PEEK

Scientist Under Fire From Religious Right Still Says a "Cracker is Nothing"

Crackergate continues.
A few days ago, over 120 reader comments appeared on a post titled "Christian Lunatics Issue Death Threats Over a Cracker". Yesterday, the Minnesota Independent ran an interview with the author of the post, PZ Myers (the unfortunate headline called Myers an "unrepentant heathen" -- an odd construct, no?). Here's a taste:

Once a Lutheran altar boy, University of Minnesota biology professor Morris P.Z. Myers has fallen from grace -- at least in the eyes of some Catholics and the conservative Catholic League. One of the more prominent atheist voices in America, Myers wrote a blog post on the furor sparked by a Florida college student who smuggled a communion wafer out of mass and, once found out, received threats of harm and death. Catholics believe the bread, once blessed by a priest, has been transformed into the substance of Christ's body and blood. Myers doesn't buy it. He wrote that if readers of his blog send him a consecrated host, "I'll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare."

I reached him this morning to discuss the controversy that has resulted in several thousand comments at his blog -- some calling him a "Jewboy," others announcing his need for prayer, and still others calling for his death.

Minnesota Independent: The incident with college student Webster Cook comes as religious passions everywhere are incredibly inflamed -- Shiites and Sunnis, Evangelicals and atheists, etc. Does this say anything about the state of religion?

PZ Myers: I think this is a symptom of the weakness of the religious in this country right now. Religion is actually fading a little bit. It's still strong,and it's still out there and there's still a vocal political realm, but I think people know that there are people actively challenging religion now.

I think there's also a growing discontent with what the religious have done in politics.
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