Get the scene. The McCain/Palin ticket wins in November and soon afterwards mobs of wild eyed bible-toting evangelicals will burn stacks of books in giant bonfires. Sound ridiculous? Well, that is exactly what Andrew Greeley is laughably claiming in his latest Chicago Sun-Times column ominously titled, "Next Chapter for radical right: Burn books." Years ago, Greeley sounded somewhat sane but lately he has gone off the deep end such as his claim in June that it is racist not to vote for Obama. Greeley's latest sanity-challenged screed presents a bleak future of crazed book-burning evangelicals taking over the country. Try not to laugh too hard as you read Greeley's rantings (emphasis mine):
Let's fill some trucks with books, drive them downtown and burn them in front of the Chicago Public Library. Let's drive other trucks to the regional libraries and burn them, too . . . I mean the books, not the libraries, though libraries are the source of the problem. If it weren't for the libraries, it would be hard for innocent young people to be corrupted by the filth pouring out of the country's printers.
Instead of burning books or libraries, perhaps we ought to start smashing printing presses. They have served as tools of sin and the devil since Herr Gutenberg invented them.
When the radical evangelicals take over the White House, lists of books that one shouldn't read or in fact are forbidden to read will spread around the country like wildfire, you should excuse the expression. Unless a much tighter control is imposed on distribution of books, the morals of the country will continue to deteriorate, which will in turn weaken us in the long war on terror.
One almost pictures John Connor somewhere in this bleak evangelical future of Greeley's fantasy sending a terminator back to our time to keep evangelicals from taking over Skynet and nuking all books on the planet. Father Greeley then invokes some biblical sounding language to attempt to make his silly case:
Oh ye of little faith! Why must ye think that the power of the biblical stories depends on their literal, word-for-word inerrancy? Why can't you see that those men and women who study it so closely actually enhance its wonder? Why instead must ye wander through the desert searching for the pillar of salt that was Lot's wife? Why can't ye understand that ye continue the battle between science and religion with thy concern about routing evolution from the classrooms? Don't ye realize that ye reinforce the paradigm, so loved by thy friends in the national media, of the battle between science and religion? When the results finally leak out about the European Organization for Nuclear Research experiments in Switzerland, just watch the stories confronting religious ideas about creation with "scientific" knowledge.
Yes, Greeley works himself into a lather over his highly fictional evangelical book burning future but he conveniently overlooks a very real case of censorship in his own Chicago, namely the attempts by the Barack Obama campaign to suppress books critical of him. One of the many comments following Greeley's bizarre column is an on the mark comment calling him on his hypocrisy from someone called ajea:
The most recent public outcries for censorship were from the Obama contingent over guests David Freddoso, author of The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate, on September 15th and Stanley Kurtz on 8/27 who Milt Rosenberg from WGN radio had on his show in an attempt to bring some balance to the MSM's blind worship of Obama. There is a link to his interview with Stanley Kurtz on Milt's file wgnradio.com.
As far as Rev Greeley goes, he is just a regular reminder that wearing a collar does not automatically confer wisdom.