The planed Koran-burning by a Florida Pastor’s small fundamentalist congregation is burning up the blogosphere and cyber-world in general. It’s a touchy subject, thorny and not so clear cut, I think, as may seem at first glance. It’s been pointed out that many of the objections are motivated by our culture’s widely accepted view that all religions are equally noble and good (or in a growing but, thankfully, still small minority‘s view, equally bad,) so to destroy any religion‘s writings is bad. I think the repulsion to the burning of books is also rooted in a subconscious connection to the archetypal book-burning regime, Nazi Germany. The Nazi’s rightly are universally reviled for the ideas that motivated their atrocities, including book burnings. So it is sort of assumed, again subconsciously, that any other group that burns books must be cut from the same cloth.
But ask yourself honestly, would you object to a gathering to burn, say, the Satanic Bible? The charter of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan? For those among us who are son’s and daughters of the Protestant Reformation, was Luther a silly, petty yokel for burning the Pope’s decree? No, friends, all religious texts are not equal and all book burnings are not Nazi bonfires of ignorance and savage bigotry. They may be the solemn act of enlightened souls that demonstrate their resistance to a force attacking human dignity.