Trolling and Transubstantiation

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9 Responses

  1. Max Verret says:

    Unfortunately a university cannot operate the way you suggest. As part of their employment agreement, faculty accept that their behavior, university-related or not, will not reflect negatively on the reputation of the university. The University of Minnesota is a public institution and is reposnsive to the people of Minnesota, many of whom are Catholic. A substantial portion of the student body at the University is Catholic. You simply cannot have a faculty member going around trashing their deeply held religious beliefs. That has nothing to do with the First Admendment. When you accept a job in the public sector, you accept certain limitations on your First Amendment rights. I don't think the university administration has any choice but to sanction Dr. Myers.

  2. dbt1949 says:

    I shall sacrifice a goat in his honor.

  3. Dave B says:

    Personally I think most people want to get medieval on the professor just because hes a raving loony and a twit, rather than any religious agenda.

  4. PLW says:

    "raving loony and a twit,"

    I don't know. 5-10% of the tenured faculty probably fit that description. I think there's a reason this guy's been singled out.

  5. gbasden says:

    Even public sector employees do not give up their freedom of speech. Isn't that the whole reason we give a Professor tenure?

  6. Max Verret says:

    Re: Gbasden #5

    No, we do not give them tenure to protect their freedom of speech but to protect them from undue political influence and/or arbitrary and/or capricious actions against them. In the public sector there are many limitations on your right to free speech, for example, you are not allowed to put the sign of a political candidate on your front lawn or put his sticker on your car bumper. That would violate the federal Hatch Act. You cannot campaign for or make speeches or endorsements for particular candidates.

  7. Patrick says:

    For the sake of accuracy Max, while your point is generally correct, all of the activities you mention, save endorsement for fundraising purposes, are allowed to federal employees under the Hatch Act.

  8. angryboy says:

    That was a beautiful post.

  9. Max Verret says:


    Employees of educational and/or research institutions which are funded in whole or in part by State or Local funcing are generally exempt from the provisions of the FEDERAL Hatch Act. The point being that in public employment there are limitations on free speech. It is not an absolute right. In PZ's case his limitations would be governed by the Rules of Minnesota and by the guidelines of his employment agreement and/or provisions of the Faculty Handbook which governs the conduct of faculty members.