Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Mirecki Update

Mirecki is threatening to sue the Kansas University for failing to support him against religious attacks and says that he was forced to resign, not of his own choosing, from the chairmanship of the Religious Studies department there. Moreover, he states the the Lawrence Sheriff's Department treated him like a criminal, confiscating his car, and computer, and questioning him for five hours straight at one time. Given that there are only so many times one can say "I was mugged by two men in a pickup", it is beginning to look like the police are themselves part of the problem.

I have had my doubts about this event, but it is beginning to smell like the real thing, and the actions of the university and the police seem to reinforce the impression of community intolerance. I wouldn't be an overt religious skeptic in Kansas (or Kentucky, based on the comments made to the last thread by one denizen of that state) for anything. I lack the courage.

The picture above, taken by Richard Gwin of the Lawrence Journal World, doesn't look to me like self-inflicted bruises.

Meanwhile, the conservative spin-doctors - I'm sorry, members of the "faith-based community" - are gearing up to cast doubt on the whole thing and play the "blame game", which it seems is only OK if they are the perpetrators and they are blaming the victim. Go read the forums at Free Republic to see what I mean (you need to register). Of course, the Straussian neocons know that the true value of religion is as a tool of social order, and a good way to maintain compliance. Beating up dissenters is a very effective way to do this. It was especially effective in regimes ranging from the Inquisition through to the Taliban, and a few other states of recent memory. How special they must feel.

Late note: LJW also has a personal profile of Mirecki, even as the vultures circle in the comments to the above article in between the occasional sensible comment. Thanks to Jack Krebs for the heads-up, and to Jason Spaceman for the original item note.