Thursday, July 24, 2008

PZ Finishes What He Started...

PZ Myers' Great Desecration is complete. It's neither elaborate nor particularly malicious, but it certainly puts both the Holy Cracker and the Quran in their place. Well done.

This whole incident brings to mind a story I was told when I was just a whelp. Because I went to a public school, my folks stuck me in Catholic religious education classes throughout all of elementary and a bit of middle school. I encountered some peculiar folks in those classes, mostly the teachers. When you combine the weird D&D mysticism of the Catholic Church with the Southern propensity for Charismatic nonsense, you end up getting some pretty laughable stuff. (One of my fellow students once claimed that all of her family's crucifixes spontaneously turned gold, and I was quickly smote down by the teacher for calling shenanigans.) In any event, one Wednesday our little study books decreed that we would learn the definition of the word "blasphemy". Rather than, say, have us look it up in the dictionary, the kooky lady in charge of the class instead told us a horror story about some kid who stole a Eucharist from church (with no apparent motivation) and took it home to flush it down the john. Naturally the instant the Holy Cracker hit the water, it turned the entire contents of the toilet in a soupy pool of blood. It was, the teacher said in nicer words than I'm going to use, Yahweh's way of telling the kid to settle down and tow the line unless he wanted his ass handed to him on a cosmic scale. I, along with every other kid in the class except maybe the golden crucifix girl, was freaked right the hell out. I mean, this lady was a teacher (nominally); She wouldn't tell scary lies to a bunch of little kids, would she?

Talking to other former Catholics on the internet has made me realize that almost all of us have, at some point, heard some derivation of the so-called "Bleeding Host Story", and that really cheeses me off. It's pretty freakin' cowardly to isolate little kids (I think I was 6 or 7 at the time) and tell them crazy horror movie stories about your fearsome god in order to scare them out of questioning the obvious bullshit you're feeding them. If I used that kind of emotionally abusive coercive crap at work to get my mentally disabled clients to do what I wanted them to I'd be (quite deservedly) fired on the spot. Between this and my Baptist schoolmates being tormented by their parents with threats of Hell from the time they were old enough to repeat the word, all I can say is that I've seen my fair share of religion being used to abuse children. I suppose the only way to get people to devote their lives to a hodgepodge of vapid, self-contradictory fables is to terrify them into submission as early as possible.

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