Protest UCF’s “Ecclesiastically Motivated Witch Hunt”

26 07 2008

The persecuted PZ Myers today finally notices what’s REALLY going on down here, that this is a public education policy story and real kids’ real lives are at stake, right now.

I sure hope besides this Furbush fellow, PZ notices UCF student MICHELLE DUCKER and helps turn the investigative brainpower of Pharyngula’s informal research team toward her story, such as figuring out the real reason Cook’s countercharges against her were dropped with no investigation or temporary hold on MICHELLE DUCKER’s student registration . .near as I can tell, she’s central to this whole incident and may well have precipitated it, may even have had prior animus toward Cook, yet the Catholics have stage-managed her involvement after the fact (successfully so far) with the result that it’s been alternately covered up and pimped out as PR incriminating Cook.

Which makes perfect sense in this Bonfire of the Vanities remake, considering Bill Donohue’s belligerent media prizefighter role and this note accompanying MICHELLE DUCKER’s tiara-crowned publicity photo:

“This fall she’s interning with UCF’s Catholic Campus Ministry in marketing and public relations. . .”

UPDATE – some commenters in Pharyngula’s thread have posted great language from the letters they’re sending to the UCF president and other officials, for when you’re ready to write your own and in search of inspiration:

. . .To have an innocent student’s education curtailed due to the paranoia, bigotry and stupidity of a religious group’s unfounded beliefs smacks of the Spanish Inquisition. Such practices should have been relegated to the Dark Ages and should certainly not be allowed to corrupt an educational establishment of the 21st century.

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As far as I know, there is no Constitutional protection against being offended and therefore no crime.

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This entire episode is the result of religious dogma and a state supported institution has no legal interest in this matter except to the extent that the university must protect and defend the Constitutional rights of free expression and due process.

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It is every Catholic’s right to believe that bread is their savior’s flesh, despite visual and olfactory clues to the contrary, just as it is every Muslim’s right to believe their prophet had a flying horse. It is not a requirement, however, that others embrace or even respect these irrational beliefs. While the student senate can take whatever action it deems necessary in Mr. Cook’s case, I hope that the University will reverse its charges against these students. To enforce someone else’s irrational beliefs is outside the bounds of your authority.

Carry on!

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