By now most of you have probably heard about Paul Z. Myers, a biology professor at a second-tier Minnesota public university who is soliciting his equally stunted fanboys to provide him with a Host from a Catholic Mass whereupon he can visit some destructive, sacrilegious behavior. Here's a link to the idiocy in question that won't drive up his link score. First, let me state that if he has been the subject of credible death threats, I hope those who made them are punished to the fullest extent of the law. And if any of them are Catholics, I hope they are subject to excommunication. Just because he's an ass doesn't mean that it's open season. Ever.
Please note that Myers is not a model of godless consistency, being a critic (!) of the Muhammad cartoons published a couple years back. For all of the proper leftist-cant reasons, natch.
Let me just add at this point that taunts to do the same to a copy of the Koran are contemptible, really. Why bay for the same mistreatment of others? "Hit him, too!"
Oh, I know--he's motivated by pure pragmatism, given Minnesota's burgeoning traditionalist Muslim population. And he made a threat to desecrate a Koran that he didn't follow through on last year. Good. I don't want to give this clown the license to do something equally asinine to someone else. Myers has done his level best to poison public discourse and toss a grenade into the public square--let's not coarsen it any further.
To get to the point, Myers is not a particularly impressive man. And I fully predict he'll back down. In fact, he's already started a climbdown as his last statement in the interview shows.
Prediction? It was a joke/satire/thought experiment (the rationales will be confused) to demonstrate how violent Christians are when push comes to shove. The reaction proves it, you see, and this explanation will leave him confirmed in his moral superiority over the godbotherers. His dim fans will stomp their approval and the administration/trustees of the University of Minnesota--Morris can go back to lives of contented anonymity.
On the positive side, we've learned a lot about the Myers brand of atheism, to the disgust of other nonbelievers. It is a thoughtless and unreflective ideology that can't be bothered to engage the other side on its own terms, preferring the irrational, emotional and insulting. A great advertisement for the brights, PZ!
Finally, his own behavior contradicts his claim that "Religion is actually fading a little bit." If that were the case, he would just wish it ill and let it continue to fade. Stunts like this argue that he thinks the opposite.
Why so loud, Prof. Myers? As was said of the equally shrill Richard Dawkins:
Scientists all over the nation must hold their heads and groan whenever Richard Dawkins appears on television, as he did in The Root of All Evil? (Monday, C4). He is such a terrible advertisement, such an awful embarrassment, the Billy Graham of the senior common room. His splenetic, small-minded, viciously vindictive falsetto rant at all belief that isn’t completely rooted in the natural sciences is laughable. Dawkins is a born-again Darwinist, an atheist, so why is he devoting so much blood pressure and time to arguing with something he knows doesn’t exist? If it’s not there, Richard, why do you keep shouting at it? He looks like a scientific bag lady screaming at the traffic, and watching him argue with a fundamentalist Christian, you realise they were cut from identical cloth, separated at birth.