Last year, my little neck of the woods made international news. A local Baptist minister was going to celebrate Halloween by having a Bible burning. No joke. Not only was he going to burn Bibles, he planned on putting the torch to Christian music, Christian literature (including fiction), Christian movies, and any book or recording that represented any religion if it wasn’t the King James Version of the Bible. I know what you’re thinking—“that’s a lot of books!”
Well, here in the middle of the Bible belt, people don’t take kindly to having their Bibles burned, and this particular minister was censured by ministers from every denomination. I did my part and posted the information on Facebook, along with a photo of the church in question’s reader-board.
What brings this to mind, now that the furor’s died down, is the church in Gainesville, Florida, that is going to observe 9/11 by burning Korans. The pastor of said church claims that it’s time to go beyond talk. Despite being warned that burning Korans would result in retaliation against American troops, the pastor is adamant. Let’s get this straight…The church in question is a Christian church, so we might presume that the pastor is upholding the teachings of Jesus Christ. I admit my ignorance; I’ve never read the Koran, but I’m positive that nowhere in the Bible is Jesus quoted in favor of war-like actions, unless there’s something I’m just not getting about love thy neighbor…
Hopefully, the Gainesville church will be put in its place, not by God but by man. The little Baptist church here (not mainstream Baptist, by the way, more renegade) did not have its Bible burning. The fire marshal stopped by a few weeks before Halloween and warned the pastor that burning books—or anything else for that matter—is illegal (leaves and yard waste may be burned by permit). To avoid getting in trouble with the law, the pastor changed his event to a “book shredding,” which was attended by fewer than three people, none of whom represented the international press.