Read this document on Scribd: U of M Letter 8-08
It requests an investigation into the violation of University policy by one sad, pathetic atheist (and biology professor) Professor Paul Z. Myers. For years, this Professor has posted sophomoric rants against "all things holy" on his "personal" blog. His blog is here. Professor Myers thought it would be entertaining last month to ask people to steal a consecreated Eucharist Host from a Catholic mass and ship it to him so that he could drive a rusty nail through it and dump it in the garbage with some coffee grinds and a banana peel, and take a picture of it. Oh, he also threw in some ripped up pages from a Koran -- he's an "equal opportunity" bigot you know. (One problem, he ripped up an English "copy" of the Koran- which isn't considered sacred unless it's in Arabic).
The story was covered by the Strib (with their usual touch of bias at the end). If you'd like the Catholic viewpoint- read the Archdiocese piece.
I'm Catholic- we believe that the consecrated Host is the actual body of Christ....not some representation of Christ, not some symbol-- His Body. Yeah we do. Transubstantiation baby- it's our thing. When I read that blog entry and saw that picture he took it made me sick to my stomach.
I knew that the University would play the "academic freedom" card and that there was absolutely nothing they were going to do to punish this professor. The University simply DOESN'T CARE what their Professor did to denigrate and ridicule a religion practiced by 25% of Minnesotans. THEY DON'T CARE. Here's the response from the U to my initial email. (This reply took almost three weeks- and a couple of phone calls- to receive).
Dear Ms. Kihne:
Thank you for sharing your concerns. It is important to understand that the views expressed by biology Professor Paul Myers were expressed on his personal blog and do not reflect those of the University of Minnesota, Morris, or the University of Minnesota system. Initially, there was a link to that personal blog from a University Web site. This link was inconsistent with University Web policy, and per that policy, the link was deactivated. We pride ourselves on providing a nurturing environment for students of diverse beliefs, backgrounds, and perspectives. We are firmly committed to ensuring a respectful environment for discourse. I hope you will continue to support the University of Minnesota.
Robert H. BruininksPresident
I remember well the nurturing environment at the U- one person who I know very well- was fired as a Co-Chair for the "New Student Weekend Program" because they made the mistake of saying that their parents thought homosexuality was wrong- when asked about their views on "diversity". I remember the B's I got on papers when I'd try to write from my conservative standpoint and the A's when I adopted a liberal worldview. The "U" is nurturing of diverse beliefs, as long as they aren't mainstream conservative beliefs.
When you're dealing with the likes of President Bruininks- a man who came to school at the U in 1968 and never left- you have to go about it in an "academic" way. So, I carefully studied the Professor's blog and determined that this guy is blogging while on campus, he's blogging from his University lab, he's blogging on University networks, he's blogging while punching the University clock at $59,300 a year not including pension and benefits. He's blogging when he should be working. This is a CLEAR violation of the Board of Regents Code of Conduct. But so far- the University DOESN'T CARE about that either.
Well President Bruininks, Hell hath no fury like a bored housewife and I'm not letting this one go. I'm giving you until September 6 (one full month), to answer my call for an investigation. I still haven't figured out what to do next. But, classes start at Morris next week and I'll be monitoring the prolific postings of Professor Myers during the University workday. Stay tuned.