The original story can be found here.
An interesting update to the story, here.
I dislike book burnings. Not because of the loss of knowledge it once was, but because it gives people bad ideas.
I understand Rev. Terry Jones's need to display his (and his follower's) displeasure with the Muslims and the acceptance of Islam as a political and religious force (one in the same, truth be told) in this country. And I admit the Islamic "cultural center" to be built near Ground Zero is just as offensive as the thought of erecting a Shinto shrine overlooking the USS Arizona memorial. He and his congregation are free to do any non-violent thing they want as an act of, what? Defiance? Display of disgust? Anger? whatever. The first amendment guarantees them that.
I still don't like it.
Breda mentions that in this age of electronic storage, one can delete an infinite number of Quran E-books. This is not the same as a book burning. In the old days, among certain cultures, when a host wanted to strut his stuff and shame his guest, he destroyed his possessions (typically by burning). It was a way of saying "I have so much nice stuff, that this stuff here, is worthless to me. Don't you feel like a chump because I have such nice stuff that I can burn the kind of stuff you have." Deleting an electronic copy of a free book is like covering up the shadow cast by your house and trying to claim you burned it. By burning a book you are saying the information in this book is worthless to me, it means nothing.
While I can see the validity of the sentiment, I still don't like book burnings.
The National Association of Evangelicals, the nation's largest umbrella evangelical group, issued a statement urging the church to cancel the event, warning it could cause worldwide tension between the two religions.I hate to tell you folks at the NAE, but there already is world wide tension between Islam and EVERY OTHER RELIGION ON THE PLANET! What can you say when a religion is; militantly evangelical, practices holy war, advocates active disinformation to non-believers, and promises to reward a violent death? Well it's either Islam or medieval Christianity, take your pick.
A lot of the chatter on the intarwebz seems to be centered around the "It will put our troops in danger" whine. While I think that true compassion for our troops is a great and noble thing. This ain't it folks.
Out troops are already in danger. They're in danger every minute they're deployed. Don't think that the militant extremists, Afghan warlords and general baddies are taking it easy on us because we're not pissing in their Cheerios today. By burning a Quran, the worst that will happen is that uncommitted fence sitters amongst the Muslims will pick a side and line up to be molded into poorly trained Predator-fodder and awarded their virgins (male, basement dwelling WoW addict, 72 each).
Liberal Muslims (are there any liberal Muslims?) will feel pity for us and try even harder to make us understand that Islam is the "Religion of Peace". Moderate Muslims will become incensed and will write sternly worded letters to the papers (not that anyone reads them any more) and protest, embarrassingly. But the militants, the truly hardcore will say nothing (except perhaps to release another tape that no one knows what in Niflheim they're saying on), load their magazines and strap C4 to themselves. Because that's what pissed off (really pissed off, not just angry and offended) people do, they don't bitch, they prepare. But that was what they were doing on Saturday anyhoo.
I still don't like the idea of book burning. Because if people think it OK to burn a book we hate or don't care about, how long 'til someone decides to burn a book I like.
H/T to Breda