Archive for April 5th, 2011


Koran, Bibles and Book-Burning

While the confused Newt Gingrich worried recently the U.S. could become an atheist country dominated by radical Islam, an extremist pastor in Florida conducted a Koran burning, which caused Muslim mobs in Afghanistan to kill westerners.

I don’t know who is crazier: Gingrich, the pastor, or the Muslims?

While it’s not likely the U.S. will become atheist any time soon, it wouldn’t be so bad. How many Atheists have conducted book-burnings, or have rioted because of one? As to their cousin, the Agnostic, there again wouldn’t be anything to worry about, since they just ask questions and admit they don’t know. Is that so bad?

Fortunately, non-believers have the Constitution to protect them against radicals like Gingrich and the pastor, who apparently would create a Christian nation. The founders wanted to avoid the religious wars that wrecked Europe in the 16th and 17th Centuries. They separated religion from state, as they wrote: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the U.S.” (Art. VI). They added in the 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” They also gave people like the demented Florida pastor a Free Speech right to burn the Koran, a right that would also apply to Bible-burning.

What is hard to understand is why anyone would want to burn a holy book, and why book-burning would be taken so seriously that it would cause innocent people to die. The Koran and the Bible are just books. The first Bible was not printed until Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1456. When the Prophet Muhammad founded Islam in the 7th Century, there were no printed books. The same was true when Christianity started. And much of what is contained in the holy books wasn’t even written, until years after the alleged events.

The Florida pastor, Newt and the Muslims should all reflect upon the origins of their beliefs. Did they research religion and pick the one that made the most sense? Not likely. They probably inherited their beliefs from their family, or perhaps their culture. The beliefs of most people are consistent with those of their culture. This is why Mexicans are Catholic; Chinese are Buddhists; Indians are Hindus; Israelis are Jews; and Saudi Arabians are Muslims. Have you ever met a Saudi Arabian Lutheran?

Religion is like language. I speak English, because I was raised in Wisconsin. The people of France speak French, and those in Italy speak Italian. Like language, people inherit religion. The point is, if you were born in the U.S., you were probably raised Christian. If you were born in Afghanistan, you are most likely a Muslim. That’s just the way it is, and it is simply not worth a book-burning, or a riot that leads to death.