On Aug. 1, sometime after midnight, anarchists in Portland once again burned the American flag. But this time they did something different: they engaged in book burning. The book they chose was the Bible. They burned boxes full of them.
We've waited a few days to see how many media outlets would report on what happened. One did. There was not a single mention of it on any of the broadcast or cable TV news shows. And aside from the New York Post, no newspaper in the nation covered it.
The only mention of it was on the internet; a few TV commentators noted it as well.
Had it been the Quran that was burned, it is a sure bet the media would have been all over it. Burning Islamic holy books would be considered intolerant.
But burning the Bible is not, and in some quarters may even be seen as meritorious.
Besides the media blackout, the larger issue for Americans is what the Bible burnings represent.
What happened last weekend in Portland was a mini-Hitlerian event, plain and simple.
On May 10, 1933, 40,000 people gathered in Berlin to hear Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels instruct university students to burn books deemed offensive to the regime. They proceeded to burn 25,000 volumes, including those written by Bertolt Brecht, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, and Ernest Hemingway.
During Mao's Zedong's Cultural Revolution, 1966-76, the Communists went on a tear burning books that undermined their efforts at thought control.
That was then.
Now book burning is back with a vengeance: books were burned last December and as recently as last month. Reports have surfaced saying the Communists are "burning books and burying Confucian scholars."
Why are the young people, most of whom are white, burning the Bible in Portland? For the same reason fascists and communists burn books — to cleanse society of any thought that is contrary to theirs.
Rebecca Knuth is the author of two books on this subject. Books are burned, she says, because they "are an embodiment of ideas and if you hold extreme beliefs you cannot tolerate anything that contradicts those beliefs or is in competition with them." She says that by burning books, "you are destroying your enemy and your enemy's beliefs."
The enemy of the Portland Hitlerians is American society, which is why they burn the flag. They also hate the Judeo-Christian ethos upon which it is based, which is why they burn the Bible.
What do they offer as an alternative? Nothing.
They are intellectually spent, morally bankrupt and culturally deracinated. That is why they resort to nihilism. The only thing they have going for them are their allies in the media.
Dr. William Donohue is the president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The publisher of the Catholic League journal, Catalyst, Donohue is a former Bradley Resident Scholar at the Heritage Foundation and served for two decades on the board of directors of the National Association of Scholars. He is the author of eight books, and the winner of several teaching awards and many awards from the Catholic community. Read Bill Donohue's Reports — More Here.
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