http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,146867.shtml <-- This is by no means compliant with the typical definition of recent in these cyber-crazy times (thank you, my dearest internet, for bringing everything to me right as it happens) but I thought it was an interesting story, for various reasons.
My First Thought of Profound Insight:
Two Quotes I'd like to Share:
1. He continues, "I inherited the rare Islamic book from my late wife, Evangeline Johnson Merrill."
2. "Gay Artist Burns Rare $60,000.00 Koran"
Anyone else see the snag here? If he's gay why did he have a wife? Oh, the pondering possibilities of potentially insane folk.
Moving swiftly on:
My Second Thought of Profound Insight:
I think people largely miss the point here. Religious practise and belief is not entirely chiseled in the stone of a static eternity. It shifts, and bends, and evolves to fit the people who practise it and the times in which it is practised. How many stonings have you seen recently (in the Westernized half of our globe)? Yes, there are homophobic Christians and Muslims, but there are also openly gay priests ordained in the Episcopalian church. I can really only speak for the Bible here, but it is not a terrorist manual - it's a book that religion-ram-roders and homophobes alike adopt to suit their own purposes, because they know that the Bible has quite a following and a lot of those people may be religiously unsure and thus impressionable to the (largely incorrect) conviction of the malicious-minded Bible-thumpers.
My Third Thought of Profound Insight:
Of course Mr. Merrill is perfectly welcome to vandalise any kind of text he pleases, but that doesn't mean that he should. As I'm sure he's perfectly aware, these books hold almost unrivaled gravitas, and thus burning or dismembering them would cause more uproar or anger than burning, say, The Very Hungry Caterpillar(though I do love that book, and sincerely hope no one ever brings a match to its child-cheering pages). Though this seems almost gratuitously intolerant to those people who follow them.
In unrelated news, once again my sub-conscious has provided me with a psycho-analytical feast of idiosyncracy.