Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Good Ol' Fashioned Book Burning

At some point, you have to admire a person's commitment to intolerance.

Sure, it's easy to condemn Brian McLaren and Shane Claiborne. After all, they have expansive views on Christian responsibility and don't condemn other religions.  And burning a pile of rock, rap and heavy metal records is just a cliche at this point.

All that is sissy stuff for Marc Grizzard, pastor of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Waynesville, NC.  Their book-burning this past Halloween was the good old-fashioned kind.

Included was pretty much all music that is not sung in church to the glory of God, since it is all considered Satanic by AGBC.  The usual suspects were of course included, but they also burned country, pop, soft & easy, western, soul, jazz, southern gospel (including The Anchormen, because they performed at Dollywood, whose owner was in a movie called the "The Best Little Whore House in Texas"), contemporary christian (too popular and secular for their tastes, including Amy Grant, who once gave an interview to a Catholic magazine), and some category called "oldies but goldies," left unexplained.

Of course, you can't have a book burning without the books. Unsurprisingly, books by McLaren and Claiborne make the list. More surprising are books by Franklin Graham (soft on rock music), Mother Teresa (Catholic),  James Dobson (because Dobson is friends with Glenn Beck, who curses, and you are supposed to shun people who curse, which saddens him, because Glenn Beck's heart is in the right place), Rick Warren (who knows -- I stopped reading) and hundreds of other name-brand Christians.

However, their Pièce de résistance, the cherry on their ice cream sundae of purity, is their burning of Bibles.  Like many, they believe the King James translation to be the real deal.  Unlike others, they believe any other English translation of the Bible is a perversion, and needs to be burned.  Their list of perversions is quite long -- basically any Bible that is not the King James. Lest you think their intolerance is crazy, however, note that they do accept different versions of the King James, and also Bibles written in other languages.

Not reported was whether any witches were discovered in their midst, or whether there are plans for some kind of crusade to retake the holy land from the heretics who currently occupy it.

So, Poe's law strikes again, given that it is impossible to parody Amazing Grace Baptist Church.  I was once again fooled, as I thought for certain this was a parody when I first heard about it.

I'm probably making too much of this, given that the church only has 14 members.  On the other hand, they keep getting emails from people who agree with them.

I guess the only thing to say to Amazing Grace Baptist Church is: Congratulations.  The attention they are getting far outdistances their numbers or their influence, for now. Their commitment to intolerance should inspire us all, hopefully to a commitment to something other than intolerance.


Red Hot Zippy Nazi Pepper Head said...

I tried to light my computer on fire, because it displayed your blog. But the fumes were NASTY, so I put it out and found a nice, safe Nazi page I felt was properly intolerant enough for me to view. Shoo! That was close!

Patrick Gabridge said...

I'm fascinated by their passionate love for the King James Bible. Not that it isn't great, but the printed English Bible (pre-KJV)didn't even exist until circa 1526, (All my William Tyndale research taught me something.) and was translated by some very real men. Hm.

Robert Sievers said...

I worked in a KJV only place for a while. The reasoning goes something along the lines of 1) the textus receptus is a more accurate manuscript compilation, and 2) the translation effort was done independently by each member rather than as a group amalgamation.

Both arguments do have some merit on their own, but deny the power of God's Word to be living and active across time.

Susan said...

Well he got a lot of publicity, which is what I think he wanted, but in the end it didn't happen!

Your Haywood County, NC Old friend Susan Higgins

PG said...

Robert, you'd best be careful or I'm going to start agreeing with you again. No one wants that.

xian-x said...

Someone should tell Rev. Grizzard that the KJV is a liberal corruption because it includes such uninspired passages as the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) and Jesus forgiving his persecutors (Luke 23:34).

PG said...

I wonder how many previous "conservative versions" or "liberal versions" or other mutations of the Bible have taken place in the past. Obviously, we have no filter by which we can ever truly read the Bible and interpret it for others to follow. (I prefer reading it in Spanish, personally.) The ambiguities are endless and all people who argue about the Bible are only spouting off their own views, choosing this verse or that (in their translations) as backup. Creationists are particularly hilarious in this regard. I take the Bible seriously; it's a wonderful compendium of literature and wisdom and history. But it's not magic and it is only a lawbook to those eager to wield power themselves. Too many people make an idol of the Bible and worship it rather than the Spirit.

The Truth said...

The Bible has some good sentiments in it, a few good stories, some bizarre stories, and some down-right hooey! Why? Because it was written by men. Not by God.

Fingtree said...

and women too...Ruth and Joseph Smith and those golden plates that he translated into the book of Mormon. It is all balderdash.

Phil Wood said...

Now, I wonder where I've heard something like this before. I come from Manchester, UK. Years ago the I.R.A. bombed the city, destroying buildings like the Royal Exchange and damaging others including my office. Just about a week later I came across a list that was circulating asking people to name the building in Manchester they would prefer had been bombed. Top of the list was the Hotel Piccadilly. I thought at the time that this was pretty sick humour but that's the way people cope when bad things happen. So, any similar suggestions on book burning? Care to nominate your favourite choice for the bonfire?

Dan S said...

I'd be tempted by Going Rogue, the Left Behind series, and any book by any Fox news contributor.

But, no, I'm for free expression, no matter how harmful, inaccurate or mean. Let reason rather than fire win the day.