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July 12, 2008

Bill Donohue and the Catholic League bully PZ Myers over Eucharist joke

When PZ Myers joking suggested that his readers steal communion wafers, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League went ballistic.

PZ made the joke because he was exasperated by media reports of a Florida university student receiving death threats for walking out of church with some unconsumed Eucharist. Ironically, PZ was standing up for the rights of a Catholic student who was being harassed by fellow Catholics.

For the record, the student, Webster Cook, didn't even steal the wafer, it was given to him. Cook is Catholic and is entitled to receive communion.

He says he didn't intend to desecrate the wafer. He just wanted to show it to his non-Catholic friend, whom he had invited to church, before consuming it. It was an unorthodox move, but hardly a hate crime.

Cook says he only walked out with the cracker after a church member saw him take the blessed cracker and physically assaulted him in an attempt to retrieve the wafer. If that's what happened, good for him for walking out. People are free to worship however they like, but that freedom doesn't extend to enforcing their own rules by force.

PZ was joking about desecrating the Eucharist. In his view, the sheer absurdity of death threats over a cracker called for an equally outrageous rhetorical response. Along the lines of: Oh, yeah, I'll desecrate ten crackers Live! on the Internets!!!, what are you going to do about it?

It's called hyperbole, a tactic often used in the these "jokes" the kids enjoy nowadays. Bill Donohue is from an era when any harsh word against the church was punishable heresy. Somewhere there's an Inquisition missing its Inquisitor.

PZ called out bullying by attempting to provoke an even more disproportionate response from the fanatics. He succeeded.

Donohue and his ilk wrap themselves in the mantle of religious freedom, but they don't give a damn about the other part of the First Amendment: freedom of expression.
Some well-intentioned liberals get sucked in by the Catholic League's main rhetorical trick which is to construe any criticism or mockery as a hate crime.

The Catholic League likes to attack the livelihoods of people who criticize them, or run afoul of their proprietary vision of acceptable discourse about the Catholic Church. Donohue and his minions are doing their best to get PZ fired from the University of Minnesota.

Donohue has no religious credentials of his own and no official connection to the Catholic Church. He's not a priest, he's not a theologian. He's just a self-aggrandizing bully who likes to rail against celebrities and get bloggers fired. Why anyone takes him seriously is beyond me. Donohue managed to whip up a minor moral panic around Amanda Marcotte's joke about the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit--as if he and the Catholic League holds the copyright on the Virgin, like Disney does for Mickey Mouse!

For Donohue to construe that remark as hateful towards Catholics should be enough to permanently disqualify him as a cultural critic. Mockery isn't hatred. Being crass isn't a crime. 

Clearly, Bill Donohue can't take a joke. He is the self-appointed defender of one of the richest and most powerful organizations in human history and he has assigned himself the task of policing snark by atheist bloggers. Donohue's complete lack of perspective makes him ridiculous in the truest sense of the word.

If he had more shame, or less money, Donohue would be totally irrelevant.

I wonder how the Catholic League feels about the sale communion wafers as diet snacks in heavily-Catholic Quebec...

Making fun of people who liken the removal of a communion wafer to kidnapping and hostage-taking is A-OK in my book--especially when these folks seem surprisingly unconcerned about the alleged physical assault that preceded the removal, or the death threats that followed.

The Catholic League claims to be a civil rights organization. Yet it consistently targets high-profile atheists like Amanda Marcotte and PZ Myers and attempts to get them fired.  Draw you own conclusions. 

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Well, you could always do it the Catholic way, through the violent encouragement of fear and ignorance.

Looks like you're well on your way:
From LB's ignorant labeling of the consecrated host as a "cracker" (get it? Like white trash/crackers) to Myer's joke (why can't you see the ha-ha here?) encouraging others to disrupt religious worship and fan the flames of religious warfare by recommending folks steal sacred objects for their own use.

Really folks, if you're going to be critical, at least educate yourselves to what you're talking about. And if you want to avenge the Crusades, or continue carping about those who object to the Marcotte's and Myer's of the world and have the strengh in numbers to have their voices heard ... well good luck with that one.

Usually, when you have enough confidence and strenght in your own convictions, you're better able to let what others do in the privacy of their own homes and institutions pass. Remember, the Catholics weren't handing out crackers on the street to Cook; he chose to enter and thus must play by the rules. Namely that you don't walk off with the consecrated host, anymore than you would steal religious items (of whatever monetary worth as you might see fit) from a temple or any other religious place of worship. I don't think the Catholics are so fearful of the Myers' and Cook's of the world that they'll change their "open door" policy, though.

You might educate yourselves too on all the good things Catholic institutions have done and continue to do throughout the world. Free of charge to the lesser. So that when you are capable of organizing and holding core beliefs like the Christians, you undersand just what the "competition" (in your eyes apparently) has been up to, for years and years.

ps. And remember to respect the law too, whether you agree with it or not. Or work to change it peacefully, without taking the law into your own hands. That's a core American belief, no?

A 9–0 Supreme Court decision in Wisconsin v. Southworth (1999), in conjunction with the decision in Rosenberger v. University of Virginia (1996), ensures that student organizations must be funded without regard to the message they propound (in other words, that funding decisions should adhere to the principle of content neutrality.

Maybe educate yourselves a bit, folks? It won't hurt.

Really Mary?

Does the Catholic church encourage open and honest debate about their policies and practices?

That'll be news to that Galileo guy ... how many centuries did it take for the Catholics to un-do that whole heliocentric deal?

The lack of rationality inherent in religious belief systems runs counter the healthy functioning of a free and educated democracy.

Bill Donohue, like Jerry Fallwell or Mullah Mohammed Omar et al hold the people back, not move us forward.

"The world will not be truly free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest", Voltaire.

Oh, and Mary, usually when you have enough confidence and strength in your own convictions, you don't blow a gasket when people make jokes about your magic cookie.

Imagine if someone had offered money for a Torah stolen from a temple for the (joking) purpose of desecrating it. I think there would be plenty of Catholics calling for his resignation there as well.

This is a pretty awful analogy. A better one would be to suppose that a temple willingly handed out a copy of the Torah to anyone who promised to, say, read it for an hour every day, only to have someone not do with it exactly as they had intended. Calling it "stealing" is a level of hysteria that blemishes whatever legitimate criticisms of Meyers that might exist.

Does the Catholic church encourage open and honest debate about their policies and practices?

Yes, as a matter of fact, they do. For those practicing Catholics working within the system. Do you really think there is some obligation for the Church to open it's doors, policies and practices up to the criticisms of non-believers who are not shy about their dreams of destroying it? Lol, silly rabbit! Tricks are for kids...

If y'all think your support of Cook or Myer's actions here is really constructive criticism or a peaceful tool in advancing your agenda of "encourage open and honest debate", I recommend you reread your Ghandhi and King practical manifestos on non-violent protest. Because what you're "encouraging" here clearly does not fall into that vein.

Even the ACT UP protestors throwing blood on Church steps believed they had a good reason to disregard working within the sytsem, peacefully and respectfully for change -- namely the AIDS that was wiping their community out. But what is the corresponding haste to not act thoughtfully and think out in advance the effects your efforts to "encourage open and honest debate" will have? This, my friends, is not helpful to beginning such a conversation with those outside our faith.

You might educate yourself on interfaith dialogues amongst different communities, and the roles the Church has played in recent years to make that happen, instead of thinking up performance art pieces like this to challenge Catholics to reexamine their beliefs.

And remember: that Chruch door still remains open to the Myers', Beyerstain's, and heck, even the Marcotte's and Cook's of the world, in your time of need and indeed anytime you want to come in respectfully to see what it is you apparently are missing out on. But at the first sign of pissing on the floor, so to speak, be expected to be escorted out, because you're in a private respectful place that can only be maintained of people agree to play by the rules.

You don't see us "infiltrating" your secret society's and stealing and desecrating your relics now, in the name of making an Important Point about a Supreme Court ruling now, do you? Actions have consequences. Grow up and learn it sooner rather than later? Private property and respect for it is a key American value -- as is tolerance of those whose beliefs differ from your own.

Say, why does it seem you always seek to challenge the poor Catholics anyway in your quest to make a mockery of the religious? Too afraid to take on the other faiths, or you know you'd be put off the property much sooner, even before it got to this stage in the game? Just curious...

"Yes, as a matter of fact, they do. For those practicing Catholics working within the system."

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!

FAIL!

Your faith can either stand up to rigorous questioning, or it can't.

Thank you for playing Mary, there's some lovely consolation prizes for you, including a home version of the game, and a life time as a second class citizen within your own religion due to gender.

And as far as that " ... practicing Catholics working within the system," BS goes, let me tell you about how well that worked for me when I got into this argument with a nun concerning black's voting rights when I was in Catholic school.

Lol. I don't see anyone blowing a gasket here.

The First Amendment both guarantees the practice (or not) of one's chosen religion, as well as Freedom of Speech.

Clearly, Donahue and any Catholic/unaffiliated person who disagrees with Myers' and Cook's tactics here is free to publicize this silly incident, and call for their outing from their home institutions, no?

I'm glad Marcotte got fired because her words and actions did a disservice to John Edwards' campaign. I'm glad Donahue is pressing to have Myers' dismissed from UM-Morris (not the flagship UM, it should be noted.) I hope Cook gets a lot of verbal hassle for what he did, and learns (like LB) why it's not just a .30cent "cracker" and no big whoopie. Of course we have the right to respond respectfully, with words, to the downplaying of what occurred here, and the encouraging of it to happen again in the future.

To me, these responses are perfectly acceptable non-violent practices. If there are legitimate "death threats" being issues, you should prosecute them individually and take care not to confuse them (in your fear perhaps?) with practicing non-Catholics who have the highest respect for life.

I really do think if you educated yourself, or even regularly attended Mass staying seated for Communion if you haven't taken steps to qualify yourself, you'd be a lot less frightened of us, and would clear up some of the ignoraces some of you here seem to enjoy clinging to.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!

FAIL!

Your faith can either stand up to rigorous questioning, or it can't.

Lol, how's that song go? "I'm Still Standing..." And as I looked around my multicultural parish this morning, it seems there are plenty more out here like me.

when I got into this argument with a nun concerning black's voting rights when I was in Catholic school.
Thank you for revealing the reasons for your seeming emotionalism on this issue. You might seek psychological help if you've been carring the yoke alone for so long, or perhaps educate yourself on all the Catholic Church's (successful) history of work on social justice issues.

And if you perhaps need an introduction to a black practicing Catholic or two, or even a non-Catholic black child currently enrolled within our successful school system, I'd be happy to help. The goal isn't conversion, btw, in the case of the latter -- it's a hand extended in good will so the children can receive a quality academic education and learn to help themselves up out of often dire circumstances. Funny how you liberals never seem to see those situations though, and believe that shutting down the Churches alone is your salvation.

If you can't or won't put the effort forth to be respectful or work within the system so to speak, please just take care not to put too much faith in these performance art pieces. Trust me, they really aren't helping your cause any, as I believe John Edwards came to realize, perhaps a bit too late...

there's some lovely consolation prizes

Oh, and please donate any offerings you might have for me to the charity of your choice.

I've got my eyes on the True Prize, so to speak, and have no need for your consolation trinkets.

A better one would be to suppose that a temple willingly handed out a copy of the Torah to anyone who promised to, say, read it for an hour every day, only to have someone not do with it exactly as they had intended.

Oh, in your ignorance, this is a very poor analogy:

Cook may legitimately have thought he was acting in good faith, but any Catholic -- currently practicing or not -- will tell him, that the Eucharist is definitely not distributed weekly "to anyone who promised to, say" sit through one whole Mass!* or do with it whatever "they had intended."

* (golly gee -- that's all I have to do to receive the Lord, right? Everybody just lined up heading toward the altar, so I joined em for the day, nevermind the sacramental duties imposed on those receiving.)

Trust me on this one, the Church is not in the business of just handing out "freebie crackers", no matter how it might look to the untrained observer who came through the front doors for the first time today. It means something to us, and I really would take care in confusing our practices with those who distribute free Bibles or literature to passers by on the street.

"Calling it "stealing" is a level of hysteria that blemishes whatever legitimate criticisms of Meyers that might exist."

Hmm... when it was clear that he should not have taken the Eucharist in the first place, and did not intend to respect it, he was asked to return the property before leaving the grounds. He originally balked.

Now if this isn't "stealing", then what would you call it? Collecting? Maybe try that the next time you're in a mall and wish to make off with whatever it is the security guard is requesting you return. We might be lambs, but damned few of us are going to put semantics above our faith practices, I think.

Bruce:

He also pulled a con when he stood in line by representing himself to be a Roman Catholic rather than an atheist looking to make a statement.
That's a rather bold assertion. How do you know? Dr. Brian Cook, Webster's father, has a differing opinion, quoted on Vive Christus Rex!:
He was raised Catholic and received his First Holy Communion, as did my other two children. There are church documents to confirm this.
You may be tempted to assert that Webster had subsequently become an atheist, but I ask again: How do you know?

a life time as a second class citizen within your own religion due to gender.

I'm sorry for the continual responding here, but clearly there is so much anger and ignorance that perhaps I could help dispel here.

In our faith, Mary is elevated to a degree that often astounds others. Mothers, the sacredness of life, the worship of her -- a human, yet blessed by the divine... Many thing the "Immaculate Conception" refers to Jesus' origins; it doesn't. It refers to Mary, whom we revere.

I suspect -- just like the above commenter who is basing his notion of the Church's social justice works on his/her childhood interactions of a single teacher -- that many of you have no idea what we believe regarding the treatment of women, or homosexuals. You only know, second hand, what it is we believe or hold in elevation.

Education really is the key, I think, to fostering the above-mentioned dialogue about tolerance, inclusion, and peace. It's a shame that so many seem to get so worked up based on this ill-conceived beliefs of who we are and what we believe. Maybe try this* for starters (see any anti-women or anti-gay language in there?) or better yet, find a priest or sister who would be more than happy, I think, to disabuse you of these false notions. Because if you think, in this day and age that Catholics are an "enemy", you're really only wasting your time and hurting yourselves.

*We believe in one God,
The Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
Of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,
Eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
True God from true God,
Begotten, not made,
Of one Being with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
He came down from heaven:
By the power of the Holy Spirit
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
And was made man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day He rose again
In accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven
And is seated at the right hand of the Father
He will come again in glory to judge the loving and the dead,
And His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic (universal) and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
And the life of the world to come. Amen.

Ted,
Even if Dr. Cook's children had made the sacrament as children, clearly his boy's subsequent actions made it clear that on that particular Sunday he was not participating in the sacrament when he refused to immediately put the consecrated host in his mouth before leaving the altar, thinking he would sneak it out and show his buddies.

When then asked to return it, he refused. The fact that at one time in his childhood he had been eligible to take Communion in good standing does not erase this fact, documents of the sacrament to be later produced by his doctor father or not.

Mary, I was addressing the claim that when he joined the line he was "an atheist looking to make a statement." You have failed to respond to the point I was making. I'm not saying that you avoided it deliberately; I can accept that you may not have read my posting carefully, though my final paragraph should have tipped you off.

I suggest that a charitable person would be prepared to consider the possibility that it was after having received the wafer that he yielded to the impulse to show it to his non-Catholic friend, and that his subsequent behaviour resulted from the physical assaults upon his person. (I am not, however, suggesting that you should do so.)


Friends,

I am conflicted about this whole matter, but I'm trying to find some reasonable way to layout the issues. There are so many issues of great import: freedom of speech, religious tolerance, use of force against another, a community protecting its sacred objects, faith versus reason, threatening the loss of one's livelihood, intimidation, common courtesy and respect for others with different beliefs and behaviors.

I used to follow PZ Myers closely, especially during the height of the Intelligent Design (ID) controversy that culminated in the Dover PA decision. The ID gestapo tried to defame and discredit him, and PZ gave it back as they deserved – and then some. I am a scientist, myself, and teach psychological research methods and statistics to graduates and undergraduates.

I contributed a few times to his blog. In my last comment I congratulated him on his defense of science and Darwinian evolution and I felt he did a great service to science and education. I also told him that I did not understand why he and others who commented on his blog had to be so gratuitously hostile to religion, in general. The hostility would go beyond the immediate topics of discussion. Individuals who professed a religious faith were the objects of some terrible, over-determined, hate responses. I said that it was my personal view not to question any individual's faith. PZ didn't respond but someone else did and excoriated me for my comment. The dispenser of this vitriol-filled message of anger and hate chastised me for daring to tell other people what to do and believe. After reminding the writer that I used the words “my personal view” he cooled his tone a bit.

PZ Myers does not use humor or facetiousness for a witty retort or funny put down to an opponent's arguments. I read his post. It was his usual style of no holds barred, caustic, cutting criticism. There is nothing patently wrong with this. I just want to be clear that I do not see his post as a lot of funny, though biting, remarks that he really doesn't mean.

So, let's call a spade a spade. His remarks were terribly disrespectful to a faith community. Can anyone say he is not insulting Catholics? His second fault was to characterize Catholic belief, incorrectly, as only a symbolic representation of the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. Others in this discussion have pointed out that their belief is NOT symbolic. Some of the comments above are definitely anti-Catholic and not merely enthusiastic criticism.

I do not understand why non-believers argue with believers on the basis that their faith is not rational. By definition, faith is not rational in the absolute. It's as silly as people of faith condemning evolutionary biologists because they don't have faith in God the Creator.

PZ and everyone else has the right, which I support, to be disrespectful and insulting in their words (libel and slander notwithstanding.) But, let's not say he didn't really say that and didn't mean it.

Bill Donohue is a front man and reactionary. He siphons off the vitriol, venom, and legitimate criticism that should be directed elsewhere. Want to go after someone? Try the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who are sponsoring legislation to prevent the backward extension of the statute of limitations for sex crimes, particularly the rape of children, by priests. The are trying to limit damage awards in cases brought against the American Catholic Church. There has been no abatement in the current vehement legal actions taken by the Church against accusers following Pope Benedict's recent visit to the U.S.

The priestly hierarchy in the Catholic Church has failed to protect the faithful in its own flock. But, is there any reason to insult and show great disrespect to the faithful, themselves?

Of course PZ was being disrespectful to the Catholics who were threatening a Catholic college student's life because he acted out in church. He was also being disrespectful of Bill Donohue who makes his living off spurious controversy and bullying. I didn't think the post was funny. But ultimately it was a blog post by a guy who has been doing the over-the-top village atheist schtick for years.

It should never have become a national incident. It would never have been a national incident if it hadn't been politically convenient for Donohue--who had already elevated the scuffle at a Central Florida church into a national temper tantrum.

The worst offense in my mind is how Donohue and the Catholic League are trying to twist the record. While painting themselves as victims, they whip up popular sentiment and direct it against conveniently powerless scapegoats, this time, a college student and a blogger. The Catholic League wants to paint Cook as an atheist agitator and PZ as a credible threat to the nation's Eucharists. Because that's the kind of fearmongering that keeps Donohue in clover--and headlines.

The most disgusting thing about Donohue is that he claims to be standing up for civil rights while trammeling on the free speech of others. You don't have to approve of PZ's jokes to accept that he has a right to make them without retaliation in the form of false charges or attempts to ruin his career. Labeling his writing as "hate crime" is silencing, it's implying that he doesn't have the legal right to do something that is within his rights, even if we judge it to be offensive. Combined with a coordinated attempt to get him fired, that's a one-two punch from a well-funded national organization.

I've commented pretty extensively in defense of PZ's "threats" over at En Tequila (long debate with Jon Pieret, who raised many of the same objections raised here).

I see PZ's words as intended at face value, and fully justified under the circumstances. In short: it's true that you shouldn't knowingly violate the rules of a religious ceremony, but this particular violation was a very small social crime (a form of rudeness -- I see it as equivalent to smuggling your buffet leftovers home, and haven't been able to elicit any rational explanations of why it's worse than that) even if we don't take into account the fact that Mr. Cook had intended to properly consume the wafer after showing it to his companion.

The Catholic community's massive overreaction justifies a little punitive cracker abuse (the only way to effectively say "get over it!") since it doesn't appear that anyone in the Catholic hierarchy is interested in listening to reason. What Catholics may believe about transubstantiation must not be allowed to affect secular law or one's standing in secular society -- just as we would not grant this same privilege to Muslim law or any other religious law.

If someone with standing in the Catholic community were to approach PZ and say "Yes, my community overreacted, will you withdraw your threat of desecration if I can get Bill Donohue off your case and an apology to Mr. Cook from his church for the way he was treated?", then we might be able to work something out.

I can see not wanting to "negotiate with terrorists"... but threatening the well-being of a 1.2-cent cracker doth not a terrorist make. They claim the ritual of the Eucharist makes it more than that, but to the rest of us this is mythology and nothing more; by insisting that we treat the mythology as real or at least relevant to judging Mr. Cook's and PZ's acts, they are violating our right to live our lives rationally.

" ...that many of you have no idea what we believe regarding the treatment of women, or homosexuals."

Yeah Mary, just look at all the fine women and gays you have serving in the priesthood.

Lol, how's that song go? "I'm Still Standing..."

No you're not, you're still kneeling.

Like seemingly all organized religious types you demand respect or silence from those who do not tow the party line on a system that has been denying the very humanity of large portions of the human race for eons.

When the Catholic church starts treating we, The People - and that means ALL of The People - with respect, then maybe The People start being nicer towards the catholic church.


Lindsay,

I'm still smiling at your characterization of PZ as "...a guy who has been doing the over-the-top village atheist schtick for years." We both agree on this. I do not see this as necessarily improper. It's his style.

I don't think we have to debate it, but I see his disrespect going beyond the ones making threats and Donohue himself.

Yes, the bullies and character assassins ought to be called out and denounced.

Here's another issue about which I am not completely sure: hate crime. Only a week or two ago an American army sergeant in Iraq was using the Koran for target practice. He was reprimanded in some fashion and then shipped back to the U.S. I don't know what the Uniform Code of Military Justice says about this, but in my mind it bears some consequence and discipline. Here in the States it's clearly a First Amendment right of free expression. Is it hateful? Yes. Is it a crime? In the States, no. But, what about the disrespect shown to a sacred object of another faith in their own home country while representing the U.S.?

There are people who believe the Taliban should be drawn and quartered for the deliberate demolition of ancient Buddhist statutes in Afghanistan less than 10 years ago. The world community (including the U.N.) denounced this as an act of cultural genocide and religious desecration. What about the deliberate desecration of what Catholics regard as the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ? This is not a rhetorical question.

From what I have read I can't fault Cook, especially since he preserved the consecrated wafer and returned it without precondition to the church. I think he is entitled to an explanation for the manhandling he experienced. By the same token, I find it hard to fault those who believe the most sacred object of their worship is about to be desecrated. Should they shoot him dead? Of course not. Should they be entitled to hold him and pry open his hand to redeem their object of worship? I find it hard to deny them this limited and proportional recourse.

The argument that Cook was 'given' the Eucharist, as if it were a bulletin of church activities for the coming week, just doesn't cut it. Communion in the Catholic Church is sacrament and a ritual for the faithful. It is not unknown to the rest of the world that you cannot get on line and collect a handout as if it were an ice cream cone.

"If someone with standing in the Catholic community were to approach PZ and say "Yes, my community overreacted, will you withdraw your threat of desecration if I can get Bill Donohue off your ... "

No Woozle, they should fire Donohue for his continued, bigoted behavior, that would be a step in the right direction.

If someone like Bill Donohue is president of the Catholic League, what does that tell you about the Catholic League? Indeed, what does the continued support given to the Catholic League by the church tell you?

Don't worry, I'm sure someone will pipe up and say that Bill Donohue is doing god's work and only trying to help, and that PZ Myers is hurting humanity.

" ... but I see his disrespect going beyond the ones making threats and Donohue himself."

You DO?

PZ Myers says, in effect, it's just a piece of bread.

Another, organized, group of people are calling for him to be fired, assaulted or killed, and it's MYERS who has committed the greater sin?

Jesus Christ ...


TB,

I'm confused. Was I not clear in what I meant to communicate? Or, did you not understand the points I was making.

No, apparently I understand.

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