July 10, 2008
Communion wars: People don’t get the holy ‘cracker’ *
First there was non-Catholic Sally Quinn, co-editor of On Faith and wife of my hero, displaying incredible religious ignorance or insensitivity when she took communion at the funeral for her friend, Tim Russert. Here was her reaction:
Wow. Really missed the point there, unless Russert died for her sins (not to denigrate the saintly journalist).
Then a University of Central Florida student claimed he was receiving death threats for “smuggling” the communion wafer out of church.
“Would you believe this isn’t hyperbole?” asked PZ Myers, whose blog has the motto “evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.”
Myers thought the reaction of many Catholics was ridiculous (I agree), and let his readers know it in a manner with which I don’t agree: by trashing those who think Christ’s body has taken the form of a “GODDAMNED CRACKER!”
“There are days when it is agony to read the news, because people are so goddamned stupid. Petty and stupid. Hateful and stupid. Just plain stupid,” he wrote. “And nothing makes them stupider than religion.”
After receiving more than 1,000 comments, Myers, who changed the original headline to “FRACKIN’ CRACKER,” opened a new thread two hours ago that already has 250 comments. Certainly, Myers and many of his readers don’t understand the meaning of the Eucharist, or the fact that different denominations treat holy communion differently. Yes, that wafer is not human flesh, but to Christians it represents the body of Christ, and to some Christians it, through the “miracle of transubstantiation,” becomes the body. That is important to mention because to Myers, it really is only a cracker.
Seriously, sometimes I think Bill Donahue, who once gave my favorite observation of Hollywood—“Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular”—has decided he will be a caricature of what a conservative Christian advocate should be. Please, Bill, stop embarrassing us.
*Updated: This is why bloggers, at times, could use editors too. I previously neglected to mention Myers’ promise to publicly desecrate a consecrated communion wafer if someone would just steal it for him. “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,” he wrote.
Obviously, I find this disgusting and offensive. In fact, I often find Myers offensive. My point, specifically, was that Myers’ desire to denigrate, disgusting and all, should not be the concern of a religious advocacy organization, even when they are singled out, as the Catholic League was. Myers is not likely to convert the masses with this rant or any other; he is preaching to his choir.