Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thoughts on Wafergate

Most people in the atheist blogosphere have probably heard of the PZ Myers consecrated wafer saga. To recap, Dr. Myers posted a rant on his blog regarding an incident where a college student left a Catholic mass without actually eating the eucharist, but taking it with him, and has since been getting death threats.

At the end of PZ's rant, he asks people to send him eucharist wafers and he will "treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web." Now, of course, he is getting hate mail and death threats, too. A Republican delegate has even asked for extra protection at the upcoming Republican Convention because PZ only lives 150 miles away.

I don't necessarily agree with what PZ threatened to do to a consecrated cracker, because many people really do believe that this is the body of Christ. Even if I personally believe that this is just silly, blown completely out of proportion, and it really is just a cracker, obviously many people are extremely upset over this. Several people have called it a hate crime and the Catholic League press release states “It is hard to think of anything more vile than to intentionally desecrate the Body of Christ." Um...I can think of a couple. How about Catholic Priests intentionally violating trusting young children for one?

I just have a couple of questions:

  1. Shouldn't an omnipotent god be able to take care of himself?
  2. Are the wafers that were consecrated by the (evil-in-my-opinion-but-forgiven-by-Jesus) child molesting Catholic Priests still consecrated? I think I just answered my own question.


Barry Leiba said...

1. He is, of course. It's just that he (sorry... "He") does it through his followers, see.[1]

2. They're consecrated if "they" want them to be. It's all made-up stuff, so, of course, the "authorities" can make up any answers they want, any time they want. And it's all God's will.

Oh, and... I agree with you that there's little point in intentionally pissing everyone off. It's PZ's way. It's not mine, and I don't think it serves anyone well.

[1] In other words, they're all... tools.

Laurie said...

How very "loving" of him to have his followers send death threats for him.

All tools? Every Tom, Dick and Harry of them? :-) I thought they were all sheep. Some with teeth like wolves, it seems.

The Ranting Student said...

You know, it's funny.

The Catholics are always protecting their child molesting priests.

But when somebody messes with a cracker, they're the victims...or rather, their cracker.

We've got some skewed priorities.

artificialhabitat said...

Rumours of my death have been greatly exagerrated.

Thanks for your comment the other day, I've been busy moving house, then not having internet at home, plus I've just been a bit unmotivated to blog.

Also I've been spending a bit of time on that Atheist Nexus site that you may have heard about.

As for the wafer incident (I refuse, on principle, to take part in this awful cultural tradition of using '-gate' as a suffix for controversial events ;-).....) - what a stupid mess.

Laurie said...

Andrew - Whew! I was worried there for a while. You don't like adding the -gate thing because you didn't live through Watergate. It was the ONLY thing on TV for months when I was about 9 (on all three channels (yes, we only got three)), and I hated it. Er... Wait a minute.... :-)

I've been on Atheist Nexus since July 6, although I admit I shied away a bit when PZ did his "What is their game?" post.

Barry Leiba said...

He-he... three channels, yes. And remember when TV wasn't on all the time? TV channels would "sign off" late at night, and come back on in the morning.

See this post for lots more amusement in that regard.

Actually, I did live through Watergate (and Irangate and Monicagate and...), and I'm with Andrew on that point: it's become so trite to stick "-gate" on any scandal that it's just annoying. [I'm a few years older than you, though, and found Watergate to be thoroughly fascinating (and I own "All the Presidents' Men" on DVD, so I can get more of it any time I want). Imagine, the press getting the goods on the president, and forcing him to resign in disgrace. Why can't that happen today?.....]

Laurie said...

Didn't the stations (here in the U.S.) play the National Anthem when they went off the air and you got the test pattern? In fact, I think that Billy Joel's song Sleeping with the Television On from Glass Houses starts with the end of the National Anthem and then the beeeep sound.

We had a black and white TV until about 1975, and I used to stare at the snow until I could swear I could see colours in it...just shows one small thing that the mind can fool you about. I do miss the NBC peacock...

Barry Leiba said...

Yes, the national anthem. Folk singer Dean Friedman has a song called "Ariel" that refers to that:
We sat and we talked into the night
While channel 2 was signing off the air
I found the softness of her mouth
We made love to bombs bursting in air

I can't remember when we got our first colour TV, but it certainly wasn't until the mid-'70s as well. The first television program I ever saw in colour was an episode of Star Trek, "The Ultimate Computer", in 1968 — I saw it over at a friend's house, and his father made a racist comment about Dr Daystrom.

Ah, the NBC peacock. "The following program is brought to you in Living Color, on NBC."