“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Best of VCR: 334 Blog Posts by PZ Myers Funded by Taxpayers

8/12/08 Note: Click here to complain to the Minnesota Board of Regents in regard to P.Z. Myers' Catholic bigotry and Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson's ineptness.

Jacqueline Johnson, the chancellor of the University of Minnesota-Morris, recently refused to take corrective actions against P.Z. Myers, a biology professor under her supervision who publicly desecrated both a consecrated Eucharist and the Koran. Myers posted a picture of the desecration on his blog joking, "I pierced it [the Host] with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus’s tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash."

Johnson has issued multiple statements saying that Myers’ sacrilege was done by Myers "the individual" and not associated with the university. According to Johnson, no punitive actions were warranted.

Unfortunately, if Johnson were empathetic enough to the Catholic community to expand at least a moderate effort to investigate this offense, it would be clear the facts do not support her statement.

When considering only the days UMM was in session for the spring semester of 2008 and cross-referencing these with standard university hours (8a.m. to 4 p.m.), during this time Myers posted 334 times to his blog. That is Three-Hundred Thirty-Four Posts! He averaged close to five posts a day to his blog during university hours. Note to the chancellor: This information was there for the taking. I did not even have easy access to his Internet records as the university does.

Now, this gets a little more interesting when looking at Myers’ class assignments. Many times Myers posts just before class as well as in-between classes. Frequently there are posts during a three-hour biology lab that Myers was in charge of. Sort of, "I’ll keep the students busy and post on my blog." His professional duties obvious were secondary to supporting his hobby and hate-mongering.

U.S. News and World Report puts the yearly tuition of UMM at near $10,000. I wonder how the sacraficing parents struggling to pay tuition, trying to provide a better life for their children, would feel about the dedication in which Myers approaches his job?

Specifically, on Jan. 30 during university hours Myers engaged in Catholic-bashing with a post: "I’m just finding the old boy [Pope Benedict XVI] increasingly irrelevant as he continues his reactionary slide into medieval thinking. More and more it’s like hearing reports of what some random homeless man in a Philadelphia subway station ranted about."

On Jan. 25, also during university hours, he added to his sacrilegious offenses by posting a picture of a light switch depicting Christ with children that he inferred looked like Christ was aroused. Myers again joked, "I dare you to look at it and not have wildly inappropriate thoughts skitter through your brain."

Back to Chancellor Johnson. It shows a great dereliction of her duty not to access Myers’ Internet records to see if any of this nonsense has been going on during university hours and with the taxpayers' dime.

The correct questions for Johnson to have asked during this time were two-folded. First, and foremost, did any of this bigotry happen on university time and with university equipment? Secondly, if not, can any of these diatribes in anyway be connected back to the university? What Chancellor Johnson did in her actions was to completely skip the primary, most important question and jumped to the lesser, secondary question, in which the university took down a link from their Web site to Myers’ blog.

The ineptness of handling this situation now turns the focus to Johnson. She now comes across as coddling a bigot and not investigating fully as opposed to being a fiduciary to the university acting appropriately. Her defense of Myers that these bigoted views were his personal views and not related to the university no longer carries weight or truth. Yes, they were his views, but they were posted from the university grounds, with university property and, many times as it appears, during class on the taxpayers’ dime.

When coupling the bumbling of this situation with UMM’s past history of not being sensitive to the Catholic community’s outrage by putting on an anti-Catholic play last year, a new reality is obvious.

The time has come for Chancellor Johnson to be replaced with someone who can handle these offenses professionally, thoroughly and act appropriately in the best interests of the university, the 60 million Catholics in America and the people of Minnesota who are funding the chancellor's salary.

11 comments:

cg said...

Think of the spectacle-all of those university professors who've posted on-line during class hours, scrambling like sandcrabs to cover their tracks now.

And look who they have to thank for the privilege.

cg said...

Does this university chancellor take everyone for simpletons?

The professor's webpage was known to virtually everyone at the university--students and faculty, and the webpage has been in operation for years.

In all that time no one was aware of what he posted? No one who was aware of the page talked about what he posted? Not one of the other faculty members ever peeked at or commented on the content?

She didn't seem to have a problem with the content until the university had to answer for it. Uh, huh.

Anonymous said...

Who is the chancellor's boss?

colbert said...

Thanks so much for the link, A Voice in the Crowd--that's a great help.

Alycin said...

I hope that perhaps lots of people will write, since apparently my letter wasn't worthy of a response.

I may write them again, just in case they didn't get my first letter.

Anonymous said...

Alycin,
I've read of three people who got a response: 1)A man who promised to withdraw his contributions 2) A potential student who said she was no longer considering the university as an option and 3) Bill Donahue. Everyone else has said they received nothing - not even a form letter. That's where the president of UCF, John C. Hitt, gets my highest regards. He answered my letter, and dozens of others, personally - really impressive.
In Christ, Mary

A Voice in the Crowd said...

I may have wrote this observation on another blog, but it is a tale of two universities.

One has a dumb student who is did not think through and action and committed a sacrilge offending millions, but returned the consecrated host. The student is paying to be at the U and still most-likely the U will not put up with this bigoted action and he will be disciplined in some way.

The second university, has a 50 year old man deliberately going out of his way to commit a sacrilege offending millions.
This U is paying their money to have a bigot there, and might not take any action.

One university answers concerns received, so if they did rule in favor of the student, Catholics would at least feel at least they were responded to.

The another totally ignore 99% of all e-mails, so if no discipline action comes, Catholic feels the university is supporting hate.

I said about Chancellor Johnson and Pres. Bruininks, they are lucky they are not in the business world with this lack of professionalism. The lack of consideration would never be accepted and they would be answering to someone. Academia many time shelters people in its non-real world who would never be able to survive elsewhere. And pays them big salaries, regardless.

Anonymous said...

Dear Voice itc -

Did you see this:

"The Myers mob is carrying out a "Eucharist Challenge" on YouTube, encouraging atheists to film themselves desecrating consecrated Hosts."

I haven't checked into it (don't really want to see it) - maybe we could petition You Tube. Would they allow people to videotape cross-burning?

Mary

A Voice in the Crowd said...

Mary-

It is worth a letter to Youtube and the Catholic League.

In the meantime, focus of Myers. He is the head of the snake. Minions are minions.

UMM Classes begin on 8/27. If they are going to discipline him, it will happen before. They will not want to suspend him mid-semester.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a letter to all the Regents today. I'm sending them snail mail tomorrow.

Our priest reminded me the other day that evil has its limits. John Paul reflected on that also in terms of the war and all he lived through. That gave me alot to think about. We have to remember that the body of Christ has suffered every day since the crucifixion. Everyday man sins and is in need of redemption. Everyday he needs something that is more powerful than death. He needs Christ's humility, obedience, and gift-of-self. However, the suffering of Christ never takes away from his love or happiness. He looks upon PZ Myers, or me, or you with the same compassion, love, and desire for our salvation. The mystery of it all is deep like still water.

Thank you for all you are doing.

In Christ, MaryH

Anonymous said...

“Johnson has issued multiple statements saying that Myers’ sacrilege was done by Myers "the individual" and not associated with the university.”

This is not true. Myer’s blog was part of his professional tenure review file:

http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/weblogging_and_tenure/