Book burning – but who’s lighting the match… and why?

In a few days time, a small christian church in Florida plans to burn a thousand copies of the Holy Qu’ran.

I shouldn’t have to write much more. I wish I didn’t have to.

But I will. So I am.

This is just plain, fucking idiocy.

Is it just a pure play by the pastor to sell copies of a book he’s written?

[methinks the good reverend has aspirations to corporatise his mission]

I don’t think so.

I’m an atheist. I don’t do religion, though I respect the right of anyone else to believe what they want to believe, provided it doesn’t hurt another person.

I do, however, expect people who express a belief system to hold to that belief system.

[for example, my daughters are not ‘gifts from god’, they are the beautiful outcome of chance interactions that are at the core of evolutionary life]

So, in the interests of pointing out how hypocritical and idiotic this stunt is, I will draw upon teachings of none other than Jesus Christ as reported in Matthew 5:44…

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”

That’s referenced as the King James Bible version – more at

[I wonder how many of the congregation have read the bible… let alone how many have read a copy of the Holy Qu’ran which they’re about to burn]

It goes without saying that the burning of the Holy Qu’ran will incite violence somewhere in the world – and the knowing act of inciting violence would appear to be counter to the central tenets of Christian teaching.

But then comes the weirdness. The justification for the act is not one of religion, it’s apparently a geo-political act. To quote the pastor involved:

“It’s time for America to stop bowing to kings”

It’s an interesting sound-bite, and every time I’ve heard him use it, it seems at odds with his rhetoric on all other aspects of the book burning. It sounds kind of biblical

[though I can’t source any quote from the bible that would support it being a religious allusion]

as there’s a lot of kings and slaves stuff in both old and new testaments, but it’s delivery is kind of politically framed.

From a quick search online, it would appear to be a reference to President Obama’s bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in early 2009.

A re-ignition of a storm-in-a-teacup controversy relating to the president? A sound-bite tactic out of the playbook of political strategists?

Oh. I get it.

As far as I can tell, no major republican politician has condemned this book burning

[though the leaders of all major faiths have]

and I wonder how long it’ll be until the republicans are blaming President Obama’s administration for the deaths and anti-american sentiment which arises from this act?

In fact, while we’re at it, isn’t this just another example of the generation of a ‘boogeyman’ so that the fear-mongering conservative right can improve its chances of gaining power? To quote Orwell:

Power is not a means, it is an end… The object of power is power

I’d love to see where the pastor is getting his funding, and how much coverage of the controversy is happening in areas with many swing voters.

So, here we have it, the pastor of a blip-on-the-radar church engaging in one of the most inflammatory geo-political acts of the modern era, fully aware of the consequences, and playing right into the storyline that the conservative right plan to use to underpin their attempt for political gain.

This has the stink of swift-boats about it.

Political business as usual, I guess.

Like I said, just plain, fucking idiocy.


2 thoughts on “Book burning – but who’s lighting the match… and why?

  1. You are a wise one, Vincent! I wish I had your words. I am Catholic and I continue to call myself Catholic because I still go to church occasionally in search of something bigger, safety, sanctuary. However, I dont know much more than this. Therefore….how can I NOT believe in everything else too? Religion is supposed to be a guide, a path, a method we use to get through this life to the next. Who cares how we get there as long as we respect ourselves and others along the way……embracing what is good and avoiding what is bad. I have Jewish friends, Islamic friends, Bhuddist friends….and you my Atheist friend……I enjoy the diversity of it all! Its good to be different…..we should strive to be different…because when it gets down to it….when we disect every last cell, each strand of DNA…..we are all basically the same.

    As far as politics…..BLEH! My heart races and my stomach turns! I live in a place that has changed very little…………conservativism flows like a stagnate, shallow bayou….so sad.


  2. @Margo – What do you mean you wish you had the words? Your comment is eloquently done (and not just ‘cos it agrees with me :o)

    My sense is that, though this wears a coat of religion, it is rancid politics at the core.

    Thanks for being part of the journey – you have my love!


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