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US: Taking a cracker hostage is a mortal sin.

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Morgoth, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    Some minor controversy has spawned in some backwater state - Florida ;) - of the US. It seems that a student named Webster Cook took a Eucharist during Catholic mass and did not eat it. He was then stopped and assaulted by the woman who was distributing the Eucharists.

    Both parties have filed formal complaints with the necessary authorities, but for the student it got a whole lot worse. People have been threatening him with death, sending him emails in which he is "damned to hell" and have been attempting to force the door to his apartment in an heroic attempt to rescue the cracker. So far there has been no word on what the exact loot was, but two tubes of Pringles have been reported missing ;)

    The Catholic League, which is a watchdog, have condemned his act as a hate crime. Indeed, no kidding:
    The disrespect that this "Catholic" group is showing here towards humanity is astonishing. Stealing Eucharists out of curiosity is a hate crime? Whatever happened to those thousands of African descent and homosexuals who are murdered each year for their race or sexual orientation? Is that in any way less? well according to the Catholic League it is!

    Something is extremely wrong here. It always got up my nerves that religious people where demanding respect for their convictions, but now they are taking another step, not following their customs is now qualified as a hate crime and should be prosecuted as such. A woman on some Catholic blog took it even a step further:
    Just so you know:
    1) Not eating a Eucharist = Tearing up the Quran
    2) Spraying swastikas on Torah's = a religious hate crime.

    Links:
    Student Who Took Religious Icon Getting Death Threats
    'Body Of Christ" Returned To Church After Student Receives Email Threats
    'Body Of Christ' Snatched From Church, Held Hostage By UCF Student
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  2. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Looking at the topic title, I thought this was about something completely different. Taking a cracker hostage...
     
  3. Bahir the Red Gems: 18/31
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    This is a joke, right? How out of their minds/desperate for attention or for having something to do are they to do something like this?
     
  4. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Not being Catholic I'm a little fuzzy on the rules, but I believe "that cracker" is supposed to be a part of Jesus. I would think that most religions would consider it a "hate crime" if someone under false pretenses stole a piece of their God. I'm assuming that you were trying to be flippant with some of your remarks, but to a Catholic this may be a very serious issue and isn't deserving of being mocked. There may have been some whackos who sent death threats, but I'm confident that cooler heads will prevail and we won't see any violence.
     
  5. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    If communion is as sacred to the Catholic Faith as the Sacrement is to the Mormons then I can comment. What he did was disrupt the communion and disrespect the Eucharist. He has violated the spirit and reverence that should accompany such a ceremony and insulted a faith that is likely very near and dear to many of those in attendance. A mortal sin? Not really, but still very rude and disrespectful. If the term Hate crime can be applied to a misdemeanor, this would qualify.

    A little excessive, but I'll cut them some slack. The people doing this are obviously pissed off at this guy...

    Yes, it is. It shows contempt for a group based on their religious belief. What this guy did was against some statute, and he will likely have to answer in the courts for what he did. I won't go so far as to equate this with...

    ...which would indeed be mortal sins. Christ came right out and said that only those without sin should cast the first stone. According to my own faith, Murder, or shedding INNOCENT blood is one of the only two sins that carry with them a sentence of Perdition. If being black or gay are the only motivation for their death, then they would count as innocent blood.

    And it pisses me off when people demand that I abandon my convictions in the name of political correctness.

    What this guy did goes beyond not following Catholic tennets or Dogma. He actively disrupted the worship services and openly disrespected something sacred to them. A misdemeanor under the law, but likely constitutes a hate crime.

    By his action, the host was defiled. That's very serious in their minds.

    Drawing penises in the cover and margins of the Torah is disrespectful vandalism, and likely punishable by law. It is the Anti-Semetite connotations associated with the Swastika that changes teh crime from a misdemeanor to a hate crime.

    If all this is to you is a fuss about a cracker, you are showing this matter as much respect as Mr. Cook did in the initial incident. To decry the institution for their human rights record then mock them for their beliefs and what they hold sacred is nothing short of hypocritical.
     
  6. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Relax, everyone - I'm just fine. Once my ransom was paid they let me go.
     
  7. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    The reason why I created this thread is because I think that the term 'hate crime' is being incorrectly applied. Even if the student was consciously trying to show his disrespect to the Catholic Church, it can still not be labeled as a hate crime.
    This for the simple reason that disrespect does not automatically equal hate.

    I feel that by incorrectly applying the term hate crime so something as this, the Catholic League is diminishing actual hate crimes, like murder and abuse on racial or ethical grounds. Disrespecting a belief can be done without hate. With all due respect: believing that something which cannot be logically proven, which cannot be observed and not even empirically verified does not automatically deserve respect. I'm not saying that it must be disrespected, I'm not saying that it needs to be disrespected and I'm not even saying that actively disrespecting something for the heck of it is OK. I'm just saying beliefs will be not be automatically shielded from mockery and disrespect.

    The student was trying to show to his friend what being a Catholic was all about. He took him to a mass and stood in line to collect a Eucharist, which he wanted to show. The student claims to be Catholic himself, but apparently only pays lips service. There was no hate in his actions, and not the amount of disrespect that warrants assault.
     
  8. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    At first I thought this was about crackers - ie racist white men.

    He took a cracker and didnt eat it?

    Thats a new low for Christianity and Christians. I hope those with brains are ashamed at this. Its a cracker.
     
  9. Decados

    Decados The Chosen One

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    Not according to the news reports. By the sounds of it, he was not disruptive- it was a Catholic church leader who disrupted things trying to use physical force to get it back. If she had not, then everything else would have proceeded as per normal.

    Yes, what he did was disrespectful, but it was not actually disruptive and not having respect for something is not nearly the same as a hate crime. Nor should it be. His only reason for taking it was to help explain the religion to one of his friends- hardly a hateful motivation!

    This probably sounds like splitting hairs to you, but he wasn't showing contempt for the group so much as for the religious belief itself. That is a slightly different kettle of fish.

    Not something I really see on here- do you get that in RL? I thought America was rather heavily Christian?
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    The American Christian majority (Gnarff is actually Canadian, by the way) likes to fancy itself an oppressed minority, ignoring the fact that they control the white house, the Supreme court, and until two years ago, both houses of congress. Go figure.
     
  11. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    For many of us, who are Christians, going to our chosen churches, and being able to worship as we desire is more than enough. However, there are those who would like to change America into a giant "Christian Theme Park;" kind of like Disney World, but with the Nine Circles added and reserved for those who "won't go along," of course.
     
  12. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I accept that, but what this student did went beyond disrespect. He actively violated a key tenet of the faith. The Communion ordinance is taken very seriously, and deviating from it in front of a crowd was wrong.

    I don't think so. It may lead to mockery of the Catholic church, but murder is still murder.

    I won't change anyone's mind on that, but it DOES warrant protection. Drawing Swastikas in the Torah or spray painting them in a Synagogue is beyond mere vandalism. AS such the crime should warrant a more severe punishment. Further more, in Canada and the US, that protection is promised in the Constitution. While you can't be forced to respect a religion, you are not allowed to outright attack it either.

    First, if he wanted to show a friend what being Catholic was about, he should have taken the Eucharist and returned to his seat. A brief explanation of the ordinance would be part of the discussion. If he wanted his friend to see what a communion wafer looked like, he could have asked the officiator to show his friend what a wafer looked like. He did not need to create a public spectacle by behaving inappropriately during the most solemn moment in a Catholic service. Further, what exactly did the person officiating the ordinance do? If this was a simple tug of war over the Eucharist, then the term Assault would be an exaggeration.

    That's just it--to them it is no longer a cracker but a piece of the body of Christ.

    In a situation like that, any action other than partaking of the Host would be considered disruptive.

    That I can't comment on. It may be that part of the resopnsibility of the officiator would be to ensure that the participants performed according to expectation. To my knowledge, Communion is not forced, therefore those wishing to partake are expected to act appropriately.

    So he wasn't hateful, but just an idiot. He could have accomplished that end with much less difficulty or attention. The court would have found that out through a trial.

    Not me personally, but there have been incidents in North America or other so-called enlightened countries where a minister teaches from the scriptures, specifically the parts that oppose homosexuality, that were brought up on charges or accused of human rights violations. I've run afoul on with users here and on other message boards because I can't condone homosexuality.

    The signs are there. It's only a matter of time before lobby groups use the courts to force the state makes a more concerted effort to overrule religious doctrine.

    I don't think the Christian majority controls the courts as well as you'd think. If they did have that kind of control, then ther ewould be tight restrictions on abortion and no Gay Marriage debate (It would have been stopped by the courts). In Canada, The Prime Minister is a devout Christian, but that means nothing. Parliament and the Courts are not controled by the Christians. In fact, the Liberal government before the current regime legalized a few things that christians oppose!

    And for one congregation in Florida, they couldn't even do that without some well-meaning individual disrupting a service by acting inappropriately.

    While that may be pushing it, I wouldn't mind the government playing closer to the tenets of Christianity. While I don't want one faith writing the laws (not even my own), There should be some consensus among the majority of the faiths that the government can look to.
     
  13. Vukodlak Gems: 22/31
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    You know it's not really the body of Christ, right? It's a symbol. And he's not really holding it hostage, otherwise he could threaten to break it unless they leave him alone. Or eat it, I suppose...
     
  14. lwelyk Gems: 3/31
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    Catholics believe it really is the body of Christ. I don't, it's a symbol, but Catholics believe it literally is..
     
  15. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Mmmm, cannibalistic religions.
     
  16. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Look, what this kid did was ignorant. If I walked into a Muslim mosque and started eating a ham sandwich, or loudly quoting the New Testament, I can guarantee that it would be considered a disruption at the least and very likely a hate crime. The Muslims there (and I work with Muslim immigrants, so I'm not just talking out of my hairy butt here) would be furious, and violence would not be far from the mids of some. Then there'd be a HUGE outcry that we white people need to remember that Canada is multicultural and that we should all show respect to the Muslim community.

    Except for the violence part, I have no problem with that. What is irking me is that some people are acting as if the Catholic church issued some sort of fatwa-ish death threat. Some zealots may have made such threats, but I am 1000% sure that the Church officially condemns those threats.

    If this kid has a beef with the Catholics, there are many legal ways he can go about expressing his opinion. Coming into a cathedral and openly challenging their practices while they are trying to worship is trespassing at the least. He deserves a stiff fine and some re-education classes.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    No, sir, they most assuredly are not. With the exception of requiring Utah to abandon polygamy as a condition for statehood (and Utah didn't have to become a state), this nation has never once required a religion to change its doctrine. Separation of church and state cuts both ways, Gnarff. Just as it limits the ability of church to interfere with matters of state, it also limits the ability of the state to interfere with matters of the church.

    No, Gnarff, it is you who drastically over-estimate the power of the Supreme court. A conservative majority doesn't give our Supreme Court the ability to overturn the constitution or legislate from the bench (although it does appear to give them the power to over-turn elections).
     
  18. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    No, Catholics don't believe it's really the body of Christ. They know it's just a symbol too. An important symbol, but a symbol nonetheless.

    And not all Catholics would get as upset about what this kid as some seem to have, or as Gnarff seems bound and determined to work himself into. Most would simply see this as what it is - a childish display of disrespect and think the kid who did it was a little *sshole – which he is – and not get worked up about it, because it's really not that big a deal. It is, really, just a cracker.

    What we are talking about here is the disrespect of a symbol. If you wiped your butt with the American flag (or any flag) in front of a group of ardent patriots of that country you'd get a similar reaction.
    Paranoid much?
     
  19. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I know that, but I've had a devout catholic that I know from other conversations to be very intelligent argue that it litterally becomes the body of Christ.

    There wa a law passed I believe in 1876 criminalizing Polygamy. Even if Utah did not apply for statehood, the members would still be hunted and incarcerated for the practice. Try again.

    I'll believe that when I see it.

    It doesn't have to. It could rule the criminalization of Polygamy to be a precedent for the traditional definition of Marriage and told the gay marriage advocates that they would not be satisfied in the United States.

    I understand. I am offended by what he did, and I'm not even Catholic. What I find more disturbing is the "but it's just a cracker" logic used to ridicule the institution.

    It's not paranoia when they really are out to get you. Homosexual lobby groups have targetted ministers that preached scriptural passages that condemn the practice of homosexuality. Despite promises from politicians to the contrary, a Minister in Saskatchewan was fined for refusing to marry a gay couple. If this was simply a matter about gay rights and state recognition, there wouldn't be a problem, but the lobbyists don't want to stop there...
     
  20. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Wow. You've convinced me, they really are out to get you. Me too. AND my butt. I think you're right, they WON'T stop there. Better get used to the idea of forced anal sex and the outlawing of heterosexual marriage, 'cuz iiiit's comin'. I know I am. The gay lobby painted a target on the back of your pants a long time ago. Clearly that's what's in store for us all, in this plot you've uncovered. Hmm, I wonder if I'll have time to rewatch my copy of The Birdcage to prepare for the impending Gaypocalypse before they make me marry a goat...

    Seriously, you are paranoid. Get out more. Please.
    That is offensive, but only when used to justify or excuse the actions of the person in question. In an attempt to put this into perspective, however, especially in a legal context, the description is quite accurate. In the realm of "hate crimes" and other dastardly things people do to one another, we are, in fact, getting worked up over a cracker (or wafer, if you prefer), and simply pointing that out is not necessarily ridiculing the institution. The person doing the insulting needs to get a life, but likewise the angry mob needs to get a grip. Disrespect or no, attempting to break into a man's house to rescue a 1-inch disc made of flour and water worth less than a penny is something a barking lunatic does, not someone worth defending or admiring for their convictions. Call me crazy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
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