My previous entry, about Kansas University Professor Paul Mirecki's beating by religious extremists, may not have hit the correct note of irony and outrage.
I've just read the reports from Mirecki's local paper, the Lawrence Journal-World. The essential sequence of events was this:
- Mirecki wrote in an online forum that his upcoming course, "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism, and other religious mythologies," would be a "be a nice slap in [the fundies'] big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category 'mythology.'"
- On November 29th, the Lawrence Journal-World broke the story about how some Kansas legislators called for hearings to look into Mirecki's conduct.
- Mirecki, or the University, cancelled the course. The University president went so far as to call Mirecki's comments "repugnant."
- Mirecki then apologized publicly, saying it was "an ill-advised e-mail I sent to a small group of students and friends that has unintentionally impugned the integrity and good name of both the university and my faculty colleagues."
- Thugs beat the snot out of him.
Let me re-phrase that:
Thugs beat the snot out of him.
The Journal-World bound up some of Mirecki's postings from the Yahoo! discussion group he participates in. A quick read through those postings shows him to believe religous extremists are irrational, intolerant, and a threat to the American way of life.
Good thing those boys knocked some sense into that egghead.
A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.
—James Madison, Federalist No. 10
For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.
—Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1