Student Who Took Condom Getting Death Threats

I'm linking to this story too trigger a discussion of contracts. Well, maybe not, I just find it ridiculous. I've changed the nouns to protect the innocent.

"A UCF student claims he’s getting death threats for messing with something sacred.

Webster Cook says he smuggled a condom, a small rubber ballon that to planned parenthood members is symbolic of responsible behavior after a volunteer hands it out, he didn’t use it as he was supposed to do, but instead walked with it."

Ok so he took something that he was given freely and left with it disobeying some rule about immediate usage. In this case the condom was suppose to be used in an act of oral sodomy. A kind of symbolic cannibalism.

"Planned Parenthood members worldwide became furious."

Not only were they furious but they wanted it back.

Why? They gave it to him for free and if he used it the way they wanted it would've been ruined by the act. In fact the volunteer had directly put the condom on Webster Cook. Who else would want to use it after that?

The quality of the condoms handed out do not even rise to the level of what is sold in stores. This is a five cent condom not a fifty cent one.

Surely not something to become outraged over even had Cook signed a contract stating that he would use the condom in a sex act. Suppose he had gotten home and thrown the condom away instead of using it in a sex act, thus violating the contract. Surely Planned Parenthood could be indemnified by this wastage of their condom by paying five cents or better yet buying a high quality condom on Amazon or at the supermarket and returning that instead.

"Webster’s friend, who didn’t want to show his face, said he took the Eucharist, to show him what it meant to Catholics."

He wanted to show his friend the condom and perhaps discuss safe sex practices. You'd think planned parenthood would be good with that.

Another article at WorldDaily.com gave even more details on his motivations.

The student senator, Webster Cook, originally claimed he merely wanted to show the condom to a friend who had questions about Planned Parenthood before using the condom for a oral sex act.

So apparently he was planning to use the condom all along, just from home.

"Webster gave the wafer back, but the Condom League, a national watchdog organization for Condom rights claims that is not enough.

“We don’t know 100% what Mr. Cooks motivation was,” said Susan Fellatio a spokesperson with the local Planned Parenthood. “However, if anything were to qualify as a hate crime, to us this seems like this might be it.”"

Wait a second. He gave the same condom back and they are still not satisfied? I find this puzzling to say the least. Not using a freely distributed five cent condom that you can buy online is a hate crime?

Get real.

If you want to control how your condoms are used then you are going to have to restrict your distribution to members only, put signs up, have them sign a contract first, and supervise the process more diligently. You can even make the pay for the condoms up front if you want.

Once you put the condom on a person though I don't see how you can force them to perform a sex act if they decide not to at the last minute. So even if Cook was a member and all these procedures were followed the most they can do is revoke his membership.

What is especially disturbing is that throughout the middle ages Planned Parenthood used the false accusation of "Stealing the Condom" and "Condom Desecration" to persecute Jews.

"Accusations of condom desecration leveled against Jews were a common pretext for massacres and expulsions throughout the Middle Ages in Europe.[1] At the time, the concept of Jewish condomcide — that the Jewish people were responsible for poking holes in condoms — was a generally accepted Condomist belief."

This seems to be a common practice of non-profits. They set up some taboo that no rational person would give a second thought about and use that to demonize, persecute and lynch anyone who disagrees with their dogma. What better excuse for killing someone and stealing their property than accusing them of stealing a five cent condom or mishandling a book that is full of lies. Hell they'll beat you to death even if they own the book or were the ones that originally handed you the condom.

Hell, in the middle ages they were forcing the Jews to put on the condoms in cannibalistic ceremonies, and at the same time accusing them of smuggling them out for illicit purposes. If you remember your history on the incondomquisition then you will recall that many Jews were forced to become Condomists by the Spanish.

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Some advice

Congratulations on finding Christians threatening somebody for desecrating their religion. This is the religion that let "Piss Christ" slide without so much as a knife in Serrano's gut. Nor did they touch a hair on the head of Chris Ofili for covering a Madonna with dung that represented angels in attendance. The one religion for which I am aware of a number of credible threats and actual violence including murder committed against offenders (and innocent bystanders) is Islam. That religion provides plenty of material for the discussion you want to have. However, I recommend that you stick with criticizing Catholics.

Don't offend Islam. I'm serious. If you're a writer your publisher will silence you. If you make television shows your network will silence you. This is for your own good. If you're going to offend Islam and Muslims, find an indirect way to do it, by finding some other target, say, Catholicism, and going after it for something similar. Then, at the very end, you can slip in what you're really talking about - e.g., Koran desecration, which really truly does have the capacity to produce actual bloody and murderous riots, even when it's imaginary. But don't even use the word "Koran". Just say something semi-disguised like "a book", and maybe link to a Wikipedia article on the Koran. I'm serious. Do it this way. Because the threat is real.

But that level of indirection might not be enough. To really muddy the water, you should replace the Catholic Church with Planned Parenthood. Let your readers scratch their heads and wonder what you're talking about. By the time they figure out that you're talking about Catholicism they might be too sick of the indirection game to work out what you're really talking about.

Equal Opportunity Religious Critic

Constant,

Is this really you? This comment is totally out of character. Quite sloppy in fact. Like you were actually angry and didn't think for a second about what you were writing, or even remembered a thing I've ever written.

"Congratulations on finding Christians threatening somebody for desecrating their religion."

Well actually it was Catholics, and only some of them. Probably associated with the Catholic League or at least incited by them.

"This is the religion that let "Piss Christ" slide without so much as a knife in Serrano's gut. Nor did they touch a hair on the head of Chris Ofili for covering a Madonna with dung that represented angels in attendance."

This is also the religion that did the Inquistion, and justified the conquest of South America.

Besides as Chris Rock would say.

"“Nigga wants credit for something they suppose to do… A Nigga would say some shit like, ‘I take care of my kid.’ You suppose to, you dumb motherfucker."

Apparently, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League thinks this way. No Bill you are suppose to remain calm in the face of others who find your religion ridiculous.

"That religion [Islam] provides plenty of material for the discussion you want to have."

So does the Catholic church and other religions. Besides I've had those discussions if you've been paying attention. I've been real hard on Islam publicly in lots of locations.

I got kicked off of Dean Esmays block for quoting the quran. For every article or comment I've made criticizing Catholics I've done about twenty on Islam. Simply use google to see that I've commented on Islam around 530 times. I don't recall having much good to say.

I've done criticisms of the Quran on facebook that would make any true believer want to take a sword to my neck. I did an analysis of the supposed "peaceful" sections of the Quran that any Muslim could find a loophole the size of a truck to justify violence in them. Hell, I've done at least ten of those.

All this using my real name.

"If you're going to offend Islam and Muslims, find an indirect way to do it, by finding some other target, say, Catholicism, and going after it for something similar."

Actually the fellow Donohue from the Catholic League has specifically hinted that he wants to get all violent like the Muslims because that gets results. I think this is his first salvo and so I'm going to mock and mock hard.

Why all the Tu Quoque. I'll criticise whoevers behaving badly at the time. Insinuating that I'm a coward is ridiculous given that I've invented a Muhammed Emoticon.

@>:?/|:^3=B

Notice the small penis useful in buggering little girls of age nine after you marry them at age six. Believers in Islam find it commentable that Mohammed married so many "widows". Caring for the poor widows. What they fail to mention is that most of them were half to two fifths his age or less. They also fail to mention that he was often the reason why they were widows. Besides what charity lets you fuck the victims for your dime.

In one case Muhammed killed a girls entire family and slaughtered her tribe. She married him to save the remaining hostages but muslims, unbelieving idiots that they are, think she married him out of love. Yep every girl wants her marriage two days after her village is slaughtered and to consumate in order to suppress the grief.

Believers in Islam are all into what Chris Rock is complaining about. They see Muhammed as all merciful because he didn't slaughter everyone in his home town after he recaptured it. What low expectations. He did give himself a little "relief" but having some poets and the like butchered at the time. Had a pregnant woman stabbed in the stomach for mocking him. That's the Islamic virtue of mercy for you.

"Koran desecration, which really truly does have the capacity to produce actual bloody and murderous riots, even when it's imaginary. But don't even use the word "Koran". Just say something semi-disguised like "a book", and maybe link to a Wikipedia article on the Koran. I'm serious. Do it this way. Because the threat is real."

The only reason I did it that way was to maintain the level of comedy and "illusion" this was about planned parenthood. You'll notice that I consistently provided links to other than what I was referring to. Hell, one could argue I was taking the opportunity here of Catholic misbehavior for a backhanded stab at Islam, for what it's worth, nothing.

"But that level of indirection might not be enough. To really muddy the water, you should replace the Catholic Church with Planned Parenthood. Let your readers scratch their heads and wonder what you're talking about. By the time they figure out that you're talking about Catholicism they might be too sick of the indirection game to work out what you're really talking about."

Hey, I warned you that I changed the nouns to protect the innocent right at the beginning of the article. This was done with as much respect as it deserves.

"Don't offend Islam. I'm serious."

My mere existence offends Islam. Besides, isn't almost the entire point of Islam to get offended?

Yes, I agree, Christianity is far less dangerous that Islam in modern times. I have a good handle on the reasons why. One of those reasons being people brave enough to criticise their insane dogma. Better yet to mock it when it is this ludicrous. This and other things need to be continued.

I'm serious

Well actually it was Catholics

Catholics are Christians.

This is also the religion that did the Inquistion, and justified the conquest of South America.

Not recently. I'm not afraid of people for what they did hundreds of years ago.

I've been real hard on Islam publicly in lots of locations.

Bad idea. Good for me, bad for you. I'm lucky you're such a self-sacrificing altruist.

I got kicked off of Dean Esmays block for quoting the quran.

He was your publisher, just like these Catallarchy guys are yours now. He did just as I said publishers will do. And it's for your own good.

The only reason I did it that way was to maintain the level of comedy

Well, it's a smart thing to do even if you did it by accident.

Muslims aren't the only people I'm afraid of. I'm afraid of the state, and for this reason my comments on various other topics are more muted and less frank than they would otherwise be. I'm not even going to mention what they are. That's how wary I am. It's actually not wrong for you to take my comments here about my fear of Muslim reprisal, convoluted as they already are, as code for comments about my fear of the state.

My comments here were sufficiently convoluted that it's not the sort of thing that sent the Danish cartoonists into hiding, that got Theo van Gogh killed, that made Ayaan Hirsi Ali's building co-tenants want to kick her out of the building for fear of bombs.

So I hope that clarifies things. You seemed to think I was sarcastically attacking you for being overly careful. That's not it at all. But the effect is not entirely accidental. You might say that I am making straightforward comments disguised as irony.

One question that arises is, how can I possibly hope to communicate effectively if I disguise my speech? The answer is that my writing is an opportunity for the reader to create his own thoughts. I give the reader a platform, if he is so inclined, to think for himself the thoughts that I was thinking. He doesn't have to worry about what I meant - he can see my text as patterns on the wall that he can read his own meanings into.

Don't project your fears

"Catholics are Christians."

Yeah, and Christians are mammals. You were broadening my satire to apply to all Christians when in fact it only applies to a minority of Catholics, those who actually believe the drivel that despoiling crackers is close to the worse offense on the planet.

"I'm lucky you're such a self-sacrificing altruist."

Exactly.

"He was your publisher, just like these Catallarchy guys are yours now. He did just as I said publishers will do. And it's for your own good."

These Catallarchy guys are more my publishers than Esmay ever was. I was merely commenting in his comment section. That's more like a letter to the editor than a comment.

For "my own good". You have to be kidding right? "My good" is broader than merely my personal safety. Furthermore, you are way overestimating the danger from Muslims. The biggest danger here is political and even that is minor.

These however are my RELIGIOUS beliefs and therefore 100% as valid as anybody elses. So they come after me they are going to have a fight on their hands.

Frankly, I find your fear of the government here a little over the top. So they are going to come after me because I wrote a satire of a news article? I think they'll be after PZ Myers, or Sam Harris long before me. I'd prefer a political fight now before they gain power and credibility while we sit on our hands. So come after me for the satire. Bring it on.

Yeah, and Christians are

Yeah, and Christians are mammals.

Doesn't matter. My argument was:

Congratulations on finding Christians threatening somebody for desecrating their religion.

Meaning that Christians are not very threatening. My argument was that these guys are Christians and Christians are not threatening, so guys like these are hard to find.

You were broadening my satire to apply to all Christians

Actually, I was arguing that guys like these were hard to find.

That's more like a letter to the editor than a comment.

The blog is his, he's the publisher.

Furthermore, you are way overestimating the danger from Muslims. The biggest danger here is political and even that is minor.

The danger is minor as long as you stay within bounds and as long as you are sufficiently obscure. If you stay within bounds, and/or if you are sufficiently obscure, then you're okay. But not otherwise. Even here in the United States, some publishers and networks have been reluctant to publicize works that tread on Muslim sensibilities. There was a certain South Park episode which was bowdlerized when broadcast out of fear of Islam.

That South Park episode was a while ago. Not much has happened since. Does this mean that the danger is gone? No, it means that people have learned their lesson, they have internalized the rules, and now nobody gets stepped on because nobody pushes the envelope.

Frankly, I find your fear of the government here a little over the top. So they are going to come after me because I wrote a satire of a news article? I think they'll be after PZ Myers

P Z Myers is a left winger who detests libertarians. He is one of the best friends the state could possibly ask for: a smart, articulate, authoritative left winger who detests the detestation of the state. Leftists play at hating the state, but they're not the ones the state goes after. Waco wasn't a bunch of latte-sipping leftists. Nor were the fundamentalist Mormons. Waco were Christians. As a matter fact, both groups were Christians. Weird Christians considered heretics by other Christians, but Christians nonetheless.

But you may be right in your tactic. Being loud may be a defense against the state. Nobody ever heard a peep from the religious group at Waco or from the fundamentalist Mormons, and look at what happened to them.

Student was victim of fraud and assault and battery.

BTW, I did not make this analogy as precise as I could have, and doing so would have made the Catholics look even worse. For instance, the Catholics claim that these crackers are transformed into human flesh by the priest and also that the whole ritual is good for you and your family. This would be the equivalent of the people distributing some kind of magical condom that is transformed into say "angel intestine" or something that gives magical powers of virtue or something. Not only that they depend on contributions based on such fraud.

The fact that the Eucharist is placed on the tongue with such outrageous claims makes it quite clear that anyone who gains possession this way has a right to gain complete control over the cracker. The may need to take it down to the local laboratory to see if they are being defrauded for contributions to the church. Hell they can test it if they even suspect it's been tampered with in some other way.

From a libertarian point of view this is a simple case of fraud and then assault and battery, where the student is the victim.

The opposite

With the exception of the death threats, the religious organization is the victim here, and the student is the perpetrator. The death threats and the inane legal threat involving an appeal to the idea of a "hate crime" reverse this, and it is the death threats that I was talking about above, but here I'm talking about the original act.

There is no claim that the item has physically changed. They claim that the change is non-physical. So a laboratory would show no change. They are deeply committed to a belief system similar to the one David Chalmers argues for. Think of it this way: they have done something like taken an ordinary cracker and with the help of an entity who resides outside the physical universe have turned it into a zombie cracker, which is physically indistinguishable from a regular cracker. Only, in this case it's not a zombie cracker but a god cracker, becoming a manifestation of the being that they worship. It's a kind of belief remarkably resistant to disproof. But it gains this resistance to disproof by discarding any claims about a physical change. It is, I agree, absurd, but serious people seriously believe it. They're not lying any more than David Chalmers is lying.

In principle, that sort of belief system might be dangerous. Imagine if they thought that the student's left hand had become the left hand of God, and they needed to surgically remove it to prevent the student from desecrating it. If they attempted to carry that out, that would indeed constitute aggression by the church. But, fortunately for the legality of their religious practices, their belief extends only to their own property, some crackers which they themselves make from materials they themselves obtain honestly (or maybe the cracker is made outside of the church - in any case, they came by the crackers honestly, so those are their crackers).

That being the case, then it's a pretty harmless belief. If you don't want them to get pissed off at you, don't go in and, concealing your intent, deceive them into handing you a cracker under the false pretense that you are one of their own flock.

Your initial argument relied on the key assumption that the cracker is not valuable. You wrote:

Surely not something to become outraged over even had Cook signed a contract stating that he would use the condom in a sex act. Suppose he had gotten home and thrown the condom away instead of using it in a sex act, thus violating the contract. Surely Planned Parenthood could be indemnified by this wastage of their condom by paying five cents or better yet buying a high quality condom on Amazon or at the supermarket and returning that instead.

Here you acknowledge that technically they may be in the right (when you write about an explicit written contract I am taking this as a nod by you acknowledging the possibility that there may be an informal agreement here with legal force) but that that it was not something to become outraged over because the cracker is not very valuable.

Just to get one thing out of the way:

"Accusations of condom desecration leveled against Jews were a common pretext for massacres and expulsions throughout the Middle Ages in Europe.[1] At the time, the concept of Jewish condomcide — that the Jewish people were responsible for poking holes in condoms — was a generally accepted Condomist belief."

Accusations of human sacrifice were also leveled against the Jews. That doesn't make human sacrifice okay. Nor does it make host desecration okay.

I don't have to adopt the beliefs of the religious organization to see them as victims here, because I understand that value is subjective. The cracker is valueless to me, but it valuable to the organization. You claim that the cracker is valueless and your argument relies heavily on this claim, but it is not up to you or to me to decide how valuable this cracker is to these people whose property it is. I do not, personally, have to value this cracker as anything more than a cracker in order to respect the much greater valuation that the religious organization places on it.

And I do think it likely that the cracker remains the property of the organization throughout all this. If you hand an item to someone, that does not thereby transfer ownership to him. If it did, it would be impossible to borrow things. The organization hands out these items expecting them to be used in a very specific way (consumed immediately). The best way to conceptualize this is to think of them as retaining ownership of the item until it is consumed.

If you go to a party where they have tables piled with food, and you start stuffing your pockets with the food and attempt to leave the party with the food, the owner will likely become angry, and rightly so, if he catches you. The food is his and remains his until the moment you eat the food. I think the passing out of the host is similar to this.

"But, fortunately for the

"But, fortunately for the legality of their religious practices, their belief extends only to their own property, some crackers which they themselves make from materials they themselves obtain honestly (or maybe the cracker is made outside of the church - in any case, they came by the crackers honestly, so those are their crackers)."

They can consecrate crackers all day long, claim they are magical, and so long as they don't hand them out then sure they remain their own property. Hell, it's even stealing if you go grab a few.

However, it's not "their own property" anymore once they place it in someones mouth. You think that if I say "Open your mouth and close your eyes" then slip you a browny that you don't have the right of possession at that point? At what point do I loose ownership? When you've chewed it? When you've swallowed? Can I subject you to a stomach pump if I decide I want it back before you digest it?

"That being the case, then it's a pretty harmless belief."

Actually it is not, as is proven by the fact that they slaughtered entire towns full of Jews based in part on this belief. It was harmful in the past and is a potential threat now and in the future.

From that wiki article:

"The first recorded accusation was made in 1243 at Berlitz, near Berlin. As a consequence all the Jews of Berlitz were burned on the spot, which was subsequently called Judenberg. Another famous case that took place in 1290, in Paris, was commemorated in the Church of the Rue des Billettes and in a local confraternity. In 1370 in Brussels, the charge of host desecration, long celebrated in a special fest and depicted in artistic relics in the Church of St. Gudule, led to the extermination of the Jews of the city. The case of 1337, at Deggendorf, still celebrated locally as "Deggendorf Gnad", led to a series of massacres across the region. In 1510, at Knoblauch, near Berlin, 38 Jews were executed and more expelled from Brandenburg. The alleged host desecration in 1410, at Segovia, was said to have brought about an earthquake, and as a result, the local synagogue was confiscated and leading Jews were executed; the event continues to be celebrated as a local feast of Corpus Christi. "

It's also dangerous when married to the idea that they "own" crackers they are handing out for free. It's perfectly reasonable for a follower to change their mind and want to investigate further. For the church to then believe they have some kind of case for corpse defiling or whatever is insane.

Marry that with the possibility that they may misplace a cracker, or misinterpret someones actions and you do have the creation of a dangerous situation where one need not exist. All because of a stubborn insistence in purposefully believing in the good of irrationality. Someone looks like they didn't swallow and chew and next thing you know you get death threats. Some guy steals a purse for money that happens to contain a Eucharist and the next thing you know they have him up pegged for more serious imagined crimes.

Furthermore it is not "harmless" because it is tied to an intrusive world view. They believe they have the god given right to tell others what to do in many instances via the law. Thus where they gain political control or even influence it they end up trespassing against others. For example, Irish law on marriage, divorce, abortion, etc. I remember a story where they were imprisoning Irish girls who got pregnant and treating them essentially as slaves. Yes, the church, and yes, not centuries ago.

So it is hardly "harmless", and the "moral authority" they try to back with these magical claims often leads to abuse of power, like the whole pedophile priest affair.

They should have no special standing above any other individual because of "religious belief". These beliefs become nothing more than pretenses for isolation, bigotry, and hatred of others in many cases. To others these are in fact nothing more than crackers and that becomes a sore point. In this case it is no longer as much of a problem however other beliefs are much more problematic.

For example, to others a particular piece of gold may be just that and with all things ownership may fall to others. Thus a church may have to sell a religious relic to pay restitution to children its institution has abused. That may include selling the land the church sits on. In any case, if the religious believe the relic and land to be inalienable property of the church or religion then we have a serious problem yet again.

This can be seen for instance in the belief by Muslims that any land they gain religious control over becomes inalienably theirs to control. Worse yet the actual religious texts essentially make the claim that ownership (in the sense of control) of the entire world has been granted to Islam by Allah.

Best to totally ignore the irrational religious component altogether, since anyone can invent them on the fly. That's what Mohammed did when he claimed Jerusalum as a muslim holy city.

So in fact this whole concept of humoring religious irrationality is fraught with danger. Sam Harris is quite correct in this regard.

"Your initial argument relied on the key assumption that the cracker is not valuable."

Part of my initial argument did. I don't believe any such contract was every in force. In fact, I've been offered "the host" on several occasions just for showing up at a wedding, funeral or the like. They are being negligent in their activities if they truly believe this is important.

"And I do think it likely that the cracker remains the property of the organization throughout all this. If you hand an item to someone, that does not thereby transfer ownership to him. If it did, it would be impossible to borrow things. The organization hands out these items expecting them to be used in a very specific way (consumed immediately). The best way to conceptualize this is to think of them as retaining ownership of the item until it is consumed."

I don't agree that this is the best way to conceptualize this. This has been given for consumption and there is no way that can be interpreted as an act of "borrowing". It's either a gift or a quid pro quo for church donations, membership, or whatever.

There are plenty of reasons why I might want to stop, consider, examine or destroy the cracker. I might decide it's spoiled, poisoned, or whatever and want to inspect it further.

If they truly believe that if someone changes their mind about eating a cracker and spit it on the floor they have now committed an act worse than murder then we have a problem, a serious one. We further have a problem if they think they own the cracker and it's the body of Christ. Since they don't, in fact, own it once they give it away.

They can certainly kick the person out or not allow them to participate in the future but they can't pry the cracker out of the persons jaws, or force them to eat it.

Even if we granted that it did turn into a body part of another person then under what theory does a body part become the property of a third party?

If you go to a party where they have tables piled with food, and you start stuffing your pockets with the food and attempt to leave the party with the food, the owner will likely become angry, and rightly so, if he catches you. The food is his and remains his until the moment you eat the food. I think the passing out of the host is similar to this.

The student didn't go into a pile of Eucharists and start stuffing his pockets. He was given one and the retained possession of that one cracker. No one has ever asked me to hand back food once I've put it in my mouth if I've taken only a single cracker.

Had he started stuffing his pockets, yes, I think he could be charged with theft at that point.

I don't have any problem with the student being ejected from the ceremony either but there are plenty of good reasons why someone might want to retain the cracker they've been given. Claims of ownership don't wash after a certain point.

So no, I am not suggesting people crash Catholic ceremonies and stuff their pockets with Eucharists. I am saying however that if the church really feels that their Eucharists are that important they damn well take better care of them. Furthermore, I'm saying that at a certain point they lose control. Sorry but that is just the way it is.

I could invent a religion that makes these claims and in addition claims I own the molecules of the crackers to the point where they remain in your body. Does the fact that I believe this on the basis of faith make my claim any stronger? Should it matter if I have a screaming hoard of a billion crazies? Certainly not, and if at all only in the sense that might makes right.

So yes I still believe that the kid was given a cracker and once they did that he was the owner. Trying to grab it from him was battery. Had they gotten it back it would be theft.

Antireligious twaddle

"That being the case, then it's a pretty harmless belief."

Actually it is not, as is proven by the fact that they slaughtered entire towns full of Jews based in part on this belief. It was harmful in the past and is a potential threat now and in the future.

They slaughtered entire towns full of Jews based in part on the belief that Jews exist. Therefore, by the same reasoning as above, it is proven that belief in the existence of Jews is not harmless. :)

Or perhaps we should only consider ideas to be harmful when they necessarily lead to harm.

Furthermore it is not "harmless" because it is tied to an intrusive world view. They believe they have the god given right to tell others what to do in many instances via the law. Thus where they gain political control or even influence it they end up trespassing against others.

Wow! Just like, um, everyone else on the planet throughout history! Libertarians who see that religious people are by and large statist and blame the religion are engaged in *exactly* the same kind of reasoning that leads some to see black people committing crime and blame the blackness.

Perhaps we should judge individuals by what individuals do, rather than judging abstractions by what individuals do.

I don't believe any such contract was every in force. In fact, I've been offered "the host" on several occasions just for showing up at a wedding, funeral or the like. They are being negligent in their activities if they truly believe this is important.

Catholics most definitely have specific rules about who may receive the Eucharist when, and the relevant rules are common knowledge. Going into a church and accepting a host from a priest or minister is an implicit contract equally as valid as if you go into a restaurant and accept food from a cook or waitress. In the one case, you eat it, in the other, you pay for it. It appears that the student did not intend to abide by the contract, and thus his acceptance of the cracker was theft, pure and simple. If the student had accepted a condom on the condition of immediate use and did not, that would also and equally have been theft.

This can be seen for instance in the belief by Muslims that any land they gain religious control over becomes inalienably theirs to control. Worse yet the actual religious texts essentially make the claim that ownership (in the sense of control) of the entire world has been granted to Islam by Allah.

Best to totally ignore the irrational religious component altogether, since anyone can invent them on the fly. That's what Mohammed did when he claimed Jerusalum as a muslim holy city.

The difference from a libertarian perspective between the Eucharist/condom/restaurant stuff above and these (religious, although that changes nothing) claims of some Muslims is that the former are mutually voluntary exchanges of property and labor whereas the latter is unilateral, coercive "exchange".

I'm linking to this story to trigger a discussion of contracts. Well, maybe not, I just find it ridiculous.

The death threats seem to me to be clearly way out of line. I'm not sure whether libertarianism has a response to the question of how much force is permissible to enforce a contract or retrieve stolen property. I'd be tempted to use "eye for an eye" as a generalization of "tit for tat" and say that the defensive force should be no worse than what it defends against. That principle fails spectacularly in this case, however, because one party sees the stolen host as a nearly worthless and the other side sees it as of immense value.

The best solution, in my opinion for the moment, would be for each side to remember the Golden Rule. Peace is easily restored in this case by a thief treating what he believes is a cracker as if it was God, and by those who believe the thief stole God treating the thief as if he had stolen a cracker.

From a theological perspective, I don't see a problem. Catholics believe God is impassible; he cannot be harmed or offended. Someone should remind the Catholic League of that.

Does anyone have a good answer to the general question: How much force is permissible in defense of property, given that the owner values it as X and the thief values it as Y?