Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Desecration of the Eucharist, Conscience, and P.Z. Myers’ Hypocrisy-A reply

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on August 27, 2008

When I started Skepfeeds I had made a conscious decision to limit my entries and to concentrate mostly on gathering the best skeptical blogs of the day under one roof. However, I have reserved the right to post an entry in regards to certain things that really itch. One such thing presented itself in (not surprisingly) the IDiotic website of the (Un)Discovery Institute, an entry by Michael Egnor titled “Desecration of the Eucharist, Conscience, and P.Z. Myers’ Hypocrisy”. You may know Mr. Egnor from his never ending fight with Dr. Steven Novella over the dualism/materialism brain issue. For more on this head over to Dr. Novella’s blog, Neurologica.

Mr. Egnor starts his entry with such:

Danio, guest blogger at Pharyngula, has a post advocating the denial of legal protection for health care workers who, because of religious beliefs or other moral objections, refuse to provide services such as abortions or contraception. It’s hard to believe that any person with even a modicum of respect for individual rights would support taking legal sanction against physicians, nurses, and pharmacists who, because of genuine deeply held religious belief or other moral principles, believe that such acts as abortion or contraception are immoral. From the standpoint of traditional medical ethics, healthcare professionals are only under legal compulsion to provide care in a life-saving emergency. The controversial “treatments” in dispute are not emergencies, and are certainly not life-saving. That abortion and contraception aren’t life-saving is actually the point of the doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who are acting on conscience.

Where do I start with this one? First, if you go and read the post that Egnor is referring to you will not find not one statement supporting “taking legal sanction against physicians, nurses, and pharmacists who, because of genuine deeply held religious belief or other moral principles”. In fact, most people involved in this debate do not advocate that a doctor should be held legally liable for refusing to perform an abortion. What we are saying is that a doctor, whose job description involves performing abortions, should not be allowed to be such a doctor if he refuses to perform said duties. Claiming, like Egnor erroneously does, that we are seeking to hold these people accountable legally is simply a lie or a complete misunderstanding of the argument being put forward.

If someone is in fact making that argument, that we should jail doctors that refuse to perform abortions or pharmacists that refuse to sell contraceptive pills, then that person too is an idiot. The argument is simple. If a doctor is expected to perform abortions, as part of the duties of the profession he freely choose, then he should not be allowed to pull out the religious/moral card to refuse to perform such duties, not if he wishes to remain employed in said profession. It is a simple choice really, either you perform all your duties or don’t become that kind of doctor. Be a dentist or podiatrist or neurosurgeon for god’s sake, and keep your religious “conscience” intact.

Secondly, no one is making any statements with regards to the doctor’s personal beliefs and moral stance. Every person has the right to abide by any moral or religious philosophy they choose to, so long as that does not interfere with other people’s rights. And this is not that case. These doctors want to basically impose their personal beliefs to their patients, by refusing to follow their patient’s wishes. How would Mr. Egnor feel if a doctors found it morally objectionable to treat black women and refused to perform “non life-threatening” services for them? Would he find the use of the morality card acceptable then? What if an atheistic doctor refused to perform his duties if the patient  was a Christian? Would Mr. Egnor find that acceptable? Something tells me he would be the first one to cry foul. Clearly the doctor’s moral beliefs should have no say in their performance of their professional duties. No law should allow doctors to discriminate and that is the point of the entry that Egnor is attacking. Such law is wrong and should not be allowed to pass. So how can Egnor take that and twist into a request to legally prosecute these doctors? Makes no sense to me!

Danio misses the irony. Pharyngula’s own P.Z. Myers has been the beneficiary of lavish free-speech protection, in which his own peculiar “pious” opinion trumps secular law.

I failed to notice that PZ’s opinions were being formulated into a bill to be passed by Congress. Maybe Egnor knows something we don’t!

Myers, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, has been publishing atheist ideology and anti-Christian hatred on Pharyngula for several years while on the Minnesota public payroll. In all likelihood, he’s used some public property or publicly financed time to disseminate his spew. Recently, he desecrated the Eucharist by obtaining a consecrated Host, nailing it, throwing it in the garbage, and posting a photograph of it on Pharyngula. One doubts that his prolific bigotry is produced entirely on his own time and resources; the good taxpayers of Minnesota, including devout Catholic taxpayers, likely subsidize this bigot’s performance art.

Ok, now he’s really showing the limits of his own stupidity. Pharyngula, is a personal blog, not in any way associated with the University of Minessota, which is where PZ teaches. The rules of the University of Minessota, which Egnor also quotes, do not extend to every minute of PZ’s life. He is a private citizen, and as long as he’s expressing his personal opinion, on his own time, in his own private blog, and all this activity is not constured to represent the opinions of the university, how the hell can such a stupid argument be made? Likewise, any of the good christian doctors Egnor is fighting so hard to protect, can share his religious and moral thoughts with the world in a personal blog, just liek PZs and no one would lift a finger to censor that.

Futhermore, being a regular reader of Pharyngula, I am aware that PZ owns a laptop so that does away with the “resources” claim. Also, as far as I know, tenured university professors are not paid by the hour, so the “time” argument does not make much sense either. This is such a lame attempt that it really makes me wonder how the hell did this guy ever earn a real doctor’s degree with such low reasoning skills? Because if you didn’t know, Egnor is in fact a neuro-something something.

Myers has been protected from the legal consequences of his malicious desecration of the Eucharist.

Is there really a law in the books that protects the rights of a piece of flat bread? Now that would be bigotry, and as far as I know, there are no legal consequences to desecrating a piece of bread, otherwise you could rest assured that PZ would be in jail by now. But, I could be wrong, I am not a lawyer.

Freedom of expression, whether it is expression of anti-Christian bigotry or a belief in the sanctity of human life or a disagreement with Darwinian orthodoxy in a classroom, is our most important freedom, and I will defend it even for those with whom I most strongly disagree. In fact, I defend it particularly for those with whom I disagree. Yet Myers and his minions, who are obvious beneficiaries of the right of freedom of expression, demand the firing or silencing of scientists and teachers who question Darwinian orthodoxy, and now they have the audacity to demand that the law impose legal and professional sanctions on Christian doctors who in good conscience would not abort a baby.

This is really becoming idiotic. There goes the “freedome of expression” argument regarding the teaching of ID in the classrooms. How many times will these people use the same stupid argument? No matter how many times you show the fallacy, they just don’t care and it seems that they think that by repeating it a lot, it will become valid. News flash, it wont! And why is he singling out Christian doctors only? I am sure there are some Mulsim, Jewish, and atheist doctors too who feel uneasy about performing an abortion. A bit hypocritical don’t you think?

In closing, the good Christian has this to say:

Myers and his minions are bigots. And censors. And hypocrites.

Now you’ve hurt our feelings. Bad, bad Egnor!

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