Friday, August 27, 2010

bonfire of freedom

As a compassionate counter to "Burn a Qu'ran Day," let us hold bonfires of our own, and use the light to read by--perhaps a peaceful passage from the Qu'ran--and use the heat to cook hotdogs and tofu dogs and create a sense of community.

I borrow this idea from the Rev. Dr. Brent Smith, who wrote, "I hope many of you will not just fashion a momentary response but institutionalize through ritual a value of spiritual freedom: the combination of education, literacy, books, and the free exchange of ideas as foundational to freedom, especially spiritual freedom even more than political liberty. Borrowing from Hope Church in Tulsa in the 1990's, I worked with All Souls Community Church here in Grand Rapids to devise and institute a 'Freedom to Read' bonfire/picnic in partnership with the local public library's banned books weekend, usually the last week in September or so. We would gather for an evening picnic and every year include readings from books that have been banned, beginning with the Bible. If the congregation continues this ritual I would hope someone would recognize the importance of beginning it this year with the Quran. Children would bring banned children's books and would read to the adults around the campfire (there are so very many banned children's books!) We would also regularly include favorite books of local banners and burners."


Post a Comment

<< Home