Hero Worship?

Well, not really, but it will probably sound like it… I just want to answer one of the criticisms of PZ Myers and the whole Wafergate thing.

There is this argument – which admittedly has merit, until you think about it a little – that PZ is asking his followers to accept a sacrament that is not meant to be given to non-believers, and is distributed on private property, so what it symbolizes to Christians shouldn’t be an offense to those outside church walls.

I appreciate what these people are saying, but I respectfully disagree.

What Myers is trying to call attention to is the abuse directed toward someone who dared to treat a communion wafer differently than orthodox calls for. One may or may not agree with Myers’s methods, but it is this type of call to reason that has changed the secular and religious worlds before.

Consider Martin Luther, who in 1517 posted his 95 Theses to the doors of churches – using sacred buildings as bulletin boards to denounce church doctrine (most notably, the selling of indulgences) that abused the masses. Luther’s treatise was heresy and blasphemy, but ultimately, Luther’s message caused non-clergy types to think about what they were being asked, expected and often forced to believe, and led to the development of new denominations within Christianity.

PZ Myers is challenging another illogical doctrine which some religious folks are using to justify threats of violence and death towards another human being. Granted, Myers is presenting a secular model, as opposed to Luther’s altered religious ideals, but his message, outrageous as it may be, is still calling people to think about the doctrine of transubstantiation and the abuse the church feels compelled to pile on anyone who dares to disagree with it.

It is an extraordinary action designed to challenge an extraordinary claim. Think about where we would be without revolutionaries like Luther to challenge the church and attempt to balance its constant attempts at power and degradation of the masses.

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