You may or may not have seen this already. It’s been several days since this particular outrage hit the net, but I just hadn’t gotten around to writing about it until now.
Recently, a student by the name of Webster Cook at the University of Central Florida attended a Catholic mass on campus. The man was evidently not a Catholic himself, and attended to see what his tuition money was paying for (as the university was allocating $40,000 a year to this on-campus church).
In either case, when given the Eucharist, which is a small yeast-free cracker that the priest is supposedly capable of “transsubstantiating” into the body and blood of Christ (yes, the blood too, even though the wine is also supposed to be the blood), simply by casting some sort of magic spell over it at the altar. Webster did not swallow the cracker, but instead took it out of his mouth and kept it, as a keepsake I suppose.
This then caused an uproar in the Catholic community the likes of which no sane person is capable.
He was physically assaulted by the parishioners who attempted to force him to return the cracker, as apparently “abusing” a Eucharist after it’s been magically transformed into Leg of Christ is apparently mortal sin. Death threats have been pouring in, and the national media started hounding him (especially the more religiously oriented outlets, e.g. Fox, who suggested right on their story that people complain to the university), to the point where he has returned the Eucharist out of fear for his life.
Leaving aside all the accusations of hate crimes against Catholics for someone daring to not swallow the hunk of Christ-meat, if a small yeast-free cracker could be correctly classified as such a thing, I really need to know why the entire religious ritual is so morbid, drinking the blood and eating the flesh of some guy who may or may not have been nailed to a cross for saying “why don’t we be nice to one another for a change?” How exactly is cannibalizing this guy’s body a tribute to his message? And how exactly is physically assaulting a guy who just wanted a cracker (that his own tuition money had paid for), justified in Jesus’s teachings? And besides, has nobody thought even for a second that perhaps it’s way more abusive to Christ’s flesh to eat it, digest it, and reduce it to feces, which will then go on to bless your septic tank?
PZ Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, is way more eloquent than me. And he swears much more, too. I’m sure you’ll find his take on the situation vastly more entertaining.
By the way, a long time ago, I was a Roman Catholic, not by choice mind you, but because I was basically sent to Sunday School and had my communion and confirmation before I had the presence of mind to be able to say “hey, this is all crap, leave me out of it”. I was too busy trying to rush through whatever those weird adults wanted me to do so I could go back to playing Megaman. I can tell you from firsthand experience that those crackers tasted like boiled and then dried cardboard. That Catholics have survived all these years eating that stuff is beyond me. (And if you stare at that picture long enough, you can almost make out, way off on the lefthand side, the intolerance toward all other religions that this particular faith has!)
I hope my “Religion” category icon gives you folks a good thrill. And you know what? For good measure, I’m adding this post to the Food category as well.