Basically, Webster Cook, the U. Central Florida student who
precipitated this whole mess, is filing charges against the church,
because the university’s rules on hazing prohibit the “forced
consumption of any food”. I’m sure that’s not what the rule was
intended for, but hey.
Just in passing, I think one thing bears repeating: as far as I know,
at no point in this whole sordid affair has the Catholic church, or
anyone else, presented what ought to be the most obvious defense of
their actions: that there’s evidence supporting their
assertion that a piece of bread is a god.
Until such evidence is presented, the assertion that a wafer of bread
turns into a god is just unsupported opinion. Which means that Bill
Donohue and his fellow subpontibians are going apeshit because someone
doesn’t agree with them, and has the unmitigated gall to say so
(granted, rather rudely, in PZ’s case, but still).
Recall the recent Texas Supreme Court case that ruled that freedom of
religion means it’s okay to subject an unwilling victim to an
exorcism, the church used all sorts of lines of defense, but never
once tried to establish that the victim was actually possessed, or
even that there is such a thing as possession.
I suspect that at some level, people who claim to hold these sorts of
nutty religious beliefs don’t actually believe them. Well, okay, maybe
the rank and file do, as evidenced by the people who were up in arms
about Cook holding their god hostage, or the ones who threatened his
and PZ Myers’s life (and you thought we’d left the “crime” of host
desecration behind with the middle ages? Ha!). But by the time it
percolates up the hierarchy, when it comes time to actually put up or
shut up in open court, suddenly they’re very quiet.