Time for a Few Facts

Ok.  I've been reading through the swiftly growing comment threads about Catholic doctrine relating to the Eucharist (part of this series on P.Z. Myers and sacrilege) and plenty of points have been settled to my satisfaction.  It's been clear that plenty of atheists don't understand the theology of transubstantiation in detail (understandable, since it's not that relevant to our lives), but I think anyone who advocates sacrilege should do a little due diligence on the ideas they're blaspheming.   … [Read more...]

Debunking a Debunking

Ok.  There's been a controversy brewing on the "Is it so hard not to desecrate the Eucharist" post (part of the ongoing discussion of when, if ever, sacrilege is an appropriate form of protest).  March Hare has been making the case that P.Z. Myers's desecration of a consecrated wafer was meant to debunk the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.March Hare wrote: Should Catholics not be called out on the fact their faith decrees that a cracker becomes human flesh by a priest saying magic wo … [Read more...]

Defining Atheism, Defining Sacrilege (Series Index)

Prompted by a post by atheist blogger and agent provocateur P.Z. Myers, I started a conversation on this blog about the appropriate definition of atheism.  Since the conversation had started with P.Z. Myers, sooner or later it wound around to his public desecration of a consecrated wafer in 2008.I still think his actions were immoral and highly inappropriate, but many of the atheist commenters here disagreed.  You can read through all posts on this topic below, and be sure to pay special a … [Read more...]

Is it so hard not to desecrate a Eucharist?

More responses to my claim that atheists ought not desecrate the Eucharist a la P.Z. Myers,  Let's start with  one quick clarification:  NFQ took issue with me analogizing P.Z. Myer's destruction of a consecrated wafer to the desecration of cremated ashes saying: I think there's a tricky aspect about your analogy to cremated remains. You can just buy a package of communion wafers. They mass-produce them in factories. I think it would certainly be rude to break into a church, steal their stash of … [Read more...]

Desecration Follow-up: Considering the Context

I'm reprinting a comment Ebonmuse of Daylight Atheism made on my post criticizing P.Z. Myers in full here.  I thought it needed a response so I'm treating it as a semi-guest post.  Ebonmuse's comments are in the blockquote, my response appears below: To understand fully why PZ did what he did, you have to be aware of the context.In this case, the context was that a Florida college student, Webster Cook, who was raised Catholic, attended a Catholic mass on his campus, went to the altar to r … [Read more...]

My Problem with P.Z. Myers

Since I had some nice things to say about P.Z. Myers earlier this week, I didn’t want to post them without giving a quick overview of why I disapprove of his brand of sacrilegious confrontations. Myers takes pride in courting controversy. In his biggest stunt, he desecrated a consecrated wafer a student had smuggled out of a Catholic mass. To make it clear why I regard this kind of behavior as completely unacceptable, whether or not Catholic claims about the Host are true, consider this thought e … [Read more...]

Points (for once) to P.Z. Myers

I'm not normally a fan of P.Z. Myers, since, although I appreciate his pro-education, pro-science activism, his agent provocateur shtick tends to be grossly offensive for the sake of being offensive.  His deliberate sacrileges make it impossible for him to have any positive impact on religious people, and, if his demonstrations are intended to stir up atheists, he's catering to the lowest denominators of distrust and anger.  It's poisonous for everyone involved.So with those rather large cave … [Read more...]