On Burning the Koran

The problem with burning the Koran is not what anyone has so far claimed. Anti-American liberals claim it’s wrong because it’s “intolerant.” But anti-American liberals are more intolerant of American ideals than anybody else is intolerant of anything. Liberals indirectly support Islam because Islam hates America, just like liberals do. Conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin oppose burning the Koran because they are religious fundamentalists themselves — not violent fanatics, but still fundamentalists. They are shrewd enough to recognize that attacking any religion in such a way is, in a sense, attacking religion at its root. This is why George W. Bush, in the days immediately after 9/11, rushed to call Islam a “religion of peace.” As a fundamentalist Christian, Bush realized that if America took on a whole religion, then religion itself might be unmasked as the irrational initiator of force that it actually is.

The only real problem with burning the Koran, as some kind of statement, is that it’s a philosophical negation. Negations are sometimes necessary, but they have little power and are ultimately of little relevance. The act of burning the Koran raises the question: Why is the person doing this? The most likely reason a Christian minister would do this is because he doesn’t like the competition. He prefers his brand of irrational mystical supernaturalism over the other guy’s — so he’s going to burn the other guy’s most important document. From a rational point-of-view — that is, a point-of-view contrary to irrational supernaturalism of any kind — all of the books of all religions deserve to be burned. You might throw in all the New Age “spiritualist” books on Oprah’s recommended reading list while you’re at it. They’re all trash, and they’re all destructive the extent to which they’re taken seriously.

If you ask me, the better approach is simply to expose militant irrationality for what it is. Don’t waste time siding with Christians over Muslims, or vice-versa. Identify the error common to all of those approaches. Look at how religion, whenever it’s unleashed, behaves. Case in point: Contemporary Islam, which is a religion that openly advocates destruction and the annihilation of not only the United States, but everything that it historically represented. In the current time, it’s Islam that is totally unleashed. In earlier centuries, it was Christianity that was brutal and violent. Every day of the year, somewhere on earth, somebody does something brutal in the name of some religion. Religion can justify anything and everything you want it to justify. It’s not the foundation of morality — it’s the undoing of morality. Mankind is systematically destroying itself in an orgy of irrationalism, of which religion is a principal player. Instead of having these pointless debates over whether it’s moral or even legal to burn books, we should look at the ideas in the books which have led to so much of the destruction that still exists in the world today.