Pharyngula

Poor baby

Elle Jacobson is a high school student who is skipping school because she’s afraid of atheists. Some parents are joining in the fear, all because of one little incident:

“This boy got up and his visual aid was a Bible and a book. And he got up and started his speech by saying ‘Now, this piece of crap’ and pointed to the Bible.”

Jacobson said that she quickly felt threatened.

“He took the Bible and he said, ‘I’m going to do this because I can. I’m going to do something that your stupid, little minds aren’t going to be able to comprehend and he took the Bible and started ripping out pages.”

Ripping up a copy of your own book is perfectly legal. Freaking out because somebody tore pages out of a book is silly — while I can’t approve of destroying any books on general principles, the kids at that school learned a valuable lesson: nothing is sacred.

Comments

  1. #1 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    December 31, 2007

    Symbolism is bad? Burning symbol is like violence? Really?

  2. #2 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    December 31, 2007

    Duh. Links doesn’t work..

    http://www.abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Science/story?id=415444&page=2

    If I rip Bible is not bad. It is insulting. Yes. It offends many. Yes. But christians dont think that when their ragerally against almost everybody else. (Westboro Babptist Church etc. Ah They really show us the Way!)

    And yet they do it. And their christian fellas are not anry to them. Becouse it is kinda their right be insulting and offending.

    I live in Finland, it is great country to live. But there is blashemylaw. “Jumalanpilkkalaki”. That gives religious people advantage: Here is illegal insult religious group (big enough+which have holy book. Yes that is in law). But atheism. It is not religion. And evolution is not either. (Creationist’s shout that they both are, off course. But if we are talking about the blashemy law. No, there are the “special conditions”. And if you insult their belief, there is certain risk. Usually nobody sues enyone with this law, but if you are popular enough, there WILL be problems..)

    But i think it is a bit different in USA. There you can burn Bible. I must do it indoor. I got Jehovah Wittness stuff, and use it as toilet paper. OK, paper is hard, but if you rub it in your hands first, it get softer. (OK. that is really a joke. Rude, but i think it’s place is right there!)

  3. #3 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    December 31, 2007

    Yes I think that ripping and burning is different thing. And other ways: It is different to insult and be free. (Sometimes freedom needs right to insult. But I think it is not the best way. Allmost ever.)

    ID:eers burn the “evolution”. I think anyone was scared. If someone says he dont scare Bible and rip it. Yes, it can really insult. And perhaps that is not what people are looking when they are protecting freedom. (I don’t want “freedom to beat puppies” or any other “freedoms” like that.)

    I think Boy should have “serious conversation”. About manners, *not* religion. And yes, I think in this story is a cottonlived girl, who have not seen life. (I don’t want first think that she is liar. I prefer to think she is a coward and “sissy”. That is much more understandable.)

    OK. I must confess. When i got my “white hat”, i burned those swedish language books. (All finns must learn that language. And I am poor in _all_ languages. And in sweden. I am the most poor.) So I burned my frustrations and painful hours. I even danced a little. Many laughed. No one scared.

    It is not just the ripping or burning. It is the whole mess; motivations and how it is made. From outside it is hard to tell what really happened. (Or more likely: How it happened.)

  4. #4 David Marjanovi?, OM
    December 31, 2007

    Using the approach of negation (think Zen, Jiddu Krishnamurti, or Karl Popper) where the truth is found by understanding the false

    Erm, no. In science, falsehood is found by understanding the false. Then, when we have eliminated the impossible, we apply Ockham’s Razor to the remaining possibilities, however improbable… till we find that we’ve overlooked some more possibilities.

    We may well find the truth, but when we have found it, we have no way to tell that we’ve found it. What would that be? Comparing our findings to the truth, which we don’t have?

    Science really does work one way.

    And if it turns out the kid was an Ayn Rand fan, I’ll be even less sympathetic.

    And I’ll be more sympathetic, because that would mean he’s ill (complete lack of empathy) and needs help, assuming it’s even possible to heal that condition…

  5. #5 Tuomo Hämäläinen
    December 31, 2007

    I take happily every single bible i can get (free). And I allways say “thank you”. And be nice. Reasons:
    1: Religious minded people actually have to print those books. And that costs money. And if i get something free, it is like taking money right from their chest.
    2: Bibles paper is thin. They are free cigarrettepapers. (Half of fun is the fingerwork, i don’t actually like the smoking part. But cigarrette rolling, it is so relaxing. After that I can be better person and even give some of them to te “nicotineaddict in need”. So religion really helps me to be nice to others! Thank you!)

  6. #6 Schroedinger's Dog
    February 14, 2009

    Reminds me of that one time when I was staying in Florida. My host’s wife, a fundie christian, found some Lovecraft books on my night table.

    When I came back from the beach, I found her in the garden, burning my books. When asked why, she said these were the work of the devil.

    How come no parents feared for my safety at the time? (Safety which was probably more at stake than in PZ’s account)…

  7. #7 Sven DiMilo
    February 14, 2009

    Just curious, Dog:
    How did you find this thread?