I was just reminded that it’s been four years since I treated a cracker with extreme disrespect. I’d say the Catholics had all forgotten it by now, but I still get the odd email or letter from people who stumble across it and have to tell me how evil I am.
Bill Donohue will hate me forever, I’m sure.
Dick the Damned says
It’s all relative. Those who eat the fucking crackers (communion wafers) digest them, & then shit the waste out into the can.
I’ve got a question. Is it still Jesus, when they shit it out, & if not, at what point in the process does the magic wear off?
Juxtaposition irony. Right next to this post an ad: He Was Right! Remembering five decades of accurate forecasting by Herbert W. Armstrong.
It’s a sign, PZ. Bill Donohue will hate you forever.
Dick — It’s shit, but holy shit. Magic is forever.
Excretion doesn’t exist. That’s why global warming is a myth and scientists are just lying about the water cycle.
(note – I’m not making that up. Anyone got the citation for that argument from YECs or whoever it was?)
Pierce R. Butler says
How many indignant letters does (ex-Fr.) Nicholas Cudemo get?
To quote British comedian Richard Herring “How many masses do you have to attend before you’ve eaten a whole Jesus?”
Oh lord, please, please, please don’t tell me that there’s a Christian cult that insists rain comes from the firmament?
1.196 billion catholics in the world (Wikipedia) maybe averaging 1 communion per year with a 1g cracker per time (guess).
Jesus is increasing in weight by about a thousand tonnes per year.
@Dick: I’d guess about the duodenum. It’s got to happen at some point – the carbon cycle would mean that the crackers would start of as partly Jesusish and become more Jesusy with each transubstantiation. One day in the future we would all be Jesus.
Not quite… IIRC, the argument was that erosion-based dating must be wrong and/or the earth MUST be only a few thousand years old because if it were older, *all the water would have been drunk up already so there’d be none left*.
‘Willy Donkeybreath’ hates anything and anyone that does not drool copious amounts of toxic fatuous slime in the Vatican’s direction.
Chaos Engineer says
Is it still Jesus, when they shit it out, & if not, at what point in the process does the magic wear off?
Ooo, I almost know this one!
The short answer, is It’s A Mystery.
I knew the longer answer once, but I’ve forgotten a lot of the details and don’t want to cheat by looking it up. (It was in regard to a related question: “If it’s such a big horrible deal when a non-believer eats a consecracker, how come it’s not a big horrible deal if a crumb falls to the floor unseen and gets eaten by a mouse?”
The answer is that the consecracker has two kinds of properties, the “accidental properties” and the “essential properties”. The accidental properties interact with matter, and the essential properties interact with souls. These interactions are probably described by the usual quantum field equations. Anyway, mice don’t have souls, so they don’t have access to the “essential properties” of the consecracker that would trigger the “big horrible deal” reaction.
So passage through the human digestive system is a red herring; it only operates on the “accidental properties”. The “essential properties” of an object are eternal and timeless and therefore any questions about when a process begins or ends are meaningless. You should be able to prove this to yourself by working through the quantum field equations and seeing that the “time” component drops out in this scenario.
What struck me when I heard about that whole episode was that you included the God Delusion in with the religious items. That made your ‘nothing is sacred’ point clear – using just the host or just the Qur’an pages would have been singling out one or the other religion. Well played.
Although it seems that some have still missed the point …
I’m sure that part of Bill Donohue’s job description at the Catholic League is daily deprecatory prayer for PZ’s condign punishment. Although Donohue is a nasty and belligerent curmudgeon, the Catholic Church will continue to ignore his un-Christian behavior as long as it thinks it benefits from Donohue’s “bad copy” routine.
You should know better than to have committed such a heinous sin. Above all the first rule you should learn about Catholics is to keep your hands off their crackers.
I suspect you’re aware of it, PZ, but the only sanctioned path to Catholic forgiveness is the sacrament of confession (or “penance” or “reconciliation”; the church is trendy enough to relabel things, but it’s just new packaging, not content). You go into the little room, kneel, and tell the priest, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” Then you blab your sins and receive absolution and are told to say five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys (or an entire rosary if you’ve been very naughty). Afterward you are certified sin-free and ready to go to heaven — at least until you commit your next mortal sin (like desecrate a cracker or miss mass or touch yourself; the list is endless). It’s always the most fun with an inquisitive priest, because he loves to pump you for details on the various sins (“Oh, and where did you touch yourself?” and “How often did you do it?” and “Could you show me after mass tomorrow?”).
Finally, just to tidy up loose ends, deliberately omitting a sin from your confession is yet another sin! So come clean or don’t come to confession at all. So logical and thus immune from mockery or scorn.
Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says
Maybe every five years we need a Pharyngula holiday, “It’s only a cracker” day, where the horde all desecrate a cracker somehow. The Redhead can use it like a skeet for Kninja Knitter practice.
Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says
Despite the fact that this little turd is nothing but hate, this is a badge of honor, this is.
I recall a story someone told here about a Catholic who only went to Mass when visiting her parents for Christmas. But rather than deal with the priest haranguing her for not coming more often, she started her confession with “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I has been one week since my last confession.” And then she just added an extra lie to the list of sins.
As a senior in high school I somehow got placed in AP English. I was a total slacker who coasted by with C grades for the most part (graduated 197 out of 298), but I “tested” well. In any case, we were reading a book (I believe it was James Joyce), and the subject of transubstantiation came up. I had never heard of such a thing, and I was most incredulous – I said something along the lines of “Oh, c’mon, no one believes THAT!” or maybe “Surely Catholics don’t believe THAT anymore.” My English teacher (who happened to have an Irish surname – oops) kept me after class and read me the riot act. But seriously, one has to admit that for those who are not indoctrinated, the whole concept of the bread and wine literally becoming the body and blood of Christ is ludicrous! Needless to say, it made me even more reluctant to speak my mind in class – at least in high school. Thank goodness for college.
As zeno said up @ 14 you have to open your heart to Christ in order to be forgiven. So no, you’re still goin’ to Hell.
Fortunately CompletelyLovely will be there to liven things up. I wish she would start making videos again.
Next time, take the crackers out onto the sidewalk and smash them with a sledgehammer. Just explain that it’s “technical.” Everyone will stand back and let you work.
In other words, the accidental properties are the properties it actually has, and the incidental properties are the properties we imagine it has.
And some loonies think the latter is more important than the former.
I really wanted to say “more real than the former”
Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says
Not with the proper application of aged grog. From a hammer hitting a sidewalk to a hammer setting off an M-60.
That poor cracker was #FTBullied.
Usernames are smart says
So, this Bill Donohoe person doesn’t believe in/obey the bible, I take it?
…just asking’, ’cause, you know, Xian Derp and all that.
Ms. Daisy Cutter, Vile Human Being says
The truth hurts.
You kidnapped the body of christ? LOL.
Usernames are smart says
You’ll need to get at least two thousand, if you want the free shipping.
I want to be your sledgehammer
Why don’t you call my name
You’d better call the sledgehammer
Put your mind at rest
I’m going to be-the sledgehammer
This can be my testimony
I’m your sledgehammer
Let there be no doubt about it
Patricia, OM says
I like the idea of cracken another cracker on the five year anniversary.
The theory of jesus is just totally crackers.
My dad is an Episcopalian minister. I loved communion wafers when I was growing up. I would find where my dad had them stored and munch on whole packages of the things.
Does that make me a bad person? It may mean I had bad taste in food at the very least. I tried a communion wafer a few years back and they are bland as hell.
Pastor Rick Warren, in his book “The Purpose Driven Life” states that prior to Noah’s flood, no-one had ever seen rain, because God watered the earth from below. Why they would have had a word for rain is unclear.
Why do I keep confusing Bill Donohue with Billo Reilly? Totally different, aren’t they?
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
Q: What’s the difference between Jesus and a picture of Jesus?
A: You only need one nail to hang up a picture of Jesus.
I was trying to answer Graham’s question, “How many masses do you have to attend before you’ve eaten a whole Jesus?” I did some searching on the Intertubes for various numbers and found that on Amazon you can buy a box of 1000 wafers for $18.99 and used ones for as little as $10.95.
I laughed out loud … on the commute bus. Paleotrent explained why I didn’t share the joke.
These wafers weigh about .01 ounces so to reconstitute Jesus you’d have to eat about 20,000 of them and drink about a tenth of an ounce of wine with each one (for the water content). That works out to about one communion per day.
Communion wafers were bigger in the past, though, so your mileage may vary.
Improbable Joe says
It is sort of Homeopathic Jesus at this point, isn’t it? At this point, they’ve diluted Jesus to the point that he’s the size of a medium-sized star, and the goal is to dilute him to the point that he’ll actually become the size of the whole universe, at which point he retroactively becomes the whole universe and creator of the universe. It is a self-fulfilling prophesy by cracker consumption… which also means that in 11 more years Chester the Cheetos Cheetah will become an actual cheetah and eat your children in Aisle 7.
Not really sure what the simple destruction of wafers proves or demonstrates.
I’d love to see an experiment where someone examines and compares the physical properties of transubstantiated hosts to non-transubstantiated hosts. Measure the various gross physical characteristics such as surface area and weight—yeah, I know “mass” is the more appropriate term but not going there. Burn them to determine their caloric content. Run ‘em through a mass spectrometer and document their (un)varying chemical compositions. In other words, destroy them for Science!
P.S. I get that we all know the results will (A) be mundane vs. magical and (B) not convince the faithful. If nothing else, though, the FDA would know how to correctly populate the Nutrition Facts label for host packages.
Greta Christina says
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
you could follow the link in post to find out
Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says
Four years? Damn. Those were some interesting times.
A. R says
graham: Based upon my calculations, it would take exactly 55 years to eat an entire Jeebus at one Mass per day. (Very possible for some deeply [A. R struggles to avoid usage of an ableist term, settles for something mild] whackaloon individuals)
I did, Rev. Still not impressed, overall. However, I must give style points for including pages from both the Koran & God Delusion.
Ugh; meant Still *wasn’t* impressed, overall.
@ Improbable Joe
It ain’t easy bein’ cheesy.
They’re just angry because you think eating a cracker and calling it Jesus is magical thinking of a ridiculous order.
Well, not that different. They’re both Catholic, they’re both pundits of sorts for the religious right, they both yell until they’re red in the face quite frequently, and they both hate an awful lot of people. The only noticeable difference is that Donahue is more focused on religious issues, while O’Reilly yells about a wider range of topics, all the while letting his religious views dictate his opinions.
The context of the original cracker desecration was due to some atheist getting tons of unwanted attention (and the student Senate tried to have him impeached) for taking a communion wafer out of a Mass.
I myself always wondered why they didn’t add peanut butter and jelly somewhere along the way. That would have made jesus taste a whole lot better anyway. Wasn’t jesus three gods/others anyway? (father, son and holy shit!)
Bring on the jesus juice!!!
Oh yeah! I encountered that book years ago, but I’d forgotten how completely wackadoodle it is.
PZ, when you said you “treated a cracker with extreme disrespect” my first thought was “What was his name?”
theophontes (坏蛋) says
@ Patricia,OM #30
I like the idea of Teh Kraken cracken another cracker on the five year anniversary.
You must be thinking of the Cretan cult of the Earth Mother, which is a triadic Goddess (Mother, Father and Child). There have been some tacky plagiarisms since.
I struggle to grok. They take a worthless object, like a cracker, and turn it into a human. All this as a cover for their attempts at turning humans into worthless objects…
Have to admit that I forgot the initial part about the college student’s travails. Also, neglected to express my admiration for PZ arranging to be in receipt of stolen holy goods.
However, I stand by my main point: Why desecrate when you can analyze?
This is not the 11th century; don’t think anyone expected a summary bolt-from-the-blue execution. This is not a theocracy; no papal SWAT team was going to intervene. Obviously there are violent catholic crazies out there,but,they tend to focus their efforts on abortion clinicsinstead of biology professors—-no matter how profane.
In other words, the final result was a fairly simply executed act of destruction that proved very little.
If you figure out how to ecumenically add bacon to that PBJ Communion formula, you have a chance of sparking a New Reformation.
Caine, Uppity, Annoying and Proud of It says
Four years? Time flies. That’s about when I delurked.
I prefer to think of it as performance art. He made profound statements with a simple act of destruction. And still gets people emailing him regarding it 4 years later.
Hmm, dark matter doesn’t interact with regular matter (except via gravity). Dark matter is Jesus? Seriously, there are probably kooks who believe that. “Over 80% of the mass of the universe is invisible to us, and that’s God!”
This incident was actually how I was first introduced to Dr. Myers and Pharyngula. I was still a fundie Catholic at the time, and naturally, was subscribed to the Catholic League’s email list.
I recall that for around two weeks, Bill Donahue sent constant emails about the cracker nailing, demanding that Catholics inundate UMM with requests for action against Myers, saying he should step down, and all manner of asinine bullshit. At the time, I was a big enough moron to buy into it.
Wonderful irony that I’m now a daily reader here.
Regarding the wafers and the body of Christ,
one of the one-page SF stories at Nature (“Futures”) explained it well;
it only becomes the flesh of Christ after all that ATP business in the cells, after which a fraction of the energy carrying molecules are teleported to the body of Christ.
This worked well in the middle ages when world population was small, but now the runaway growth of christians has bloated Christ, so the second coming will only be possible in the microgravity of orbit, His total mass now being several metric tons.
I tried to find it on Nature,s online list of “Futures” but failed.
I hope I am just a sloppy searcher and that Nature has not deleted the story because it offended someone.
Y’all are forgetting in your complaints about blandness and in your calculations of mass/weight and water and such that it’s not all crackers, all the time! At least a few churches actually use REAL BREAD. Honest to goodness, fluffy, hand-kneaded, oven-baked bread with doughy insides and a delightfully crispy crust. Delicious!
Alright, maybe not *so* delicious that I’d rather wait an hour for a free bite, rather than just go next door to the bakery and buy a whole freakin’ loaf, but still…
This one maybe? ;)
Watson, Ian. Divine diseases. Nature 462, 1088
(The ‘associated correspondence’ is all kinds of hilarious…)
I’d love to see an experiment where someone examines and compares the physical properties of transubstantiated hosts to non-transubstantiated hosts.
Your wish is my command!
Dick the Damned says
I think the primary purpose here was to mock religious belief. For those of us who think that religion is, on balance, a bad thing, mockery is our greatest weapon.
The more that religious folk are exposed to ridicule of their beliefs, the more likely they are to question them. Of course, the ones most prone to delusional disorder are likely to become even more religious, but i hope that many others will see the light of reason.
The time certainly flew by. It was around and about this “incident” when I started to read Pharyngula on daily basis.
As for the “1.196 billion catholics in the world” from wiki, I am not sure how the record is kept. I heard that catolic church keeps the number bloated up because they keep records of all baptized and getting struck from the record is such pain in the ass, that some former catolics do not bother with the procedure. But some do, which is a good thing, at least the church can no longer claim the support it did.
They’ve removed the option of deconversion in Ireland, there was a website to officialy leave. I maybe misquoting my Anne rice here but there is something about so long as the waffer is there it’s still blessed but once digestion starts it isn’t… and reading the catechism doesn’t make it any clearer.
Of course this somes up the whole problem
All iz furgiven. Pleeze cum bak to churches. Bring cheezbergers.
Not the LOLcatz – must be the Krischens
I wonder how many kids have thrown up their First Communion wafers, as a result of uncomfortable clothing and excess celebratory candy?
@Whitehatlurker- We kno ur not Lolcatz, dey wud spel it “furgibben.”
David Marjanović says
Not since the 2nd Vatican Council in the 1960s.
Bit difficult to organize that many crackers that have had the magic words said over them.
Remember, without the magic words, the Catholic point of view is “it’s just a cracker”. This applies to the link in comment 28.
Eh, most don’t. Most believe it’s symbolic. That’s because most Catholics don’t know their own dogma all that well.
Pointless, because Catholic dogma explicitly affirms that the physical properties don’t change. Only the Platonic-ideal properties are supposed to change from “cracker” to “Jesus Haploid Christ”.
No, the student wasn’t an atheist. He was a Catholic who wanted to show the Host to his curious friend, who had asked for it.
Clearly, what we need is a Platonoscope, and instrument that can measure and image to pure platonic properties of things, to sort this out.
Nice! Thanks for the link.
So is the RCC claiming to own the cracker after it is “eucharisted” (is that a word?)? I would classify it as a re-gifting, the original recipient feeling that the cracker was more appropriate for PZ’s lifestyle.
“I’ve got a question. Is it still Jesus, when they shit it out, & if not, at what point in the process does the magic wear off?”
Where do you think holy water comes from? It’s recycled through the sewer system.
@ #60 ibbica says:
Orthodox churches use real bread; as http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/doctrine3.aspx puts it, “ordinary leavened bread”. The equipment behind the iconostasis includes what amount to a cutting board and bread knife.
Protestant churches generally disagree with the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, and view the Eucharist as strictly a memorial ceremony. “Do this in remembrance of me.” They too use ordinary bread, but the more teetotaling sects substitute grape juice for wine. (The mormons use water!)
If I was hated by a man who’d made a career out of defending the RCC even when it had been shown to do something totally wicked, I’d consider that a badge of honour.
If you add banana instead of jelly, you can worship *four* gods instead of three—Elvis’ favorite IIRC was PB, banana, & bacon.
I’d like to agree but it appears the Church of TCB has already been hijacked: