Which is more ofensive?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15369) 9 years ago
Burning the flag or burning books?

Discuss...
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Posted by Barb Holcomb (+408) 9 years ago
spelling

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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6167) 9 years ago
Books.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+18254) 9 years ago
Definitely spelling.
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Posted by Kacey (+3161) 9 years ago
If we didn't have the flag we wouldn't have most of the books. To do either is absolutely wrong.
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3262) 9 years ago
Since there is a "Dignified Disposal of Unserviceable Flags" Ceremony to dispense with ragged and worn out flags....and, I have not heard of a dignified way of disposing of old books...where even some pages are valuable to hang onto...I would have to say books would be the most offensive. IMO!!!
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+18254) 9 years ago
Come on, now....if it were the American flag or a stack of those Twilight vampire books burning, the torching of Old Glory is far more "ofensive".
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3262) 9 years ago
Different circumstances...would have to agree:-) Darn.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 9 years ago
Are we talking about a pile of science books filled with the devil's "theory of evolution" or are we talking a pile of Bibles (KJV)?
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1906) 9 years ago
Books contain actual knowledge or at, the worst, crappy sparkly vampires. Flags are pieces of fabric that this country gets a little over attached to.
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Posted by Hannah Nash (+2537) 9 years ago
Burning of the American flag in protest of the government or its policies is protected by law (consistently reaffirmed by SCOTUS). It is a statement of protest that citizens in other countries are forbidden from expressing. Symbolically, I do not find it offensive as a sign of protest. I would hope that I never have cause to participate in a flag burning to protest my country; but I appreciate having the Constitutionally-protected right to do so if the need arises.
Offensive rating: low.

The symbolism of book burning is to silence knowledge or written words or the author. To prevent others from opening and experiencing the books and the words/ideas they contain. You are preventing ME or some other citizen from accessing them by destroying them. The late, great Robin Gerber lectured wonderfully on how book burning was the ultimate destruction of a culture: a country was invaded, its libraries destroyed, so that the conquering nation can rebuild in THEIR image (and completely eradicate the old culture).
Offensive rating: high.

Flag burning is a protest, but does not harm or deny/prevent/rob others.
Book burning is a crime preventing access/denying people knowledge.

[This message has been edited by Hannah Nash (6/17/2013)]
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Posted by Steve Allison (+983) 9 years ago
Thank you Hanna for finding the words I was trying to come up with. Trying to control someone's thoughts by controlling what knowledge they have access to, is a crime the flag was stood against from the country's founding.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12379) 9 years ago
Shelley and I were just discussing how much we miss Robin last night.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15369) 9 years ago
Okay, so it is offensive to spell offensive "ofensive". Spelling, however, was not one of the choices.

Hannah brilliantly articulated my thoughts on the matter. Well done!
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Posted by Garrett Stein (+28) 9 years ago
"Any man will go considerably out of his way to pick up a silver dollar; but here are golden words, which the wisest men of antiquity have uttered, and whose worth the wise of every succeeding age have assured us of."
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

One of my favorite quotes when it comes to the importance of literature and the written word. Books are something that gives us a window into places we would never be able to reach in our life. We can see moments of history through the writers of that time, live other lives and adventures if only for a short time, and look at something through another person's perspective.

Since you said "The Flag" I will assume you mean the American flag, our flag. A flag that is nothing more than a piece of cloth with colors and designs. Unless! it is tied to a set of ideals, a system, or a common belief. These things have the power to judge, condemn, oppress and misrepresent those not gathered under it and even those who are.It is a symbol and if it's burned, we do not lose anything if those ideals right or wrong still stand.

I book comes from someones mind, their perspective, their time period or whatever else could influence a writer. Yes these writers may be judgmental, quick to condemn or seek to oppress people through their words. But the words themselves are inert, and open to interpretation through the reader who is free to use them however they see fit. Be it to further understanding, find perspective, or rationalize beliefs or however else they may choose to use them. Everything that is important about a book is contained in its pages and ink, and in burning a book you destroy more than a symbol that only holds the meaning people give to it. You destroy an actual physical collection of thoughts, knowledge and understanding.

I would much rather light fire to every american flag I come across, than to burn even the most vile, judgmental, or just plain badly written books. I don't care if it's mein kampf, the bible, or twilight it will always have something to offer to someone. When it's gone though there is a chance of never getting that unique set of words back no matter how much we want it. A flag can always be recreated, or replaced with something new as long as its bearers are still gathering under it.
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