Greg Locke, a Tennessee pastor who is pro-Trump, anti-vax and extremely right-wing, held a book burning last night. Sorry. He called it a “burning service.” He promised the service would include not only books but tarot cards, the Harry Potter series and Ouija boards, which Locke called a “portal to hell.”
In a clip of his sermon posted to Twitter, Locke said, “We gonna get rid of some unholy covenants and alliances and some word curses and some witchcrafts,” he said. “We gonna free some homes and some marriages. Gonna burn some stuff.”
And burn some stuff they did. Here is a video of the (honestly, weak) fire:
While this is annoying for a lot of reasons (mainly that it sucks, and is a kind of evil found in textbooks or movies about small towns where breakdancing is forbidden), it is also a completely ineffective method of ridding the community of such splendid filth. Burning books was a good idea a zillion years ago when reading books was one of the best ways to actually gain information and, maybe more importantly, the most common way to read a book was in an expensive hardcover that would live three hundred years. I sadly must share news that will likely break Pastor Greg’s hornet-filled heart cavity: This is not the reality we live in! You’re not just evil, you’re lazy! This plan is stupid!
I have tarot cards that I use, sure. But I’m a human who actually lives in 2022! Usually I use a digital app on my phone to flip a tarot card for me and tell me what it means. I haven’t used an Ouija board app because I respect and fear ghosts, but I’m sure they exist and you could use them (if you want your phone to be a portal to the land of the dead, of course). Books have physical forms, sure, but they also exist on computers! And computers are kind of everything now? Kindles and iPhones and smart watches and refrigerators that can read to you for some reason! Books are everywhere!
If you want to burn away the pervasive and perverted texts of the godless masses, you have to think bigger! You cannot burn one book, or five books, or a stack of Sabrina the Teenage Witch VHS tapes! You must wage a holy war on the only religion liberalism welcomes into its heart: You must BURN THE CLOUD! You must cut the fragile wires that somehow contain the blood flow of the internet that can only be found at the bottom of the ocean! You must raze every single Amazon server farm, and don’t forget Alexa either! You must obliterate silicon valley, not just as a mental construct but as an actual place on a map! You must stomp on your own iPhone! It is a tool of the beast! How do you think it knows where you are at all times and can point you to the closest Chipotle that you don’t want your followers to know you secretly visit! DENY THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS AND HIS ALL-SEEING EYE. Feed it into the flames like an illicit burrito bowl into your tummy! Do you see it! Don’t you see the portal to hell is in your hand right now as we speak! You already live inside of it! It knows your schedule! It has your search history, it can name all those sites that make Jesus blush! All of this must go in order to reach the pearly gates of heaven!
If you’re going to be an absolute asshole who spouts lies and wants to destroy books, you’re probably running for local school board anyway! And if you’re gonna commit to the whole cleansing flames thing, the only place you should be having a “burning service” is the server fields of Silicon Valley! Anything else is just posturing, another sad way to convince your sad congregants that you’re important, while you burn some paper no one was going to read anyway.