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[P]
First witches, now Harry Potter

By enterfornone in News
Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:39:36 PM EST
Tags: Books (all tags)
Books

According to this article, a church in rural Pennsylvania held a book burning ceremony where "ungodly" videotapes, music CDs and books were destroyed.

Among the ungodly titles were CDs by Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and AC/DC, videos of Walt Disney films such as Pinocchio and Hercules and Harry Potter novels.


According to Rev. George Bender, the Harry Potter novels "hold special status because local schools distribute workbooks that feature the boy magician but will not allow church members to hand out Bibles".

It is the church's first book burning, but more are planned if they think it will "accomplish something positive toward expressing our love for God."

Personally I think it's quite a clever move. While many things churches do attract bad publicity, this one is so extreme that it is most likely impossible to discuss it without invoking Godwin's law, causing any of their critics to automatically lose the argument.

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Display: Sort:
First witches, now Harry Potter | 80 comments (73 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
Godwin's Law (3.20 / 5) (#1)
by Speare on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:07:51 PM EST

Godwin's Law on dictionary.com, quoting the jargon file:

godwin's law prov. [Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups.


[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
Not entirely correct... (4.25 / 4) (#12)
by DoomHaven on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:45:44 PM EST

From the official Jargon file definition

Godwin's Law prov.

[Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups. However there is also a widely-recognized codicil that any intentional triggering of Godwin's Law in order to invoke its thread-ending effects will be unsuccessful.

Therefore, because this piece's author has already mentioned it, its thread-ending powers have been nullified, so let me be the first to say with great impunity: "Damn book-burning Nazis! Would do they think they are, Hitler?"

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
What was the point of this submission? (3.50 / 10) (#2)
by Carnage4Life on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:12:27 PM EST

So some Christian fundamentalist types burn some stuff they find offensive, so what?

Since when did this become www.christianbashersRus.com?

vote -1 then (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:30:09 PM EST

So far there are 3 times as many people voting for as there are voting against, so I guess some think stuff like this belongs here.

Book, music, film etc. are generally considered as part of culture.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
No joke! (4.12 / 8) (#11)
by regeya on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:42:57 PM EST

Whenever Muslim fundamentalists destroyed a statue of Buddha (and I'm going from memory here and my memory's hazy 'cuz I'm drugged up...cold/flu stuff, you guys, nothing illicit) I don't recall any enraged k5 posters. How about the treatment of women in other world religions? Or any number of issues pertaining to other religions...nope, we gotta go after the people burning books, the kids taunting non-Christians, whatever. And people reading k5 seem to be eating this stuff up.

I'm starting to buy into the kurobot idea...

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

hmm.. (3.00 / 3) (#14)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:50:23 PM EST

I'm sure I saw some mentions, perhaps it was just in diaries. There's one dude who keeps promising to write an article on Amnesty but hasn't submitted it yet. I did an article on the Chinese government the other day.

I guess I can do one on the afgan situation if you want, it is something I'm interested in.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
I'm torn. (none / 0) (#21)
by regeya on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:53:07 AM EST

The Afghan situation is appalling in ways, and I'd like to hear more than we in the U.S. have heard through mass-media channels...but I dunno; it just reeks of yet more religion bashing. I'm not sure how much more of that I can bear.

Heck, give it a shot; I'm sure that if it's good (it probably will be, knowing your past writings) that it'll stand up on its own merits, despite reader apathy.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

A good place to start (none / 0) (#54)
by Wah on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:37:55 PM EST

or at least include in your research would be here. Which is a mirror since the original site hit bandwidth limits. There's some interesting media on the site.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
it's std op procedure for all threatened religions (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by eLuddite on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:19:40 AM EST

Whenever Muslim fundamentalists destroyed a statue of Buddha (and I'm going from memory here and my memory's hazy 'cuz I'm drugged up...cold/flu stuff, you guys, nothing illicit) I don't recall any enraged k5 posters.

We were too busy smashing golden golden calves at the foot of Mt. Sinai. I mean, Rusty is a nice guy as far as false idols go, but he aint no Moses.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

He ain't no moses.. (2.00 / 1) (#29)
by retinaburn on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:38:30 AM EST

Yet.

But not without a lack of trying. :)

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Obfuscated English entrant (2.00 / 1) (#41)
by davidduncanscott on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:14:39 AM EST

A double negative that I think is intended to convey a negative, followed by a triple negative? I think I need a diagram for this one. :)

[ Parent ]
Slang (none / 0) (#42)
by retinaburn on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:24:55 AM EST

Yeah typing while thinking of an slang accent really doesn't work from a readablility standpoint. I blame the Christians for it.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
Blame the Christians (none / 0) (#44)
by davidduncanscott on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:32:09 PM EST

I agree. They burned Rome, didn't they? :)

[ Parent ]
Hm (none / 0) (#55)
by regeya on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:17:47 PM EST

I think you're mixed up...it was Romans who burned Christians as a light source.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Anthony Quinn (none / 0) (#56)
by davidduncanscott on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:34:42 PM EST

For some reason I flashed on the end of Barrabas, when Nero blames the Christians for the fire and Quinn goes pelting through the streets torching everything in his desire to do the Right Thing At Last.

[ Parent ]
English is not and never will be mathematics (2.00 / 1) (#50)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:18:45 PM EST

The English language does no follow the rules of mathematics where double negation ends up back with the sign of the original. Some languages, such as Russian, use mulitple negatives as a matter of course. The more negatives piled onto the statement, the stronger the negation irregardless of whether the negations are evenly or oddly numbered.

[ Parent ]
AHHHH! (none / 0) (#52)
by RadiantMatrix on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:58:03 PM EST

Double negatives in English cancel out. At least if you are applying proper grammar. Observe:
  • I want to do this (affirmative)
  • I do want to do this (affirmative)
  • I do not want to do this (negative)
  • I do not want to not do this (affirmative)
  • I do not not want to do this (affirmative)
And, to pick a nit, you used a perfect example in your own post: irregardless. Parsing that word would result in a definition of "not without regard", which is the opposite of what you really mean. I used to just say "irregardless is not a word!", but according to its entry at dictionary.com, that is no longer true.
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]
answer me this, oh wise one (4.00 / 2) (#58)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:51:02 PM EST

If double negatives cancel each other out in English, why do irregardless and regardless have the same meaning according to my dictionary?

[ Parent ]
An attempted answer ... (none / 0) (#62)
by vrai on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 03:03:38 AM EST

Because vast chunks of the English language make no sense what so ever - clearly we need some kind of ISO standard English :)

That said I do have to agree with the chap who said "not not" is an affirmative (irregardless and regardless are two separate words, like flammable and inflammable). Whether this is how its always been, or whether it occurred because its fun to mock people who use double negatives I don't know.



[ Parent ]
Answer: (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by Ludwig on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:22:55 AM EST

Because you have a shitty dictionary.

[ Parent ]
Usage (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by davidduncanscott on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 01:35:46 PM EST

Probably for the same reason that many people apparently think that, "same thing", "no difference", and "same difference" all mean the same thing. That my mother tongue is sometimes damaged by its speakers I don't deny, but I reserve the right to dispute their usage.

In the case of "irregardless", although I deplore the word, I must confess that "irregard" seems to have dropped from usage anyway, rather like "trepid" (although of course "trepidatious" is still around), making its destruction in "irregardless" less painful.

OTOH, since we all understand "regard", and we all understand "regardless", what have we gained with "irregardless"? At best it's superfluous.

[ Parent ]

exactly my point: in English usage drives meaning (none / 0) (#68)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:00:02 PM EST

In a natural language such as English, usage drives meaning. A double negative only connotes a positive if that is common usage. A double negative can equally connote a negative if that is common usage.

Like it or not, such is life.

[ Parent ]

Convention (none / 0) (#72)
by davidduncanscott on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 04:55:45 PM EST

Yes, of course I can sort out a double negative in common expresssions. But what have we gained in saything that, "There's nothing there" means the same thing as, "There ain't nothing there", while saything that, "He's wonderful" means the opposite of, "He ain't wonderful"?

No wonder there are so many bar fights in hillbilly towns -- nobody's really sure what the hell he's just heard!

[ Parent ]

Irregardless v. Regardless (none / 0) (#76)
by RadiantMatrix on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 02:22:01 AM EST

Irregardless "has no legitimate antecedents in either standard or nonstandard varieties", according to dictionary.com. It is a nonsense word that has gained acceptance only recently because people keep on using it.

For more detail, check out irregardless on dictionary.com
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

Not math (none / 0) (#57)
by davidduncanscott on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 07:52:34 PM EST

No, of course it isn't, but it's not Russian, either. When someone says, for instance, "He's not without talent", they do not mean that he has no talent at all. If they did, they might say, "He's completely without talent"

"But not without a lack of trying" presents a bit of a puzzle. I grasp "not trying", and I grasp "not without trying" (which fits the above model, and means that an effort is being made), but "not without a lack of trying" spins the weather vane yet again.

It's not incorrect, of course, if the writer intended to indicate that no effort was being made (I think). Hell, even the builder of this interesting sentence indicated he was tired when he wrote it. :)

[ Parent ]

The Muslim Fundamentalists (3.00 / 1) (#38)
by j on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:03:06 AM EST

For some decent Taliban bashing, look here. It touches upon them destroying the Buddha statues and upon the treatment of women in Afghanistan, among other things.
At this point, I would have to concur that the Christians are less objectionable than the Taliban. At least they don't bother people that don't belong to their congregation, whereas the Muslim fundamentalists in Afghanistan expect everyone, be they Muslim themselves or not, to adhere to their rules.
That said, I would have to admit that I find book burnings particularly unsettling. Guess it comes from being German.

[ Parent ]
I just thought of something... (3.37 / 8) (#4)
by theboz on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:14:53 PM EST

According to Rev. George Bender, the Harry Potter novels "hold special status because local schools distribute workbooks that feature the boy magician but will not allow church members to hand out Bibles".

This presents me with a mental dilema. I think the majority of people here are not Christian, and thus think that the bible is a book of fiction and stories. If that is the case, why should the schools not allow bibles but allow other works of fiction?

I'm not sure of any justification for this. I can understand not allowing things that the community thinks are indecent (no Hustler in school libraries) but they do allow pretty graphic stories and such. What does this mean for religious text? Why should "The Odyssey" be required reading, when "Exodus" is banned? From a standpoint of enjoying reading fiction, I don't see the difference. They are both religious texts that are stories. Someone please explain this to me.

Stuff.

freedom from religion (3.00 / 8) (#5)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:20:49 PM EST

It's because many think freedom of religion means freedom from religion. Personally I have no problem with people advocating Christianity, witchcraft or whatever, but others have a problem with any sort of propaganda. It's a bit like the old "if I'm forced to hang around gay people I'll become one" argument.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
mythology (4.50 / 10) (#7)
by Refrag on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:24:53 PM EST

I don't think there would be a problem with reading the bible in school as a study of mythology. It'd be analogous to reading Roman and Greek mythology.

But, I've never heard of an instance where they were going to read it in such a fashion. It's always suggested that the religion should be taught in school -- and that isn't allowed.

I think if the bible were read in school as part of the studies of mythology, Christians would be amoungst the biggest critics.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

We read it in highschool (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by democritus on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:09:04 AM EST

When I was is highschool (St. Johnsbury Academy, a semi-public school) we read the Bible as a mythology 2 out of 4 years in English. SJA is a not a religious school (though orginally organized and still associated with South Congregational Church), but it is private, though several towns in the area lack their own high schools so they pay for their students to go there.

[ Parent ]
no problem (4.14 / 7) (#13)
by danny on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:48:22 PM EST

I have no problem with the Bible being used in schools in comparative religion or literature classes.... But I suspect that would upset the Christian fundies even more.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

I was going to say that. (4.00 / 5) (#17)
by elenchos on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:33:23 AM EST

Even my dinky little high school had a class on religion, and we did investigate the quaint beliefs of the Christians, alongside the Buddhists and Hindus and Moslems and Jews. It was a valuable learning experience and since primary texts are the only way to go, they'll be needing bibles. But the fundamentalists, as you said, won't like the context, nor the fact that a comparative religion class is going to need to use a bible with apocryphya and writings, not just the lightweight little KJV. And that means that someone is going to have to explain where all these books came from and why there are so many bibles. They are really going to hate that.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

I find the quote funny (3.75 / 4) (#24)
by cbatt on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:59:09 AM EST

According to Rev. George Bender, the Harry Potter novels "hold special status because local schools distribute workbooks that feature the boy magician but will not allow church members to hand out Bibles".

Since when was the bible a work book?

Solution: create workbooks featuring Jesus, his pal Holy Spirit, God his father and his whole gang of friendly saints.

I mean, in some parts he must still be at least as popular as Harry Potter.

"Get down to learnin, or you better start the burnin" could be the slogan.

-----------
Before you can understand recursion
you must understand recursion.

[ Parent ]

The Bible vs. other works of fiction. (4.71 / 7) (#34)
by Alarmist on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:13:40 AM EST

This presents me with a mental dilema. I think the majority of people here are not Christian, and thus think that the bible is a book of fiction and stories. If that is the case, why should the schools not allow bibles but allow other works of fiction?

When was the last time anyone beat someone, burned a book, destroyed a statue, or went to war over The Lord of the Rings?

The Bible may very well be fiction, but it is also the core text of a strong religious movement. Such religious movements were one reason why the colonists came to what would become the United States, and the founding fathers decided long ago that such movements would not be able to use the government to run other people's lives.


[ Parent ]

Careful... (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by Elendale on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:11:56 AM EST

When was the last time anyone beat someone, burned a book, destroyed a statue, or went to war over The Lord of the Rings?

While LotR doesn't have the most rabid following, i wouldn't dare burn (for example) the Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete CD in front of a certain friend of mine :)

-Elendale (</silliness>)
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Public schools -do- allow Bible reading (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by ggy2 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 04:09:18 PM EST

I am a senior at a public high school, and this year we have read a few stories from the Bible. For example, we compared the story of Noah to that of Gilgamesh (both were guys who ended up on a boat with animals because a god got pissed off :) as well as the Book of Ruth. As long as the story is taught as just that, a story, not a truth of religion public schools can teach almost anything. I imagine that if Harry Potter was treated as a religious work it wouldn;t be allowed at all.

[ Parent ]
Feel the heat (3.53 / 13) (#6)
by Tatarigami on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:24:41 PM EST

Book burners.

You have to admire their determination in resisting any kind of advancement in their thinking since the 1600's.

With the way human evolution is meant to be accellerating, this time next century the difference between them and the rest of the world should be enough to make it legal to keep them as pets.

I find it hard enough to respect the ignorant as fellow human beings, but people who deliberately generate ignorance represent everything I hate.


Shades of Salman Rushdie (3.66 / 6) (#15)
by gbd on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:57:00 PM EST

Book-burning is just downright ominous.

You have to wonder .. if J. K. Rowlings lived in the United States (particularly in a region like the Deep South), would she be safe? Hell, would she be alive? This type of uproar is no different than the furor that lead Ayatollah Khomeini to declare a fatwah against Salman Rushdie for "The Satanic Verses."

This story is definitely noteworthy because it serves as a reminder of how deeply disturbed these fundamentalists are. I go out of my way to differentiate between fundamentalists and Christians in general; I know of no Christians that feel this way about Harry Potter books. The lunatics that are using Harry Potter to bring back a craze that was last popular in Nazi Germany are doing their faith a grave disservice, and people of all walks of life need to condemn this.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

Okay... (3.50 / 6) (#9)
by Paradocis on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:37:33 PM EST

One major difference between the bible and Harry Potter: Harry Potter books aren't presumed by any of their readers to be divinely inspired.

Another difference: Harry Potter doesn't have a church, collection plates (unless you count the cash register), preachers\priests\clerics\monks\whathaveyou, or presume to bring it's readers to some ultimate reward. At least not that I know of...

Yet Another Difference: Harry Potter doesn't have a centuries long history of manipulation, guilt, torture, and jihad.

I guess if burning books makes you feel better, and as long as you're paying for them, go for it, just don't be surprised when others laugh at you.

Those Wacky Muggles... (-;


-=<Paradocis>=-
+++++++++++++++++++++
"El sueño de la razon produce monstruos." -Goya
+++++++++++++++++++++


"Harry Potter doesn't have a... (4.50 / 2) (#25)
by pig bodine on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:43:15 AM EST

...centuries long history of manipulation, guilt, torture, and jihad."

Yet.

Give him time, dude.

[ Parent ]

heh (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by spacejack on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:58:55 PM EST

An L. Ron Hubbard in the making? :)

[ Parent ]
You Wish... (none / 0) (#69)
by Matrix on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 04:01:59 PM EST

Harry Potter books aren't presumed by any of their readers to be divinely inspired.

Obviously you've never met the really fanatical breed of fanboy/fangirl. I'm sure that at least some of them believe Harry Potter to be divinely inspired. ;-)


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Internet (none / 0) (#79)
by CaptainBoom on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 04:47:33 PM EST

I wonder when there going to take this to the next level. Perhaps petition the Goverment to disband the internet and put it to the flame. Because as we all know the internet is EVIL in every way. I think we should remember that they have the right to burn there own material but we should also remember that as intolerance spreads and those people gain more followers that group of people will start to take more drastic action. Take the middle east. I am fairly certain that Jesus did not tell his childern to kill one another for all time to dispute a period or other punction mark in whatever holy book they hold dear. This is what people are good at. We take a good idea or even a good theory and we twist it until it makes sense only to us and when asked to describe it we say. Hey have faith and drink the coolaid. Amen to that my brothers. :-)

[ Parent ]
Assuming they owned the books, who cares? (3.45 / 11) (#10)
by peeping_Thomist on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:42:31 PM EST

Were they taking books away from people and burning them? If not, I don't see why this is worthy of any notice at all.

Often, when people make major changes in the way they live, they will go through their possessions and get rid of cultural artifacts that remind them of the bad old way they used to look at the world. Judging by the tone of some comments I've seen on this site, my guess is that at least some regulars have probably gone through their own possessions and gotten rid of Christian symbols, books and other artifacts.

Well, that's what these people are doing. Instead of renouncing their Christian upbringing, though, they're renouncing their worldly ways.

Big deal. Not news.

Jesus loves book burners (3.11 / 9) (#16)
by jabber on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:24:00 AM EST

He really does. He told me so.

Book burners save their Congregations from idle worship, opting instead for a more active form of celebration. They are to be applauded. Hopefully, if they are truly enlightened by the fires of their righteous indignation, they will allow some homeless people to warm their tired bones by the pyre next time.

Yes, Jesus loves book burners. They feed the economy each time they feed the bonfire. For as soon as they've moved on to beating another scapegoat, all those deprived kids will go out and buy more depraved books.

Yes, by God! Jesus loves book burners. He loves them so much, in fact, that He can not wait until they all join Him up in Heaven. He wants them all to go, today, and find a nice tall bridge from which they should take a majestic Leap of Faith into His ever loving arms.

I know I'm right. Jesus told me so.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

While this may be the first burning, (3.33 / 3) (#18)
by ZanThrax on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:01:37 AM EST

its certainly not the first time that fundamentalists have complained about it.
Have a look at these for example:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/potter3.htm http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/2001/01/24/FFXFKDAGAIC.html

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.

interesting (3.40 / 5) (#19)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:13:05 AM EST

They seem to miss the significant difference here. They can't hand out bibles to each student in a public school, but Pinochio isn't being handled out to each child in school to take home and enjoy, either.

And as far as I recall, every school I've been at has had at least a couple different bibles in their libraries.

If they want to buy books and cd's and movies and waste their money by burning them -- great. I'm sure the artists don't mind the money.

I'm sure they'd scream all hell if someone held a bible burning though, even though more have died for the sake of the bible than have died for Pinochio or Hercules (uh, not sure how herculese fits into this category since I'm pretty sure the story of Herculese possibly predates Christianity?).
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

History (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by Seumas on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:17:05 AM EST

The last people to conduct major book burnings were probably the Nazi's. History has noted what great religious people they were and the book burnings really helped a lot of people, didn't it?
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
Most recent book burners (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by davidduncanscott on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:10:37 AM EST

Looked at Afghanistan lately? Book burning is the simple black cocktail dress of politics -- it just never goes out of style.

[ Parent ]
If they want to hand out Bibles, go ahead... (3.60 / 5) (#23)
by Anonymous 6522 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 02:39:12 AM EST

When I was in middle school, some group did this on three seperate occasions. All they did was stand across the street with boxes of Bibles and tried to get kids to take them. I don't think they were doing anything illegal, but handing out Bibles randomly, to kids who don't really want them, isn't exactally productive. Many of those Bibles ended up on the street or in the trash.

Believe it or not.... (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by peeping_Thomist on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:47:23 AM EST

handing out Bibles randomly, to kids who don't really want them, isn't exactally productive.

What you say sounds intuitively right, but in fact I know people who have converted to Christianity as a result of reading the Bible handed out to them at school. Many children grow up in households that don't have any religious cultural artifacts in them, hence the people handing out Bibles have a natural audience.

[ Parent ]
Obvious response to this evil! (3.66 / 3) (#26)
by Rocky on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 08:30:19 AM EST

I would have thought that this would have been an obvious response to the evil in the Harry Potter books! Those things ought to be burned, and then the ashes should be cast to the four winds of Isis, Osiris, Horus, ..., ulp, I mean Jesus, and those winds should be filtered through the Giant Ionic Breeze of the Holy Ghost!

Here's a link to an article that explains our viewpoint.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Ha ha ha ha ha (none / 0) (#74)
by pmk on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:02:04 PM EST

The last paragraph of the Onion story that Rocky linked is perhaps the funniest piece of writing that I've seen in a long time. Too bad it's a little too nasty to quote here -- but do go check it out!

[ Parent ]
Harry Potter V excerpt, hacked from JKR's PC... (4.70 / 10) (#31)
by pmk on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:51:13 AM EST

Ron peered from his window at the street that ran by the Dripping Kettle. "Harry! Hermione! What are those Muggles doing?"

The acrid smoke of burning CD's reminded Harry of the time his cousin Dudley had set his stereo equipment on fire in protest of his diet. "Those Muggles are Christians, Ron." said Hermione, whose parents were both Muggle dentists. "They hate anything that they fear, and they fear anything that they don't understand, and since they're a fairly silly sort of Muggle, I'm afraid that that's a great deal."

Harry said, "Remember the witch-burnings from History class, Ron? I think that they've just moved on to books and CD's, after our kind learned how to avoid these attacks, and got tired of pretending to burn and scream."

"Sure, Harry. I even remember a quote from a Muggle philosopher named Heine: Wherever they burn books, sooner or later they will burn human beings. Well, we've got to get our things packed. Let's hope that the Muggle fire brigade comes soon!"



Closed Mindedness (4.00 / 5) (#32)
by starbreeze on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:02:02 AM EST

This is insane.

I live in Pittsburgh. For a while I lived more north, not too far from this church in the article. I think it's something in that water because so many people in that area have a similar mentality. Maybe its the higher population of Amish hehe. I went to college in an Amish town and they were appalled when we brought in a lesbian speaker (Leslea Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies) to the campus for an educational lecture. To get back on topic...

What they don't seem to get is the same religion that tells them all this stuff is wrong, *also* tells them to be open minded and love and accept everyone despite their sins.

~~~~~~~~~
"There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor

Pennsylvania (3.75 / 4) (#45)
by MrAcheson on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:32:27 PM EST

Pennsylvania is Philadelphia in the East, Pittsburg in the West, and Alabama in between.


These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
Hey (none / 0) (#46)
by finkployd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 01:19:41 PM EST

Watch it, there is a small ray of intelligence in the middle. Penn State :)

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#53)
by MrAcheson on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 05:36:52 PM EST

My brother went to Penn State (I'm originally from the philly suburbs). He despises that particular college. :)


These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
Very true... (none / 0) (#77)
by Puchitao on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 12:33:04 PM EST

... I'm always impressed with the organization and strategic acumen of their rioters ;)

Perhaps we can do *snappy fun* with you everytime! -- Orz
[ Parent ]
hey now (none / 0) (#78)
by finkployd on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:08:41 AM EST

Those things just don't happen, there are weeks of planning, focus meetings, and committee forums. We take our anachary very seriously.

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Go Zealots! (4.00 / 7) (#33)
by RangerBob on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:04:11 AM EST

I always find humor in people who claim that God is so incredibly vindictive and how God wants them to do things like this. It's funny to me because if God was so harsh and wanted everyone to be like them, then why are the rest of us here? Why are we allowed to exist? Could it be...free will?

I do so like how he feels that since Harry Potter can be distributed, then so should the Bible be. His logic sounds like he's equating the importance of the Harry Potter books to that of the Bible. I should go write something about magic and see it handed out at schools, then I can say that my writings are all on the same level as the Bible. Or maybe they should go hang out with the woman who writes them, since she must be the Second Coming :)

They're just pissed.... (2.50 / 6) (#36)
by OriginalGTT on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:29:27 AM EST

Because jesus was black

---
I'm NOT on your level. Stay there, and I will stay up here where morals are high, and the air is sweet
--Psychologist
Go book burners! (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by Elendale on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:05:55 AM EST

Yay! Errr... not... wait... *ahem*
I can't decide what's worse: that some idiots decided to burn books or that we're getting an article about it on K5 ;)

In any case, this comment just about says it all...

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


let me get this straight (4.50 / 8) (#43)
by cory on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 11:59:57 AM EST

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be upset at these people because they are being intolerant of different cultures. But instead of saying "to each his own", you feel it is your duty to lambast them for their actions and beliefs. Isn't this close to the pot calling the kettle black? Not exactly like it, perhaps, but very close.

It's important to note that they don't seem to have crossed any lines into outright violence against other people or other people's property. If they had it would be a different story, that's definitely not the kind of thing that should be tolerated. Also, lest anyone get the wrong idea, I'm a Christian, and I think these people are idiots who are completely missing the point of the Gospel. But as long as they're buying the books and such themselves, they can do whatever they want with them.

Cory


intolerance of intolerance (none / 0) (#75)
by kubalaa on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 01:03:48 AM EST

I have to point out that there's a meta-ness here that you're ignoring. Being intolerant of intolerance is "meta-intolerance," and whether this is bad or not is up for debate. Intellectually it seems like a good policy for individuals but I wonder if a society without meta-morality would be remotely functional. My inclination is that, in the absence of meta-morality imposing a level of "reasonableness" and tolerance, the forces of natural selection would lead to a miserable might-is-right environment.

In any case, the decision to impose one's beliefs on others is a dangerous one. And fortunately those mentioned on the article aren't doing that (well, not on a large scale; you have to feel sorry for their family, friends, and aquaintances). It is still, as you say, an interesting example of stupidity and worth bringing up because its a symptom of attitudes which should be avoided.

[ Parent ]

I don't understand what all the buzz is about (4.40 / 10) (#49)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:10:38 PM EST

This is just a bunch of misguided folks doing some spring cleaning and burning the results.

The book burnings of the past were such great tradgedies because they burned other people's books. If these people are going around and arresting or assaulting people that won't give up their Harry Potter fantasy novels to be burned, I'd have a problem with it. However, to my knowledge no violence or coercion is occurring.

If anything authors are profiting because some of these might be newly purchased just for the burning. Not to mention that some of the rock-n-roll disks going up in smoke are sure to belong to the children of the parishoners. I have little doubt that these titles will be repurchased in the near future.

Here's a question: how many people decrying this book burning believe in the right to burn flags a political statement?

Here's another question: what's the qualitative difference?

Not quite (3.66 / 3) (#59)
by 0xdeadbeef on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 09:59:32 PM EST

No one is going to stop you from burning your own book, but burn your own flag in public and some macho patriot fuck will likely get violent.

One is a symbol of violence and censorship (consider the historical precendant, why would they burn them otherwise?), the other is a statement of defiance in the face of violence and censorship.

Burning the flag of some foreign nation is more akin to book burning.

[ Parent ]
The idea, however, is exactly the same (3.50 / 2) (#63)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:55:18 AM EST

Burning books and flags are nearly identical. Both are taking a symbol of an object a person disagrees with and burning.

The differences which you mention are simply differences of opinion on which symbols deserve to be burned. I don't see a difference of kind in that distinction.

[ Parent ]

Burn and burn alike (none / 0) (#67)
by Robert Hutchinson on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 01:41:48 PM EST

[Burning a book] is a symbol of violence and censorship (consider the historical precendant, why would they burn them otherwise?), [burning a flag] is a statement of defiance in the face of violence and censorship.
You have a hilarious view of free expression. Is it impossible to burn a copy of, say, Mein Kampf, to make an ironic statement denouncing Nazism? Is it impossible to burn an American flag in view of the family of a tortured and murdered POW, because one wants to make them suffer?

When arguments over flag burning and book burning start deciding what is and isn't healthy expression, the point of the argument is already lost.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

Medium fine; message moronic (5.00 / 2) (#73)
by pmk on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:57:45 PM EST

I'm fine with flag- or book-burning as a means of expression. The medium is not where I have a problem.

My problem is with the message itself, which is appallingly stupid. Harry Potter as a vehicle of evil? Who's next on the list of Satanic servants -- the obvious pansy-boy Christopher Robin, maybe? Or the demonically pure-looking Glinda, Good Witch of the North?

Doesn't matter HOW these slack-jawed gomers are expressing their opinion, and they've sure got a right to do so. It's just a shame that they couldn't find anything important, or even non-laughable, to say. Save us, Lord, from your followers.

[ Parent ]

Heh...Potterism (3.83 / 6) (#51)
by tailchaser on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 04:29:37 PM EST

I'm just amused that the Harry Potter books in particular were singled out because "local schools distribute workbooks that feature the boy magician but will not allow church members to hand out Bibles". As I read this, Reverend Bender considers a children's fiction series to be a religous text.

How can I become a member of the Church of Potterism? I bet it'd be a lot more pleasant than the congregation mentioned in the article. ;>

It is the church's first book burning, but more are planned if they think it will "accomplish something positive toward expressing our love for God."
But heaven forbid (no pun intended) that you express your love for god by writing a series of books that delight young readers and gets kids to voluntarily read for pleasure in a way that teachers and parents have been unable to do for years. After all, we can't let kids grow up to be literate and intelligent - then they might start thinking for themselves! Chaos ensues!

-tc is feeling a little bitter today, sorry

At least they arent banning Pokemon!! (4.00 / 5) (#64)
by pallex on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:00:31 AM EST

See for example:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1249000/1249820.stm

"He said the concept of the Pokemon characters also appeared to be based on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, which Islam rejects. "

Amusing.

"Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah said it encouraged gambling as well as carrying religious symbols that he said represented Zionism, Christianity and Free Masonry."

Is "Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah" perl script? I think theres some steganography going on here - wheres Kaplan when you need him?

And check out this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1243000/1243307.stm

Contains the hysterical:

"The kingdom's senior cleric, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, protested that most of the cards figure symbols such as "crosses, sacred for Christians and triangles, significant for Freemasons"

So anything which has a triangle in it is banned now too?!

Thats the problem with religious types. Not very bright, you see.


Why Harry Potter and not bibles? (4.66 / 3) (#71)
by coffee17 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 04:43:02 PM EST

Simple, The Harry Potter saga claims to be a work of fiction. If the fundies are willing to have the bible brought in and discussed, as a work of fiction, I think that would be quite big of them.

-coffee


First witches, now Harry Potter | 80 comments (73 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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