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KU professor steps down as chairman
KC Star ^ | 12/07/2005 | DAVID KLEPPER

Posted on 12/07/2005 4:23:48 PM PST by Senator Bedfellow

Embattled religious studies professor Paul Mirecki has stepped down as chairman of the University of Kansas’ Department of Religious Studies.

Mirecki remains a tenured professor at the department. No successor has been named.

In a written statement, Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas, said she accepted Mirecki’s resignation today.

“Professor Mirecki said he thought it appropriate to step down and did so on the recommendation of his colleagues in the department and I have accepted his resignation,” Romzek said. “This allows the department to focus on what’s most important — teaching, research and service — and to minimize the distractions of the last couple of weeks.”

Mirecki came under fire after e-mails were uncovered in which he mocked aspects of Christianity. He initially attracted attention when he announced he would teach a class this spring about intelligent design and creationism. That sparked immediate criticism from conservatives who supported the Kansas Board of Education’s recent move to insert criticism of evolution into state science standards.

Mirecki’s critics then discovered e-mails from a listserv operated by the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics in which Mirecki mocked various aspects of Catholicism and fundamentalist Christianity.

Last week, KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said he found the e-mails “repugnant and vile.” Mirecki apologized for the e-mails and the course was withdrawn.

On Monday, Mirecki told Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies he was attacked by two men early Monday morning. Mirecki told police the two men were closely following his vehicle south of Lawrence, and when he got out to confront them, the two men beat him with a metal object. Mirecki was treated and released from Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Mirecki told friends and reporters his attackers made reference to the recent controversy.

Mirecki has taught at KU for 15 years. He has a doctorate in theology from Harvard University and specializes in ancient Mediterranean cultures, religions and languages.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: crevolist; ku; mirecki
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1 posted on 12/07/2005 4:23:50 PM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: PatrickHenry

Ping.


2 posted on 12/07/2005 4:24:14 PM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: Right Wing Professor

Pong.


3 posted on 12/07/2005 4:26:21 PM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: Senator Bedfellow

He'll need the extra time to deal with the charges of filing a false police report. Just my hunch.


4 posted on 12/07/2005 4:26:55 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum.)
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To: Senator Bedfellow

Stepped down as chairman? No Big Deal. In most departments the prof who draws the short straw has to be chairman.

Leave the University in Disgrace is more like it. Off the payroll and into the real world with him!


5 posted on 12/07/2005 4:27:07 PM PST by Chickensoup (Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Chri)
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To: Senator Bedfellow

Religious Studies brings out the very worst of the Lunatic Libs. It makes Queer Studies seem mainstream. Sadly, many young people take courses in the department (or even major in the field) because they are looking for spiritual guidance.


6 posted on 12/07/2005 4:28:16 PM PST by madprof98
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To: Senator Bedfellow

I've visited the local newspaper's website, and learned something interesting ... the good professor DOES have a cell phone. Reporters have been calling it repeatedly, but Mirecki will not answer.

Now, what was the story again, about waiting to call police until he got to the emergency room, LOL?


7 posted on 12/07/2005 4:30:02 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Senator Bedfellow
I'm getting the picture that KU administrators suspect that the good professor's story about getting whooped on by two road bandits over his repulsive views was a desperate attempt to save his role as chairman of his department?
8 posted on 12/07/2005 4:30:18 PM PST by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi!)
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To: Senator Bedfellow
KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said he found the e-mails “repugnant and vile.”
Hmmm, maybe there's some hope after all. Maybe.
9 posted on 12/07/2005 4:31:03 PM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Joe 6, you are always quick and to the point. A good FReeper always.


10 posted on 12/07/2005 4:32:03 PM PST by StAnDeliver
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To: Senator Bedfellow
....he got out to confront them, the two men beat him with a metal object.

Sharp as a marble, this guy!

11 posted on 12/07/2005 4:32:41 PM PST by Bushbacker1 (Kill 'em til they're dead! Then, kill 'em again!)
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To: Senator Bedfellow

Bump! Bump! Bump! Another one bites the dust.


12 posted on 12/07/2005 4:32:47 PM PST by DarthVader (Do something positive for America today: Insult an America hating leftie.)
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To: PatrickHenry

ping...


13 posted on 12/07/2005 4:33:35 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Sorry, forgot to include a link:

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/dec/06/mirecki_treated_after_roadside_beating/?city_local

Scroll down into the comments for the info about Mirecki refusing to answer his cell.


14 posted on 12/07/2005 4:33:40 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Senator Bedfellow
This is good news. It's hypocrisy to have a head of the religious studies department actively antagonistic against religious views.
15 posted on 12/07/2005 4:33:58 PM PST by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: Joe 6-pack
He'll need the extra time to deal with the charges of filing a false police report. Just my hunch.

Nah...he'll need more time for those moveOn.answer.code.dot.pink lectures he's gonna give now.
He may be trying to extend his 15 minutes.
16 posted on 12/07/2005 4:34:11 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Give my blankets to my buddies and the fleas to Diamond Joe.)
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To: Senator Bedfellow

Talk about an egregious (using a favorite liberal word on purpose) abuse of power.

He was planning on using his position as head of the dept of religious studies to stick it to the fundies (paraphrasing).


17 posted on 12/07/2005 4:34:48 PM PST by Let's Roll ( "Congressmen who ... undermine the military ... should be arrested, exiled or hanged" - A. Lincoln)
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To: Joe 6-pack

It's my hunch too that he faked the "attack."


18 posted on 12/07/2005 4:34:52 PM PST by colorado tanker (I can't comment on things that might come before the Court, but I can tell you my Pinochle strategy)
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To: Bushbacker1
....he got out to confront them, the two men beat him with a metal object.

A tin foil hat.

19 posted on 12/07/2005 4:35:24 PM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: Senator Bedfellow; Right Wing Professor; Junior; b_sharp; Ichneumon; longshadow; ...

Thanks, but I don't want to drag everyone through another of these threads. I'm notifying a few, but unless there's a strong demand, I won't deploy the ping list.


20 posted on 12/07/2005 4:37:24 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: madprof98
Religious Studies brings out the very worst of the Lunatic Libs. It makes Queer Studies seem mainstream.

LOL. No kidding. I knew a gay guy who majored in Religious Studies and took a lot of Women's Studies courses. Funny, I don't recall him talking about Queer Theory too much, but trust me, the garbage from Feminist Theory was just as nauseating and I'm a wommyn.

21 posted on 12/07/2005 4:37:42 PM PST by radiohead (Hey Kerry, I'm still here. Still hating your lying, stinking guts, you coward.)
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To: The KG9 Kid
Former Claremont professor who faked vandalism gets year in jail
22 posted on 12/07/2005 4:37:45 PM PST by StAnDeliver
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To: Senator Bedfellow

This dude needs a vacation.


23 posted on 12/07/2005 4:41:21 PM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Posted to the Lawrence Journal World:

Posted by Evil_Dr_P (anonymous) on December 7, 2005 at 1:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is the Evil_Dr_P, ya know, I'm such a twit. After I got beat up by the fundies, I calmly drove to the hospital and was realeased after 3 hours (2.5 hours spent filling out paper work and answering questions).
The deputies learned of the attack by coming to the hospital. I guess I was so badly injured, it didn't occur to me to use my cell phone and call the cops and get them chasing the fundies as soon as possible. I thought I'd drive to the hospital first since it was too hard to dial 911. It didn't occur to me to stay at the crime scene and wait for the police or an ambulance. No siree sir...I'm such a twit.
I should have been hopping mad that the fundies beat the hell out of me, and should have gotten the cops on their tail ASAP. I guess all my Harvard education knocked me clean of common sense. For some reason I wanted to give the criminals a couple of hours to flee the crime scene.
You know, when it's only about 10 degrees farenheit at 6 am, I'm really eager to step out of my warm car and meet some billy bob's that are tailgaiting me. I don't know why I do the dumbest things. I mean, my body was telling me I should just leave the window up and stay in my car and let those guys just walk right up and say their peace.
You know, the other dumb thing is these guys were tail gaiting me. I slowed down, they didn't try to pass. I sped up they still tailgaited me. They showed they had benevolent intentions when they're only a few feet from your rear bumper at 65 mph. This slowing down, shifting of lanes, and speeding up, goes on for about two minutes. Well, I start thinking to myself, "these guys must really like me! I've just got to stop and pull over and say howdy."
And you know, I reported to the student paper my injuries like my chipped tooth and that I was released from the hospital after 3 hours.....I won't answer all those calls by the reporters made to the cell phone (which I should have used to call 911 after I got the hell beat out of me).
I remember as they were beating me up, they were screaming at me about the course on creationism. I tried to tell them to lighten up, that I did more to further the fundy cause by my stupid actions than anything they could ever do. They agreed, and stopped the beating, and that's what saved me from being beaten to a pulp. I got out of it just being a bit "scraped up".
They asked if I could wait on calling the cops till they got good and far from the crime scene. I said, "no problem, I'll go to the hospital first and let the police know that way. That'll give you at least a couple hours. How does that sound?"


Posted by Evil_Dr_P (anonymous) on December 7, 2005 at 2:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You know, I just realized those Fundies were pretty bright. How in the world did they realize they could ambush me by tailgaiting me.
They must have ran me through a Meyer-Briggs psychological profile and said, "Shazam: according to the way Mirecki thinks, all we have to do is tailgate him, and he'll pull over and walk out and meet us".
Tell you what, these fundies had predicted my behavior down to a science. They knew all they had to do was tailgate me, I'd pull over, they'd step out, and I'd come out and say howdy even in 10 degree weather, even after they were aggressively tailgaiting me for 2 minutes.
They had me figured out. Gee, I don't think I give these guys enough credit.


24 posted on 12/07/2005 4:51:18 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: PatrickHenry

No thanks, PH. If someone finds some objective evidence he faked this, then I think we'd all be interested. Otherwise, I'm ready to let him crawl back under the rock he wriggled out from under a few weeks ago.


25 posted on 12/07/2005 4:52:02 PM PST by furball4paws (The new elixir of life - dehydrated toad urine.)
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To: PatrickHenry

I'd say no to a general ping. I think it's been done to death.


26 posted on 12/07/2005 4:59:07 PM PST by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is a grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: CarolinaGuitarman
Then I hereby abandon thread! Let those who stay celebrate with their soul-mate:


27 posted on 12/07/2005 5:03:45 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Senator Bedfellow
Mirecki e-mail to the Yahoo Groups discussion group

(copy found here -->SOMA at KU :: View topic - John Altevogt):

Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2005

Subject: I.D. & Creationism class to be taught at KU this spring!

To my fellow damned,

Its true, the fundies have been wanting to get I.D. and creationism into the Kansas public schools, so I thought "why don't I do it?"

I will teach the class, with several other lefty KU professors in the sciences and humanities. Class is:

REL 602 Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationisms and other Religious Mythologies.

Tuesdays 7:00-9:30pm. Smith Hall room 100. Open to undergrads and grads.

Enrollment limited to about 120. 3 credit hours.

The fundies want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category "mythology". I expect it will draw much media attention. The university public relations office will have a press release on it in a few weeks, I also have contacts at several regional newspapers.

Of course, I won't actually be teaching I.D. and creationisms, but rather I'll be teaching ABOUT I.D. and creationisms as modern mythologies, indicating that these ideas have no place in a public school science class, but can certainly be analyzed in humanities classes for their function in society. Basic approach is my usual: anthropology with a focus on religious thought and behavior.

Any ideas for textbooks, guest lecturers and panels would be appreciated.

So far, six faculty have eagerly signed up to lecture. I can probably pull Chancellor Hemenway into this also, especially in the light of his public comments supporting evolution.

Doing my part to piss of (sic) the religious right,

Evil Dr. P.


28 posted on 12/07/2005 5:05:57 PM PST by DBeers ()
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To: Chickensoup

Professor Mirecki did not simply " step down" His colleagues encouraged him to do so. See the words of the LJW below.

"Professor Mirecki said he thought it appropriate to step down and did so on the recommendation of his colleagues in the department and I have accepted his resignation," said Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "This allows the department to focus on what's most important - teaching, research and service - and to minimize the distractions of the last couple of weeks." (Lawrence Urinal World)


29 posted on 12/07/2005 5:06:23 PM PST by cotton
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To: Kermit the Frog Does theWatusi
Mirecki’s critics then discovered e-mails from a listserv operated by the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics in which Mirecki mocked various aspects of Catholicism and fundamentalist Christianity. Last week, KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said he found the e-mails “repugnant and vile.” Mirecki apologized for the e-mails and the course was withdrawn.


30 posted on 12/07/2005 5:08:48 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Senator Bedfellow

So soon after the beating? No compassionate lefties left?


31 posted on 12/07/2005 5:10:10 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: DBeers

"I expect it will draw much media attention."

Yep. You were right, Evil Dr. P. Not the sort you had in mind, mind you, but you were right, lol.


32 posted on 12/07/2005 5:17:38 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Senator Bedfellow

I assume he was a tenured prof? If so he is resigning? Is that Kerry Dunn I smell?


33 posted on 12/07/2005 5:20:32 PM PST by Walkingfeather
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To: RegulatorCountry

LOL -yes he got much more than he bargained for when the light was shone upon him for all to see...


34 posted on 12/07/2005 5:44:55 PM PST by DBeers ()
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To: Chickensoup

I need a janitor for one of my apartment buildings. Though he would have to take a test.


35 posted on 12/07/2005 6:10:36 PM PST by babydoll22 (If you stop growing as a person you live in your own private hell.)
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To: Senator Bedfellow
The whole story smelled from the beginning.

Glad we cleared the air.

36 posted on 12/07/2005 6:28:20 PM PST by Portagean
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To: DBeers

Look, I'm not gloating. Heh heh.


37 posted on 12/07/2005 6:50:54 PM PST by Liberty Wins (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of all who threaten it.)
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To: PatrickHenry; Right Wing Professor
Then I hereby abandon thread! Let those who stay celebrate with their soul-mate:

Hmmm. Had a change of heart after you brought it up on another thread? Well, I think you are wise to do so.

38 posted on 12/07/2005 7:30:35 PM PST by AndrewC (Darwinian logic -- It is just-so if it is just-so)
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To: cotton

Yes. Resignation as Chairman, NO BIG DEAL.


39 posted on 12/08/2005 4:44:55 AM PST by Chickensoup (Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Chri)
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To: AndrewC

"Abandon Thread" may be a new kind of "Virtual Ignore"--or, maybe, "Elvis Has Left The Room."


40 posted on 12/08/2005 5:11:38 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: RegulatorCountry

Were those actually written by the professor? Are they serious or sarcastic? In either case, they are very poorly written, very rambling. It is amazing what passes for reasoned thought among the "academics."


41 posted on 12/08/2005 5:24:37 AM PST by Blue Eyes (I love Lucy. How 'bout you? Do you love Lucy, too?)
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re: Thanks, but I don't want to drag everyone through another of these threads.)))

also know as a "hasty decampment"--

42 posted on 12/08/2005 5:32:45 AM PST by Mamzelle
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re: I'd say no to a general ping. I think it's been done to death.)))

In other words, we'd lose big. Better head back to the Instant Messaging watercooler and debrief.

43 posted on 12/08/2005 5:34:36 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: AndrewC
This is definitely a minor local victory for the yokel element in Kansas politics. It's a major disaster of the state of Kansas. Whatever Mirecki's transgressions, he is now in the world of academia an academic who was forced to drop a course, then beaten up, then forced into resignation by a mob of religious fundamentalists. That will be the inevitable spin, and it's close enough to the truth to be credible. Good luck relocating a scientist to Kansas. Good luck hiring a secular academic.

And since Nebraska competes with Kansas for students and faculty, yeee-haw! Come to Nebraska. We won't beat you up if you don't go to Church!

44 posted on 12/08/2005 6:05:13 AM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: Senator Bedfellow
Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics

Open-minded. Yeah. Right. Kinda like The Klan is open-minded. The definition of atheist is to be close-minded to the idea of God or gods.

45 posted on 12/08/2005 6:07:02 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Right Wing Professor

A man who designs a course for the sole purpose of ridiculing other people's beliefs does not belong in the classroom. It isn't a bunch of "religious fundamentalists" who did this guy in. He did it to himself, and his colleagues apparently agree that he should step down as chairman of the department.


46 posted on 12/08/2005 6:21:33 AM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Senator Bedfellow; gobucks; mikeus_maximus; MeanWestTexan; JudyB1938; isaiah55version11_0; ...
(((Creationist Ping)))



You have been pinged because of your interest regarding matters of Creation vs. Evolution - from the Creationist perspective. Freep-mail me if you want on/off this list.

Colossians 1:16 "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."



You'd think a professor would not allow himself to be intimidated by alleged muggers, but I guess not.
47 posted on 12/08/2005 7:32:53 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger ("As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, while God is marching on.")
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To: Senator Bedfellow

He hasn't got it together as much as Churchill.


48 posted on 12/08/2005 8:08:26 AM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: Senator Bedfellow

Yay. Shoulda been fired, but this is a start. I love the way these problems just take care of themselves.


49 posted on 12/08/2005 8:54:34 AM PST by Tim Long (I spit in the face of people who don't want to be cool.)
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To: Mamzelle

Amazing the response when they've been exposed.


50 posted on 12/08/2005 9:06:48 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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