Desecration

Ever since I first attended a Catholic mass in person, I’ve been fascinated by the Eucharist and the accompanying theology of transubstantiation: the idea that the host is outwardly bread, but inwardly — substantially — Jesus’ body.

I was once in a basilica when a Eucharist minister tripped and spilled the remaining consecrated hosts on the floor. However, I’d never seen it intentionally desecrated, until now.

A YouTube user, fsmdude, has put up a series of videos in which he desecrates consecrated Eucharist wafers. In one video, he shows how he gets them: he holds them in his mouth until he’s outside the church, then he takes out the host and pockets it.

I must admit: he has some fairly original ways to desecrate the host. He feeds one to a duck, another to Venus Fly Trap, and a third to a groundhog. He grinds one up and burns another with a magnifying glass. Some methods, though, are predictable, like flushing a host down a toilet.

The reaction is what one might guess. A few samples of text comments left on his videos include:

  • Satan will do worse to you. Fag.
  • Believe me, this toilet was far cleaner than the putrid heart of the Judas who did this.
  • i’ll pray for you.

There are also video responses. One video response, from p3martab, was, “This is probably the worst thing you could do to mankind, in terms of its relationship to God.” Yet he continues, “All I’m asking you to do is please stop this.” Another user has initiated a flagging Campaign.

I learned about all of this from Blogging Religiously:

I got an email yesterday from a Catholic group praising YouTube for removing a series of videos showing the desecration of the Holy Eucharist.

But today the group—America Needs Fatima—is reporting the videos are back up on YouTube.

America Needs Fatima has initiated a petition:

It seems you removed a video showing the desecration of a Holocaust memorial and a trailer to a Dutch documentary that claims Islam inspires murder and terror.

But Catholic bashing seems to be acceptable.

I therefore vehemently protest your decision to give a platform for anti-Catholic bigotry. I will urge my friends and family to protest YouTube for as long as it takes, until you change this decision, and no longer facilitate blasphemous postings.

A fairly good point, I think.

However, I want to concentrate on something I haven’t seen: death threats. Some of course are saying, “You’ll burn in hell for this,” but I don’t know of anyone adding, “And I’ll send you there myself!” We don’t see massive protests with people holding sights saying, “Decapitate those who desecrate the Holy Eucharist!”

Instead, we hear someone asking politely, “Please don’t do that.” And as such, I’m more likely to be sympathetic.

I think, though, banning the videos would be the wrong move. User p3martab has the right idea: find out where fsmdude is going to mass and deny him access to the Eucharist.

Simple solution that protects free speech.

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6 thoughts on “Desecration

  1. Michael Talley says:

    I confess that I’m too lazy to watch the dude’s video but I agree with you. If he really is a Catholic, he should get counseling with the Priest, otherwise he should be told to go elsewhere.

    Just because you don’t believe in something, is no reason to shit on other peoples beliefs unless they’re trying to cram them down your throat.

  2. aggieatheist says:

    “User p3martab has the right idea: find out where fsmdude is going to mass and deny him access to the Eucharist.”

    Have you watched the video that shows him actually getting away with it? The priests at his church are so stunned, they actually let the kid walk in wearing skateboard pants and a Flying Spaghetti Monster t-shirt……I think they’ve been drinking too much of their own wine…….

  3. G. Scott says:

    Generally speaking, there’s not a dress code in Catholic churches, so if someone wants to come in wearing more casual clothes, it’s generally not a problem.

    Re: the Flying Spaghetti Monster shirt, it’s entirely possible that no one there knows what it is. FSM is a little more popular and known in the skeptic community than in the Christian community, for obvious reasons.

  4. K says:

    I definitely believe in free speech, but I also believe in respect. Through history, there have been innumerable discriminations that, since then, there have been efforts to refute, such as against African-Americans. Obviously every human is entitled to their thoughts and opinions, as well as the right to express them. However, the problem comes when people try to decide what is “allowed” to be discriminated against. What would the reaction to this video have been like if it promoted speaking out against other groups, such as gay pride groups, or another religion, such as Islam? Or to put it even more broadly–what if the video stated something so general as “All old people should die” and then showed graphic imagery of killing off elderly people? To Catholics, desecration of the Eucharist is as grave and disturbing as the extreme disrespect of any other person or group.

    In short, although I disagree with fsmdude’s beliefs, I cannot and would not take away his right to have an opinion. Nonetheless, I believe his way of expressing this opinion is extremely disrespectful and offensive to those who have Catholic beliefs, just as it would be disrespectful and offensive to openly mock any other group, particularly one so sensitive as religion.

  5. aggieatheist says:

    “Generally speaking, there’s not a dress code in Catholic churches, so if someone wants to come in wearing more casual clothes, it’s generally not a problem.”

    Huh. I feel like I’m in one of those “The More You Know…” PSAs….. 😉

    To the commenter above who is trying to compare FSMdude to prejudiced racists, all I have to say is this: FSMdude is not actively harming another living person. And please don’t bring with the “teh holy cracker is a real living person for realz yo” BS. It’s an effing cracker.

  6. His beliefs aside (which he has every right to have), FSMdude has no right to enter the receiving line at these churches during Communion time since you are supposed to receive only if you are a member in good standing of the Catholic Church. He’s misrepresenting himself by receiving a host.

    I once was seeing the sights inside the church of an Orthodox sect and took a step up a short stairway up front. The lady there got excited, borderline upset, and beckoned me back down since only their priests were allowed up those stairs. I didn’t believe in that sect, but I wouldn’t knowingly dare to disrespect their rules inside their church. Had I donned priestly garb as a disguise, silently walked up like I had business there, had a look around, and furthermore posted a film of myself making mockery of their sacred things, I’d have been doing something of the same kind to those people: wrong.

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