I hate book burners. What they do is disgusting, despicable and un-American.
I hate them especially when they burn stuff I like. Back in the ’60’s, for instance, a bunch of Americans made a bonfire with thousands of Beatles records because John Lennon had the audacity to offhandedly compare the skyrocketing fame of the Beatles to that of Jesus Christ. It was like Lennon blasphemed their Lord, so they blasphemed Lennon and his Beatles right back with a big bonfire.
Suppose that, after hearing about that bonfire a few days later, a mob of angry British Beatles fans in Liverpool went out and murdered a dozen or so innocent American tourists in reprisal for the insult. That kind of violence over a perceived blasphemy doesn’t happen in modern times, does it? That’s more like 12th century mentality, isn’t it?
Back then, one had to be mighty careful about expressing one’s thoughts. Minor insults could be fatal in those days, especially if it had anything to do with religion. Freedom of religion and speech; the very idea of such a thing was considered blasphemy in medieval times; and punishable by death. Forget about the First Amendment; no one ever heard of it, or anything like it, until centuries later, and even now it is not a universally accepted concept.
In America, there are also those who would punish political and religious expression, e.g. flag burners and blasphemers. There are still blasphemy laws on the books in many states, and federal lawmakers have not stopped trying to criminalize flag burning.
There is something about injuries to feelings which brings out the worst in some people.
A small time preacher from a tiny American church finally made good on his attention seeking threat to burn a copy of the Holy Book of a rival religion. When news of this blasphemous insult reached the ears of rival followers overseas, they went out in a rampage, murdering 21 foreigners, and injuring 80 others so far, who had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Now there’s religious outrage world wide over it; angry rival followers are demanding the U.S. punish the book burning pastor; freedom of speech be damned in the bargain, they cry, since they simply “cannot accept” his irreverence. The pastor claims that the murderers are responsible for the killings; all he did was express his religious opinion in America.
I have to admit, as much as I can’t stand book burners, he’s right.
Burning that book was a stupid, bigoted, and pointless thing to do, but no one was injured; only feelings. Anyone on the planet who cannot accept the necessity for free expression in this century is a clear and present danger to us all.
Those murderers should be dealt with severely for killing 21 innocent people.
That pastor should be held up to good old fashioned American ridicule for acting the fool.