Status of the case
UCF announced Wednesday that it had dismissed the complaint Cook filed against the Catholic Campus Ministry, which sponsors a weekly service in the Student Union. Cook had alleged personal abuse, hazing and alcohol-policy violations, claiming he was grabbed and that the sacramental wine offered during the service should not have been allowed. School officials didn’t find enough evidence to pursue his complaint.
Once upon a time, not so long ago in the sunny state of Florida, Catholic governor Jeb Bush was cheered and officially supported up to the US Congress rather than impeached, for using his secular state agency powers to interfere with the rule of law, up to and including his nearly-executed plan to literally kidnap Terri Schiavo and hold her life hostage in the name of religion.
(This is a scary story parents, don’t tell it to the kids at bedtime!)
The rationale was that his religion deemed her physically “alive” which trumped her own civil rights to her own body and her husband’s court-approved role as her Decider, thus all the usual secular constraints of state, federal and Constitutional law against such religious overreach, must be bent to serve the Governor’s Catholic-coached convictions.
The letter of the law was of no concern. Law enforcement typically loyal to its chain of command, obeyed the authority currently giving the orders, thus death threats to Michael Schiavo and to at least one judge upholding the Schiavos’ privacy rights, didn’t arouse much official concern.
And never mind the personal torment of all the innocent individuals with dying family members at that hospice with Schiavo, unable to be with them in peace due to the unconscionable, overtly political disruptions being orchestrated for the news cameras that spring. Their faith and family privacy rights weren’t worthy of the slightest note by either Church or State.
. . .the power of story that never-never leaves my own mind, is the cultural ravaging of Terri Schiavo, that eerily media-perfect symbol of helpless, infantalized girl-womanhood. [Catholic] men — her father and husband and some exceedingly creepy spokesmonk in a rope-belted robe and sandals — fought publicly and pretty coarsely against each other and the paternalistic courts (and Governor) to control her very life and death. . .
In the next chapter though, when the plot shifts to spiriting a wafer believed to be flesh OUT of church control, rather than kidnapping an unarguably flesh-and-blood person with full civil rights to get her INTO church control, the Church calls only the former a hate crime, and calls on secular government mechanisms to serve up a legalistic blood sacrifice or two. All because there was a brief scene among Catholics in a church, where the letter of its Law wasn’t quite followed and they chose to make a big honkin’ showdown out of it. Downright medieval? You decide.
UCF Senate acts to impeach student over Mass incident
Luis Zaragoza | Sentinel Staff Writer
July 17, 2008
The University of Central Florida student who grabbed media attention after taking off from a Mass on campus with a sacred Communion wafer — a move that outraged Roman Catholics across the country — is in trouble with his colleagues in the student Senate.
A Senate panel voted 5-2 Wednesday to start the impeachment process against Webster Cook for allegedly violating ethics rules during a confrontation with the service’s organizers.
Cook did not speak during a Senate committee hearing Wednesday and would not comment afterward.
But his friend and fellow senator, Benjamin Collard, said Cook thinks he hasn’t done anything wrong.
“He feels he’s not being treated fairly,” said Collard, who voted against starting the impeachment process.
Anthony Furbush, the senator calling for Cook’s impeachment, said publicity from the incident is disrupting student-government business. He hopes Cook will “just resign to save us time. But I don’t think he will.”