Phi Beta Cons

Re: Just a Cracker

I don’t mean in the sense that I’m just a cracker, but in the sense of something Candace has been writing about lately — as an act of protest, a student walked off with a Eucharist host, and some public atheists have praised him. The symbol for the body of Christ is “just a cracker,” they say.

Megan McArdle takes this on pretty convincingly:

Would it be okay if I spraypainted obscenities on your mother’s grave because it’s just a piece of highly compressed igneous rock with some lines chiseled into it? … If you reduce symbols to their base physical constituents, then of course it sounds silly to get all excited about them. … The fact that you do not share someone else’s symbols does not give you the right to descrate them. Desecrating other people’s symbols is the act of a bully and a boor.
Atheists have done better out of America’s commitment to pluralism than any other religious group, so it’s hard to see why any of them would now condone an attempt to break down the social compact that demands that we mostly leave other peoples’ religious beliefs alone. Yes, yes, I know–evolution! Except, ummm, the Catholic Church isn’t against evolution, and most of their energy is devoted to perfectly acceptable civil practices like boycotting sexy movies and complaining that everyone is mean to them. When you catch Bill Donohue [urinating] on PZ Myers’ grave, come back and we’ll talk.

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