Archive for Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Mirecki mum on details of beating

December 7, 2005


With a bruise visible under his right eye, Paul Mirecki paid a visit Tuesday afternoon to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Mirecki, a Kansas University religious studies professor, has been in the national spotlight since he reported early Monday that he was beaten by two unidentified men who made reference to his controversial online remarks about religion.

Sheriff's officials on Tuesday continued to investigate the case, and they've asked for the public's help in finding the suspects Mirecki described: two white men in their 30s or 40s, one with a red visor and wool gloves, both wearing jeans, and driving a large pickup truck.

As he waited outside the sheriff's office, Mirecki said he'd stopped returning phone calls from the media. And he declined to talk with a reporter about details of the case.

Within moments, a sheriff's deputy came out to meet him and bring him into the office.

"We can always develop more information when we have an opportunity to talk to the victim a second time," Lt. Kari Wempe, a sheriff's spokeswoman, said. "I do not know what the purpose of that interview is."

Mirecki, the chairman of the religious studies department, caused an uproar recently with his remarks on the Internet about an upcoming course in which he planned to teach intelligent design as mythology. He said the class would be a "slap" in the "big fat face" of religious fundamentalists.

Early Monday, Mirecki reported to deputies that he was driving in a rural area south of Lawrence when two men in a large pickup truck began tailgating him and he pulled over. He said he got out and the two men beat him with their fists and a metal object while making references to the recent Internet controversy.

He was treated and released at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

"I got the hell beat out of me," he told the Journal-World on Monday.

Key facts about the reported attack remained unclear Tuesday, including exactly where it happened. A report released by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said the location was "unknown" and listed it as south of 31st Street on either East 1400 Road or East 1500 Road.

Louisiana Street turns into East 1400 Road outside the city limits. Haskell Avenue becomes East 1500 Road.

Also, there was conflicting information about whether Mirecki reported it at the scene or at the hospital. In an interview Monday with the Journal-World, he said he called police from the side of the road, but sheriff's officials said they were dispatched to the hospital.

Mirecki declined to clarify the discrepancy when asked about it Tuesday outside the sheriff's office.

"I can; I just don't want to," he said.

The sheriff's report, which is classified as an aggravated battery, says that Mirecki suffered minor injuries. It says the incident started about 6:20 a.m. and was reported about 6:40 a.m.

KU faculty on Tuesday pondered the effects that recent weeks' events would have on the religious studies department.

"I don't think we know how it's going to shake out yet," professor Tim Miller said. "This is a difficult time to get through. I want to get through as well as we can."

Religious studies professor Jonathan Boyarin said, "I hope that we will be able to move forward in our scholarship and teaching with mutual respect among the academic community and the people of Kansas and the larger community around us."

Staff writer Sophia Maines contributed to this story.


sharron5rs 12 years, 5 months ago

If ,and I say IF it did happen I do hope he will be alright. I wish he would let us know just what happened. What we have heard makes it seem a little weak. As for yesterdays posts, WOW. Lets dont turn this into a hate,hate, page. Everyone has their own belives and neither one should be pushed on anyone else. Yes I am a Christian. I wont push what I belive on you and hope you do the same. Living in America gives us the right to belive what we want. Make your choice, and stand by it.

SeanGleeson 12 years, 5 months ago

I endorse Shannon's sentiments. We should not hate anyone, or say hateful things. But it is not hateful to point out that Mirecki is simply not telling the truth. A commitment to truth should not brand someone as a hater. I wrote about this at and explained my reasons for disbelieving Mirecki's account. I hope further details come to light.

my_username 12 years, 5 months ago

This has "hoax" written all over it. Honestly, this Mirecki sounds like an idiot. Said doofus probably slipped and fell, and then decided to blame his injuries on an attack.

SeanGleeson 12 years, 5 months ago

When I said "Shannon" above, I meant "Sharron," referring to "sharron5rs." The r's looked like n's. Sorry.

MadAnthony 12 years, 5 months ago

Kudos to the LJW for not taking the high ranking academic official's story at face value and instead asking the difficult followups. If the prof was beat up the suspects should be brought to justice. If he was not, then justice demands a far different outcome. May truth and justice win out in the end, no matter who was the wrongdoer in this instance.

DaREEKKU 12 years, 5 months ago

Once again, innocent until proven guilty. I agree that the facts need to be investigated but untill there is solid proof (which this country needs to learn about aparantly) I will assume he was assaulted. Once again the long posting starts again and people are going to jump to the conclusion that he faked it for attention. Grow up. Evolve your way of thinking and realize that if he wanted attention he could think of an educated way of getting it rather than beating himself up. Once again, innocent until proven guilty. I will keep him in my thoughts, and those of you who do happen to be religious; maybe you could offer a prayer.

c_doc77 12 years, 5 months ago

I didn't expect to see so much skepticism about Mirecki's account. But my wife and I were talking about this last night, and the story just doesn't sound believable at all. You mean to tell me two corn-fed, Bible thumping ruffians in a pick up truck followed him out in the country just to kick the crap out of him? I don't think so. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but come on. The more I think of his story, the more it makes me laugh because its so ridiculous. Like people have nothing better to do than to stalk a professor until he drives out into the country (something he claims he usually doesn't do mind you) and pull in front of him, and then he allows them to do what? Pull him out of his own car on a country road? It would be different if you were in town at a stop light or something. If it was me, I'd either run over them or drive off. And its not as if someone just recognized him in his car out of the blue and decided, "Hey there's that godless Mirecki sumbitch! Let's get him!" Please.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 5 months ago

It's clear that Mirecki needs help. He's going through a difficult time and he could probably use some encouragement from the community. I wish he'd give more details about his "attack." If there are violent hillbilllies roaming our streets in "a big pickup truck", they must be brought to justice before they harm anyone else.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

The investigation will be conducted by the SO, not by the lynch mob represented here who has already convicted Mirecki, on the basis of zero evidence, of faking this. Making further statements to the press won't solve the case any faster, nor would it assuage the wack-jobs here who don't need no stinking evidence for nothing. They know cause god told them.

ksmattfish 12 years, 5 months ago

" But it is not hateful to point out that Mirecki is simply not telling the truth."

"Kansas bigot invents crazy attack story"

Sorry Sean, you are a hater. If it turns out that is is a hoax then I guess you'll be able to say I told you so, but if it turns out that a couple of thugs did beat him up are you going to apologize to him, or say he deserved it?

jranderson 12 years, 5 months ago

Whether this is true or not it makes me sad that it is only going to propagate the rumor that we in Kansas are all ignorant rednecks. I would hope that our reaction to this event would show the world we are not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

"Tawana Mirecki?"

More fact-free innuendo from Kevin.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago

Either way this turns out, the people of Kansas are the losers.

If he was attacked, then now we get to be the state which has rednecks running around beating up professors.

If he wasn't attacked, we get to be the state with an insane professor at our flagship university.

Neither is a good outcome.

Shardwurm 12 years, 5 months ago

"Whether this is true or not it makes me sad that it is only going to propagate the rumor that we in Kansas are all ignorant rednecks. I would hope that our reaction to this event would show the world we are not."

I would hope you would have more to worry about than what other people think about you or this State. If you're embarrassed then move.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago

Shardwurm, ignoring the fact that you're a bit of a troll, this could have an impact beyond the reputation of Kansas.

If high quality professors are less willing to come teach in Kansas because of this incident, students suffer with lower quality teachers. The state economy suffers with less grant money awarded for research, which hurts everyone.

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

i tend to NOT believe this story.

i did however read a recent article about the professor and k.u.'s religious studies. it said that the professors who teach religion at k.u. are atheists or agnostics. how screwed up is that?

here is the link:

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 5 months ago

Lunacydetector, thanks for posting that link. Pretty disturbing stuff there. Says it all, doesn't it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

It's a religious studies department, not a seminary, Luny. I guess you don't know the difference.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago


Um, why would you need to believe in a religion to teach a religious studies course? I am an atheist, and I went to a Catholic high school, and took one religion course when I came to KU (Buddhism, don't remember much about the course since it was 6 years ago). Religion can be interesting and absolutely worth studying even if you do not believe in the prime tenet of that religion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Says it all, ascot n dickie? How could that website say anything remotely relevant to Mirecki getting beat up?

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 5 months ago

When you've got extensive knowledge of a host of different world religions, you tend to separate yourself from any one particular school of faith. It's called working without a bias.

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

Agreed, bthom. Also, how will it impact the enrollment of serious students if the university looks like a three-ring circus?

Were I looking at graduate schools, I would strongly hesitate to come to KU at this point for a number of reasons: professors using the development and proposal of classes to further a political agenda (at opposed to using the classroom as a podium for their personal theories and for grinding their personal axes, a time-honored professorial tradition); a state legislature and a citizenry who scream bloody murder and start brandishing Bibles and talking about cutting the school's funding if they don't like the curriculum; a university, a department, and a professor that can't manage their own public relations; a university and a professor that back down if their opponents yell loudly enough; and reports of early-morning attacks on a professor.

Serious students are going to be put off by this entire situation, because it's not really an atmosphere conducive to a true interest in higher learning. I worry that KU will wind up attracting students for whom this sort of strife and controversy are a desirable state, and that this will only serve to increase the tensions as people come to Lawrence to throw down in an academic and philosophical debate that's resorted to fisticuffs.

And what about the biotech businesses? What about the concept of bringing more scientific business here? How eager would you be, if you ran a biotech firm, to come to a state if you thought that someone who disagreed with the morals or ethics of what you do would follow you (or one of your employees) out driving and hit him in the head? True conservatives (not religious wingnuts) should be looking at the fact that this stands to hurt the economy of the state in a very long-term sense, and rein back the foaming fringe with extreme prejudice.

This publicity may be good for the issue, it may have people talking, but it's the university, Lawrence, and the State of Kansas that are nursing their own black eyes over the events of the last few weeks. It does matter what people think of you, when economies are dependent upon people wanting to come to your state and give you money.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 5 months ago

"How could that website say anything remotely relevant to Mirecki getting beat up?"

It's very clear that hate begets hate. I believe in tolerance. Mirecki and the thugs who allegedly beat him are looking to stir up trouble. I hope he heals quickly. It's too bad Mirecki can't be open-minded enough to allow people to freely worship the god of their choice. I have no problem with Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, or long as they aren't hateful people. Live and let live, I say. People like George Bush, Fred Phelps and Mr. Mirecki are making hate and every day value. Sad, isn't it?

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

This story reminds me of the Dirty Harry movie where a crook pays someone to beat him up in order to falsely charge Dirty Harry with police brutality. When Dirty Harry sees a picture of the guy's injuries, he denies the charge by saying, "I would have done a better job."

By choosing an obviously biased course title that labeled creationism and intelligent design as "mythologies," Mirecki made a mockery of the university's role as a place of open-minded inquiry. I am appalled by the utter lack of academic integrity of Mirecki, the chancellor, and the provost.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Just because you aren't religious doesn't mean your conclusion is valid, kpippen. I wouldn't want you teaching science or religious studies or anything else that required a grasp of what constitutes facts, in schools, universities or anywhere else.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Still displaying your ignorance of the meaing of "mythology," eh, Larry?

har_de_har_har 12 years, 5 months ago

Where's john1945 been lately? Did the DSL line to his cave go down?

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

...i just thought the article was interesting. it's analogy was david duke teaching an african studies course.

...why would someone stop in the middle of nowhere for a tailgating truck, and why would someone stop at the darkest time of the day (darkest before dawn), and why would someone get out of their car in these circumstances? harvard educated or not, it just doesn't sound 'intelligent.'

...and i believe in evolution.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago

How was Mirecki not allowing "people to freely worship the god of their choice"?

Yes, his emails make him sound like an ass, and claiming they were private is a ridiculous excuse, but I fail to see how that impinges on anyone else's rights to worship.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago


from mythology Pronunciation Key (m-thl-j) n. pl. mythologies

1. 1. A body or collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes. 2. A body of myths associated with an event, individual, or institution: "A new mythology, essential to the... American funeral rite, has grown up" (Jessica Mitford). 2. The field of scholarship dealing with the systematic collection and study of myths.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

"People like George Bush, Fred Phelps and Mr. Mirecki are making hate and every day value. Sad, isn't it?"

Sad at the ignorance displayed in your lumping Mirecki with these two, but grind away at that axe.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 5 months ago

How was Mirecki not allowing "people to freely worship the god of their choice"?

My mistake. I should have said he "discourages" people from freely worshiping the god of their choice. Anyway, the main issue is religious tolerance, whether the person is an Atheist, Jew or Buddhist. I believe in it. I wish more people did.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago

In regards to this article:

Did anybody else notice the disconnect between the description of "the KU SOMA underground" as an underground, and the fact that there was a link to their website in the article?

Maybe, just maybe, that's a propaganda piece.

angelofmine 12 years, 5 months ago

Ok, in all seriousness....I hope the Professor recovers mentally and physically from this incident. I don't care what the man said or didn't one had the right or reason to physically cause harm to another human being.

On a lighter note. Mirecki said they "beat the hell out of him." If christianity and/or its beliefs are considered mythological.....wouldn't that include "hell" as we think of it? What does that mean?

tir 12 years, 5 months ago

Considering all the controversy surrounding him at the moment, and all of the things that are being written about him in the media and on these forums, I'm not too surprised that Professor Mirecki has decided that talking to "the media" might not be the best idea. Every word he has spoken so far has been pounced on, analyzed and turned inside out by reporters and the public. The police report has been gone over with a fine-toothed comb. Anything he says publicly can (and likely will) be used against him in the court of public opinion, if not in a court of law. He's doubtlessly better off keeping silent to the media (even though that in itself is already being used to make him look bad).

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

luny, that's ridiculous. David Duke, an actual member of the KKK, specifically hates black people. People in the KKK, by default and by definition, don't think black people and white people should associate or mingle. Religion is tricky enough without bringing race into it.

Atheists and agnostics do not, by definition, 'hate' people of strong faith. I am a person of strong faith, and I have many atheist friends. None of them has ever tried to keep me (or anyone else) from practicing what we believe, and none of them have ever belittled or mocked me for my faith. Most of them just ask a lot of questions because they want to understand why we have the faith we have. The only 'hating' most atheists do is on people, like our own fundamentalist Right Wingnuts, who insist on making their religious choices and beliefs part of the educational or legal structure that people outside of their specific faith must participate in.

GreenEyedBlues has the right of it. When you make a life of studying religion and faith, it often happens that you simply cannot accept wholesale any one faith, and usually come to the idea that there is some truth to any and all of them. It's hard, at that point, to practice any religion (like Christianity) which requires that you accept it as the only true version of the world.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago


I knew it was a conservative website, but I didn't know that was Cashill's site!

Thanks for the info!

lunacydetector 12 years, 5 months ago

...gosh, there are all sorts of articles on the internet regarding faked hate crimes. tawana brawley comes to mind -thanks arminius. it's amazing because the majority were committed by devout liberals to further their cause.

it's only normal to doubt especially when a story doesn't seem to jive. who has to gain here?

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

posted by bthom37, December 7, 2005 at 9:01 a.m.

Larry: from mythology Pronunciation Key (m-thl-j) n. pl. mythologies - - - - - - - - - - - - <<

bthom, Thanks for nothing. I know what "mythology" means, and if I didn't know, I could have looked it up myself. Mirecki was obligated to at least go through the motions of appearing to be open-minded.

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

from post by wendt, December 7, 2005 at 9:08 a.m.

The problem is that Intelligent Designers / Creationists did not want the class to be taught.

-- because it was obvious that the organizer of the course was biased --- that's why.

DaREEKKU 12 years, 5 months ago

But if a fundamentalist taught the class wouldn't the class be biased in the other direction as well? That's ALSO why us secularists have a problem with religion being crammed with science. There's a time and a place for it, and it's not a science classroom. Both subjects can be taught with objectivity without necessarily referring to the other as "the right answer," bottom line. It doesn't even really matter what I type, or what anybody else types. Everybody is just going to assume what they want, so BLAH BLAH BLAH TAKEUPSPACE BLAH BLAH BLAH.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

"Mirecki was obligated to at least go through the motions of appearing to be open-minded."

According to those who have taken his classes, he does precisely that. Maybe you should follow his lead.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm glad to know he no longer has "hell" in him. Bubba and BillyBob apparently gave him a roadside baptism.

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

posted by wendt, December 7, 2005 at 9:32 a.m.

LarryFarma: "I know what "mythology" means, and if I didn't know, I could have looked it up myself." Diagram that sentence and then ask yourself why I'm laughing....... HAHAHAHAHAAHHA <<<

Wendt, I have posted thousands of messages over the years, and you are the only one who has had a problem with my grammar. Maybe you are the one who needs to take a remedial English course.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

I guess that seals it. If Marion is wading in with his famous fact-free innuendo, we know for sure that Mirecki really did get beat up.

DaREEKKU 12 years, 5 months ago

LarryFarma---- what is up with your obsession with Dirty Harry!? Your posts are almost as worthless as a Kansas Science Class. Good Goddess, if I actually believed in one I'd say this state is going to hell in a handbasket....

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago


He went through the motions of being open minded as much as our beloved BoE did this year.

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

wendt and just_another_bozo_on_this_bus , your desperate efforts to make excuses for Mirecki's choice of a biased course title are pathetic.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Your denial of the meaning of the word is pathetically silly.

badger 12 years, 5 months ago


I mean no offense or insult, but would it be possible for LarryFarma to not set the tone and be obliged in that? Just because he's the Lowest Common Denominator doesn't mean we should all descend into name-calling and poo-flinging for the sake of standardization.

It's a dangerous trend that someone like that can come on and throw around incomprehensible Dirty Harry references (are you saying that if you'd beaten up Mirecki, you'd have done a better job? That's hardly relevant, there, sparky), be inflammatory and trollish, and have people who generally try to be reasonable and rational jump right in and take the bait.

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

Posted by bthom37 on December 7, 2005 at 9:53 a.m. <<Larry: He went through the motions of being open minded as much as our beloved BoE did this year.<<

The BoE never called evolution theory a "mythology," "religion," or "pseudoscience," and never required that it be taught only in philosophy or religion courses.

pelliott 12 years, 5 months ago

It is wierd to me that people call not talking, lieing. I don't think it is suspicious that a guy who was attacked could drive himself to a hospital but maybe shook up enough to be not the best interview. A Lawrence man I know had a severe bicycle accident out in the country, bruises and a missing tooth. Woke up in his home, basically amnesic, bleeding, missing tooth bicycle was bloody. Couldn't remember the accident or how he got home. Later found the site where his bicycle spilled and some parts of the incident came back to him. Calling the professor a liar without any better proof than presented is just sloppy argueing. I know it is judgmental but such sloppy arguement seems cowardly. Courage to be careful and fair in discourse is getting rare.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago

Larry: Your remarks seem to have no bearing on my statement.

Therefore, from now on, I shall call you 'Peaches'.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

You don't know Mirecki's story, Marion.

Only calling it as I see it.

MadAnthony 12 years, 5 months ago

Can we all agree on this:

If the prof was beaten for his views then that is anathema and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law -- probably as a "hate crime."

If the prof made up the story then that is anathema and should result in his immediate termination from KU with no severance package. And, if he has any intergrity at all, an apology to his ideological opponents as he leaves Kansas.

bkilen 12 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like the attack is all just a theory, where is the prrof there were two men? where is the scientific proof?

It is just a theory with out proof. It is all heresay, one mans thoughts and oppinion.

It is easier to believe we evolved from rocks and dust.

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

From a post by badger, December 7, 2005 at 10:09 a.m.

It's a dangerous trend that someone like that can come on and throw around incomprehensible Dirty Harry references (are you saying that if you'd beaten up Mirecki, you'd have done a better job? That's hardly relevant, there, sparky),<<<

My story about the crook in the Dirty Harry movie who paid to be beaten up so that he could charge police brutality was intended to be just a snide reference to the charge that Mirecki staged this whole thing.

pepper_bar 12 years, 5 months ago

just an update: UDK is reporting this incident isn't actually being classified as an "aggravated battery."

original reports referred to the alleged attack as a hate crime, but that is appears to have been inaccurate.

p> - the story is a short one, linky on the right side of the page.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago


So does that mean it is simply a battery now?

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

Actually, MadAnthony, the only thing I really am prepared to agree to, and to put my words down as 'definite' on is this:

There are a lot of facts in this case that aren't put in the newspaper or the general media, and so aren't available to the general public. Trying to armchair detect and come to any sort of reasonable conclusion with what likely amounts to less than half the facts, and mixing your opinion on the matter up with your religious or political beliefs, is patently ridiculous. Let the people who have the facts, the resources, and the experience do the detecting, and leave out speculation and defensiveness regarding the man's character.

For myself, I think that it's a wise choice not to speak to the press. Mirecki's demonstrated a bit of a temper and a tendency to speak with inflammatory language on this issue, and if he has concerns that he may say something that will be used by his opponents to stir up a new firestorm, cloud investigation of this case, and further politicize the issue, the smart thing to do is simply to say nothing.

I accept Mirecki's version at face value because what information I have been given is perfectly plausible in the context of my own experiences with life situations (I've faced down people I should have walked away from and later admitted I probably shouldn't have done that, I've dealt with memory and concentration issues following a concussion, I've had my words twisted to the point of simply deciding not to speak to certain people any more). It may be that I would doubt the professor's word if I had more information. It may also be that no one here would if they had more information. But without that information, I don't see why people are so eager to jump on perceived 'holes and lack of fluidity' in Mirecki's story when it may just be that those 'holes' weren't important enough to make it into the paper, or that as they're part of an ongoing criminal investigation the police have chosen not to release them to the general public.

I think perhaps that the constant publication and rehashing of every detail of this or that court trial on TV has given people the expectation that they should know every bit of information germane to the case just because they want to, and the dangerous notion that watching ten hours a week of talking heads on Court TV somehow makes you a legal eagle, qualified to investigate, try, and convict people in the comfort of your own home or office.

bkilen 12 years, 5 months ago

Some one earlier on mentioned that it was ilogical for an educated person to pull over for a tailgater in the dark early morining hours in a remote location. Personally I would have either been on a cell phone with 911 or getting my tail out of the situation.

Yes, if there is a perpatrator they should be punished, if he is making up a story for sympathy he should be prosecuted and terminated.

it would be nice to see if the truth of the matter actually comes out.

PoeticHeteroSapien 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm not sure I'd call the roads just south of Lawrence (he was apparently out on far-south Louisiana street) a "remote location" even though they are. I commonly drive around out there, and still consider it kinda part of Lawrence even though it has turned into a more rural setting.

If someone was following me closely, I'd also probably pull over to let them pass. If they stopped, my first assumption would be that they needed help.

Quit playing Monday-morning quarterback, all of you.

bankboy119 12 years, 5 months ago

I say we drag him through the streets and tar and feather fact let's start the Inquisition back up because it was probably the demons plaguing him that beat him up. Because of that, he is a witch and should be burned at the stake.

Wait, can he be a witch since he is a male? Or does that automatically put him in wizard status? Either way lets tar and feather him, and then burn him at the stake.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago


Technically, I believe he would be a warlock.

Always sounded, I don't know, a little nastier than 'wizard'.

Maybe too much Lord of the Rings as a kid?

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

post by bkilen on December 7, 2005 at 10:26 a.m.

Sounds like the attack is all just a theory, where is the prrof there were two men? where is the scientific proof?It is just a theory with out proof. It is all heresay, one mans thoughts and oppinion. It is easier to believe we evolved from rocks and dust.<<

Exactly. The story of the attack on Mirecki is not a testable hypothesis and it is not falsifiable. The story of the attack has never been published in a peer-reviewed article in a journal of criminology. The story is therefore mythological.

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I'm totally throwing my weight behind 'warlock' in this case.

And bankboy?

Tarring and feathering is like sooooooo totally 1879. These days, it's spirit gum and muppet fur.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago


"(C) intentionally causing physical contact with another person when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner with a deadly weapon, or in any manner whereby great bodily harm, disfigurement or death can be inflicted"

That's from aggravated battery. I thought he was beaten with some metal implement?

Shardwurm 12 years, 5 months ago

I think this professor is an attention w*ore and is wasting his 15 minutes of fame.

What a shame he's going to be rembered for being an idiot.

bthom37 12 years, 5 months ago


So which are you, the pot or the kettle?

pepper_bar 12 years, 5 months ago

doesn't this whole thing sound like something out of a South Park episode? i'm waiting for Ned and Jimbo to be shown doing the perp walk on 6 News tonight, and for Jesus to interview Mirecki on the "Jesus and Pals" show.

DaREEKKU 12 years, 5 months ago

Before all of this happened people in Europe didn't know where Kansas WAS, or that we even had running water and electricity! Now we are known not only as the complete morons of the country that have declared war on science and reason but now we are known for beating people up because "they ain't christin'fied!"....what a sad pathetic joke we will become if we don't fix this.....

pepper_bar 12 years, 5 months ago

clarifying my earlier post / quoting the UDK story:

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office initially labeled the attack on Professor Paul Mirecki a hate crime.

But the office removed the title today, calling the labeling a mistake.

Lt. Kari Wempe said that the error occurred Monday morning when the attack was reported.

Officers wrongly transmitted the information over the police radio, she said. It is not classified as an aggravated battery.

bige1030 12 years, 5 months ago

I bet there are some people on here who are still going to say that Prof. Mirecki fabricated the story even after the attackers come forward and confess to attacking him in the place where he said he was attacked.

Herding_Cats 12 years, 5 months ago

Very mature, jeeper. Right out of 7th grade. Good insult. Stellar.

Anyhow, just wanted to say I'm in agreement with those who have previously stated that jumping to any sort of conclusion right now is an ignorant move. Most people are simply showing their biases (like my own bias towards "desiring information").

DaREEKKU 12 years, 5 months ago

Nice kujeeper. May have meant to be funny, but you missed the target. I don't appreciated you resorting to the sexual identity of homosexuality, which I identify with, as a cheap joke. Go educate yourself, while books are still legal in this state.

bkilen 12 years, 5 months ago


So you think the Prof will confess?

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

I think that for me the sadder part is that when the story is condensed for national or international attention, the depth and intricacies of the issues get lost. It stops being about whether or not ID is a viable theory and belongs in a science classroom, how people differentiate between faith and reason, the notion of finding a way to respect multiple ideologies and belief structures without sacrificing intellectual integrity, and the fact that a lot of people who oppose ID in a science classroom would be perfectly happy to see it in a philosophy classroom - even in a public school.

It starts being about a bunch of ignorant fundamentalist hicks out to force straight Biblical Creationism into science classrooms and force scientific considerations of evolution out. It turns into 'Creationist Christians' vs. 'Darwinist Liberals' and everyone laughs about that, because that is kind of a ludicrous concept. That's not at all what's happening here, and I think that the level of detail in the debate doesn't play well in a larger venue.

Kansas ends up, again, a crazy flyover state where people spend all day singing to one another about how rainbows are Intelligently Designed and racing through the countryside in their pickup trucks looking for heretics to beat in the name of Jesus, and that's really a reasonably inaccurate perception.

bkilen 12 years, 5 months ago

In reality Both creation and evoution are both theories. It takes as much faith to believe we came from rocks and dust then it does to beileve their is A God who created everything. That jump from dust to cell is HUGE!

I feel they should be given equal status, since they are both theories (if you will). Let people hear both sides (and any others there might be). and let them make up their own choices. That would be the tolerant thing to do, wouldn't it?

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

I believe in a God of grammar, punctuation, and appropriate usage of capital letters.

Why is my theory not given equal time, when everyone else seems to be getting theirs?

I demand Intelligent Writing Design Theory be taught posthaste in every English class in the land. Tell them to stop teaching the blasted standardized tests and clarify the proper care and feeding of a gerund, and the divinity of the semicolon.

It's only Creative Writing if you know the rules you're breaking.

badger 12 years, 5 months ago

Kpippen, I have a question.

Do you believe somehow that if you say 'hoax' often enough without ever actually providing any more proof than your 'gut feeling' on the matter, that you'll either convince someone who just hadn't heard enough repetitions of the word, or do you believe (as many pagans do) that if you repeat something often enough, with enough force of will, that you will force it to come to pass?

Just curious as to the reasoning behind your constant essentially unfounded, generally unsupported assertions.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 5 months ago

Intelligent Design makes a compelling case, but it certainly shouldn't be taught as a science. If anything, it should be an elective religious course taught by an objective professor who can present the information without adding hate speech. Better yet, it should be taught at home by parents, if that's what the parents want. When I see the kind of hate that this debate has created ("a big slap in their fat faces", etc) I understand why some people say Kansas is "as bigoted as you think." I believe in tolerance. I wish more people like Fred Phelps and Mr. Mirecki felt the same way.

Godot 12 years, 5 months ago

Where's Greta Van Susteren when you need her?

har_de_har_har 12 years, 5 months ago

Just when I thought kujeeper was going to win the trophy for most offensive post of the day, offtotheright leaps in & take the prize.

bigjim 12 years, 5 months ago

For all you belivers in the science God, it is becoming more and more questionable as to whether evolution is a science at all, in principle and not just in practice, because its assertions are not potentially falsifiable.

A true science, like physics, makes claims that can be tested and thus potentially falsified; this vulnerability is what makes it worthy of belief when despite this, the falsification does not happen. But evolution does not make claims of this kind. Furthermore, it is one of the touchstones of science that it is based on repeatable experiments. The data used to support evolution are neither experiments nor repeatable, nor can they be, since the origin of species on earth was a unique event. This doesn't necessarily make evolution nonsense, but it strongly suggests it doesn't have the right to demand the kind of acquiescence that physics demands on the strength of its being straightforwardly a science. What exactly evolution is an open question.

bkilen 12 years, 5 months ago


So your telling me there is no fith or something that might be synonomous with it to believe in the leap from rock to living organism?

I believe that is faith, believing in something you can't see or has never been proven!

You might say well it is proven because we are here, My point exactly...

bkilen 12 years, 5 months ago

i'm sorry that should have read faith not fith

bigjim 12 years, 5 months ago

Wendt, how did I know you would be so quick to reply? Because you don't have a job. Your inane postings are relentless, all day every day. Get a life.

MadAnthony 12 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps close personal friends (even disciples) of Dr. Mirecki will soon be able to view his beating evidence firsthand, even touching the metal pipe hold in his side, and report back to us in convincing terms that this big historical event, which many are now ready to label a myth, or even worse, a hoax, truly did take place.

Any disciples out there ready to put their reputations on the line as eyewitnesses right now?

bigjim 12 years, 5 months ago

Woah there Billy Wendt. I must have hit a nerve. Well here's some good news that will make you feel better. I saw a "now hiring" sign at Walmart and if you try real hard they might let you go be a push cart boy for them, seeing how your brian hasn't really evolved to that of a greeter yet.

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago

OK. I have tried to stay out of this so far but I do have to make an important statement. It seems rather clear to me based on comments from a few legislators, some posters on this board, and some religious right conversatives that are quoted in various boards and newspapers, that there is a misunderstanding on what the academic study of religion entails. I am a graduate of that program. An academic study of religion in a state-funded public university is not about theology or faith -- that belongs in a seminary or private schools. The academic study of religion is not much different than sociology, anthropology, American studies and history subjects studying about different groups. Scholars in religious studies study religion as a phenomenon, using the various methods listed above: sociological, anthropological, historical, etc. No one bothers to ask what the religion is of a history professor because it is not relevant and no one cares. Ditto with the faculty in the religious studies dept. It is inappropriate to talk of one's religion to the students in class. Yes, Mirecki made a mistake in revealing his personal thoughts to students, albeit not in a classroom setting. Yes, he should not have done that. However, I have had him for 2 or 3 classes, and never once did he pre-judge any of the students or talk of his personal beliefs. In class, he is very respectful and professional. His scholarship is fair and objective and his scholarship is respected internationally. What he does outside of class, I don't know much, since I don't know him but in the classroom. If we want to talk about Mirecki's mistakes as a professor and the ethics involved in what he does outside the classroom that is one thing. It is an entirely different matter, however, to lump his outside mistakes and blame his teaching style or that of the department of religious studies. I have the upmost respect for the faculty in that department and if anything, they bend over backwards to be inclusive and teach about all the religions known to humankind (as a phenomenon not as a missionary!). I wish the conversative legislators and others would get that. If you have not taken a class from the religious studies department or from Dr. Mirecki in particular, then it is unwise and unethical to post a conclusion on something that you have no personal direct knowledge of. To those of you who understand and have alluded to it on the boards, kudos to you!

bigjim 12 years, 5 months ago

Billy Wendt: The problem is that I don't believe you have a job. A quick look at your record show that you have posted about 900 times and that you have posted everyday for more than a week. What is worse is your nonsense. Maybe you just don't have a life.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago

<<< Posted by kujeeper (anonymous) on December 7, 2005 at 11:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I bet his boyfriend did it and he is too ashamed to admit it.

That was a really low blow, kujeeper. Do you know this guy? Have you ever met him? If not, what a horrible thing to say. If so, ditto. You ought to be ashamed of posting something like that on a public bulletin board.

I've never met him, either, BTW.

For crying out loud, people. Have we lost our sense of civility??

Needless to say, kujeeper, there is at least one person in this world (me) who has no respect for you.

har_de_har_har 12 years, 5 months ago

laughingatallofu, several posters have dropped their masks & shown their true nature on this thread. I'm amazed that porkbutt hasn't shown up today.

Citizen 12 years, 5 months ago

Somebody asked "Who would Jesus beat?"

Lets look at John 2:12-25 and find out.

Jesus Clears the Temple

12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

17 His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

18 Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"

19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

20 The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25 He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


Well, I'm glad that I'm not the ONLY one who is aghast at some of the comments, conspiracy theories, finger pointing, threats, general rudeness and ignorance that has been posted on this board over the past couple of days.

Most 4 year olds can't type, so why is it that most of the comments posted here today appear to be from 4 year old children???

The LJW has been very liberal in what they have allowed to be posted (maybe they're loving the number of hits on their website, I dunno). But, if this flame war goes on much longer, I would be very much in favor of dropping the "anonymity" of the board and require posters to post under their actual name. Boy, would traffic drop off!

wonderhorse 12 years, 5 months ago


Why should he have to take a lie detector test? If you were beat up, you wouldn't have to. Why should he be held to a different standard?

VoijaRisa 12 years, 5 months ago

for those that seem to have problem with the lack of continuity, remember, doctors have said that Mirecki suffered a concussion.

As pelliott already testified, concussions can cause partial memory loss. Back in junior high, I suffered a concussion as well and lost all short term memory. I have since regained most of it and now recall walking back to my friend's house after the bike accident from which it resulted dispite the fact that I'd slid down most of a paved hill on my back, completely tearing off the shirt and a good portion of my skin. I "woke up" about 10 minutes later at my friends house and had no idea what had just happened to me or anything else that had happened in the previous 24 hours.

The point is, when in a state of shock, it's completely plausible, if not expected to be able to function properly and seem perfectly normal. Driving, holding conversations and the like is possible. But upon coming out of that state, large gaps in details is not uncommon.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago

<<< Posted by allateup (anonymous) on December 7, 2005 at 2 p.m. (Suggest removal)

laughingatallofu: you go first

Done, allateup. I've changed my anonymity settings. You're next.

Bob Forer 12 years, 5 months ago

"By choosing an obviously biased course title that "labeled creationism and intelligent design as "mythologies," Mirecki made a mockery of the university's role as a place of open-minded inquiry. I am appalled by the utter lack of academic integrity of Mirecki, the chancellor, and the provost"

Larry farma is obviously ignorant of "open minded inquiry." There is absolutely no tradition or requirement that American Institutions of higher learner teach a subject matter from a positions. For example, I am sure there the department of econmics has various sections taught from differet perspectives. there is no requirement that all a specifc subject matter be taught from a neutral position. More singificantly, if there is no such animal as "neutral." Each of us are unique indiviudals a variatons in upbringing, beliefs, exeriences, and as is apparent in your low level of functioning, intelligence. It is a myth to believe that anything is "fair and balanced." We all have bias. That is a given in life. Even the scientific method conedes there is no known position of absolute neutrality. I doubt such sophisticated principles are taught where you are frlom. shame, isnt it.,

John1945 12 years, 5 months ago

Anytime someone is beaten for any reason they deserve a full and complete investigation and the charges must be treated seriously until proven otherwise.

No one should be assaulted in this country for their views, and when that allegation is made it must be treated with the utmost seriousness so that our marketplace of ideas remains open to all political persuasions.

It's unfortunate that so much hate is propagated on this forum, both pro and con, when so little information is known about the actual events. How about giving the Sheriff's Department some time to investigate so that you can bicker with at least a shred of knowledge.

I can only hope that the Prof. Mirecki's injuries are modest and that he heals quickly.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


You might be a little more careful (civil?)about what you say.


You can beat me up if you don't like what I say. (This is Lawrence, Kansas, afterall!)

allateup 12 years, 5 months ago

Topeka.....laughingatallofu hasn't posted his real name!

allateup2 12 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if the two guys in the pickup were the same two that were trying to run the Griswalds off the road in the Christmas vacation movie.

grace 12 years, 5 months ago

I love all of the gumshoes posting on this site. It cracks me up. You have three or four sentences from Prof. Mirecki and you all have the amazing ability to spin that into hours and hours of speculation. Get a grip on reality. You don't know the facts. Reading all of these comments makes me relieved that we have a process for investigating crimes, even if it is flawed at times. It is much better than the vigilante justice that I'm sure this group of geniuses would mete out.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


I've changed my anonymity settings by clicking on the "anonymous" next to my name. Have you? You ought to click on that word just to see what it says. What this does is allow the LJW to contact me if they feel that there's something that they want to follow-up with (or chastise me, or whatever)

Re-read my origional post. What I suggested is that the LJW change the "anonymous" nature of this board if the vitriol on this board continues. Like I said, traffic on this board would drop off significantly if one had to comply with that.

badger 12 years, 5 months ago


You know what they say about making assumptions, it just makes an a** out of U and Mption.

I don't have strong feelings about Dr. Mirecki, actually, unless one can be strongly ambivalent. My strong feeling in this is that I'm pretty tired of convictions in the court of public opinion holding as much weight as they do, and that I'm also pretty tired of every armchair Nero Wolfe (yes, that was deliberate irony) who's ever read an Agatha Christie novel, watched a couple of episodes of CSI, or sat glued in front of Court TV for ten or twelve hours deciding he's qualified to perform a secondhand police investigation based on incomplete information reported by a news source that's been, occasionally, less-than-complete in its error and fact checking departments.

So you (and others) have a 'gut feeling' that this is fishy. Frankly, so what? I have a 'gut feeling' that we don't have all the information and that if we did, we'd know a lot more than we do. Neither of those is a particularly meaningful feeling, there, sparky.

There seem to be three classes of people involved in this argument: The people who insist that it must be faked, the people who insist that it must be real, and the people who admit we don't really know a darn thing about it and recognize that either way, someone is going to end up eating humble pie. His story is plausible enough, so I'm simply accepting it at face value and not going off half-cocked about 'gut feelings' and 'knowing' this or that. I could just as easily say that his story is implausible enough, so I'm rejecting it at face value, but I like to take people at their word because I'd like to be assumed to be honest my own self. Would I like some questions answered? Heck yeah. Do I think they'll get answered? Maybe, maybe not.

There is a fourth class I forgot to mention: the ones who are using this to hash and rehash every ID/evolution debate had on this board and in the public forum for the last few weeks. I think, honestly, that no matter what the outcome of the investigation, that will be the true end result: people will continue, at every opportunity, to argue the validity of evolution and the validity of ID, and it doesn't matter whether we're talking about Monday's events or recipes for pecan pie.

bkilen 12 years, 5 months ago

Why do you assume it was rednecks or fundies? remember it wasn't labeled a hate crime...let's wait for the facts as you say...and cut the personal jr high attacks..or are you 12...if you past your real names might as wel put your age (not that it matters)

allateup2 12 years, 5 months ago

Actually I'm 45 but most of the time I act 12

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


topeka gives us a "semi-mea culpa". OK. I'll accept that.

But what if Ms. Tate has a problem with what topeka posted on this board. Where does she go? To the LJW?

I don't know. LJW can you help us out?

topeka, the LJW is not your "censor" for inappropriate speech. YOU are.

kujeeper 12 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


<<< Again, what I said about her was tame. Nothing graphic/offensive.

According to whom? You? Or Ms. Tate and her lawyer?

.....And then feel free to tell me (assuming you are a man) that you wouldn't have liked to have had an English teacher like her when you were a testosterone-filled young man in high school! <<<

Would you say what you just said to her face? C'mon, be honest (assuming you are a man).

topeka, would you have made that post if your real name was posted on this board?

That's the problem with being "anonymous".

I suspect that there will be fewer "flames" on this board after I post this.

Food for thought. That's all.

allateup 12 years, 5 months ago

you know what i'd like to know? how does mrs. tate feel about what prof. mirecki has said and what's happened to him??????

emeryemery 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm appalled by nearly every post here. hate crimes are real, very serious and should not be viewed lightly. Whether you believe Mirecki, would fabricate this or not, no one here has offered a shred of evidence to support any claim that the Professor is lying. The police will determine that, not a bunch of arm chair revisionists.

As for any claim that the very idea that a couple of zealots would or could assault someone in the name of their beliefs, the following list should put that argument where it belongs, in the same category as ID. Fantasy!

Schnecksville Published on 05-18-2005 Racist fliers were distributed by the Christian Identity group Kingdom Identity Ministries.

Marysville Published on 09-26-2005 Daniel J. Farris, 18, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, causing pain, suffering or injury to an elder or dependent adult and an hate crime for allegedly beating an elderly black man while yelling racial slurs.

Baltimore Published on 09-26-2005 Yankees baseball player Derek Jeter received a threatening letter warning him to stop dating white women or he would be shot or set on fire.

Long Island Published on 09-24-2005 The gate at the home of a white attorney was rammed with a car and a Star of David and swastika were painted on his fence.

Waverly Published on 09-24-2005 Martin Baxter, 29, was sentenced to life in prison for aggravated murder and to four years for tampering with evidence in the October 2004 beating death of a 39-year- old man Baxter believed was gay.

Ames Published on 09-22-2005 Racist fliers were inserted in student magazines at Iowa State University.

Browns Mills Published on 09-19-2005 A cross and Get Jesus was painted on the garage door of a black man who is a Rastafarian.

Tooele Published on 09-18-2005 Two alleged white supremacists, Aaron T. Segelson, 27, and Michael S. Polk, 23, were arrested for allegedly beating and stabbing a man.

Amherst Published on 09-17-2005 The words 'Ku Klux Klan' was chalked on a black teacher's driveway.

Key West Published on 09-07-2005 Jeremy Jackson, a 34-year-old white man, was charged with battery and evidencing prejudice for allegedly attacking a black man while yelling racial slurs.

Louisville Published on 09-01-2005 Racist letters were sent to more than 15 black employees of a nightclub and bowling alley.

Oklahoma City Published on 08-30-2005 White supremacist Sean Gillespie, 21, was sentenced to 39 years in prison for firebombing a Jewish temple in April 2004.

Lawrenceville Published on 08-28-2005 Swastikas and obscenities were burned into the lawn of a Jewish family's home.

Springfield Published on 08-23-2005 Adam Daniel Jacobs, 28, a member of the neo-Nazi Creativity Movement, was sentenced to five years in prison for beating his roommate.


MadAnthony 12 years, 5 months ago



I did not think so. If you have such evidence of the insurrection, I am certain that the LJW would like to interview you. You can speak up now and save the Professor from this ravishing. (Which seems worse than the initial, alleged beating.) Thanks.

I will now return you to the mindless bantering (mostly by the Professor's loyal but evidence-free defenders) which has taken place instead of discussion of the facts of this very public case. Since the Professor is mum and evidently out of pocket until his wounds heal, I guess we just have to leave the heavy lifting to the media, the guardians of the public trust and the watchers of the publicly paid elites.


PoeticHeteroSapien 12 years, 5 months ago

Wow. All in the last month. Nice find, Emery.

PoeticHeteroSapien 12 years, 5 months ago

MadAnthony - I know the professor and have seen his bruises and scrapes. I didn't ask to see his tooth. I know he is back at work-- just drop by one of his classes or his office during office hours, if you want to talk to him. I'm pretty sure his lecture schedule is posted on the KU website.

Why in the WORLD would anyone give out details on a case that is under investigation, while that police investigation is still underway? I mean, the sheer lunacy of suggesting he should do so staggers me.

har_de_har_har 12 years, 5 months ago

"I will now return you to the mindless bantering (mostly by the Professor's loyal but evidence-free defenders) which has taken place..." Jeez, what thread have you been reading? This one has mostly been character assasination directed at Mirecki.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago

OK topeka.

Good luck to you. Let me know what happens when you meet her. But I'm going to be a Ms. Tate apologist.

I wonder of you would like to have your name plastered all over a PUBLIC bulletin board (fueled by previous posts), saying that she is .....(fill in your most sexist remark)

I don't know her, and maybe she might be flattered. But if I were her, I'd hate to have my name discussed (disparagingly, in most cases) all over the Internet.

topeka, are you STILL 12 years old? I don't think so because, by the tone of your few previous posts, you're starting to THINK before you WRITE. That's good. Continue on.

But, ya know what? The same civility ought to apply to Dr. Mirecki as well. <--- trying to get back on subject

avhjmlk 12 years, 5 months ago

LarryFarma--I think you got lucky when your assertion that, because the story about Mirecki couldn't proven through scientific inquiry, it must be mythology went by with little response.

Again, you've forgotten the definition of mythology. Mirecki's story has nothing to do with the origins of anything to do with his life other than his broken tooth and bruises.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


sorry. I got the names mixed up. but your posts are becoming more mature. keep it up.

<<< And the Mirecki thing is bogus. <<<

Is that what you KNOW or what you THINK? Let me know either way.

devobrun 12 years, 5 months ago

kashmir66049, So, I am an electrical engineer. I got my Ham radio license when I was 12. I still love it and believe in physics after 41 years. I don't think it is god or anything crazy like that, but I really care about the small truths that I find in physics based science.

How does Prof Mirecki sponsor a listserve dedicated to the rejection of god while otherwise dedicating himself to the study of man's relationship with god? How does he go to work every day?

I know mathematicians who live in a world of math that is self-contained and insular. Any application of their math is rejected by them as sullying their beautiful world. They may live in the real world, too, but they are loath to believe that their work is somehow validated or invalidated by this world. But through it all they love their math. If they lost their love for the work, they would no longer be mathematicians.

So how can Prof Mirecki love his work and hate his subject? How can he have disdain for religion and be a scholar of religion?

Since you studied religion at KU, 'splain this to me, please.

avhjmlk 12 years, 5 months ago

Folks, let's keep our attacks on this board to things having to do with the topics on this board, and not our outside vendettas with each other, ok...

dorothyinoz 12 years, 5 months ago

I was born, raised, and educated in Kansas--then I left. But, one thing I took with me 40 years ago was a good education that taught me this: until you know the facts you are only guessing, or are expressing bias. Shouldn't anyone in this "discussion" who accuses a man of lying based on what little is known fo far, simply admit that they are biased?

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


Boy, are you backtracking. It might be your opinion, but that doesn't give you the right to trash someone's good name in a PUBLIC forum. What you say here doesn't have to be "news" in order to attract the attention of a victim (and his/her) lawyer who thinks that your comments are worthy of a lawsuit.

It doesn't matter whether or not you're innocent. You could still have to spend serious $$$ to defend yourself in court.

I don't know if Dr. Mirecki can "try to nail" you, or others who have hurled a host of thoughtless, fact-less, accusations at him, but I hope that he tries.

devobrun 12 years, 5 months ago


"When you understand why you reject the myriad of Gods from ancient times, you will understand why I reject yours".

You have just described one of the levels of hell. Spend your life working hard on a subject in order to reject that subject. Success is measured by the sophistication of the rejection of the reason for the investigation in the first place.

So he didn't reject Zen?

Thanks for the correction that he was faculty advisor. My implication is only that he supports a forum for agnotics and atheists. As such he supports the search for rejecting the reason for his existence as a religious scholar.

I think therefore I am not. Clever.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


Oh, I forgot. It's not the responsibility of th LJW to keep you out of legal trouble. That YOUR responsibility.

PoeticHeteroSapien 12 years, 5 months ago

As a SOMA member, I can speak for us no problem, on that. To be a student group, you have to have a faculty member sponsor you. Dr. Mirecki was nice enough to be willing to do so, even after most professors didn't want to touch us; though he mostly stays out of our affairs, dropping in on occasion to listen in our our board discussions, or attend an occasional meeting, and join in some of the levity in which we engage. He has never once led any activity in which we engage, or anything close, though he's willing to help us find contacts in the religious community when we need to conduct an event, as I have detailed in the past. It's all us.

To contrast, and I want this to sink in really well:

There are over FORTY Christian student groups on campus, to our one.

We are one out of over forty!

Yet atheists represent about 7 to 15 percent of the US population (we usually use 10%, the number given by the CIA World Factbook), according to every survey I've ever seen on the subject.

What this really amounts to, I think, is that the Christians enjoy their overwhelming majority so much and the social pressure they can bring to bear that comes along with that, that they do their best to render us invisible. When they cannot do that, they assault our integrity and call us names like "hateful" so the labels will stick in the minds of most people who don't really know atheists. That's how crazy suggestions like "SOMA is a hate group like the Arayan Nations" even get started, or how people suggest that a person who is under police investigation should release their private documents to anyone other than the cops, just to prove (in the minds of the Christians scrutinizing us) that he is capable of integrity.

No one from the "other camp" has answered the question of what would you say if a preacher who had made comments about atheists being evil (something that happens weekly, as my blogging often details) was accosted by two people who said they were beating him down for being a "fundy."

Especially if Christainity was only 7 to 15 percent of Americans, in a nation full of atheists of all kinds. How would you feel about it, then? I'm really asking.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


OK. We agree that we disagree. My opinion is that some of your posts are offensive to me. I accept that and I'll suggest that most everyone else accepts that something posted on this board is offensive as well.

Have you changed your anonymity settings on LJW? Yes or No?

If this board got out of control and LJW decided that it's real names or nothing, what would you do?

Everyone else can vote, too.

PoeticHeteroSapien 12 years, 5 months ago

I agree that Topeka wasn't really libelous (just a mean-spirited jerk, in my opinion at least).

Besides, if we atheists sued every time someone said something "hateful" to us, we'd never get to leave the courtroom. Fortunately, we're not quite as sensitive as the fundies around here seem to be. We can't even shorten the word fundamentalist to "fundies" or laugh about how much calling ID religion will piss them off, without hurting their poor widdle feewings.

devobrun 12 years, 5 months ago

Wendt, "That question implies that fundamentalist Christianity is the only religion worth studying so when someone is critical of it, then they obviously hate all religion.


Don't recall using the term christianity or anything related to it in my post. Last I looked atheism rejects all gods, not just the god of Abraham. Thus, I still don't understand how he can go to work each day.

Ok, Maybe Prof. M. isn't an agnostic or atheist, but is just a faculty advisor of the listserve that is devoted to it. My bad, I think I have made an error of extrapolation. I haven't actually seen or heard him openly professing atheism. If someone can tell me either way, then I would be less ignorant. If he does believe in god, then my question is outta here. If he doesn't, then my question stands.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


The LJW is looking after THEIR butt, not yours.



laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


Yeah, you're probably right. But I hope that, after reading this discourse, people will be a little more civil to each other.

Don't worry, topeka, I ain't gonna sue ya.

devobrun 12 years, 5 months ago

Wendt, "Religious scholars don't reject any religion."

No, but atheists do. Therefore, if my assessment is true that Prof M is an atheist , then my question remains: How can he go to work every day?

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago

Cheers, topeka. You're right. Tomorrow is another day.

See? Antagonists CAN be civil to each other. Lesson for the rest of you! :)

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 5 months ago

Ah, are Devo's true stripes showing?

Devo, your argument ("No, but atheists do. Therefore, if my assessment is true that Prof M is an atheist , then my question remains: How can he go to work every day?") is vacuous.

There are those in academia, the CIA, and pentagon (many of them christians, no doubt) that study Islam and Islamic thought with excruciating detail. Many also study the various communist, fascist, and socialist movements of the 20th century.

Academic study of religion does not require that the student be of that religion or that the student be religious at all.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 5 months ago

I don't profess to know what Mirecki holds in his true mind, but I think Wendt is correct in that Mirecki has claimed to be a christian.

I think his emails suggest he was raised catholic.

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago

devobrun, Your question is a legitimate one and I would like to try and answer it. Mirecki can go to work and teach his job, a job he loves, by the way, because you don't have to be a Christian, nor do you have to be a conservative Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim to find the subject on the history of early Christianity (his research area) fascinating. He teaches courses on "literature" - the Bible, works of literature that didn't get in the Bible, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, he is a bit of an archeological nut and is fascinated by the history and literature of early Christianity. He can read the original language of the Bible, Aramaic, he can read Coptic, and translate ancient literature into English. We do not know for certain Mirecki is an atheist or agnostic, but to teach religion in a public university, it does not matter. I have never heard him speak of professing one belief, not even political, in the classroom. To him, it is the love of history and research. He found a lost gospel for goodness sakes!! Something that promotes Christianity, although his intention of the discovery was based on scholarship, because that's what professors do. He could have hid his discovery had he had this so-called "hatred" toward Christians. (which is a ridiculous notion). Besides, as far as we all know, he can believe in a higher power and not be Christian. His beliefs have nothing to do with what he teaches in the classroom. What he does outside of class, I admit, he showed poor judgment. Usually, faculty advisors to student groups just sign their name on a piece of paper and that's all the involvement they have. As far as I can tell from the emails, he wasn't bashing Christianity, he was bashing right-wing extremists. I still don't think that is appropriate, however, in his faculty role. But that doesn't mean he can't be an excellent scholar in a subject that fascinates him. I am not a believer in Buddhism but I find the subject fascinating. I studied alternative religious groups of all kinds and types, including the Branch Davidians, Mormons, Hare Krishna, etc., etc., I didn't believe in any of them, but still a fascinating subject. If a student wants to go to a class that promotes a certain kind of Christian faith, then the student needs to attend a seminary, or a private Christian college. Professors teach things they don't believe in all the time. I am sure the faculty that teach the history of Nazism are not Hitler supporters. I don't understand why that's such a big jump for people to understand. I encourage you to audit one of his classes and find out for yourself.

devobrun 12 years, 5 months ago

Ok, Wendt, I feel a bit uncomfortable inquiring into Prof M's religious convictions. On one hand, it's none of my business. On the other hand, I find the public portrayal of the man to be paradoxical.
Kashmir66049's defense of Prof. M. prompted my curiosity.

I too would like to hear from Kashmir (or anybody else from the religion dept.) re this subject.

"His participation in the SOMA board had no more import than his participation as a faculty advisor to a Burundi religion board or a Taoist board." By this do you mean that his support of the SOMA board in no way indicates that he agrees with the fundamental concepts espoused there?

I couldn't teach either religion or evolution because I don't believe in them. I find them to be arbitrary frameworks to describe things, and not of much substance in and of themselves. Mythologies convenient to remember that there is a golden rule, or a relationship between living things. The story isn't all that important to me.

Hence, my question of how Prof. M can go to work every day. I couldn't do it.

my_username 12 years, 5 months ago

Being the kind, loving man that I am, I prefer to give Mirecki the benefit of the doubt. He's not a bad man, just a mentally disturbed man, not an evil man, just a crazy man. Mirecki needs to be committed to an insane asylum, fitted with a white jacket, and given various trial medications.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 5 months ago

Devo: Your "inability to do it" probably explains why you are not an academician.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


I can't believe that you are a kind and loving man after what you just posted. Shame on you.

Bunny_Hotcakes 12 years, 5 months ago

I just heard on KPR that he's resigned his chairmanship of the department. Dunno if that means he's quit altogether, though.

devobrun 12 years, 5 months ago

yourworstnightmare, I prefer plaid. Learning about my enemy is highly motivating if I am in a battle. I don't think we are talking about Prof. M. learning about religion in order to defeat it. Again, this would not make sense. Academic study and being the head of a religion dept for a long time are two different things. I don't mind spending a little time checking out any number of ideas. Learning about them. But to become a dept head you gotta have a commitment to the subject. Thus, I don't think my question is vacuus.

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago

Bunny - no he did not quit altogether, just his role as chairperson of the department. Which is a good move for everyone involved. I am speculating that the other faculty in the department would like to move on and start healing from this ordeal they have all been through. Mirecki's actions, unfortunately, affected a lot of people and I am sure it is difficult for the other faculty at this time.

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago

devobrun, the Mirecki I know as a professor, has a deep committment to the subject of religion. I have seen him teach an understanding the Bible course and there is usually one or two people every semester when he teaches it that are fundamentalist Christians and therefore, believe the Bible is the word of God, and they are offended when they see the Bible being taught as a piece of literature in an historical context. Mirecki is very respectful of those students and he encourages them to talk with him about it. He may have made some mistakes outside the classroom and I'm sorry this situation has gone from bad to worse, but his performance in the classroom should not be questioned, as far as I am concerned anyway. However, I agree that he step down as chair. Because of the events, he is not a good spokesperson for the department. Not because he doesn't have a fascination and commitment towards his subject, but because of the mistakes he made and the bad publicity surrounding it.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago

Is there any more blood to be let?

A perspective:

Somebody makes a mistake and is crucified for it --- way out of proportion to the error in judgement. (I'm sure that none of you have EVER done that---and it makes no difference whether you're a chair or a janitor). The bloggers, CSIers, Monday AM q-backs, et al. on this board have made sure of that.

He ends up resigning his chair position. For "political" reasons? Nothing has changed in his capacity between when this story first reared its ugly head and now. Maybe the Chancellor or Provost can clarify. Probably won't happen. IMHO, KU is in "defense mode" right now.

Where is "Jane"? Remember him/her? The person "in the know" in Strong Hall who was very prominent on this board a few days ago? No posts recently.

For that matter, where is "PorkRibs"? John1945? I wonder why they aren't contributing to the "debate" on this board.

So many questions, so little information. Yet, the vitriol, name-calling, finger-pointing continues.

If you resemble any of this, then SHAME ON YOU!

devobrun 12 years, 5 months ago


First of all, I thank you for your insight into both the religion dept and Prof M. Usually on these boards there is a lot of speculation (including from me) with too little direct involvement. Your perspective is terrific.

So, the religion dept is pretty much a dept of literature and history. The thrill is the discovery of missing information, which Prof. M. has the skill to put into historical and religious context. Sounds good. I think my problem is that it is called religion not religious history, or religious literature. Why is it a department separate from either of these?

I have a faith in the conservation of energy. I admit it. I have trusted my life and that of others to the veracity of the conservation of energy. When I teach it to my physics students, I never use the term faith. I ask my students to use it to work problems, but I don't require them to commit themselves to it as faith. I can teach COE with conviction and skill. I know the history, language, application, tests, challenges and fecundity of COE.
When I said that I couldn't teach something that I didn't believe in, I wasn't thinking about the teaching of Nazism or Hare Krishna as history or iterature. I was talking about teaching something that is as real as your feelings. Puzzles and games are another thing.

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago


By the way, thanks for your compliment and the advice to make my posts more readable.

I admit I am a virgin on these message boards, don't usually have the time to read them let alone post on them, but felt compelled to tell what I know and what one former student's insight is on the situation and hopefully clear up any misunderstandings.

Is this better wendt? :o)

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago


I appreciate your comments. Actually, it is not called the department of religion, but the department of religious studies. In other words, the study of religion.

I can see where you are coming from but I am very familiar with subjects in the humanities and how they are taught and so it is not a surprise to me how he can love to research his subject and not necessarily believe in it. Which, by the way, none of us are certain he does not believe in Christianity. And like I said, I don't think that should matter one way or the other.

One of the paradoxes I see with this whole situation is how an intelligent professor can make a stupid mistake. Although, I must say, I have met some very intelligent professors but they lack common sense a bit. : ) Not all of them, but a few.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


Have you ever made a "stupid mistake"?

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago


I make mistakes every day!! All I am alluding to is that a professor should know that emails are not confidential, that's all. I am just sorry that this happened. I feel for the department and the people this has affected. I also feel for Mirecki and I hope he gets well soon.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 5 months ago


Ah, so you make "stupid mistakes" too? So do I. Let's hope that there aren't hundreds (if not thousands) of posts to bulletin boards dissecting and (most probably) speculating on our motives as to why we made our next "stupid mistake".

Give it a rest, people! Doesn't anyone want to talk about the rumor that I heard that all of Santa's elves don't change their underwear more than once a month??? (I hope that the LJW doesn't pick up on that, because the good citizens of Lawrence just won't tolerate that!)

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago


I am not here to take sides or "speculate" about anything. If you read my earlier posts, you can see I support Mirecki and I agree with your earlier post that this has been blown all out of proportion. However, it is also true that his statements affected the other faculty he teaches with. We all make mistakes, that is agreed. I am not questioning his intentions or motives.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Mirecki's now infamous listserv comments are akin to trash talk in the locker room in sports. He was in an environment where he thought he was talking only to those who agreed with him, and instead, the comments got posted on the locker room bulletin board (and elsewhere) of his opponents. That doesn't mean that he has any less skill in playing his position, or that the oppenents don't engage in the same type of trash talk-- plenty of examples of that here in the last few days.

kashmir66049 12 years, 5 months ago

OK all,

It has been nice conversing with wendt and devobrun and I hope this dialogue on this board can continue in a respectful manner. I shared what insight I have but it is time for me to take care of other things right now.

Goodnight and peace.

LarryFarma 12 years, 5 months ago

Posted by Arminius on December 7, 2005 at 2:03 p.m. <>

Yes, and the funny part was where Callahan (Dirty Harry) looked at a picture of the guy's injuries and denied the charge of police brutality by saying, "I would have done a better job."

When will Mirecki sell the rights to a movie about him?

devobrun 12 years, 5 months ago

Yeah Kasmir, I get the feeling that you are not that long outta college. I'm 21 years outta grad school. I have made my share of mistakes, Everybody I know who ever really did anything has also made some mistakes.
In fact, I know some really smart people who have been thinking with the other end or maybe some other body part and done some really stupid things. I dunno, I was really drunk at the time. Emotions are dangerous things, even for smart people.

This is why we all should not be too hard on him, personally.

Citizen 12 years, 5 months ago

That's interesting information that the Professor was nice to Christians in his classes. If only he had not named himself "Evil Dr. P" and wrote a lot of offensive emails in a public forum.

This behavior totaled his credibility so that when the alleged incident was reported, it reminded many of Kerri Dunn, Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College who faked a hate crime against herself, got convicted and was sent to jail a year ago. (She should be getting out about now.)

We may never know what actually happened but we do know that, if two men really did beat up the Professor in the name of Christianity, they did so falsely. No Bible believing or mainstream Christian Pastor or Reverend can be found to endorse such an action; in fact, they would universally condemn it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

It was certainly naive for Mirecki to expect that the privacy of the private listserv to which he made his comments could or would not be respected; nevertheless, his comments were not made on a public forum (such as this.)

macophile 12 years, 5 months ago

I find the whole thing highly suspect.

Here in Southern California, in the last year or two, we had a case of a psych professor who staged a series of hate crimes against herself on campus. It got the student body and local community in an uproar, with calls for unity against the hate, finding the culprits and all the usual attention that goes with outrage at hate crimes -- not to mention the copious support and attention that the professor received as a result.

Things changed after a long investigation revealed the real culprit was the so-called victim. She is now out of a job and doing some jail time.

So... I find the timing and lack of details quite suspicious in this case. A man driven by such hatred and contempt for anything and anyone connected to faith -- and driven to make mischief to show such contempt -- would probably not be above slapping himself around or hitting himself in the face with objects to make all religious people look bad. I think his hatred and contempt is pathological -- it has to be for him to take such sick delight in antagonizing and tormenting others, and this only makes it easier to believe he IS capable of self-injury and blaming those he has nothing but scorn for.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Macophile-- Thanks for all the insight based wholly on the facts that I'm sure are only discernible from S. California-- that whole perspective from a distance thing. I'm sure that your analysis doesn't involve anything like baseless speculation because you disagree with his opinion of religious wackjobs.

yellowrose 12 years, 5 months ago

This Mirecki thing has a Tawana Brawley kind of story written all over it. Personally, I think he's making up the story about being beaten in order to get sympathy and deflect some of the negative attention he's received from the media. To Mirecki I say, get your lies straight. It wouldn't surprise me if he paid some guys to beat him in order to make his story at least somewhat plausible.

premedgradapplicant 12 years, 5 months ago

Wow, people here think 'he got what he deserved' or 'he's lying to get sympathy' etc. Let's reframe the debate a little, ok?

Harvard is the best university in the world. There are, at most, a few hundred Harvard PhD's employed as professors worldwide. Kansas was incredibly lucky they got even 1. As a state, they are the sewer of the academic community, so a Harvard PhD lecturing at a university in Kansas is doing charity work. A Harvard PhD, who cheapened his reputation by agreeing to teach at a university in Kansas, is beaten into the hospital for his views on science, views supported by 140 years of peer-reviewed publications by the scientific community, but not shared by the uneducated, intolerant, violent religious extremists that make up the kansas population. The local kansas public seems pleased that that professor smarty-pants got beaten with a crowbar for sharing his views on evolution, and cry out for him to be fired as well, while cheerleading the violent hicks that hospitalized him.

I have no doubt Harvard PhD's have scratched Kansas off the list of possibilities no matter what salary is offered. No doubt the rest of the Ivy league will do the same, and the faculty recruited will plunge in quality while tenured professors with decent credentials relocate as quickly as possible. Grad school applicants won't even consider anything in 'that state.' And 10 years from now, 18 year old kansas residents will have to leave the state to get a decent education, and will leave knowing once they've got one, it's best never to return.

And then we'll see a brain-drain, like evolution in reverse, a state that progressively becomes less and less educated. No doubt the kansas fundamentalists will disagree with Darwin's origin of species even as they prove evolution a 2 way street, degenerating back into a society of of violent apes, barely capable of dragging crowbars and knuckles as they lurch towards their dilapidated pickup trucks, incapable of forming large societies, content to watch corn grow and never dream of much else.

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