To protest university funding of on-campus religious services, University of Central Florida Student Senator Webster Cook “stole” a Eucharist during a Mass on June 29th.Â Drilling down to Cook’s precise motives and exactly what happened can get complicated, but there’s a pretty good account of it here:
Cook claims a churchmember used physical force in an attempt to relieve him of the “stolen” wafer; he also claims he received death threats.Â Eventually, he returned the wafer to the church:
Now, stealing a cracker from church seems naughty at best to me.Â What’s (perhaps not so?)Â amazing is the hyperventilated hyperbole being spewed by the likes of Catholic League President Bill Donohue:
FLORIDA STUDENT ABUSES EUCHARIST
July 7, 2008
To protest student fees for religious services at the University of Central Florida (UCF), a student walked out of a campus Mass on June 29 with the Eucharist. Webster Cook, a student senator, finally returned the Host this past weekend.Â
Catholic League president Bill Donohue offered the following remarks today:
â€œFor a student to disrupt Mass by taking the Body of Christ hostageâ€”regardless of the alleged nature of his grievanceâ€”is beyond hate speech. That is why the UCF administration needs to act swiftly and decisively in seeing that justice is done. All options should be on the table, including expulsion.â€
Susan Fani, Director of Communications for the Catholic League, parrots Donohue’s use of the term “hate crime”.Â Quoth she, “…if anything were to qualify as a hate crime, to us this seems like this might be it.â€
Really?Â Seriously?Â Stealing a cracker is not just a hate crime, but it goes beyond a hate crime?Â How could anyone, even devoutly religious people, take these Catholic Leaguers as anything other than raving lunatics?Â What happened to their Christ’s admonition “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”?Â For that matter, would the man who supposedly forgave his executioners approve of physical force and death threats against someone who stole a cracker???
The Catholic League ought to watch what they say.Â If stealing a cracker is “beyond hate speech”, then telling homosexuals they’reÂ going to hell for their sexual orientation, or telling women they aren’t fit to be church leaders can also be hate speech.
Contact the Catholic League and let them know you don’t appreciate their abuse of public discouse and their incitement of fellow Catholics against Webster Cook:
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123
Fax: (212) 371-3394