grammar. I believe you meant to say "Humanity's knowledge," that is, the knowledge of just one humanity (say hooray to our friend, the collective noun!).

Just kidding with the spelling flame, of course--though if there's one thing that inflames my irrationality it's the desecration of the sacred apostrophe. Very good post, well written, showing excellent insight into the history of the issue--I only wish Xians showed as much insight into the history of their religion. Wanted to chime in and and that, ha ha, I won the betting pool around here, I suspected you'd throw it in the trash.

This whole thing started out as kind of childish, but it ended up fairly moving. Like a lot of your more thoughtful pieces, it ended up coming across as moving in the same way that a good church service does. (Note: I was raised Unitarian, this has shaped my perception of the way a church service Should Be. If you don't argue about it at least all the way home afterward, it wasn't any good.)

Good luck, PZ. Hope none of the violent crazies are also motivated. You might want to consider hiring a ninja.

What kind of idiot is this? He did it again! 3 times now!

Killfile Dungeon! <\b>

John:

tl;dr

By J.D. Hutton (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Delete the spammer(s), please. It is clear that when pressed to think for themselves, they resort to drowning themselves in mind-numbing blocks of meaningless text. Fine, but no reason the rest of us need to drown as well.

fuckin' A. Bravo, PZ. Though significant on a symbolic level, what you have done is so trivial, no, of no import WHATSOEVER compared to the vile barbarism perpetrated in the name of Catholicism. I single that one out just because they're the only ones who give a fuck about this goddamn cracker, and they've been so gracious as to show through their recent comments that vile barbarism is apparently alive and well in the ranks of the faithful. Good luck, and Reason-speed.

Love it

As always, PZ is a teacher. And an accomplished writer. I did not know about the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 which led to repeated murders of Jews. Murdered because superstitious Christians believed bread could be Jesus.

By the way, I eagerly await publication of his book.

By ThirtyFiveUp (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

"No way! Bananas have to be brown to taste right. Chiquita says so!"

All right, NOW we got blasphemy on our hands. Bananas are best when they have just a little green still on them. Only the fool in his heart says otherwise.

(Although browned bananas are still useful for making things like banana bread.)

You know, for all this gnashing of teeth over "where's the proof of consecration?" or "I thought this site was about SCIENCE and EVIDENCE" and "you're just accepting Myers' word on FAITH that it was real," whatever... There's one critical difference between accepting the word of, say, a priest, and accepting the word of PZ. PZ, unlike the priest, has demonstrated frequently and repeatedly that he is honest and credible, and, speaking for myself, I have no reason to doubt him now. Similarly, unlike, say, a religious zealout, Pharyngula enthusiasts, if faced with EVIDENCE that their trust was misplaced, will own up to their error.

A very nice post, PZ - a fitting way to end the madness. Now: more cephalopods, please! :)

Well played, PZ but I still think you should have copied some text from the Koran onto the cracker and fed it to a willing Jewish person...maybe along with some bacon and a good beer.

I love the Monty Python references. Although I disagree with your need provoke catholics I would agree with most of what you said. I mean death treats over a cracker. You can't make this stuff up.

The spammer is a sock puppet. He's used at least 3 names. I'm strongly against censorship, but I don't think deleting spam and deleting sock puppets is censorship.

@ #428

Granted. This is why I stipulated that those professing the beliefs be eyewitnesses or have direct contact with eyewitnesses. I tend to believe eyewitness accounts when they are so strongly believed.

Yet in the case of Christianity you accept edited, translated, censored versions of second- or third-hand (or possibly more) eyewitness testimony.

One thing people are missing here is that there's two competing theories - that it was consecrated, or that it wasn't - and you need to compare the evidence for the two, not just demand evidence for one until it meets your expectations.

If you think it wasn't consecrated, present your evidence.

Ye Gods, this 'John' bloke is getting rather annoying. To the Dungeon with him!

Exitus

Come on, PZ! Spamming, morphing, insipidity, godbotting... this must be a record: The idiot got himself into Dungeon-worthy shape after a handful of posts!

Thank you so much for doing this. You are a hero to anyone who actually uses their brain to think. Another reason for me to be proud of living in liberal Minneapolis is this happened right in my city! Ohhhh, you must plan something new!!!

By Minneapolitian (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

fuckin' A. Bravo, PZ. Though significant on a symbolic level, what you have done is so trivial, no, of no import WHATSOEVER compared to the vile barbarism perpetrated in the name of Catholicism. I single that one out just because they're the only ones who give a fuck about this goddamn cracker, and they've been so gracious as to show through their recent comments that vile barbarism is apparently alive and well in the ranks of the faithful. Good luck, and Reason-speed.

Well done!!!

By Melinda Dillon (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Way to go, PZ! I'm very happy with what you've done. You very eloquently hit the nail on the head.

1) I see somebody found out how to cut and paste. How unfortunate.

2) This seems like an appropriate ending. Someone might learn something from it (it wasn't just to annoy people), or at least, know where you stand. Of course, the multithousand post threads indicate that there isn't very much willingness to listen or to learn anything, so the show goes on (sort of).

Although, realizing this, it sounds too much like the dialogue between the kid and Arnold in the desert scene in Terminator 2: "We're not going to make it, are we?"

Hopefully you will go back through your trash and recycle properly.

Otherwise best thread yet. Another step in dismantling the stupidity of gods.

For all of you hoping for the long threads of catholics and religious, I laugh! Out of the first 100 I've read there was one, maybe a questionable two. The others, just a bunch of attention starved children, led by a man who is still hoping to get noticed. Bravo, bravo- Out of these post, all of the threads- you yourselves have accounted for 90% of your own grandstanding.

I'd still say that turning the flesh of jesus into poop is more offensive. And that's what these catholics are doing every sunday! Unbelievable! Damn cannibals!

fuckin' A. Bravo, PZ. Though significant on a symbolic level, what you have done is so trivial, no, of no import WHATSOEVER compared to the vile barbarism perpetrated in the name of Catholicism. I single that one out just because they're the only ones who give a fuck about this goddamn cracker, and they've been so gracious as to show through their recent comments that vile barbarism is apparently alive and well in the ranks of the faithful. Good luck, and Reason-speed.

Well played, sir. I raise a glass in your honor. Your words, both well chosen and articulated, almost made the closing image anticlimactic. Almost.

By fontinalis (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Well played, PZ, well played.

Done with finesse and grace, Dr. Myers.

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I wish Catholics would make half the fuss over the Church's shameful, deadly policies regarding family planning in third-world countries as they do about snack desecration.

Destruction of a cracker: an outrage.
Death of Africans: whatev.

Andy:

Generally, the US is much less vigilant about proper waste disposal than Germany. We're pretty wasteful. Here, we recycle paper, cans and bottles, and not a lot else. Many recycling plants don't process assorted Verpackungen stuff. And I don't know of any sanitation department that handles biological waste; you have to take care of that yourself with a compost heap in the backyard (if you have a backyard, that is---if you live in an apartment, forget about it!). If you want to be eco-friendly, it requires a lot more effort on your part. It stinks.

I was amazed to find out how particular waste disposal was in Germany. I think it's great! I wish we did stuff like that, but I suppose it would cost a fair amount of money and we just don't have the public funds as the taxes are so much lower and all.

I'd have desecrated a watermelon too (since they're yummy and in season) and a copy of Atlas Shrugged. Except that in my town, paper, banana peels and metal all go in different bins.

By the other Adam (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

In the paraphrased words of our Lord, forgive him Father, he does not know what he is doing. PZ I humbly suggest that you seriously consider repenting.

Remember that the God who made you and I both has said "I will repay".

Holy crap... what's the comment length cap? I like being able to post a length comment now and again, but BnotAfraid takes the cake for long comments. Then again, copy-and-pasting a comment is kind of cheating, no?

Is that jesus' likeness I see there in the banana peel?

What's the character limit on this blog anyway? Whatever it is, it's too high.

By kryptonic (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

This deserves a fucking Pulitzer.

Devastating.

Bravo, PZ.

I hope there's one more thing theists of all kind take home from this: hate or desire to hurt someone was never PZ's motivation nor goal. If you think so, or feel deeply hurt by this article, it's time to take off the blinders and do some serious soul searching.

Shame, though. It would've been great to time the desecration with the coming solar eclipse. ;)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/07/080722-solar-eclipse.ht…

In the words of Brian:

You're all individuals!

What? You DARE DESECRATE THE GOD DELUSION? I loved that book! And the Banana! What did it ever do to you?
That is an outrage!

No Soup for you!

I'll bet you wouldn't have the balls to do that to the Eucharist or the Quran... oh, wait... you did. Well then. Never mind.

Oh, and well said! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm having a sacred cow for lunch, and I think I'll have it with some bacon.

By Kergillian (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Make ready the lacy, gently wafting curtains in the dungeon for John!

Hmm. Personally, I prefer recycling for the paper products, and composting for the coffee grounds, banana peels and crackers.

By cyborgsuzy (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

#68 oops... "unrational" isn't even a word. I meant irrational or, better yet, unreasonable. I was in a hurry to break the top 100. PZ's much more eloquent than I am... which leads me to ask PZ... when can we look forward to a book of your thoughts on science and religion? Maybe see you for Sunday brunch at Q.Cumbers... again, well done PZ!

By SteadyEddy (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

You done 'dem crackers wrong, but why throw away a banana when it's just getting good.

PZ, You've been traveling a lot lately, and I hope you have been taking the bibles out of the rooms when you check out. I use them in my paper fired charcoal starter and they work great. Better than newspaper.

PZ I humbly suggest that you seriously consider repenting.

You're full of shit. Humility and sanctimony aren't compatible.

@ #450:

Epic Win!

"Hmm... some smart guy. Talk about being totally stupid, I can only think of God's mercy toward this guy is going to be a baseball bat to his head so he finally gets it through that head of his that the Eucharist is Jesus."

Posted by both : someone221 and Interested reader.

Here's a clue for ya. If your going to use Sockpuppetry, try changing the words a little so we may think it's not the same person... god, you people really are dumb as a box of rocks aren't ya.

For all of you hoping for the long threads of catholics and religious, I laugh! Out of the first 100 I've read there was one, maybe a questionable two. The others, just a bunch of attention starved children, led by a man who is still hoping to get noticed. Bravo, bravo- Out of these post, all of the threads- you yourselves have accounted for 90% of your own grandstanding.

I hope that was an organic banana, PZ.

And shade-grown, fair-trade, organic coffee.

And please remember to recycle that paper!

Three cheers for the trashing and desecration of that moronic symbol of Catholic stupidity.

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Just wait until that strident Dawkins guy hears about this...

By onclepsycho (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Amen PZ.

"There can be no danger of excess in our care for this mystery, for "in this sacrament is recapitulated the whole mystery of our salvation"."

I think John has taken the bolded part to heart. But Pope Rat was wrong.

(Yes, I read the screed. At least, some of it. FSM help me!)

And, Bravo, PZ!

I guess it had to be anti-climatic. After all, I can't think of any possible way to be truly evil to a cracker.

P.S.: You're conclusion is the best thing I've read all year. Cheers.

Praise FSM!

For all of you hoping for the long threads of catholics and religious, I laugh! Out of the first 100 I've read there was one, maybe a questionable two. The others, just a bunch of attention starved children, led by a man who is still hoping to get noticed. Bravo, bravo- Out of these post, all of the threads- you yourselves have accounted for 90% of your own grandstanding.

What? You DARE DESECRATE THE GOD DELUSION? I loved that book! And the Banana! What did it ever do to you?
That is an outrage!

No Soup for you!

I'll bet you wouldn't have the balls to do that to the Eucharist or the Quran... oh, wait... you did. Well then. Never mind.

Oh, and well said! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm having a sacred cow for lunch, and I think I'll have it with some bacon.

By Kergillian (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

I love the Monty Python references. I disagree about how you approached this, being rude on purpose about meaningless things does not strike me as the right thing to do. I do agree that the responses are 50 times worse than any thing I would have imagined. I mean death threats over a cracker? You can not make this stuff up.

#310 Pete Rooke: Suppose you had a very sacred book outlining your philosophy on life. This book also happened to be stitched together and bound in the skin and flesh of a loved one who had recently passed away.

Now desecrating the Eucharist would have the same effect as desecrating that book and posting the evidence in glee.

Which just goes to show how incredibly stupid and silly your view of your cracker is. Your cracker is not the skin or flesh of a loved one, or anyone else. It's a cracker, that you fantasize you have transformed into something else by virtue of a medievalist superstitious ritual. In terms of reality, it is still a cracker, no matter what gibberish and hand-waving spell-casting some man in robes does over it.

Honestly, do you really think these cartoon analogies constitute impressive arguments?

Gratuitous and stupid. And that's coming from an agnostic who never received any formal religious instruction.

By Dav Laurel (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

John you git, you owe me a new scroll wheel.

By Dave Godfrey (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Nice one, PZ!

I just hope this doesn't spur one or another set of nutters to actually take a ction against you or yours.....please be careful.

As for that Tony Philips nobhead (#329), he's wrong. Before learning to think for myself, I was brought up a catholic, and was an altar boy (not of my own volition). The consistency of the crackers varies remarkably with age/humidity etc. Some would indeed shatter, but some, especially newer ones, could be bent in half without breaking. We used to use them as micro-frisbees, and they wouldn't break.

Being a catholic is like having rabies when nearly everyone else has distemper, and only a few are healthy.

By Paul Hands (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Contrary to other opinions, and assuming from the position of prominence that recent consumption had taken place, that banana was just about perfect.

JC

Hey, what do you know. Another thing God perfectly designed a banana to do! ;)

Hard to grasp, but posts 419 and 457 were even more fucking ridiculous as post 482.

Psst, John - NO ONE IS READING ANYTHING YOU POST.

god and his army of Johns, StLukes, BNotAfraid etc. knows how to make a denial of service attack?

god, you have really impressed me - such allmightyness forces me to reconsider my atheism...

Loud applause.Standing "O".For the article not the fracking cracker.I wonder if the cat-licks teach that part of their past on Sundays?