Um...there's this guy in my neck of the woods who gets a lot of letters published in the Fresno Bee. His name is Christopher Tasy, and he is about to achieve a rare feat on those opinion pages: this week, his name seemingly crops up more than that of either the President or the President-elect. In fact, he's been featured in the Bee's opinion pages twice in less than a month, and publicly berated by several other letter writers to the Bee. Why, it's a veritable Tasy-fest.

Now, this is hard to do. To quote the Bee's automatic response to my most recent submission:

Letters to the editor should be 200 words or less. Only one letter per month per writer will be considered.

So how did Mr. Tasy make this happen?

Well, he wrote a special piece for the Bee's Opinion Pages decrying the apparent apostasy of the majority of American Catholics. While opinion, it doesn't count as a 'letter to the editor'. The piece appeared here on Dec. 27th, but for those of you don't care to read it, he reads Catholic politicians the Riot Act for receiving communion while publicly rejecting this or that teaching of the church's hierarchy. Responses, including mine, were in general unfavorable.

I wrote (and the Bee published), in part, that Mr. Tasy "complains that many politicians (such as our governor) similarly reject the church's teachings on those points, and yet continue to receive the sacraments, also in violation of the church's teachings.

Gosh! Does Mr. Tasy not recognize the endless regress such logic leads to? You can't use one claim of authority to justify another claim by the same authority. That trick only works for those who've already swallowed the entire bill of goods, and think that their particular costumed hierarchy of the sexless is inherently infallible.

Anyway, here's my advice to true believers like Mr. Tasy: Bar every politician who doesn't toe the line with the church's doctrine from receiving the sacraments. Draw a line in the sand, plunge a sword of division into the faithful and see just how many of the 62% call your bluff."

Others were, if anything, even less respectful. Adam Wall at Gustav's Groupie was merely dismissive: "Yup, this absurd column denigrating Americans for not being Catholic enough was distributed to a readership of at least 400,000 people. A lot of words just to make a plea to join their intolerance."

Jeffrey Eisenger (whom the Bee also published) similarly pulled no punches:

"Christoper G. Tasy's Dec. 27 Valley Voices piece is filled with such inaccuracies, misrepresentations and false premises as to render it more comedy sketch material than serious commentary.

Outright fabrications, such as the claim that the pope has been the world's moral conscience, are simply laughable. One need only look back to the pope's inaction during World War II to see the moral vacuum at the Vatican. Ghandi was a much better moral example than many popes.

Mr. Tasy also downplays the child-abuse scandal by claiming that the accused were less than 1% of the priesthood. What he ignores is that the real issue was the cover-up by church leaders, which allowed the abuse to continue unchecked in too many cases.

He asserts there are no legitimate ethical or moral arguments for abortion, birth control, homosexuals or women priests. Most thoughtful people would say there are arguments on both sides of these issues.

Finally, he compares Americans to children, with the Catholic church as our parent. What a crock! It is time for thinking people of all countries to move past the mental enslavement and real harm that Catholicism and other religious fictions have brought us to."

Well, that's a lot of fireworks, and not even a week old. But Tasy has subsequentially had an actual letter supporting Proposition 8 appear on Dec. 29th. While the results on that one aren't in yet, you can expect more blasting caps and broadsides.

But, really, this is all old news to Mr. Tasy, who is one of the Bee's more prolific letter-writers, as you can read here. Mr. Tasy's output (94 published items since 1989) puts my contributions to the local branch of the Fourth Estate to shame. Unfortunately, it also shames the College of Science and Mathematics at our mutual alma mater, CSU Fresno. Tasy, you see, works in the biotechnology sector, apparently holds a degree in microbiology, yet (ahem) has written on more than one occasion about his less-than-well-informed skepticism regarding the fact of evolution. Curiously, it has escaped him that the Biology Department that granted his degree is committed to (and I quote in my best BULLDOG Red): "innovative and state-of-the-art education and research in Ecology, Evolution and Cellular and Molecular Biology."