Monday, July 14, 2008

My Letter To The U of Minn Chancellor

Just sent:

From: [Me]


Subj: What is your position re:Dr. Myers and threatened Eucharist desecration?

Dear Chancellor Johnson,

A troubling ongoing situation concerning one of your professors has recently come to my attention. It seems that Professor of Biology Paul Zachary Myers has publicly called for (via his blog named Pharyngula) the public desecration of the Catholic Eucharist:


"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."


Myers, it seems, has also inspired his readers to perform the same act. One of them said (in a comment to a Pharyngula post):


"So this is my idea, similar to others in the original thread, but adapted to the current situation.

We all go to Mass and get the consecrated cracker, if we haven't done so already.

We go twice between now and whenever, which should be easy enough (just look up the daily Mass schedule and see if you can't make it before work/class/whatever). We get TWO consecrated crackers.

We post videos to YouTube, in which we desecrate ONE of the crackers (I plan to dip mine in gin and set it on fire for for visual effect). We tell Donahue to shut the fuck up by next week, or we'll do the same to cracker #2. We email links pointing to our videos to Donahue.



There are many other examples similar to this. Such seem to be the intentions inspired and instigated by one of your professors.

I am curious as to how you view this in light of your mission statement:

"MM attracts and serves a student body, faculty and staff reflective of our multicultural society. The college empowers the campus community to participate fully and thoughtfully in a diverse society, regionally, nationally, and globally."

As a Catholic, I am quite appalled by Dr. Myers incitement to desecrate the highest sacrament of my Church. I have no problem with someone speaking against my faith, arguing against my faith, mocking my faith, and calling me an idiot because of my faith, etc. Such things are part of a free and open society, and Dr. Myers has done much to contribute in just this way to public discussion concerning religious matters.

Fomenting a conspiracy by which people are encouraged to enter a Catholic Church under false pretenses, with contempt for the rules concerning reception of Communion, all with the intent of performing a public act of desecration, is a different matter entirely. It is quite hard to imagine that an equivalent act performed against some other group (Jews, Muslims, blacks, GLBT?) would pass without some sort of disciplinary or preventative action by the University. It is my hope that the same courtesy would be extended to Catholics.

Be that as it may, it would be sufficient for me that Dr. Myers refrain from the threatened act, and publicly ask others to do so, as well, hopefully in a gracious way without further anti-Catholic vitriol regarding this incident. Afterwards, if he wishes to continue to mock and ridicule my faith in the future, I have no problem with that, but, please, no more incitement to desecrate our Sacrament or to enter Catholic churches with the intention of performing bigoted acts of mischief under false pretenses.

My assumption is that you would not want the good name of your University associated with the intolerant activity being incited by Dr. Myers, and I'd be interested to hear your take on it.

Best Regards,

Menlo Park, CA


Anonymous said...

University of Minnesota President Robert Bruinink's email address is Myers, as well as his supporters in the atheist community, are soliciting letters in support of Myers at this email address.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto your blog b/c I heard about Prof Myers and was searching for more info. I'm also a convert to the faith. I can't believe someone can be so cruel. Thank you for representing the Church so kindly and articulately in the face of this. God bless you!!

(ps - I went to the U of M Morris one summer when I was 17 for a special seminar. I think I'll write to them too.)