i’ll start respecting them when they start burning piles of money instead.

In my humble opinion, there are only a few reasons why anyone would stage a public burning of some other peoples’ holy book:

  1. They want to show in public how pious they are.
  2. They want to score some brownie points with God.
  3. They want to blow raspberries at Team Not Us.
  4. They want to generate publicity to expand their congregation, go on the Tee Vee, and do something to improve the fill ratio of their collection baskets.

Which one of those reasons listed above would Jesus approve?

Every time I hear of a book burning somewhere, I think of this quote:

“Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings, too.”  –Heinrich Heine, Almansor (1821)

Do they have the right to do it?  Sure.  Is it a good idea, especially when the U.S. commander on the ground in Team Not Us Land says that it would endanger our troops?  Probably not.

(And the people in the Comments section who say that they’re Christians and they wouldn’t care if someone burned the Bible are very much missing the point.  To Muslims, the Koran is the literal, physical word of God in a way the Bible isn’t to Christians.  To them, it’s a sacrilege to defile one.  It’s like…oh, there’s no real analogy in Christianity I can think of.  Maybe taking a leak on the Shroud of Turin just for kicks, or picking your teeth with a splinter from the One True Cross, perhaps.)

Book burnings–not just burnings of someone’s holy texts, but the burning of any book–are an affront to humanity, culture, and civilization.  There’s no good or right reason to burn any book, anywhere, at any time.  People who do it anyway are illiterate, unenlightened savages, whatever their motivation.

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61 thoughts on “i’ll start respecting them when they start burning piles of money instead.

  1. There’s no good or right reason to burn any book, anywhere, at any time.

    Strong disagree. Schlocky paperbacks from the remainder bin dunked in water and allowed to dry and butterfly make outstanding kindling.

  2. jim says:

    Burning a koran is righteous. The koran is what encouraged muslim’s to fly jet liners into skyscrapers, to bury people up to their waist to be stoned, to behead infidels, and burn countless churches and villages in N. Africa.

    Islam is the devils religion. The koran is the devils book.

    Ban Islam from the USA!

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Don’t care much for that pesky First Amendment, do you?

      (Also, you may want to revisit the use of the apostrophe, specifically as it relates to possessive and plural forms.)

      • jim says:

        Marko,

        Let’s put up a monument to Timothy McVeigh near the federal building in Oklahoma city. How about putting up a monument to hitler at Auschwitz?
        So we build a mosque at ground zero?!

        This has nothing to do with first ammendment rights because the acts of 911 were acts of war!

        Burning a koran has more to do with a common sense understanding the evil goals of a 1400 year old religion that killed nearly 3000 American’s and millions of christian’s in the last 10 years.

        When nuclear and biological terrorism comes to America why don’t you go to your neighborhood mosque and invite the evil muslim cleric over for dinner and discuss the first ammendment with him!

        I have an idea. I’ll burn the devil’s book, and give you a brief history and lesson about the evils of islam and you show me how to use an apostrophe!
        Like most. You just don’t get it!

        • Marko Kloos says:

          Oh, boy. I don’t even know how to start with you.

          If you truly believe that Islam is evil, and that all Muslims want to kill you…can you tell me why you’re not out there with a rifle and a bag full of Molotov cocktails, instead of running your yapper about “the devil’s book” on the Internet?

        • jim says:

          Marko,

          Not all Muslim’s are evil but Islam is evil.
          I will be out there with weapon in hand when religious wars come to America. If I ever lose a son, daughter, or grandchild to a terror attack, OR if muslim’s ever use bio or nuclear terrorism, I will have a rifle in hand.

          And if I don’t run my yapper on the internet about the evil motives of Islam, then when they do strike again, you and the rest of you who are compassionate to Muslim’s and want them here
          will have been warned and you may just have to change your thinking about Islam.

          The guns come out after the next attack!
          The fuse is lit to bring it on soon. And the world will never be the same. Welcome to the biblically prophecied tribulation period!

    • So, “freedom of religion” means “freedom for any religion I approve of and if not, too damn bad”, then?

      Hey, I have an idea! Since white Christian men killed over 100 people when they blew up the Murrah Building in `95, why don’t we outlaw white Christian men?

      • jim says:

        McVeigh wasn’t a christian. They were Atheist!

        But the real difference is that the people who destroyed the federal building were acting on their own. They were not afiliated with a global religion of 1.5 billion who wants to dominate the planet!

        Islam’s goal is to convert America through demographics and terrorism.
        Their goal is to dominate the world and they don’t care how long it takes.

        The American Hiroshima may change your mind. If it doesn’t…you’ve got issues!

  3. Atom Smasher says:

    The only Koran suitable for burning is the last one.

    That said, whatever happened to simple BAD TASTE? Are we monkeys now, flinging our poo at each other whilst screeching and waving our long, hairy arms?

    I’d rather support buying a dozen Korans, or Bibles, or Torahs, or whatever, than burning one such.

    -Smasher

  4. TimP says:

    I think you’d find that traditionally the Christian attitude to the Bible and the Muslim attitude to the Koran are not actually that different, it’s just that as time has gone by most Christians being Westerners have started to believe that books aren’t really worth anything, afterall you can easily go down to the book shop and replace them for a few dollars.

    #2 seems to be a legitimate reason if you believe that God will give you extra brownie points for performing it. Essentially it’s just another religious observation that offends outsiders, but harms nobody (except maybe the practioners themselves).

    There are two other reasons as well (though one of them is just a varient of #1):

    A public irrefutable statement that you reject the beliefs held in a certain book, which may be valuable to new converts from the religion, at least of just as much value as any other public sign of conversion.
    A removal of temptation; e.g. the destruction of a bunch of Playboy magazines or spell books by a recent convert to a religion or philosophy that rejects either of these as immoral.

    Both of those, and probably also some of #2, applied in the original book burning recorded in the Bible (a bunch of converts from witchcraft/paganism destroyed their old spell books), which is what I suspect started the whole book burning obsession with some elements of Christianity. Of course they don’t apply in this case where I suspect the real reason is probably mostly reason #4.

  5. Larry says:

    Reason 5: They want to be jackasses in public. I think they should probably examine that whole “Outreach” thing in “Dove World Outreach Center”.
    Looks like someone is off his meds…

  6. og says:

    I’ve been studying Islam for about thirty five years now (Well, not just that, but Judeo-Christian religions)since the seminary.

    Islam is a toxic ideology. Alone among Judeo-Christian religions it demands it’s followers convert, enslave, subdue, and destroy non believers until Islam is the only faith.

    Burning the Koran? Meh. Don’t give a damn one way or the other. Having read it front to back and studied it’s message, it’s clearly not the book that is the problem, but the people who follow it’s rules. Might as well burn the Saturday Evening Post, for all the good it does.

    The bottomline is, “peacible” muslims are the ones not faithful to the ideology of Mahomet.

    Wherever Islam takes hold, freedom and “tolerance” die.

    I don’t have a religion, and I try very hard not to have any beliefs. I know that given a choice of hanging with bad Christians or good Muslims, gimme the Christians every time.

  7. Windy Wilson says:

    That church group that has said it will burn Korans would really make a better point if they were to merely read from it. There are plenty of incendiary passages that would make their point in a clear fashion without them coming off as clods who don’t understand the meaning and purpose of the freedoms they themselves enjoy

    • perlhaqr says:

      And if not directly from the suras, then at least from the hadiths. Find some passages about how slavery is perfectly acceptable, or marrying pre-teen girls, or the like. There’s plenty of stuff that would likely offend a modern, western audience.

      • Marko Kloos says:

        Nothing in there that can’t be found in the Bible as well, by the way. Believers have a habit of reading holy books selectively…both theirs, and those of Team Not Us.

        Of course, if you suggest the Bible has passages condoning slavery or marrying pre-teen girls, you’re “quoting out of context”.

        • perlhaqr says:

          *shrug*

          I’m not “Team Bible” either. (Actually, I’m more “Team Principia Discordia”, but that’s pretty well beside the point.)

          My point was that they could find some juicy stuff in there if they wanted to go that route. I guess my secondary point would be more that I suspect it’s easier to find people on Team Koran who actually feel that way, moreso than on Team Bible. I’d say “that’s more a culture thing”, but it’s a fairly fuzzy line in most of the world to say where “religion” ends and “culture” begins.

        • og says:

          “Nothing in there that can’t be found in the Bible as well, by the way. Believers have a habit of reading holy books selectively…both theirs, and those of Team Not Us.”

          Um, wrong. And as I have made clear, I have no beliefs. I know both books intimately, clearly and obviously, you do not.

        • divemedic says:

          How about:
          Colossians 3:22

          Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, work heartily…

          So slaves are OK, according to the Christian Bible.

          Deut 21:18-21 says:

          If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the gate of that place. They shall say to the elders of his town, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death. So you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel will hear, and be afraid.

          Better run out and kill your teenage kids when they talk back to you.

          Exodus 35:2:

          For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.

          Think about that how many people work on the Sabbath — all the employees of Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, Linnens & things, grocery stores, convenience stores, power plants, airlines, hospitals, emergency services and on and on and on. You should start killing them all now.

        • og says:

          Come back when you’ve read the Koran, Dive.

        • divemedic says:

          What does it say that the Bible doesn’t? Or are you only good at generalities: “They are not like me, so they MUST be evil.”

        • Marko Kloos says:

          Not the point, og. You said it was “wrong” to assert that the nasty stuff in the Koran can’t also be found in the Bible. Anyone can cherry-pick the doozies out of either book to show that Those Others are violent savages.

        • og says:

          “What does it say that the Bible doesn’t?”

          Oh, mostly the stuff about enslaving or murdering anyone not islamic. But if you read it for yourself, you’ll find that. Which I encourage, don’t take MY word for it, read it yourself and discover the hatred it involves.

          “Anyone can cherry-pick the doozies out of either book to show that Those Others are violent savages”

          Um, no. There is no place anywhere where Jesus commands his followers to enslave, murder, or supress the beliefs of anyone, period. it is not necesary to cherry pick that from the Koran, it’s there for all to see. it’s not possible to cherry pick it from the Bible, as it doesn’t exist.

          I’m sorry, I’m dealing with an eye injury and can barely see to type, the pain is incredible. Other, better people than I have been through this over and over again, and there is only one conclusion to which one can come on studying Islamic theology.

          it is possible to find things in the Bible that are not so savory; Note, pleaser, that they are not the words of Jesus. The core document of Christianity is the new testament, and the salient bits are confined to the four gospels. Those contain the teachings of Jesus Christ, and only those. By all means, compare the words of Jesus Christ with Mahomet and tell me where Jesus preaches that the Creator only loves one faith. You cannot, for it does not exist, but it does in the Koran. Tell me where Jesus says that God hates Jews and turns them into hogs. You cannnot, for it does not exist, but it does in the Koran. The message of Jesus, the message of the Gospels, is love for one another. Forgiveness. Peace. The message of the Koran is hatred for those not you, if you’re anxious to use that espression, and command by Mahomet and supposedly by God himself to oppose, enslave, torture, bind, kill, subdue anyone who does not follow Islam. This is not my belief nor anything I have cherry picked, it is verifiable; read for yourself.

        • Note, pleaser, that they are not the words of Jesus. The core document of Christianity is the new testament, and the salient bits are confined to the four gospels.

          If we’re going to hedge our bets on Christianity by confining our discussion to the words of Jesus, that presumably makes anti-gay sentiments just as unchristian. _Jesus_ never mentioned gay people any more than he mentioned smiting the Canaanites, tearing down their pagan shrines on the high places, and casting out our foreign women–it’s all Old Testament stuff that Christians evidently get a pass on.

          If we get to chuck the OT with regard to religious intolerance, we presumably get to send it packing with regard to man lying with man, too.

        • og says:

          We don’t get to “chuck” the OT. Christians receive new direction from Christ, but he doesn’t do away with the old law, he simplifies it by a new directive.

          Christians don’t get a “pass” on anything. The conventional wisdom is that Judaism is the caterpillar and Christianity is the butterfly. Same substance, but transformed. A lot of the wisdom of the olt testament is still valid and still meaningful, and the lens of Christianity removes a good deal of the wierdness.

          I’m constantly amazed at the people anxious to put the bible and the Koran into the same category, who have no understanding of either. Nobody sane who has read and understood both books does not understand that Islam is a toxic ideology.

          Personally, I don’t give a flying rats ass if you’re gay, if you have sex with mules, marmosets or ming vases. I don’t think Jesus did either. Sodomy is an old testament sin, and Jesus by his own words, did not come to do away with the law: Matt. 5.17 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

          The point is not to rummage through the bible and find ways to make Christians the same as Muslims. Open your eyes, see the actions of Muslims, and see the actions of Christians. Christians, admittedly rather thick headed people calling themselves Christians, are burning books. Muslims are burning Christians. Big difference. Muslims who act like asses are carefully following the precepts of their holy book, as anyone who bothers to read it knows. Christians who act like asses are deliberately ignoring the precepts of their holy book, as anyone who bothers to read it will know.

        • We don’t get to “chuck” the OT… Sodomy is an old testament sin, and Jesus by his own words, did not come to do away with the law…

          I agree with this. I was speaking hypothetically. And if we’re not dismissing the OT, then the Christian holy book contains extensive orders by God to invade the land of the heathens, slaughter them and their children, tear down their Asherah poles, cast out our foreign women lest they lead us to ungodliness, keep prisoners from foreign lands as slaves, kill our sons for disobedience and our daughters for promiscuity, and not suffer witches to live, all while we’re punishing (up to the point of execution) various victimless acts of impiety lest God withdraw his protection and punish us with the rod of men. Jesus, to the best of my knowledge, didn’t specifically cancel all of these any more than he specifically nullified the prohibition on sodomy. His general message of putting human interests above the letter of the law clearly gives lots of room to still interpret those ancient injunctions as standing.

          Christians, being real human beings with a long and robust intellectual tradition, and not mindless caricatures, don’t actually live this way, and usually use their wiggle room to err on the side of tolerance and compassion. Sometimes some jackasses turn their backs on that intellectual tradition and insist on taking their books literally, leading to hate and violence.

          I don’t want to live next door to a Muslim who thinks he has a divine mandate to convert me at the point of a sword, and I don’t want to live next to a Christian who’ll put me to death for working on the Sabbath*. As long as my Christian and Muslim countrymen choose to practice a more neighborly version of their religions, the absolute toxic-to-benevolent ratio of each religion in its Platonic ideal form is pretty irrelevant. Both have toxic bits and good bits, and in the real world real people choose how they’ll live their lives and find the bits that justify their decisions. I see no more reason to believe that the nice Muslim family that’s catering my wedding will snap and start murdering the infidel any more than my own Christian family will start stoning my “wiccan” friends to death.

          [* – Yes, I’m aware of the controversy with the Parisees in Mark 2. Jesus’ rebuke to them invokes human necessities that aren’t present when I just want to make a few extra bucks on some overtime hours. Again, if silence is enough to keep sodomy a sin…]

        • To be excruciatingly clear, since this is an understandably personal issue to a lot of people, I’m not saying “Christianity is just as bad as Islam”. I’m saying that in my experience with Christians, Muslims, Jews, neopagans of many flavors, and the odd Hindu, the essence of a religion isn’t what you can cherrypick from its holy corpus _or_ what the credits and debits of its holy books actually average out to; it’s how the real people who practice it integrate the religion into their lives. So all the condemnations of Islam based on readings of the Koran ring as hollow to me as all the condemnations of Christianity based on readings of the Bible.

          If Christians use their book to justify violating others’ rights, we should deal aggressively with those Christians. If Muslims use their book to justify violating others’ rights, we should deal aggressively with those Muslims. Angsting over whether any given religion has correlation or causation with violence? I’ll get to that right after I finish angsting over the toxic consequences of video games, rock music, comic books, and guns on movie posters.

        • og says:

          Elmo: I don’t know why I can’t respond to you below, but hopefully this will help shed some light on your conceptions.

          Hebrew law predominantly applies to Hebrews. The issue with the Law in the Torah (the Pentateuch, for Christians) is that it is possible to take it far out of context. And this was the case until Rambam came along and codified it, his Mishneh Torah pretty well does that for hebrew Law- the idea being to make the law more understandable so that it might be more easily enforced. If you take the time to read it, and I understand it is a lot of reading, you will understand that the whole of Hebrew (and subsequently, Christian) law is less about punishment than about forgiveness, and what is necesary to acheive forgiveness. Often the “Punishments” were less imposed actions but rituals of purification voluntarily effected by the sinner to regain his/her place in the community.

          Islam is nothing like this. The fallacy that it is possible to cherry pick evil from Christianity or Islam is simply that; taken out of context, there’s a lot of the OT that sounds nasty- the war of genocide against Amalek, for instance. Few know that Amalek was always an ankle-biting nuisance to the Hebrew nation, attacking the rear guard and the weak like hyenas, seeking to destroy Israel, and when Mahomet showed up the amalekites were easy recruits.

          Christians don’t get a pass on anything- they are constantly and consistently persecuted for their beliefs even today, and people are so used to it they don’t even see it. Try to put a manger scene in a public place, if you think I’m wrong. Yet, the first amendment specifically guarantees freedom of religion, while it says nothing whatsoever about freedom from witnessing the practice of others religion.

          Already in many places in the US, Sharia law is gaining a foothold, but don’t have a copy of the ten commandments even VISIBLE in a courtroom.

          Sorry for the digression. I’m happy to discuss this without rancor at any time, feel free to visit my blog and I’ll open a thread devoted to the discussion.

          I am not a biblical scholar, just a reader; I’m very lucky in that i have had some good instruction by some inspired people, and I have seen and understood a great deal. I do very clearly understand that the nature of the Christian Bible including the OT and apocrypha, and the Hebrew Torah, the Talmud, and the Mishneh torah are all guided at and directed toward the preservation of the individual soul by establishing moral guidelines for living; I also understand, because I’ve studied it, the nature of the Koran is the destruction and subjugation of all other peoples.

          I don’t expect anyone to believe me. I do expect people to educate themselves on a subject prior to making pronouncements about it.

        • og says:

          Apologies, I’m not sure I understand this interface- my comment showed up not where I expected it to.

        • og says:

          “If Christians use their book to justify violating others’ rights, we should deal aggressively with those Christians. If Muslims use their book to justify violating others’ rights, we should deal aggressively with those Muslims.”

          That misses the point entirely.

          Christians must “chery pick”, if you will, the words of the bible, to violate anyone’s rights.

          The whole of the Koran commands Muslims to violate others rights.

          “I’ll get to that right after I finish angsting over the toxic consequences of video games, rock music, comic books, and guns on movie posters.”

          So, just ignore it, right?

          When it knocks on your door, as it eventually will, it will already be too late. Look at all the countries where Islam has taken root.

          Don’t make the argument that all religions are the same unless you understand all religions.

  8. George says:

    “That said, whatever happened to simple BAD TASTE? Are we monkeys now, flinging our poo at each other whilst screeching and waving our long, hairy arms?”

    I don’t know if you’ve taken a good look around to your fellow humans, but poo flinging monkeys are generally more intelligent, smarter, and even more polite than your average Citizen-Idiot.

  9. Caleb says:

    TimP makes a good, albeit somewhat unrelated point in that most fundamentalist Christians do believe that the Bible is the literal, inspired word of God but having been westernized we don’t care so much if someone gets their jollies off by burning it.

  10. Tam says:

    Book burnings–not just burnings of someone’s holy texts, but the burning of any book–are an affront to humanity, culture, and civilization.

    Never read The Turner Diaries, then?

    • Nick says:

      I wouldn’t even burn the Turner Diaries or Mein Kampf, personally. Burning a book isn’t about disagreeing with what it says. It’s about saying that certain ideas shouldn’t be allowed to exist. I think the world would be a better place had nobody ever conceived of Nazism. But burning every copy of Mein Kampf or the Turner Diaries would do two things: First, it would erase insight into the way that evil people think and act. Second, it would set a precedent that it was okay to forbid–not discourage, not disagree with–but to forbid and erase ideas which you find offensive. Personally, I think the implications of that are far more dangerous than any idea that’s ever been set to paper.

  11. LittleRed1 says:

    Back in October 2006, when a nut murdered 5 Amish girls and wounded 5 more, the Westboro group was going to protest at the funerals. A Christian radio program host offered F. Phelps free, uninterrupted air time instead, saying that Phelps would “reach more people” that way. Phelps took the guy up on his offer and it spared a lot of pain on all sides. I think we should hope (or pray if one is so inclined) that someone will make a like offer to the Dove people.

    And for the record, yes, they have a right to burn whatever they so choose (fire marshall and regulations permitting) and no, I do not think they should be doing this. It would be better to read similar bits from the Koran, Tanakh and New Testament, perhaps pointing out that in the Tanakh, G-d orders specific groups to be eliminated, in comparison to the Koran and hadith orders to kill or enslave all unbelievers.

  12. Lissa says:

    Larry beat me to it — My reason #5 was going to be “They’re assholes.”

  13. breda says:

    “Book burnings–not just burnings of someone’s holy texts, but the burning of any book–are an affront to humanity, culture, and civilization.”

    Hate to break it to you, but libraries throw out books all the time. I’m sure they end up in an incinerator somewhere.

  14. divemedic says:

    The Church bought the books, making the Korans in question their property. The church intends to burn that property on their own private land, also their property.

    Are they showboating? Sure they are, and I don’t care why. Just like there are people who showboat by burning flags and kitting pictures of our president with shoes.

    This is a property issue, and a free speech issue. Just like I support the right of the Muslims to build a mosque on private property in Manhattan, I also support the right of this church to burn books that are their own property.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Didn’t say they shouldn’t be allowed to stage their little book burning party. Said it wasn’t the best of ideas, and that they’re a bunch of illiterate savages.

  15. Adam-12 says:

    It seems that the commentary has gotten pretty hot and heavy. Normally I agree with Marko but this time I’m torn. The problem is Marko’s suggestion that you should not exercise your rights if someone is going to get pissed and threaten violence. You’re right it’s not “the best of ideas”, but what is? I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you, but almost everything pisses “them” off somewhere at sometime. At what point are you going to draw that proverbial “line in the sand”? As you pointed out their belief system has no real analogy in Christianity (or Western philosophy for that matter)so there is no common frame of reference to resolve the issue by reason. The belief system encompasses everything in the whole freaking world and completely disavows the validity of any man-made or non-koranic laws. So which rights do you suggest we refrain from exercising to avoid Muslim sensibilities?

    Actually, I’ll digress completely off topic for a momment and talk about Martin Gardner. An author of many books on science and mathematics, he held an almost exhalted position among secularists as a voice of reason. Years ago,I was surprised when reading one of his books (I think it was “Did Adam and Eve have Navels:Debunking Pseudoscience”) that to avoid the tedium of making notes from library books Gardner would simply would cut out the interesting passages directly from the library book and paste the sections on to index cards for future reference. Not book burning, but definitely willful damage and redering the book much less useful to anyone else. Not exactly what I expected to read about this well respected man. So maybe damage to books others consider important is not the exclusive domain of illiterate savages.

  16. divemedic says:

    Marko: I just watched the news, and being that this is a local story, I want to tell you why this has my interest.

    The Gainesville police have announced that they will do whatever it takes to prevent this. They have announced that they will be setting up checkpoints in the area, and taking a list of names of those who attend, in the name of checking driver’s licenses.

    The mayor of Gainesville (who has a history with the pastor- the Mayor is openly gay, and the pastor has opposed him) has announced that the city will sponsor “non-denominational support of Muslim day.” At a local church, where ministers from other churches will read aloud verse of the Koran. This sounds like “please don’t hurt us, we had nothing to with it” day.

    I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it. If the police and government can take names outside of a political speech, they can do the same for gun shows, political rallies, and other protected activities. This is not the Constitutional role of the police.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      I agree with you, actually. In this country, everyone has the right to be a self-serving hypocrite douchebag, as long as nobody else is harmed in person or property.

    • TimP says:

      The police action sounds way worse then what they’re trying to stop. People being offensive jerks is really a rather minor issue; we always have and always will have a sub-set of the population that are offensive jerks. But the police [ab]using their powers to stiffle unpopulat political speach is much worse. I wonder what the mayor (and the media) would think if the police did the same thing to everyone attending a gay rights parade?

  17. Al T. says:

    Quote from another site: “Those assholes are writing checks our troops will have to cash”.

    • CounterClockWise says:

      This has nothing to do with the military. The conservative line now is that it’s an “unnecessary provocation.” But that’s a political argument in a moral sphere. The act is not about war in Central Asia, it’s about a moral and cultural conflict between fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity. Burning heretical works is entirely consistent with Christianity, and is probably mandatory. The ‘tolerance’ fetish you guys espouse is weak tea for the true believer.

  18. Al Terego says:

    “In this country, everyone has the right to be a self-serving hypocrite douchebag, as long as nobody else is harmed in person or property.”

    Shoulda said that to start with without all the useless and smarmy Christian baiting and hating, because it’s really the only issue here.

    “Those assholes are writing checks our troops will have to cash”.

    So…that whole “I disagree with what you say but will defend your right to say it” thing is just lip service, eh? Fuck that, the primary and fundamental role of “our troops” is to cash precisely that check.

    Islamists will attack and kill our soldiers to coerce American behavior and speech? Bomb those motherfuckers to hell if they do. Then they can all be martyrs and they’ll be happy…and so will I.

    AT

    • TimP says:

      Umm, from the original post:
      “Do they have the right to do it? Sure. Is it a good idea, especially when the U.S. commander on the ground in Team Not Us Land says that it would endanger our troops? Probably not.”

      I interpreted the original post as saying that even though they have the right to do this, they’d be jerks to do so. Did you read it some other way? Because I’m pretty sure my original reading was correct.

      • Al Terego says:

        Umm, from my comment: “…without all the useless and smarmy Christian baiting and hating, because it’s (inalienable right to stupid speech) really the only issue here”

        Now that we’ve got your reading comp down, let’s work on some spelling…

        “…[ab]using their powers to stiffle unpopulat political speach…”

        Jesus (heh), dude.

        AT

  19. Kaerius says:

    Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

    Religious texts tend to be dingbat stir crazy across the board, the bible is at least as bad as the koran.

  20. Sigivald says:

    To them, it’s a sacrilege to defile one. It’s like…oh, there’s no real analogy in Christianity I can think of.

    Well, for Catholics there’s always defiling a sanctified host.

    The Eucharist being, after all, the very Body of God, the “Real Presence of Christ”.

  21. LittleRed1 says:

    One small question – what language are the Korans in? If they are not in Arabic alone, technically they are not really Korans, according to the Arabic and English “Interpretation of the Meanings of the Glorious Quran” sitting on my shelf. Since the volume includes English, it is not a Koran, per several Islamic legal rulings. It is also the edition that the Sa’udi embassy gives to those who say they are interested in converting (at least according to the introduction.)

  22. Außenseiter says:


    but the burning of any book–are an affront to humanity, culture, and civilization.

    Imho, I think books that are just plain awful (Mein Kampf, assorted commie screeds) can be burned without any loss of humanity.

    I once made the mistake of buying Atlas Shrugged. Read some favorable references to it on the net. Not being the sort of person to leave a book unfinished, I soldiered on and finally was rid of the boring&nasty mess in about two weeks. (if you want to know why I didn’t like it, read Whittaker Chambers’s review of it. Plus know that I care a bit about science, and stuff like conservation of energy)

    The only proper thing to do afterwards, apart from finding Ayn Rand’s grave* and taking a big dump on it (the shrew deserves no less for her crimes against literature), was to use the book as toilet paper.
    Pretty good investment, I think. I saved about four dollars on toilet paper that way. Recouped the cost of the book, even. Maybe I should’ve burned it, the paper wasn’t ideal for the task.

    And I don’t think it was an ‘affront to humanity’. No humanity in that book. Author didn’t have any, that’s why.

    *I hope I’ll get around to it inside a decade, though.

  23. MarkHB says:

    They’re a bunch of self-serving dickbags who are getting at least all the publicity they hoped for with their shock-jock tactics.

    Well done, them. Well done, indeed.

    It’s right up there with the Ground Zero Mosqueishthingthattheysayisn’tamosque. Every right to do it – even if it’s a really fucking inflammatory thing to do, which makes it a fundamentally stupid thing.

    Twats. Both groups I mentioned.

  24. Elmo: I don’t know why I can’t respond to you below

    It only lets you indent so far. I’m undenting all the way, and hoping you see it.

    The issue with the Law in the Torah (the Pentateuch, for Christians) is that it is possible to take it far out of context. And this was the case until Rambam came along and codified it, his Mishneh Torah pretty well does that for hebrew Law- the idea being to make the law more understandable so that it might be more easily enforced.

    There’s that robust intellectual tradition I was talking about. :)

    It’s hard to take “whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death” too far out of context. It ain’t trying to ease the guy back into the fold. And it takes some creative reinterpretation to make it a compassionate statement.

    That’s not an insult. I think it’s a great credit to Jews and to Christians over the millennia that they’ve applied a fundamentally decent and compassionate philosophy to even the harshest parts of their holy book, and made it stick. And that, really, is my point:

    I don’t believe in a singular and authoritative “Christianity”. Like all religions, it’s formed by a combination of the holy corpus and the core philosophy of a given community. The various Churches of today are not the same as the Jerusalem church or even the early Church of Rome. The Christians who run my town’s food bank and mental health charities are definitely not practicing the same religion as the Christians who destroyed the Serapeum at Alexandria, and the crimes committed by followers of degenerate forms of Christianity don’t stain all the good branches of Christianity by association. I think of Islam the same way: my Muslim neighbors are good people, and faithful to their version of Islam, which is tolerant and generous. I won’t judge their religion based on the Islam practiced by terrorists.

    Og, I think you and I are really just arguing about definitions here. If I read you right, you’re saying that the Bible is an overwhelmingly positive book with a few details that are less so, most or all of which are moderate in Christian practice anyway, while the Koran is overwhelmingly negative with a few good things thrown in. I’m not going to disagree with that. If you say the Koran is evil, corrosive, etc, and that good Muslims aren’t living according to it, I won’t contradict that, either. As the only person in this discussion who claims to have read it, I’ll defer to you on that one (I’ve tried; I found it completely impenetrable). I’m just taking issue with you extending your opinion of “the Koran” to “Islam”; I don’t think they’re the same thing.

    I also wouldn’t presume to say Christianity and Islam have the same _rate_ of good adherents to bad adherents, mind you.

    “I’ll get to that right after I finish angsting over the toxic consequences of video games, rock music, comic books, and guns on movie posters.”

    So, just ignore it, right?

    Hell no. If a video gamer hurts people, we don’t give it a pass because we think the link between video games and violence is bullshit. If a group of Muslims try to establish their religious law here or bring in their traditional forced subjugation of women (and so on and so on) to the US, we need to slap that shit down in no uncertain terms. If a group of Muslims tries to influence us by killing US citizens, we need to come down _hard_ on that group and on the states that shelter them*.

    The only thing I’m saying–the _only_ thing–is that I’ll take the good Muslim over the bad Christian. It’s possible both are turning their backs on their holy books, but that seems pretty irrelevant to me.

    Try to put a manger scene in a public place, if you think I’m wrong.

    Here in New Jersey (New-freakin’-Jersey), I see Nativity scenes in public places and even on public land pretty frequently. It’s only seemed to be an issue when Christian images are put up by public employees in a context that shows an official endorsement of Christianity. Individual Christians expressing their faith publicly doesn’t seem to be an issue, though it isn’t a topic I’ve followed closely.

    [* – And to hell with international public opinion. If Europe can’t grasp that nations need to use force to deal with the nations that continually raid them, to hell with the lot of ‘em. Israel has proved that the modern idea of peace through accomodation doesn’t work.]

  25. Rusty P. Bucket says:

    Hi all~

    Once again I am seeing a curious mix of double standrds, political correctness and twisted libertarian values that is making such people the useful fools fo r islam.

    I am supposed to be tolarant of moslems burning my flag every night, burning my leaders in effigy and drawing p litical cartoons of jews and americans eating babies. Why, there was even that tattooed kid with pierced eyebrows, ears and nose that pooped on the flag before he and his capering gibbons lit it up.

    Light that sucker up, reverend and save a few pages for the out house! If you have the freedom of speech to piss all over the symbols that I hold dear, it is kind of stupid not to expect the same treatment back. The preacher is right, it is time to confront those idiots and maybe dealing some of there own crap back on them is a good start.

    Rusty

    • When you find yourself simultaneously condemning a group’s behavior and using it as the standard to justify your own, you should probably reexamine your position.

  26. Rusty P. Bucket says:

    You can polish that turd all you want kid, but a double standard is a double standard.

  27. Glamdring says:

    When I tried to describe this event to my SO, she doesn’t follow politics or current events much, her response was the burners sounded a lot like KKK.

    Which kind of startled me, but after thinking about it for a minute I agreed. Lot of fear and hatred in the motivation as far as I can see.

    I felt she needed to know about it, because something like that certainly increases risk factor for anyone living in this country IMO.

    I will not say they are doing anything illegal. But they are certainly not being wise. And I really can’t see any “good” reason for doing this.

    The only rational reasons I can think of for doing this (ie where you do something because it will cause the desired result) is trying to make someone hurt/angry to provoke them. Or getting free publicity and perhaps dollars from people that hate Islam.

    This kind of reminds me also of a lot of the insults and such that was thrown at Islam & Muslims on THR IIRC or was it TFL, while the server was living in the house and taken care of by a person of that faith/background.

    • perlhaqr says:

      I’m not sure the THR reference is the best one, given that Derek eventually stole the domain from Oleg.

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