I just submitted this to the combox on a blog entry on HigherEd.com (My comments will not appear on the blog until they are vetted by the editor):
I agree with the poster above [fossil] that Professor Myers should not be punished by his employer for what he said. Because he teaches at a state institution, Professor Myers has many protections at his disposal that insure and secure his academic freedom, which I wholeheartedly support. Having said that however, there is absolutely nothing wrong with those citizens who are drawing public attention to Professor Myers' imprudent and thoughtless comments. If, for example, I were to insult a colleague's mother by suggesting that he has had intimate relations with her, I should not be shocked if he were to punch me in the nose or not invite me to the faculty party he is hosting at his home.
Civil society requires that we treat others with respect, and that means that if we find their beliefs unreasonable, we should offer our arguments against those beliefs in a winsome and attractive way. When it comes to Catholic theology, we are talking about a complicated, rich, and sophisticated theological and philosophical tradition that has wrestled with a whole array of challenges, concepts and ideas during its two millenia. It stands to reason then that detractors such as Professor Myers have an obligation to study what they reject with the depth and diligence such a tradition demands of a truly curious and probing mind. "It's a Frackin' Cracker" is not the prose of an adult. It is the ramblings of what G. K. Chesterton said of the atheist, "who is often a man limited and constrained by his own logic to a very sad simplification."
Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies, Baylor University