Support PZ Myers

by tristero

PZ Myers did something politically and religiously incorrect. In angrily responding to death threats against a man who didn't accord the Eucharist proper respect, he ran afoul of William Donohue's delicate religious sensiblilty. And now Donohue, who as head of the Catholic League presumes to speak for all Catholics, has decided to go after PZ's job. PZ discusses it here and on earlier blog posts.

Donohue's behavior is out of his old playbook. Remember the chocolate Jesus guy? Same stunt. Donohue made a point of giving out the address of the building where the Chocolate Jesus was displayed over the air saying, "My goal is to make them financially bankrupt."

Anyway, please write the president of the college a nice, but firm letter in support of PZ.

BTW, some of you may not like what PZ said; I didn't, either, but that is totally besides the point. PZ's remarks were made in direct response to, and within, a poisonous, fearful atmosphere of murderous threat. PZ's post was written in deeply appropriate anger that a bunch of crazy people were manufacturing a totally idiotic fake controversy over respect for the Eucharist, one which escalated into wildly wrong responses by a college that should have known better, and climaxed, at least so far, in the dangerous insanity of a death threat.

And PZ is absolutely right about this: there is much that is downright offensive, if not hypocritically blasphemous, for people who call themselves Catholics to threaten someone with death because they didn't treat the Eucharist in a proper fashion.

Death threats, for those of you who have never received a serious one, are not to be taken lightly. Real people do, in fact, die real deaths at the hands of lunatics claiming to be acting in defense of God's honor. So let's put this in perspective. There is nothing PZ Myers could say that is half as awful as a death threat. Since Donohue decided to target PZ, he has already received four. Has Donohue called upon anyone to desist in making murderous threats? Does anyone expect him to?*

It is high time for the mainstream not to take the fake controversies over religion ginned up by the right seriously. PZ's college should entirely ignore Donohue. And it is high time that genuinely responsible religious leaders declare as one, clearly and unequivocally, that threatening others with death is an egregious moral outrage that has nothing to do with being a practicing Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, or Jew. Indeed, no great religion, or true religious leader, in the 21st century has the right to call for its followers to threaten those who don't believe with murder.

*Please prove me wrong by providing a link to Donohue's explicit denunciation of Catholics who threaten death to the targets of his hateful posturing.