Friday, July 11, 2008

Name calling and Bullying II: PZ Myers channels Soupy Sales

It's a Frackin Cracker

Years ago, the TV comedian Soupy Sales cluelessly begged his young audience to search the pockets of their parents for "green paper", and to mail that green paper into him. It got him suspended for two weeks. It appears biologist PZ Myers is channeling Soupy Sales.

PZ Myers, scientist and outspoken critic of religion and all things spiritual, has composed a blog entry that many feel constitutes "Hate Speech". If you are familiar with some of Myer's anti-religious screeds, you knew this was coming. I'm not going to go over his post in detail, but it's the story of a prank-like theft of communion wafers from a University church, and the subsequent brew-ha-ha that ensued. The post is chuck full of Myer's normal rant against religion, using familiar snark and self-important snickering so endearing to his regular readers.

The portion of his screed which many feel crosses the line follows:

...So, what to do. I have an idea. Can anyone out here score me some consecrated communion wafers? There's no way I can personally get them — my local churches have stakes prepared for me, I'm sure — but if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I'll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won't be tempted to hold it hostage (no, not even if I have a choice between returning the Eucharist and watching Bill Donohue kick the pope in the balls, which would apparently be a more humane act than desecrating a goddamned cracker), but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web. I shall do so joyfully and with laughter in my heart. If you can smuggle some out from under the armed guards and grim nuns hovering over your local communion ceremony, just write to me and I'll send you my home address...

So this is the sparkling truth of Atheism! Now we understand more fully. This incident will certainly help the "A" cause. But I wish some of PZ Myer's ardent defenders would cut out the "he's just being funny" excuse, which is such a favorite of right wing ideologues like Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. Can I ask a question of Myers and all his fans? If you miraculously found yourself in Alexandria, at the moment of Hypatia's martyrdom, would you proudly display the bloody abalone shell you hold in your hands?

Sarcasm aside, I wish to assure my NeoPagan friends that PZ Myer's comments in no way represents the behavior of the majority of Atheists.

Myers asks for help from his community, asking his supports to inundate the dean of his college with notes of support, as he's feeling the heat right now. It's ironic that he asks people writing in to "Be polite and rational, too!" The polite and rational thing would be for PZ Myers to apologize.


Anonymous said...

I think it was Dawkins that asked for letters of support - not PZ.

You appear to support the slippery slope of people in the UK. "Don't upset the Muslims - be nice to them".

It doesn't work. Putting up with all this silly crap has got us into the pickle (not the one in the video) were in.

Genexs is no help to the atheist cause.

genexs said...

Dear Anon:

First, you should be more careful of you facts, old chap. PZ has indeed asked for support. I won't supply the link, you can find it at his blog:

...Instead, I would appreciate it if you would write a short note to President Robert Bruininks in support (he's going to hate me for this). I have to ask for a few constraints, though...Be polite and rational, too!

Btw, you should brush up on your Carl Sagan (he was an Atheist, you know!) and his "bullshit detector". The 'slippery sloap' argument is almost always simplistic and false.

I was not aware I was suppose to be helping the 'atheist cause'. As I've been welcome in on several Atheist forums before, I'll keep that in mind. A number of vocal atheists agree the PZ went a tad too far in his statement, so it's not like I'm a candle in the dark.

All your statements aside, thanx for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your post wholeheartedly. Nice catch on the Limbaugh/Coulter link too.

genexs said...

Thanx Cuckoowasp. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around how some bloggers, who've taken a stand against nasty rhetoric (such as Majikthise) in the past, sort of have a blind spot in this whole episode.