The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Burn baby burn


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Not a new confession, but I have burned books. Felt amazingly guilty for doing it. It was a huge stack of cheap romance novels I could not sell or give away. Rather than leave them in the house I was vacating, I burned them.

Don't know if I could do it again.

Which is why I surprise myself when I hear about the Koran burning and the riots that resulted from it.

I ponder buying a stack of Korans and defiling them and then burning them. Or, just burn them. Or just defile them. Get the whole thing on video too, making sure that my voice is either obscured or not used and I can't be identified.

As I think this way, I say I would not do this willy nilly. Rather, I'd do it in retaliation. For every soldier's death, a Koran gets reduced to component parts. Roadside bomb? Korans on fire. Retaliation for my burning? Put another shrimp on the barbie baby while I stoke the flames.

Yeah. It cranks my tractor.

I have figured out ways to get away with it too. Can do, in other words. The biggest obstacle is the purchase of a sufficient number of Korans.
Picture swiped from another site.

The thought, as entertaining as it is, is equally bothersome to me. In no particular order:

We invaded those countries over there. Now our president is threatening to do the same to another. We launched attacks into adjacent countries. These people are fighting back the best way they know how. Objectively, I can't blame them.

If someone invaded the United States, I'd fight back too. I'd plant roadside bombs. I'd be a sniper. I'd stage hit and run attacks. The international rules of war would not apply to me. Kill the invaders by whatever means necessary.

In case you wonder, it's way past time to bring out troops home, something the current president promised to do but has not.

Anyway, burning Korans would definitely torque the Islamic haters. But it would also greatly offend the non-terrorists, the non-idiots, the Muslims who want to get along and co-exist peacefully. Should I hold them to account because some idiots of the same basic religion hate everyone? If I do that, then every one else has the right to hold me accountable for what idiot Christians, like the hate mongers at Westboro church, do. Fair is fair
Because idiots come in all flavors.

It's a book. I object to burning books. Period.

I object to book burning because books are repositories of knowledge. Books are the most dangerous weapon a person can wield. A man with a gun but not much knowledge is dangerous until his ammo runs out. Then he has a club or an extremely non-aerodynamic throwing weapon (unless he has a Mosin-Nagant which is another story altogether). A man with knowledge is dangerous until he is dead.

In case you are wondering, I own two Korans, one an English-only English-format version and the other a side-by-side Arabic-English version formatted right to left. I give them the exact same treatment I afford my Bible collection. The idea of setting a flame to either copy almost makes me mad.

Call me double-minded. It's accurate. On one side, I could gleefully and with malice aforethought set fire to a Koran. On the other, I'd go to considerable lengths to stop it from being burned.

Flip this over. What would I think if someone burned a Bible? As paradoxical as this may seem to you, it won't bother me. Not a bit. Ok, I fudged a bit. It will bother me because the burning of any book bothers me. But I won't put the Bible into some special category. It's a book. That's what matters. I'd feel the same about a Bible burning as I would about burning a Douglas Adams novel.

Lemme close with this thought. Some Muslims decry the idea of veneration of objects, hence no pictures of Mohammed et al. Yet, these same people are willing to kill when a Koran is burned. That is object veneration, putting the item ahead of the message.

I'm not the only double-minded person here.

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