Everybody celebrates holidays in their own way – Chinese food for New Year’s, green Guinness for St. Paddy’s, crushing bitterness for Valentine’s day – but let’s face it: some holidays demand fire. From Fourth of July fireworks to Hanukkah candles, you’re not really partying unless flames are involved. In this festive spirit, the good folks of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina are going to be celebrating Halloween this year with a get-together that combines the great tradition of fire-for-fun with another time-honored practice: burning books.
Fire is a versatile thing. It’s not just pretty, it’s eloquent: nothing says “you had probably better listen to me” like a little combustion. Pretty much anything – a flag, a cross, a witch, a Reichstag – carries more political significance when it’s burning. That’s why Pastor Marc Grizzard and members of his church will be burning some heretical tomes to celebrate All Hallows Eve. And these won’t be satanic or pornographic books, not evolutionary texts, not even Harry Potter (getting a burn permit for all seven volumes is nearly impossible). Nope. They’re gonna burn Bibles, as well as books by such notable blasphemers as Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and Mother Teresa. Also, “music of every genre” – hopefully on vinyl, since everybody knows that analog has a warmer sound.
Personally, I’m skeptical of the efficacy of bonfires as a means of suppressing Kenny G (though God knows it’s worth a shot). Besides, ideas always seem to pull an Obi-Wan Kenobi – if you try to strike them down they only become more powerful. So I’d like to put aside the specifics of Pastor Grizzard’s little Savonarola impression and make a suggestion:
READ A BOOK YOU’D RATHER BURN
There are a lot of bad books out there, but I’m not talking about that paperback thriller you bought off a rack at the airport. I’m talking about Bad, capital-B-Bad books. Evil on paper. Try to find a real-life equivalent of the Necronomicon from the Evil Dead movies, curl up with a cup of tea, and start at page one. I did. I read ‘The Turner Diaries’.
This novel, written in 1978 by William Pierce, was a favorite of Timothy McVeigh prior to the OKC bombing. It follows the heroic exploits of Earl Turner, a white man who makes a valiant stand against the wicked Jews and brutish Negroes who have seized control of the US government. After waging a protracted campaign to protect the Aryan race by executing ‘race traitors’ and pawns of the Zionist-controlled government, Turner cements his status as saint and martyr by strapping an atomic bomb to an airplane and crashing it into the Pentagon. Thus, the stage is set for his white brethren sweep across the globe and finally eradicate the mud races from the earth.
Trust me, I have not even come close to doing this book justice. Only a literary talent like Mr. Pierce could have described in such loving detail the placards tied around the necks of a young interracial couple prior to their lynching. If you haven’t read it, you can’t imagine the cathartic ecstasy of a man on a mission who has climbed into an airplane on a God-given suicide mission to destroy the Pentagon.
So, you should read it.
Especially if you really, really, really don’t want to.
There are some ideas we don’t want to have inside our heads. There are some perspectives so horrifying that to step into the shoes of their authors is to feel a sense of defilement, a need to take a shower with a cheese grater just to get the filth off. And I highly recommend it – because afterwards, you’ll understand a very real view of the world that you’d never otherwise have been able to believe existed. You’ll be wiser for it. And you’ll have demonstrated the difference between yourself and the coward whose first instinct is to reach for a torch.
P.S. – Any recommendations? I’m trying to build a list of Bad books beyond the obvious (Mein Kampf, etc.) … your help much appreciated!