About a week ago it was announced that a group in Canton, NC, about twenty miles west of Asheville, would be holding an event on Halloween in which they will be publicly burning copies of the Bible. Must be some weird, Satanic cult, right?
Actually, no -- it's a Baptist church.
Marc Grizzard, pastor of the tiny Amazing Grace Baptist Church -- about fourteen members -- says they consider the King James Version to be the only English translation which is the true word of God, and all other English translations to be heretical. So onto the bonfire they'll go: the NIV, the NRSV, even the New King James Version. (An article and video can be found here.) And it won't just be Bibles that will be burning, it will be other books as well. Dan Brown and J. K. Rowling? Well sure, but also Rick Warren, James Dobson, Mother Teresa -- even Billy Graham, who lives about forty miles from Canton. A few days ago, a detailed list could be found at the church's website; as of this writing, however, the website appears to have been suspended by the web host (no reason given).
And if the sight of burning books is not enough to attract a crowd, the church will also be serving barbecue. No word as to whether they plan to use the same bonfire for both books and barbecue grill.
One more thing: the church hopes to make this an annual event. Mark your calendars.