The L Files

Update on KansasU assault

The professor beaten up for deriding creationists has resigned.
First, here's a link to a local report on the beating provided by John Sosman. The details are still cloudy, and the victim, Paul Mirecki, is refusing to talk to the media. [Lawrence-Journal World]

Paul Jackson send in a heads-up about the latest twist in this unhappy tale: Mirecki's resigned from his post as chair of the religious department:
Associate Professor Paul Mirecki said his resignation was a response to the controversy over his canceled plan to teach a course criticizing intelligent design, the idea that life on Earth was created by a higher power and is too complex to have arisen through evolution. ...
In a brief resignation letter, he cited the ongoing controversy and the "recommendation of my colleagues in the department." Mirecki will remain a tenured professor of the university.
An announcement about Mirecki's resignation drew cheers at a prayer meeting Wednesday evening at Immanuel Baptist Church, said the Rev. Terry Fox, the church's pastor and a leader of the state's Christian conservative movement.
"I am glad that he resigned," Fox said. "I think it reflects positively on the university." Fox said Mirecki's e-mail was not as disturbing as it was to learn that Mirecki was both the chairman of religious studies and the faculty adviser to a KU club for agnostics and atheists.
"I think most Kansans would say, 'What a conflict of interest,' " Fox said. But Fox said he does not think any further action is needed. ... Longtime conservative activist Mark Gietzen said he thinks Mirecki should be fired. "He's not the type of person I want to pay taxes to... to poison the minds of young kids," he said. "He doesn't belong in a university teaching anything." [Wichita Eagle]
The reasons for Mirecki's silence and resignation are not clear, but right now he looks like yet another victim of shameful rightwing bullying.
Lakshmi Chaudhry is a senior editor at In These Times, and the former senior editor of AlterNet. You can write to her at [email protected].
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