PZ Myers, Sunday Sacrilege (Link):
I will not respect a book of lies. I will not tolerate intolerance.More, and a video, at the link.
Lately, there has been considerable angst and fury over a bad book, the Koran. Terry Jones, a fundamentalist lackwit, gets called out by the American president, not for being a professional fool taking advantage of our lax laws that encourage the promulgation of religious inanity, but for being insufficiently sensitive and deferential to another gang of fools promoting a different brand of religious idiocy. Then six British racists got arrested, not for real crimes against their neighbors of a different ethnicity, but, again, for the sin of disrespect for a holy book. In both of these acts, the culprits are people for whom I have no respect, who I would not normally support, but they are guilty of 'crimes' that are not crimes. What we are witnessing are efforts by authorities to confer special secular and legal privilege on the intangible aura of sacredness — a figment of the imagination of deluded believers, which they insist all we non-believers must honor.
The insistence by the faithful that we all must treat their precioussses as magical and inviolable has convinced me to re-evaluate the books on my shelves, and I've decided that no, they aren't worth keeping. These holy books have been influential, that's for sure, but it's been a pernicious kind of importance — that we hold these awful, terrible, ridiculous books aloft as the guiding ancient wisdom of our civilization doesn't so much exalt the books as it demeans our culture....
How do I feel about this? I think PZed has good ways of making points on these issues. Not as inflamed as, e.g., Terry Jones of the I'll Burn the Koran - But Now I Won't (For Now) fame, but still
Would I myself do this, with books given to me? I don't know. I have a Book of Mormon given to me by a co-worker from decades past, and I don't really feel any animosity to him, so I don't think I'd burn that. If I were in PZed's shoes, though, with random people giving me Bibles or Korans or BoMs to try to show me the light, I think I might. Under the right circumstances, and, like Myers, to make a point relevant to the issue.