Friday, July 11, 2008

Mine is crazier than yours

I'm beginning to wonder if there is a limit to the stupidity and absurdity of religious people. Read this story.

Reposted from P Z Myers' Pharyngula.

To put it in a nutshell (in case you're in a hurry and can't/don't wanna read the whole thing): a Florida University student is being threatened by Christians (even death threats) because he did not eat the wafer given to him in church, but instead kept it in his mouth and took it outside the church. This act, according to Christians, is akin to holding Jesus Christ hostage as the wafer is supposed to represent a part of Christ. And what's more, they want the wafer back! But hang on, that's not the real shocker. No siree, the shocker was that it was compared to the kidnapping of a real person!!! Aarg, my head's gonna explode soon.

***


There are days when it is agony to read the news, because people are so goddamned stupid. Petty and stupid. Hateful and stupid. Just plain stupid. And nothing makes them stupider than religion.

Here's a story that will destroy your hopes for a reasonable humanity.

Webster Cook says he smuggled a Eucharist, a small bread wafer that to Catholics symbolic of the Body of Christ after a priest blesses it, out of mass, didn't eat it as he was supposed to do, but instead walked with it.

This isn't the stupid part yet. He walked off with a cracker that was put in his mouth, and people in the church fought with him to get it back. It is just a cracker!

Catholics worldwide became furious.

Would you believe this isn't hyperbole? People around the world are actually extremely angry about this — Webster Cook has been sent death threats over his cracker. Those are just kooks, you might say, but here is the considered, measured response of the local diocese:

"We don't know 100% what Mr. Cooks motivation was," said Susan Fani a spokesperson with the local Catholic diocese. "However, if anything were to qualify as a hate crime, to us this seems like this might be it."

We just expect the University to take this seriously," she added "To send a message to not just Mr. Cook but the whole community that this kind of really complete sacrilege will not be tolerated."

Wait, what? Holding a cracker hostage is now a hate crime? The murder of Matthew Shephard was a hate crime. The murder of James Byrd Jr. was a hate crime. This is a goddamned cracker. Can you possibly diminish the abuse of real human beings any further?

Well, you could have a priest compare this event to a kidnapping.

"It is hurtful," said Father Migeul Gonzalez with the Diocese. "Imagine if they kidnapped somebody and you make a plea for that individual to please return that loved one to the family."

Gonzalez said the Diocese is willing to meet with Cook and help him understand the importance of the Eucharist in hopes of him returning it. The Diocese is dispatching a nun to UCF's campus to oversee the next mass, protect the Eucharist and in hopes Cook will return it.

I like the idea of sending a scary nun to guard the ceremony at the next mass. But even better…let's send Webster Cook to hell!

Gonzalez said intentionally abusing the Eucharist is classified as a mortal sin in the Catholic church, the most severe possible. If it's not returned, the community of faith will have to ask for forgiveness.

"We have to make acts of reparation," Gonzalez said. "The whole community is going to turn to prayer. We'll ask the Lord for pardon, forgiveness, peace, not only for the whole community affected by it, but also for [Cook], we offer prayers for him as well."

Get some perspective, man. IT'S A CRACKER.

And of course, Bill Donohue is outraged (I know, Donohue is going to die of apoplexy someday when a gnat violates his oatmeal, so this isn't saying much).

For a student to disrupt Mass by taking the Body of Christ hostage--regardless of the alleged nature of his grievance--is beyond hate speech. That is why the UCF administration needs to act swiftly and decisively in seeing that justice is done. All options should be on the table, including expulsion.

Oh, beyond hate speech. Where does this fit on the Shoah scale, Bill? It shouldn't even register, but here is Wild-Eyed Bill the Offended calling for the expulsion of a student…for not swallowing a cracker.

Would you believe that the mealy-mouthed president of the university, John Hitt, is avoiding defending his student is instead playing up the importance of the Catholic church to the university? Of course you would. That's what university presidents do. Bugger the students, keep the donors and the state reps happy.

Unfortunately, Webster Cook has now returned the cracker. Why?

Webster just wants all of this to go away. Especially now that he feels his life is in danger.

That's right. Crazy Christian fanatics right here in our own country have been threatening to kill a young man over a cracker. This is insane. These people are demented fuckwits. And Cook is not out of the fire yet — that Fox News story ends with an open incitement to cause him further misery.

University officials said, that as for right now, Webster Cook is not in trouble. If anyone or any group wants to file a formal complaint with the University through the student judicial system, they can. If that happens, Webster will go through a hearing either in front of an administrative panel or a panel of his peers.

Got that? If you don't like what Webster Cook did, all you have to do is complain to the university, and they will do the dirty work for you of making his college experience miserable. And don't assume the university would support Cook; the college is now having armed university police officers standing guard during mass.

I find this all utterly unbelievable. It's like Dark Age superstition and malice, all thriving with the endorsement of secular institutions here in 21st century America. It is a culture of deluded lunatics calling the shots and making human beings dance to their mythical bunkum.

So, what to do. I have an idea. Can anyone out there 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.

Just wait. Now there'll be a team of Jesuits assigned to rifle through my mail every day.

***


I wonder why people go about bullying Muslims alone in this regard (when it comes to following a loony religion). Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism (technically, it's not a religion, it's a philosophy, but what the hell, it's my blog) too have a lot of absurdity that's hard-wired into a lot of it's principles.

But hey, people have the right to follow any religion, right? Even the funny ones; like all of them!

3 comments:

Reuben said...

Hi Karthik,

Very interesting article. Catholics are very touchy when it comes to the eucharist thingy I can vouch for that, but these guys are absolutely nuts. I found the last part of the article hilarious, especially the parts that talk about stealing the communion from under armed guards and grim nuns and the part about keeping it hostage.

Talking about fanatics, you would not believe the type of religious nuts that you come across around here. North Carolina is one of the Bible belt states and during the semester you have some christian preacher coming to the campus and preaching(if you can call it that). Then we have a few students gathering around this nut and trying to put forward a sane point of view, which the nutcase is never going to listen too and as a result things start to get heated. I have known a couple of instances where the cops had to interfere prevent something ugly from happening on campus.

My perspective on religion is that it is something that is meant to be kept private and not to be exhibited about either at work or at school or any public place and not to be imposed on anyone. Ofcourse nutters of the type in the article everywhere in such cases just ignoring them would save everyone quite a bit of unnecessary strife...what say???

Karthik Shetty said...

Scrapping all religions is the best :) , but yes, the correct way to practice one's religion is in private... spot on, Reubeeno

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