Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Catholic Whining About PZ's Crackers

The Rev. Fr. John Trigilio of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (membership: a whopping 600) has taking deep and furious umbrage with PZ over crackergate. He is calling for prayer and fasting:
We ask all Catholics of Minnesota and of the entire nation to join in a day of prayer and fasting that such offenses never happen again.
Or you could just burn everyone to death.
We find the actions of University of Minnesota (Morris) Professor Paul Myers reprehensible, inexcusable, and unconstitutional. His flagrant display of irreverence by profaning a consecrated Host from a Catholic church goes beyond the limit of academic freedom and free speech.
Umm, no. It is most certainly not unconstitutional. The CCC needs to brush up a bit on what the Bill of rights is for.
The same Bill of Rights which protect freedom of speech also protect freedom of religion.
And PZ's actions in no way, shape or form infringed upon any Catholic priest's right to free exercise. You can still pray, go to Mass, run Catholic schools, get shit-faced at parish festivals, molest altar boys... oh, wait: not that last one.
Attacking the most sacred elements of a religion is not free speech anymore than would be perjury in a court or libel in a newspaper.
Perjury and libel are based on the fact that the statements made/printed are false. Nothing PZ accused wing-nut Catholics of was false. They did fly completely off the handle when a student tried to show a host to a non-Catholic friend. They did then proceed to harass and threaten both the student and his friend. They did harass and threaten (quite graphically) PZ when PZ called them idiots. And he is quite within his first amendment rights in opining that "It's Just a Frackin' Cracker".
Individual freedoms are limited by the boundaries created by the inalienable rights of others. The freedom of religion means that no one has the right to attack, malign or grossly offend a faith tradition they personally do not have membership or ascribe allegiance.
Absolute, utter, mind-boggling, no-holds-barred bullshit. You have no right not to be offended. The Catholic Church, like all mystical organizations, subscribes to a lot of crazy-assed ideas. Calling a dumb idea a dumb idea is protected speech, regardless of who or what is promoting that dumb idea.
The Chancellor of the University refused to reprimand or censure the teacher, who ironically is a Biology Professor. One fails to see the relevance of the desecration of a Catholic sacrament to the science of Biology. Were Myers a Professor of Theology, there would have been at least a presumption of competency to express religious opinions in a classroom.
-As to the Chancellor: bully for him. Good job.
-As to the "irony" of PZ being a Biology professor: ...?
-As the the relevance of desecration to the science of biology: So What? Have you ever discussed that weather with other clergy? You have?! How dare you transgress upon the holy territory of meteorologists!
-As to PZ's competency: Pharyngula isn't a classroom, you stupid git. It's a blog.
Yet, for a scientist to ridicule and show utter contempt for the most sacred and precious article of a major world religion, is inappropriate, unprofessional, unconstitutional and disingenuous.
While his comments and actions were not exactly diplomatic, they were appropriate, given the subject matter: the irrational importance Catholics place on a piece of bread. That they value it more than a human life is breathtaking in its inanity. Unprofessional? He wasn't acting within his profession. Doesn't apply. Unconstitutional? Well, we've covered that. Disingenuous? How? At what point was Myers not frank or sincere about his opinions?
A biologist has no business 'dissing' any religion, rather, they should be busy teaching the scientific discipline they were hired to teach.
And you, father, are hereby prohibited from discussing anything other than Catholic theology, in any setting, ever again, since you seem to be of the opinion that one can only talk on subjects involving one's vocation.
We also pray that Professor Myers contritely repent and apologize.
Yeah, good luck on that one.

No comments: