Posted by: Inside-Out Peace | October 14, 2009

Books Are Not For Burning

On October 13, 2009, KWTX reported:

The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C. will celebrate Halloween by burning Bibles that aren’t the King James Version, as well as music and books and anything else Pastor Marc Grizzard says is a satanic influence.
Among the authors whose books Grizzard plans to burn are well known ministers Rick Warren and Billy Graham because he says they have occasionally used Bibles other than the King James Version, which is the sole biblical source he considers infallible.
 According to the church’s Web site, members will also burn “Satan’s music such as country, rap, rock, pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul (and) oldies.

burning_book

There is little I find more ominous than people burning books.  “There, where they have burned books, they will in the end also burn human beings.” (German: “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.”)—Heinrich Heine, from his play Almansor (1821).  Read more at the American Library Association’s website page on book burning, and at this site by the Florida Institute of Technology – Evans Library Instructional Programs Team.  I’ve taken the following quote from the latter:

If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
On Liberty, John Stuart Mill

Can’t say it any better than Mill.

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Responses

  1. I’m with you there. I wonder how such people reconcile such acts with the urging to question everything and stick to what is good.

    • I think it’s quite easy for them, because there is nothing to reconcile – they don’t have any urge to question anything.


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