Cracker desecration, Jews, and modern lunacy

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sketerpot
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Cracker desecration, Jews, and modern lunacy

Post by sketerpot » 2008-07-25 02:38am

As promised, PZ Meyers has desecrated a consecrated communion wafer and posted pics. Here's the link. It's very long because he wrote a big essay.
PZ Meyers wrote:That combination was useful, too. Declare something cheap, disposable, and common to be imbued with magic by the words of a priest, and the trivial becomes a powerful token to inflame the mob — why, all you have to do is declare a bit of bread to be the most powerful and desirable object in the world, and even if it isn't, you can pretend that the evil other is scheming to deprive the faithful of it. Now you could invent stories of Jews and witches taking the communion host to torture, to make Jesus suffer even more, and good Catholics would of course rise in horror to defend their salvation. None of the stories were true, of course — Jews and infidels see no power at all in those little crackers, and the idea that they were obsessing over obtaining a non-sacred, powerless, pointless relic is ludicrous — but heck, it's a cheap excuse to make accusations illustrated by cheesy woodcuts of hook-nosed Jews hammering nails into communion wafers and lurid tales of blood-spurting crackers and hosts that pulsed like and beating heart, and thereby providing a pretext to encourage massacres.

[snip a bit of history -sketerpot]

That is the true power of the cracker, this silly symbol of superstition. Fortunately, Catholicism has mellowed with age — the last time a Catholic nation rose up to slaughter its non-Christian citizenry was a whole 70 years ago, after all — but the sentiment still lingers. Catholicism has been actively poisoning the minds of its practitioners with the most amazing bullshit for years, and until recently, I had no idea that a significant number of people actually believed this nonsense, or that the hatred was still simmering there, waiting for an opportunity to rise up in misplaced defense of absurdity.
I know there's a thread about the original student in Florida which includes some talk about PZ's support, but this is such a huge smackdown that it easily warrants its own thread.

The big criticism that a lot of atheists have of PZ's actions is that they're needlessly inflammatory. But when hordes of Catholics get up in arms about blasphemy, of all things, we need to be inflammatory and offensive. This lunacy is straight out of the dark ages, and it's pretty surprising to see it surface again. (Also surprising is how many Catholics were calling PZ a Jew. I guess that shows that ancient Catholic anti-semitic lies are still being passed on.)

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Post by PeZook » 2008-07-25 02:52am

This...this actually was scary. Next time some self-righteous Christian laughs at the stupid Muslims for getting all outraged about another desecretion of the Koran, I can shove that blog post down their throats, though.
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Post by Surlethe » 2008-07-25 06:33am

Did he actually go to a mass and get his hands on a consecrated wafer? It would be easy enough to treat an unconsecrated wafer the exact same way, anyway -- and simultaneously make the point that you can't tell the difference.

Edit: Should I say he's a giant asshole, too? :wink: If he is, I suppose it's fine to be an asshole to assholes.
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Post by Molyneux » 2008-07-25 07:22am

Surlethe wrote:Did he actually go to a mass and get his hands on a consecrated wafer? It would be easy enough to treat an unconsecrated wafer the exact same way, anyway -- and simultaneously make the point that you can't tell the difference.

Edit: Should I say he's a giant asshole, too? :wink: If he is, I suppose it's fine to be an asshole to assholes.
Apparently he just asked his readers to send him a consecrated wafer.
Nailing it to pages from the Koran and the God Delusion stung me a bit, though. I don't hold many things sacred, but there's something just plain wrong about willfully harming a book - even a piece of crap like the Koran.
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Post by Covenant » 2008-07-25 03:02pm

Molyneux wrote:Nailing it to pages from the Koran and the God Delusion stung me a bit, though. I don't hold many things sacred, but there's something just plain wrong about willfully harming a book - even a piece of crap like the Koran.
Why is this? People by and large seem to have something against harming a book, but it's just a book, so why does it matter? I understand there's a conception of the destruction of books as the inherent evil of destroying knowledge, free thought, and harkening back to the hypothetical idea-control society... but this isn't a massive book-burning, it's just a few books that got torn up a bit and thrown away.

I just can't see anything wrong about harming a book if it's your book that you bought and keep in your house for your use. Burning it is essentially the same as keeping it locked away forever on a shelf. People use highlighters on textbooks all the time, or write in the margins of a novel, or so forth. It's just a book, afterall! It's ink on paper.

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Post by Molyneux » 2008-07-25 05:36pm

Covenant wrote:
Molyneux wrote:Nailing it to pages from the Koran and the God Delusion stung me a bit, though. I don't hold many things sacred, but there's something just plain wrong about willfully harming a book - even a piece of crap like the Koran.
Why is this? People by and large seem to have something against harming a book, but it's just a book, so why does it matter? I understand there's a conception of the destruction of books as the inherent evil of destroying knowledge, free thought, and harkening back to the hypothetical idea-control society... but this isn't a massive book-burning, it's just a few books that got torn up a bit and thrown away.

I just can't see anything wrong about harming a book if it's your book that you bought and keep in your house for your use. Burning it is essentially the same as keeping it locked away forever on a shelf. People use highlighters on textbooks all the time, or write in the margins of a novel, or so forth. It's just a book, afterall! It's ink on paper.
I suppose it may be irrational on my part, but destroying a book is only a few steps lower than harming an animal as far as I'm concerned. All the enlightenment that could be gained from the words written there (even if only the realization that the author was an idiot) is lost...and the knowledge itself comes a bit closer to being lost forever.

Think, if there were a single remaining copy of a historical text, the destruction of that work would mean the loss of the thoughts of that text's author or authors - forever. No recovery, no resurrection, just gone. I don't think it's at all odd to consider someone intentionally destroying something like that to be an evil person.

If there were two copies of a book, then destroying one would greatly increase the chances of that knowledge being lost - all it takes is a freak accident happening to the remaining copy.

If a book is widespread, the destruction of one copy still lessens the availability of that knowledge to the world. The burning of one book is the burning of all books, in microcosm.
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Post by General Zod » 2008-07-25 05:38pm

Molyneux wrote: I suppose it may be irrational on my part, but destroying a book is only a few steps lower than harming an animal as far as I'm concerned. All the enlightenment that could be gained from the words written there (even if only the realization that the author was an idiot) is lost...and the knowledge itself comes a bit closer to being lost forever.>snip<
Not only irrational, but a major slippery-slope with a healthy dose of fear mongering. In the age of digital text destroying a single paper book is only harmful in the sense that it's a waste of trees that went into printing it.
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Post by PeZook » 2008-07-25 05:46pm

Especially since that book is a property of the guy who is destroying it, most likely (unless it's state-mandated book burning...), which means the knowledge most likely will not be disseminated anyway.
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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

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Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Post by Ted C » 2008-07-25 05:53pm

For the record, PZ had multiple copies of The God Delusion, and only damaged a few pages from one of them (probably just a few from the inside cover, at that). There's nor shortage of Korans in the world, either.
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Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2008-07-25 09:07pm

Molyneux wrote: Think, if there were a single remaining copy of a historical text, the destruction of that work would mean the loss of the thoughts of that text's author or authors - forever. No recovery, no resurrection, just gone. I don't think it's at all odd to consider someone intentionally destroying something like that to be an evil person.

If there were two copies of a book, then destroying one would greatly increase the chances of that knowledge being lost - all it takes is a freak accident happening to the remaining copy.
You're just afraid of something happening to your copy of Al Azif. Just remember that there's always the other extant copy at Miskatonic University.
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Post by Stark » 2008-07-25 09:43pm

Molyneux wrote:I suppose it may be irrational on my part, but destroying a book is only a few steps lower than harming an animal as far as I'm concerned. All the enlightenment that could be gained from the words written there (even if only the realization that the author was an idiot) is lost...and the knowledge itself comes a bit closer to being lost forever.

Think, if there were a single remaining copy of a historical text, the destruction of that work would mean the loss of the thoughts of that text's author or authors - forever. No recovery, no resurrection, just gone. I don't think it's at all odd to consider someone intentionally destroying something like that to be an evil person.

If there were two copies of a book, then destroying one would greatly increase the chances of that knowledge being lost - all it takes is a freak accident happening to the remaining copy.

If a book is widespread, the destruction of one copy still lessens the availability of that knowledge to the world. The burning of one book is the burning of all books, in microcosm.
Except books are objects, have no rights, can be duplicated endlessly with no loss of information, etc. It's like complaining about people destroying decorative kitchen tiles - the information on the picture is destroyed, but there are factories pumping them hour hundreds an hour.

Damaging the cover of one of the most widespread books in the world != obliterating a copy of a rare or historically significant book. After all, few would mourn the last copy of Spot Goes to The Fucking Zoo. :lol:

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Post by sketerpot » 2008-07-26 12:10am

I have a visceral reaction to hurting books that someone might want to read. Reading a book with pages bent or the binding coming loose is not much fun. But look carefully: he ripped out the title pages. Nobody cares about the title pages. This isn't really an issue.

The issue is BLASPHEMY! And the people who think it's a crime.

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Post by Zadius » 2008-07-26 01:06am

Surlethe wrote:Did he actually go to a mass and get his hands on a consecrated wafer? It would be easy enough to treat an unconsecrated wafer the exact same way, anyway -- and simultaneously make the point that you can't tell the difference.

Edit: Should I say he's a giant asshole, too? :wink: If he is, I suppose it's fine to be an asshole to assholes.
This is supposedly the video footage of the consecrated cracker being taken from mass.
Video Link

After all, it wouldn't piss people off as much if it was unconsecrated. :wink:
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Post by PeZook » 2008-07-26 01:49am

Zadius wrote: After all, it wouldn't piss people off as much if it was unconsecrated. :wink:
Thing is, he could've just bought them at a religious paraphenalia store and the idiots wouldn't be able to tell anyway :D
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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Post by Vendetta » 2008-07-26 07:10am

PeZook wrote:
Zadius wrote: After all, it wouldn't piss people off as much if it was unconsecrated. :wink:
Thing is, he could've just bought them at a religious paraphenalia store and the idiots wouldn't be able to tell anyway :D
You can get them even easier than that, you can buy the things wholesale. However, this is all in response to a previous incident where some kid provoked howls of fundie rage by sneaking a wafer out of communion just to show his mate what it looked like (beige and uninteresting though it may be). If they know it's been consecrated, it upsets them far more.

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