So this whole Qur’an burning incident – actually, not the whole thing, just the part about burning books – has got me thinking about, well, burning books.
See, I don’t like the Bible.* I think it can be an interesting and hilarious (yes, hilarious – 900 year-old people?) if read free of any preconceived notions (like faith in the Christian god). That so rarely happens, though, that I think the book is largely a negative rather than a positive.
Despite this, I do not believe in burning the Bible. In fact, I do not think any books should ever be burned (unless it’s a survival situation in which kindling is desperately needed! Then go ahead.). Even as a symbolic gesture (say you burn 1 Bible, Qur’an or other holy book that you don’t like) I disagree with it. A book contain knowledge, whether directly – as in many nonfiction books – or indirectly – this is actually the case with all books as they give an indication of the current thoughts, trends, writing style, etc. of the time at which the book was written. I do not think that destroying that knowledge is ever warranted.
I do, however, support everyone’s right to burn books. No, I did not just contradict myself. I would never burn a book. I do not support the actual burning of books, but it should still be within our rights to burn a book. Like burning the United States flag, I find it distasteful at the very least, but no less a part of our rights. It’s also similar to the concept of being completely disgusted by the KKK, but still supporting their freedom of speech -they’re disgusting and socially I condemn them, but legally they have the right to open their mouths and speak their vile ideas. You have a right to burn books, and I will protect that right, but I definitely don’t support you actually starting the fire.
*For some of you, the switch from the Qur’an to the Bible may have seemed very abrupt. I made the switch because I dislike the Bible more than the Qur’an, and have actually imagined burning a Bible before.