Comment: Note that, according to this story, the professor also admits to desecrating a Koran. Where is the Muslim protest?
Atheist Professor Follows Through on Promise and Desecrates Eucharist
By Hilary White
MORRIS, Minnesota, July 23, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Catholics around the world were outraged earlier this month when an American academic exhorted his readers on his weblog to steal a consecrated Host from a Catholic Mass so that he might then desecrate it. Despite protests from Catholic organisations and hundreds of individuals contacting him personally, Professor Paul Zachary Myers has written that he has carried through with his threat.
A biology professor at the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) and the author of the science blog Pharyngula, Myers is an avowed materialist atheist of the Darwinian school. On his blog he frequently writes disparagingly of religious belief, particularly Christian belief and is a member of the academic cadre opposed to the teaching of Intelligent Design in American schools.
On his weblog, which he promotes as "evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal," he wrote July 8, "Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers?... 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 will] treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web."
After a strongly worded protest from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Myers backtracked, telling the Star Tribune that the post was meant as "satire and protest" more than an actual threat. Later, however, on a radio talk show on Catholic Radio International, Myers confirmed that he had been sent an unspecified number of consecrated hosts and that he intended to "subject them to heinous cracker abuse."
The president of the Catholic League, William Donohue, said that the University of Minnesota's Code of Conduct applied to Myers' blog since the university linked to it directly. The University has responded today that the link has been removed but that Myers will not be subject to any disciplinary action.
Today Myers wrote on his 'blog, "Yes, the sad little cracker has met its undignified end, so stop pestering me. The cracker, the Koran, and another surprise entry have been violated and are gone."
The Eucharist is believed by Catholics to be the actual "body, blood, soul and divinity" of Jesus Christ, and desecration of a Host is the most egregious sacrilege to Catholics. Catholic commentators have noted that Myers' obsession with desecrating the most sacred objects of their religion shows that he, and his followers, have "nothing but contempt for Catholics, [and] have no real grasp of the interior contours of Catholic faith and belief."
Mark Shea, a Catholic apologist and author, wrote on the Inside Catholic website, "A host is a statue is a banner is a rosary is a Bible is a scapular, as far as they can tell."
Shea said that Myers' determination to desecrate the Eucharist is a straightforward act of hatred and bigotry, one that, moreover, is in secular terms also an act of "theft, vandalism, and incitement."
Myers obsession with showing Catholics that the Eucharist has no power is an indication of a mind unbalanced by bigotry, said Shea.
Myers wrote, "It's just so darned weird that they're demanding that I offer this respect to a symbol that means nothing to me...It won't be totally tasteless, but yeah, I'll do something that shows this cracker has no power. This cracker is nothing."
He responded, "No, what Catholics are demanding is not that Myers and his cultish followers respect the Eucharist. We are demanding that they not invade our religious services, steal what does not belong to them, and incite others to vandalize what is ours and not theirs."
"But the curious thing is that he cannot rest with mere verbal blasphemies. He has to get a host in his hands and destroy it with a savage glee that, curiously, places him not among scientists but among the most magical-thinking Bronze Age fanatics."