Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Lesson

Before the hate mail starts let me just say that I am not advocating this behavior. It was wrong and it was a crime. But you have to admit it is a little bit funny.

University of Kansas religious studies professor Paul Mirecki has been in the Kansas news recently over a class he planned to teach. 'Originally called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies," the course was canceled last week at Mirecki's request.'

He also received a lot of bad press for some of his emails. 'One recent e-mail from Mirecki to members of a student organization referred to religious conservatives as "fundies," and said a course describing intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face." Mirecki has apologized for those comments.'

Wow, was that stupid. I'm not a PhD and I know better than that. Well, guess what Dr. Dumb-Ass? This is freaking Kansas, not the Upper West Side. People don't take kindly to insults to their religion or their "big fat faces." The good doctor was taken to school yesterday morning and taught a valuable lesson.

Mirecki reported he was attacked around 6:40 a.m. in rural Douglas County south of Lawrence. Mirecki told the Lawrence Journal-World that he was driving to breakfast when he noticed the men tailgating him in a pickup truck.

"I just pulled over hoping they would pass, and then they pulled up real close behind," he said. "They got out, and I made the mistake of getting out."

He said the men beat him on the head, shoulders and back with their fists, and possibly a metal object. ...

Mirecki told the student newspaper, the University Daily Kansan, that he spent between three and four hours at the hospital. He said his injuries included a broken tooth.

"I'm mostly shaken up, and I got some bruises and sore spots," he told the Lawrence Journal-World.

Again, I don't support this. It's wrong to beat up professors (or bloggers for that matter). But if you bait people by denegrating their deepest beliefs they just might get mad. Keep in mind that it's not like he called Scientology or Islam a myth. There aren't that many Scientologists or Muslims in Kansas. He attacked Christianity. You'd think a religious studies prof would know that the vast, overwhelming majority of Kansans are Christian.

More than that though. The good Dr. Broken-Tooth would probably never even consider teaching a class labeling Islam a "religious mythology." That would be insensitive. (And if he did I'm guessing he would get a lot more than a broken tooth.) The logic being that it's appropriate to insult the deepest beliefs of almost all the residents of the state (whose taxes built the institution and pay his salary) but it's inappropriate to insult the beliefs of small minorities.

But I'm speculating here. Perhaps the Professor will recuperate and teach a new class. I suggest "Resisting Religiously-Inspired Violence: Facing Threats from Minor Assaults to Suicide Bombers - a Global Perspective."


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