Friday, July 11, 2008
There are certain obstacles one has to climb in order to maintain, as I do, that religion doesn't make people stupid.
And one of the biggest this side of Kent Hovind is Bill Donahue. PZ has already dealt with Donahue's insistence that the entire Republican party is afraid of one vocal, but otherwise mild-mannered, professor of biology. But another part of Donahue's paranoid fantasy is also threatening to peg the needle on the stupid dial hard enough to make it a dangerous missile:
[PZ] Myers went on Houston radio station KPFT last night saying that Bill Donohue has 'declared a fatwa' against him. He should know better -— I don't need others to do the fighting for me. I'm quite good at it myself.
But [PZ had] better be careful what he says, because if I get any death threats, it won't be hard to connect the dots.
I have the feeling many of these people would be stupid loudmouths no matter what metaphysics they followed; it seems to be something in the personality, and whatever beliefs they happen to hold are just raw material.
For example, more than once, I've seen atheists uncritically pass on alarmist ULs -- not quite Donohue/Hovind level stupidity, but proof that religion is, at least, not a necessary condition for cluelessness (which is, of course, tangential to your assertion that it is insufficient ;-). This is why I assert that my primary commitment is to skeptical rationality, with unbelief (I'm not interested in the atheist vs. agnostic distinction, not today at least) as secondary and consequent.
First time reader and poster. I've been following this around the blogosphere and you've mentioned a point that I've been ruminating upon - PZ's request to his supporters to write to Bruinink. My own train of thought - which admittedly goes off the rails quite often - is that he realizes/feels he went a wee bit too far and needs to muster the support.
And since this is such a hot potato, my disclaimers are: I also believe that Bill D is a certifiable loony, I am an ex-RC now agnostic, registered independent, live in the great northeast...have I forgotten anything... ;-)
Yeah, I think that PZ is definitely seeking support. In the blogcast he had with Abbie Smith (link on Pharyngula) he mentioned that there is a meeting with the university president this week. I, like PZ, do not think any attempt to limit his freedom of speech will result, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he is told in no uncertain terms that there will be no public desecrations of consecrated hosts or other sacred objects if he values his position.
I also believe that Bill D is a certifiable loony, I am an ex-RC now agnostic, registered independent, live in the great northeast...have I forgotten anything... ;-)
Yeah, go register Democratic and you'll be perfect like me.