Profaning The Eucharist At YouTube

When interviewed by Eyeblast.tv last month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by his company, is "pretty serious" about removing the "strange" videos that keep popping up on the site, especially videos "that can be used to incite bad outcomes." Apparently videos designed to incite Catholics don't fall into that category.

A YouTube user who goes by the moniker "fsmdude" has posted more than 30 videos under the title "Eucharist Desecration." Each video features an attack on a symbol that Catholics consider sacred -- by blow gun, nail gun, boiling, sword and cigarette in a few recent episodes.

The creator of the videos isn't subtle about his intent. He was angered by reports of a college student allegedly receiving e-mail threats from "fanatical Catholics" after the student snatched a wafer at mass, so "fsmdude" decided to repeatedly profane the Eucharist on camera for all to see.

Catholics have been flagging the videos and reporting the user to YouTube. A user dubbed "OneTrueChurch" called the videos "a hate crime against Catholocism" and started a petition against them.

YouTube's definition of "inappropriate content" includes speech "that promotes or encourages hatred or violence toward a group" based on religion, among other categories. But thus far the company has ignored Catholics' appeals to remove the "Eucharist Desecration" series or ban the user.

YouTube's inaction prompted the Catholic League to lodge a complaint with the company.

"Many Catholics who have contacted the league have flagged these videos, but they have not been removed," league president William Donohue wrote to YouTube CEO Chad Hurley. "Hate speech should not be tolerated against any religion on your Web site in accordance with your guidelines. I request that you review these videos posted by 'fsmdude' and remove them since they clearly violate YouTube's guidelines."

The Euchararist desecration on YouTube was inspired by another instance of it that the Catholic League protested in the summer. University of Minnesota professor Paul Myers was the offender then.

He nailed a wafer to pages torn from the Koran and from the book The God Delusion. The university refused the league's appeal to punish Myers.

While YouTube thus far has ignored complaints about the "Eucharist Desecretion" videos, it has pulled videos perceived as attacks on other beliefs.

Two years ago today, conservative blogger Michelle Malkin reported that YouTube had removed "First, They Came," her "simple slideshow highlighting the victims of Islamic violence over the years."

"OneTrueChurch," the YouTube user who started a flagging campaign against the anti-Catholic clips, also said in a video that he knows Christians who have been suspended from YouTube simply because they spoke against Islam or atheism.

Cross-posted at Video Done Right.