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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Book-burning isn't the right solution

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

F ar be it from me to enter the heated debate over Harry Potter but I will weigh-in on the issue of book burning. I haven't had the pleasure of sitting through the three-hour Harry Potter movie that is all the rage. I doubt I will ever watch the children's epic.

But regardless of the theme of the movie, we should keep in mind that it is just that - a movie based on a children's book. In New Mexico this week, one church sponsored a book burning. Congregation members stood by as the church pastor tossed copies of Harry Potter into the fire. This dumb protest generated publicity for the church but it establishes a dangerous concept concerning those issues with which we disagree.

Why do some have this insane notion that we can eliminate all of those issues that we find repugnant? To adhere to this concept opens the door to a dangerous slide without end. If Harry Potter can be burned today, then what tomorrow? It's that simple question that these book burners fail to answer.

Lost in this publicity binge over the book burning was one small addendum. Not only were Harry Potter books burned but other books and magazines too were tossed into the protest fire. Wouldn't it be somewhat interesting to know what these other "books and magazines" were? Some self-appointed censor decides what we should and should not read or see or discuss and then takes that action to the extreme of book burning? Not in this country!

I doubt that children will view Harry Potter and then begin practicing witchcraft. And God forbid if they should, perhaps it was something far beyond Harry Potter that drove them to this destination. But all of this debate aside, the lesson of book burning should have been learned years ago. It was not a pleasant lesson. And for some, it was apparently a lesson unlearned.

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