PZ Myers is an idiot

Seriously, dude. I was raised as a Christian, and I have rarely read anything so offensively self-righteous — a huge build-up to his desecration of an object that he continually says that a sensible non-Catholic would regard as indifferent. And for what? Apparently to prove that doing something he knew in advance was gravely offensive to a given group would gravely offend that group.

Isn’t that weird? People become angry when you deliberately antagonize them. I never would’ve guessed that. In fact, some of those angry people will make empty threats! I’ve never interacted with an angry person before, so I didn’t realize that either. Thank God for our Brave Secularists!

19 thoughts on “PZ Myers is an idiot

  1. I’m not really up on the metaphysics of transubstantiation, but does doing stuff to the host, which presumably only affects its accidents, actually do anything to its body-of-Christ essence? I’m guessing not. If that’s the case, it compounds Myers’s idiocy: people aren’t getting offended because they believe he’s hurting Jesus, but solely because he’s being a dick.

  2. If doing damage to the host damaged Christ, then believers would be torturing him continually through chewing, digesting, etc. (Some of his correspondents appear to misunderstand this point, though in some cases they may simply be talking about his apparent intent from their perspective.)

    Thankfully, for Brave Secularists, religious claims are contentless and therefore they have no duty to get them right.

  3. Adam — For whatever it’s worth (really not much), Altizer was the cable access preacher, not Hegel (I like Eric Voegelin’s assessment of H. as a “magician,” though, even though I don’t agree with V. about politics…so I guess that would make it a cable access show with a guest magician??). I’ve read Altizer’s earlier writings, but not the more recent stuff (post-1980s). So it’s true, I am not doing justice to all of the subtle metaphysical re-configurations of the death-of-God claims being made throughout his entire oeuvre. My disagreement is more fundamental, with the very presuppositions he relies upon. To me, those *are* quite simple presuppositions.

    Brad — Re: the decorum-call, I get the picture. I was going to write something stupid — like “not to worry, I now respect the dead-God after all”; or “order! order! when the dead-God is being addressed” — but then thought that wouldn’t go over so well. I have to say, I honestly forget of Altizer’s apparent personal connection to this blog, given all the qualifications made when there’s text from him (as if the posts aren’t posted directly from him anyway, at least from the perspective of an outside reader). I do apologize for likely too-closely equating the man with the ideas. To avoid any further insult or confusion, though, I will self-ban, after this comment, re: the subject of Altizer. Of course, all other bans will also be upheld.

    I do at least respect Altizer’s humor, since I’m sure he needs it (as we all do).

  4. I don’t quite understand this as a conversion stratergy either at all. His stated aim for desecrating the host is “They are just paper [like the wafer is just a “cracker”]. Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything.”

    Is PZ Meyer’s seriously concerned with religion and its ill effects in the world, then his aim should be, much as most of his blog does, to persuade people to reject religion and adopt his scientific-rationalist position. Now if you believe in transubtantion, this act will offend you, deeply, and turn you further against atheists, believing them to be evil (as many Catholic blogger have done), thus ruining your chances of ever establishing your Brave Secularist utopia by persuading them to relinquish their belief. They believe this is the Body of Christ, its chucked in the bin, and they are angry because they believe the former – how is the shock of seeing the Host in this manner supposed to convince them it is not sacred? Where is the supposed radical action here that causes one to “Question everything”. And if one does not believe in transubstantion then you’ve just put a piece of bread in the bin, and your opinion is unchanged.

    So, other than to drum PZ Meyers a bit of press and to preach to the baying atheist hordes, how is this achieving anything?

  5. people aren’t getting offended because they believe he’s hurting Jesus, but solely because he’s being a dick.

    To be fair, an awful lot of people who are writing him seem to be thinking he’s somehow hurting Jesus.

  6. To other Brave Secularists!, please understand we have a strict, totalitarian comment policy here and will be subjecting your comments to the same totalitarian deletion as we do with Evangelicals. As with the Evangelicals we invite you to feel free to use this to bolster your sense of moral superiority and self-righteousness.


    Surely they think he’s hurting Jesus’ feelings. Or they completely misunderstand an esoteric doctrine. Either way, PZ Meyers is still being a self-righteous dick. It also strikes me as quite idiotic to not immediately realize a doctrine like “nothing is sacred, question everything” is self-defeating. The real task might be to separate the notion of the sacred from esoteric doctrine.

  7. PZ Meyers is a dick no doubt, but an uninformed dick at that. In his latest rant, Meyers states that “Because of the intolerance and superstition of the Catholic magisterium”. Now whatever one might think about lay Catholic organisations like the Catholic League, and many Catholics might be angry with their actions more broadly, but they are not linked with the Magisterium or officially to any branch of the Church. Brave Secularists who tout empirical facts and reason as their guiding hand might do well to establish said facts before flying off the handle.

  8. As a Catholic who truly believes in the Real Presence, I had read his blog and subsequent copies the night he posted it with more sadness than anger. While clearly this is a troubling act in and of itself, what I found more troubling was the cheering section he had, and the profound lack of respect and rationalization for why this was somehow a noble action. Basically, the argument was that, because throughout history, certain bad people in the Catholic Church did bad things (a charge I do not dispute, though his sources and claims are overdone and basically listed from anti-Catholic literature with very exaggerated accusations) and his unscholarly claim that Transubstantiation was invented in 1215 (disproven with referenced quotes in the comments) that it is somehow his duty to take the most Sacred element of the Catholic faith and desecrate it.

    The comments of this particular subset of atheists (I do not ascribe their words and actions to all atheists) are militantly anti-Catholic/Christian, to the point where I can easily imagine that they would, with relative ease, join the French Revolution’s army of the enlightened in burning churches and imprisoning, if not murdering, Priests and Bishops, while considering the outlawing of religion a good thing.

    Interestingly, at one point in the comments, someone provided an example of a questionable action done by some Catholic who were defending a Host in Germany, and posted comments from some blog to demonstrate the hatefulness of Catholics. It was apparently lost on this person that I could have posted literally hundreds of hateful, vitriolic comments from the atheists on that board, and I would suspect that 99% of atheists would distance themselves in a heartbeat from them. Every comment by a Catholic was met with F-bombs and insults. Truly a sad display.

    Finally, I strongly condemn any and all statements that threaten violence in any manner. Christ’s enemies thought it was all over when He was crucified. His response to His crucifixion was not to threaten. 2000 years later, we can only hope that many of us can recognize the love, mercy, and wisdom in the words “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” It does not condone their actions or take our anger or sadness away, but it is the appropriate response, even if difficult to do.

  9. In the interview with the Catholic radio programme The Heart of The Matter, Myers says that no one from the Magisterium or the official Church has contacted him regarding all of this, which makes the comment I highlighted above from blog about the sinister Magisterium all the more odd.

    Of course, if Myers’ problem is that the ‘Magisterium’ or, in reality, the Catholic League want him to force him to acknowledge the real presence of the Eucharist when he doesn’t believe it he could construct a Catholic defense. Obviously he doesn’t ever read about the Catholic church, but had he read the Dignitatis Humanae document from the Second Vatican Council on religious freedom, he would know according to its audits no person should be coerced into believe in any religion, including Catholicism and its tenets. Therefore in their threats and requirements to recognise the Eucharist, the Catholic League are acting against the doctrines of the Church.

  10. I think Myers problem comes from the perception that the Magisterium, by which he seems to mean the hierarchy as present in the local diocese, has pressured UCF to take disciplinary actions towards a kid who did not consume a Communion wafer at Mass, instead sticking it in his pocket to “show to a friend” later. That’s what set Myers off about the whole thing. And, frankly, some of the things that seem to be going on at UCF (threatened violence, etc) are a little ridiculous and partly the blame goes to the Catholic League. Myers is still a dick, of course, but if the Catholic League is acting against the doctrines of the Church why haven’t they experienced the same disciplinary action that other, more liberal groups have?

  11. I don’t think this is what the Catholic League requested, this was simply PZ Meyers interpretation of it. They were going along a religious hatred line with him.

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