Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is it with Christians and Attacking the Koran

These days it seems that no one can criticize Christianity without being challenged to do the same for Islam. Criticize the Bible, and someone will invariably say "Oh yeah, I'll bet you wouldn't say that about the Koran!" It is an argument that is knee-jerk among the culture-war conservatives, and yet it exposes them once again as a group that operates via faith and speculation, not facts.

The ongoing saga of PZ Myers and the Catholic Eucharist illustrates this nicely. A quick summary:

A student got into trouble with his university, and was subjected to histrionic rage from Catholics and others for removing a Eucharist from a Catholic mass. PZ found this absurd that a university would punish a student, and people would go so far as to issue death threats, for essentially stealing a cracker. So he announced that he would desecrate a Eucharist if someone would send him one. Immediately the claims were made that PZ would dare not do the same to something holy in Islam.

Now, aren't the religious among us always talking about tolerance for their views? Why then, when one of them is attacked, would they retort by saying "attack those religious people over there"? Well, they did, and PZ, in usual form, desecrated not only the cracker, but a few pages from the Koran, and from the God Delusion by atheist Richard Dawkins. He captioned it with this:

"I didn't want to single out just the cracker, so I nailed it to a few ripped-out pages from the Qur'an and The God Delusion. They are just paper. Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything."

You would think people would have gotten the message, but no. Now that some on Youtube are copying Myers action, his hate mail has started, and wouldn't you know it, he is STILL getting letters like this:

"Now that you have desecrated the Eucharist and offended me and over a billion Catholics, I would like you to publicly desecrate the Koran.

I'm waiting to see that marvelous display of 'academic freedom.'"

It just establishes what comes as no surprise to those of us in the reality-based community: social conservatives are not interested in facts. They couldn't even be bothered to read one article on what actually happened in this incident. They simply assumed what they wanted to be true was, and ignored all the rest. They want to be the persecuted minority, so they invent the persecution in their head. It is up to the rest of us to remind them just how full of shit they are, and PZ's latest post is a good start.

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