Thursday, December 01, 2005

KU backs down from course

According to the Journal World, Paul Mirecki will not be offering his religious studies course about ID as myth. The revelations about the e-mails just keeps on snowballing. Now granted e-mails are not private but I doubt Mirecki is alone in having written inappropriate e-mails. Though he was certainly not very circumspect as noted in the Topeka Capital Journal today. Allegedly Mirecki described Pope John Paul in a not very flattering way. And as a Catholic I should be upset at that comment. I did not agree with JPII on a lot of issues, but he called it the way he saw it. Indeed I had to smile about one thing Mirecki allegedly said (in part):

"I had my first Catholic 'holy communion' when I was a kid in Chicago, and when I took the bread-wafer the first time, it stuck to the roof of my mouth, and as I was secretly trying to pry it off with my tongue as I was walking back to my pew with white clothes and with my hands folded, all I could think was that it was Jesus' skin, and I started to puke, but I sucked it in and drank my own puke. That's a big part of the Catholic experience. I don't think most Catholics really know what they are supposed to believe, they just go home and use condoms, and some of them beat their wives and husbands."

I can relate to both the first communion experience and the comment about many Catholics. Some of them do beat their wives or husbands...but of course so don't people of other faiths and traditions. Hypocrisy and evil do appear to be part of the human condition. But of course some conservatives and intelligent design proponents, notice I said some, for there are certain media hucksters involved (but I am too nice to mention any names of course) who will take advantage of Mirecki's faux pas cover up their own foibles.

Too bad we, on the one hand so easily forget our manners, and on other hand, cannot develop thicker skins. In a pithy aphorism Thomas Paine or was it Ben Franklin said something like:

If you can't risk offending some one you can't speak honestly.

I will have to check on this aphorism later as to the exact wording and attribution. Now that snooping e-mails is getting to be the latest sport the result might be more diplomatic speech especially among us professors who should set an example for intelligent discourse, but it could also lead to a chilling of honest speech. That would be unfortunate.
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