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.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.
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.)