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Old bad habits die hard



Published: Thu, January 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



There are some roads best left untraveled. One of the best to be avoided is the road that leads to a book burning.

Don't like a book? Don't buy it, don't borrow it, don't read it, don't recommend it. Feel free, even, to rail against it, but don't burn it.

Book burning has such ugly roots, we're amazed that anyone would want to associate themselves with that particular activity

Nazis burned books. The Ku Klux Klan burned books. McCarthyites burned books. The Talmud has been burned. The Bible has been burned. The Koran has been burned. More than 200 years before the birth of Christ, the works of Confucius were burned in China.

Still burning: Yet despite all that history, in the year 2002 in the United States of America, some people are still burning books. The most recent target is the work of British writer J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series of children's books.

Jack Brock, the pastor of a church in Alamogordo, N.M., presided over a Potter bonfire because, he said, the books are "a masterpiece of satanic deception" that lure young readers down the paths of witchcraft.

In a way, Brock's book burning had an encouraging ending. The Associated Press reported that more people opposed to book burning showed up than supporters.

Still, one book burned is one too many.




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