Sept. 11th – Burn a Bible Day

Update: After weighing the options I’ve changed my mind – instead of lighting ablaze a book, I will bury one instead.  This is in part because I will be in the field this weekend and lighting any fires in this tinder-box of a state is a terrible idea.  But I have also given some thought to the act of burning.  My protest of Terry Jones is peaceful – and I don’t want to attach the same stigma of burning that he has chosen to represent his ideals.  Thanks for the comments and opinions!

I’m sure many have heard of the ridiculous efforts of pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida.  This Saturday, September 11th, he is organizing “Burn a Quran day“, in remembrance of the terrorist attack of 9/11/01.  While I disagree with all religion, I do not think all of their followers are evil (just a very few).  Jones is inciting violence and hatred against muslims, a sentiment that is whole heartedly anti-American.  What a great way to remember the innocent lives lost on that terrible day – by showing blatant racism and bigotry, by sharing the same hatred as the men who crashed those planes into the towers and by jeopardizing the lives of our troops (who they support) in the middle east fighting to liberate muslims.  It would be infinitely more respectful to sit in peace on Saturday and hope for a better world.

Don’t get all in a huff over my blasphemy, I disrespect all religions equally.  Burning the qur’an doesn’t bother me, nor does burning the bible, torah, talmud or veda – they are just books filled with the same ballpark messages and crazy fables.

In protest of the bigotry of Terry Jones and his supporters, I will burn his sacred book on Saturday.  You should join me – in a message against all forms of fundamentalism.

13 comments to Sept. 11th – Burn a Bible Day

  • Well I can support you with a lighter, but there is no way I’d buy a Bible even for such noble purposes…

  • I understand the sentiment, but isn’t burning a bible really doing the same thing as Terry Jones? I don’t subscribe to religion myself and abhor the consequences of its fundamentalist adherents, but a great number of good people also find meaning in its many forms. Religion itself is not the problem – intolerance is.

    I think I’ll commemorate the day by telling as many of my friends and family as possible how important they are to me.

    • I see it more as a taste of his own medicine. Terry is burning the Qua’ran to reject it as “evil” and suggest that his christian morals are superior. I’m burning the bible to point out the absurdity behind the meaning of a book, any book, especially when you attach such hatred to what opposes it. (not that the bible is that different from the qua’ran)

      I see this as more of a statement against intolerance – and what better way to deliver that message than to mock those who believe in it.

  • pedro freire


  • From a conservation biology perspective, burning a book is a waste of carbon and not good for air quality. So, personally, I’d skip it. =) And I guess I will! =)

  • Personally, disregarding any prejudice or environmental effects that burning books produces, I can’t see the point. Who would ever know? And even if you took it to the public park and burned it there, you’d still have to put up lots of signs and/or speak to people to explain why you were burning a book. In which case… why not just put up signs and speak to people, and forgo the book-burning?

    That said, I completely agree with your sentiments of the first paragraph. Fanaticism isn’t even a problem unique to religion, although we typically associate it most often with religion. But think of over-the-top environmentalists, or vehement racists or homophobes, who are capable of being just as intolerant and troublesome. The problem, I feel, is less that religion breeds wackos as that humans breed wackos. And hard to do much about that.

  • Janet


    Many people will be hurting on Sept. 11th. Please reconsider and instead show kindness and caring to others. The best way to make a statement against intolerence, is to show tolerence. This act will just make others angry. We don’t need more anger, we need healing.


  • I have several dozen Bibles on my hard drive at work….I could ceremonially delete them, or wipe out their CD-ROMs!

    (We are not a religious publisher ourselves, but a lot of our clients are. Once we were simultaneously working on a Bible, a very pro-evolution biology textbook, and a Timothy Leary anthology!)

  • Biobob

    I like the idea of burning korans. It is karmic justice. The current dominant version of Islam badly needs to be humbled. Barbaric behavior simply requires barbarism in return. If you actually KNEW anything about the tenets of Islam, the contents of their “Holy Book”, and the rank and file beliefs of Muslims, you would likely come to agree.

    I will leave you with a few questions worth investigating:

    How many Christian churchs are there in Saudi Arabia ?
    What is a dhimmi, ummah ?
    What would your specific life expectancy be in a country under sharia law ?
    What happened to the adherents of “moderate” Islam who presided over the flowering of Islamic culture in the middle ages ?

    • Well Biobob- I have to say this is a bit why I backed off the whole burning aspect. I won’t address all of your points, but I don’t think Islam is any worse than christianity. The books of the bible and qua’ran share many similarities. And, yes, Islamic states used to harbor a flourishing intellectual community. But it is by no means alone in the fact that it is a different religion today than it once was (crusades), for better or worse.

      Human nature will likely twist anything around into something wicked – and I think (any) religion just makes it easier.

  • Biobob

    Well, Chris, I agree that today’s Islam does resemble some of the Christian sects of the medieval period (eg the Inquisition and auto-da-fe vs Jihad) which were contemporaries of early Islam. The problem remains that Christian sects “matured” into more tolerant versions while Islam devolved into more intolerant, misogynist, anti-intellectual versions. Burning Korans, while akin to poking a Vespa vulgaris nest with a stick, serves to display to all the true nature of today’s Islam.

    It does Islam no credit that it’s peak of post-medieval intellectual contribution is the suicide bomber, and it’s primary manufactured product is rubble.

    The fact is that while not all Muslims are terrorists, almost all terrorists are Muslims. Something to think about. The reality is that you and I would be dead meat if sharia came to the USA. I have no intention of being a “useful idiot” during such a process, even if others do.

    Imo, religion can provide spirituality, solace, morality, and comfort to those who need such things, and there is nothing wrong with that much.

  • Biobob

    Eoparargyractis plevie 1977 presto

  • Oy! I’m glad I didn’t read this before now. Good dialog, Chris. Kudos.