Recently University of Central Florida student Webster Cook has come under fire for taking a communion wafer offered to him during a catholic mass out of the church and putting it in a Ziploc bag for examination. This Great Cracker Caper was so disturbing to Catholics because they believe in transubstantiation. Transubstantiation is the belief that the cracker literally turns into the body of Jesus and the wine into the blood of Jesus, or the Holy Cannibalism (as I call it).
Cook received a series of death threats and accusations of horrific crimes including hate crimes, and kidnapping.
The Catholic Church has gone as far as accusing him of kidnapping Jesus because they believe in the act of blessing the cracker makes the cracker transubstantiate in their mouths. “It is hurtful,” said Father Migeul Gonzalez. “Imagine if they kidnapped somebody and you make a plea for that individual to please return that loved one to the family.” The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, accused Cook of “holding it hostage for several days.”
He was even accused of carbohydrate hate crimes. “We don’t know 100% what Mr. Cooks motivation was,” said Susan Fani a spokesperson with the local Catholic diocese. “However, if anything were to qualify as a hate crime, to us this seems like this might be it. We just expect the University to take this seriously,” she added “To send a message to not just Mr. Cook but the whole community that this kind of really complete sacrilege will not be tolerated.”
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights president Bill Donohue said, “For a student to disrupt Mass by taking the Body of Christ hostage–regardless of the alleged nature of his grievance–is beyond hate speech. That is why the UCF administration needs to act swiftly and decisively in seeing that justice is done. All options should be on the table, including expulsion.”
Disappointed by the behavior of the Catholics and the university professor, PZ Myer posted comments on the great cracker controversy that landed him in the line of fire. “So, what to do. I have an idea. 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.”
Bill Donohue’s panties instantly bunched up and he went on the attack! “The Myers blog can be accessed from the university’s website. The university has a policy statement on this issue which says that the ‘Contents of all electronic pages must be consistent with University of Minnesota policies, local, state and federal laws.’ One of the school’s policies, ‘Code of Conduct,’ says that ‘When dealing with others,’ faculty et al. must be ‘respectful, fair and civil.’ Accordingly, we are contacting the President and the Board of Regents to see what they are going to do about this matter. Because the university is a state institution, we are also contacting the Minnesota legislature. It is hard to think of anything more vile than to intentionally desecrate the Body of Christ. We look to those who have oversight responsibility to act quickly and decisively.”
In case you couldn’t read though the veiled language, Donohue is calling for PZ’s dismissal as a professor at the University of Minnesota Morris and hopes he will be fired instantly. I guess what Donohue does not understand is that it is not a professor’s job to respect the beliefs of the religious; it is a professor’s job to push the boundaries of learning.
After this being brought to my attention by Richard Dawkins, I wrote a letter in support of PZ to the president of the university. We cannot allow the religious whack jobs to decide or even slightly influence who should or should not teach at a public university. Catholics especially have a terrible track record of getting the truth wrong when it comes to the physical world or scientific thought. Allowing Catholic groups to influence the status of teachers at a university or even an elementary school is like putting Saudi Arabia in charge of the Human Rights Council at the UN; a totally asinine decision. Here is my letter of support:
It has come to my attention that Paul Myers, a professor at the university you are the president of has pledged to desecrate a holy symbol and as a result people have been writing to ask for him to be removed from his job.
It is the job of a professor to press the boundaries of knowledge, to show us what is sensical and what is not. It is not a professor’s job to tip-toe around the religious beliefs of other people. It is his job to push past established thought and encourage new thought amongst his students. I believe no idea is a good one if it cannot stand up to scrutiny, and it is a professor’s job to get his students to go through the uncomfortable experience of challenging their own ideas and limits of learning. We do not ask professors to be sensitive to the feelings of those who believe the world is flat and we should not ask a professor to conform or limit his religious beliefs or his examination or thought or behavior or scientific pursuit or provocation of learning within those that would make the religious comfortable. You would be doing a dis-service to your students by telling professors they should.
History has taught us taught us that allowing the religious to control who teaches what to whom is a bad idea. Paul Myers has my full support and has the absolute right to eat crackers, crush crackers, roll pork in crushed crackers and fry it up as a delicious meal. If he is to attack one of my ideas or beliefs, he is welcome to because I welcome learning.
I hope you do not fire a man for his religious beliefs or lack thereof. That would be a real scandal. Remember, what he really did was ask a student to bring him a cracker, not rob a church.
In support of PZ’s plan to show the truly unmagical nature of Catholic crackers, I have created this recipe for the consumption of crackers in a most delicious way.
Communion Wafer Pork Sandwiches
1 pound pork loin
1 cup Communion Wafers, crushed
1 cup Saltine Crackers, crushed
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
Your favorite bread
1. Slice the pork loin to about ½ an inch thick.
2. Put one slice of pork in a ziplock bag. Pound the piece until it is ¼ inch think and even across the slice. Repeat this step for each piece of pork.
3. In shallow, wide bowl put the eggs.
4. In another shallow wide bowl or plate combine the salt, the Communion Wafers and Saltine Crackers.
5. In a frying pan add the oil and turn the pan up to high. Allow the oil to get very hot.
6. Turn on your oven to its warming setting or 200 degrees.
7. Take a piece of pounded pork and dip it in the egg, making sure to coat the entire piece.
8. Dip in the Communion Wafer mixture, making sure it is covered on both sides.
9. Once the oil is hot, put the pork in the frying pan.
10. Leave undisturbed for 1 minute then check to see if golden brown. When golden brown, flip and repeat on the other side.
11. Lay paper towels on a plate and put completed pork cutlet on the paper towel and put in the oven while you cook the rest of the pork.
12. When all the pork is finished, put a cutlet between two slices of your favorite bread or in your favorite roll and eat.
13. Suggested sauces: bbq sauce, mustard, sweet and sour, hot sauce
14. Careful on the first bite, if god exists, you’re in trouble.
You can get communion wafers through the Catholic Church one wafer at a time or you can order them at Target.com. Will someone tell me if these are especially meaty, they are made from the body of Christ.
A personal note to Bill, and the other Catholics whose blood pressure medication needed to be increased over this ridiculous controversy; it’s a cracker, a wafer, a biscuit, nothing more than flour, water and sugar. It is as holy as the last week of birth control pills.