Monday, April 24, 2006

A slap and an echo

In his blog, Pat Hayes alerted us to this blog article that concerns a brief review of a new creationist propaganda video. While both articles discuss the creation vs. evolution aspect, I think there is something else that has been overlooked by both entries.

The blog notes that this new video is intended to "slug atheists over the head". This comment seems very familiar to me. In fact, it's strikingly similar to a comment Dr. Paul Mirecki made late last year concerning a course he intended to teach which identified Intelligent Design as mythology. In a message to the Society of Open Minded Atheists & Agnostics (the group for which he was the faculty sponsor), he stated that the class would be a "slap in their big fat face", in which "their" referred to "fundies" or Christian fundamentalists.

In Mirecki's case, the story was leaked to the media by a conservative columnist from KC who had joined SOMA's Yahoo list serve with the intent of digging up as much dirt as he could. Once this quote was leaked, the media had a field day, and as expected, the cries of "religious persecution" were sung across the state. Senators demanded the class be cancelled and threatened to cut KU's funding as a result. Eventually, this entire story culminated with Dr. Mirecki being assaulted on a road side.

So my question is this: Why the double standard? Why is it unacceptable for Dr. Mirecki to make such a comment in a semi-private forum, yet the media hasn't decried a nearly identical comment from the religious right? Should we expect the author of that comment to be beaten on a roadside?

To me, this attitude of "Do as I say, not as I do." is appauling. It's this sort of thing that makes it clear to me that Christians have no reason to feel persecuted since they enjoy far more free speech than any atheist.

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