Bill Donahue, famous attack-Catholic, has taken umbrage against our own dear PZ for his intemperate remarks about a cracker. His letter-writing campaign has of course led to a spate of death-threats and calls for PZ's job. This is good Christian love for you: instead of using the dustup as a teachable moment for all involved, he's inciting a raving bunch of wanna-be super-ignorant fundies to new heights of insanity.
This is a poor reflection upon most of the Catholics I know, who are almost without fail kind, decent and above-all sane people. I give you our own beloved NP as a shining example. It's one of the bajillion reasons I love her so.
You can write the President of the University of Minnesota - Morris and let him know that not everyone's a raving lunatic who wants to see one of U of M's best professors dead for dissing a Communion wafer:
President Robert H. Bruininks
202 Morrill Hall
100 Church Street S.E.
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
For points on style and erudition, see John Pieret's letter here.
Now, I'm afraid that Billy's bluster is going to lead PZ to do something really not nice to a cracker, which could lead to pitchforks and all kinds of other Dark Ages nonsense. So I'll tell you what. Instead of sending a pilfered consecrated cracker to PZ, who will have no choice but to do mean and awful things to it by way of getting up Billy's nose, send the damned thing to me. I'll keep it in a nice glass case atop my mythology bookshelf, along with my Shiva Nataraja, my Ganesh, my Star of David, and my Green Tara. It'll be shown the same care and attention I show these other diverse religious symbols: i.e., I'll try to keep the cat from sitting on it, and I'll remember to dust it once or twice a year.
(I admit an ulterior motive. It's not just that I'd like to snatch further ammunition out of raving lunatics' hands, although that's certainly a consideration. No, what's really going to be awesome is the fact that I'll be able to say, with all honesty, that Jesus is in my home when the proselytizers come a-knockin'.)
It would be very nice indeed if everyone was respectful of everyone else's symbols. It would be even nicer, though, if people could respect people more than things. I think that's the most important message to take away from this brouhaha: descecrating a cracker is disrespectful when the cracker in question is a consecrated Communion wafer. But threatening to destroy a living, breathing human being for disrespect to a symbol is outrageous, shameful, and shows exactly why we all need to step back and consider the fact that people, ultimately, are more important than things.
People like PZ take unpopular stands to prove that point. And I say it's a wonderful service to all mankind. Whatever else you may think about his threats against a cracker, at least it's brought this question of relative importance front and center.
It's just too bad people like Donahue have such a hard time loving God and loving people more than they love crackers.