What with all this sacred book burning going on, I got to wondering: What burns better? The Bible or the Quran? So with the help of Google I did a little web sleuthing.
And found out nothing. No one seems to know which of these books will burn the fastest, the longest, the hottest or the brightest. For the sake of scientific purposes, I hope these religious whack-jobs will film the burnings, for later comparative purposes. Maybe keep the ashes for electron scanning, see if there is any residue of the supernatural left.
I did find this out: apparently both the Bible and the Quran can provide you with a lifetime of satisfactory rolling papers. There are dozens of stoners on the web who will attest to this. Now, if someone is compelled to burn a sacred book, that’s the right way to go about it. Might take the edge off of all that anger, dude. (But…no matter what grade of weed you use, you just can’t get high smoking the Book of Mormon)
Another thing I learned: it is a sin to read the Bible or the Quran in the bathroom. Just as I figured. (Now I’ll never get to finish Leviticus)
All kidding aside, I do not think that these book burnings, of either the Quran or the Bible, should be taken lightly. But it is obvious that many religious people, particularly fundamentalists. place way too much importance in the physical presence of their sacred texts. Take the absurd hoopla over Senator Ellison, a Muslim, wanting to be sworn into office with his hand on a Quran instead of a Bible? Why would anyone expect a Muslim to swear an oath on a book that is not the Quran? For that matter, how ridiculous is it for anyone to swear on the Bible – does it have some sort of ju-ju that ensures honesty? If someone lies while doing so with the earth open up and swallow him?
Typically book burnings are not purely symbolic, as these current incidents are meant to be. When the early church ‘fathers’ (or the Reformers or the Nazis) burned books it was to destroy all the reading material dangerous to their causes. Not what is happening in the Carolinas, Florida or Afghanistan. (Which is also why book burnings can never be more than symbolic, with TV, radio and especially the Internet replacing the printed media as the primary vessel of ideas)
These book burning are big deals because the people who ‘own’ those books, Christian and Muslim Fundamentalists, allow themselves to be offended, as if the offenders were somehow actually burning Jesus or Mohammed. They have become idolaters and the books are their idols. They have allowed religious fervor to replace common sense along with, at times, common decency.