Wednesday, December 07, 2005
As you may have already read, there was quite a stir recently over a proposed class that was to be offered at the University of Kansas. Entitled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies”, it was intended to be an academic refutation of the pseudo-science of creationism and intelligent design. Predictably, there was an extremely negative reaction from the religious right, who claimed the class was yet another example of the anti-Christian bias endemic on college campuses today. That charge was to some extent confirmed when it was revealed that Paul Mirecki, the professor who was to teach the class, had sent out an e-mail to a student group in which he described his extreme personal dislike for Christian fundamentalists. The university canceled the class as the result of Mirecki’s comments, and the media promptly forgot about the whole thing. That is until yesterday, when two men who told him they were angered by his recent actions beat Mirecki on the side of a road. Assuming that Mirecki didn’t stage this attack himself (which unfortunately is not uncommon in cases like these) he was the victim of a frightening display of violence from the allegedly peaceful Christian Right. Of course, all of the “responsible” fundamentalist leaders will condemn the attack as a barbaric act they would never support, while failing to acknowledge that it is their shrill, militant rhetoric that creates the atmosphere necessary for such incidents to take place.