A Modest Proposal: Let Us Burn Bibles†

In a time of such global catastrophe and in a time where great action is needed, inaction rules the day. Indeed, we find many talkers and many proposers and many discussers, but by and large there are few who are willing to take immediate action to address the great crisis that is at hand—Global Warming. Global Warming is the most significant crisis that has faced mankind, not because of its immediate and apparent devastation, as was seen in such calamities as the Black Plague, but its effects, though not as immediately apparent, will be much greater and irreparable. While the Plague rushed through European civilizations like a brush fire, Global Warming is much more like a sinister cancer, manifesting itself slowly, degree by degree, until it is able to lunge at the world’s throat and choke out the little life that remains in her.

In spite of these clear truths, no one is acting. Yes, many are talking “green” and doing piddly deeds like recycling newspapers and discussing future remedies such as using hydrogen as fuel in our automobiles, but all these deeds are but mere opiates that numb the nagging consciences that demand us to do more. We presently have as much sense as a man who, nursing a bleeding knife wound with one hand, stabs himself elsewhere with the other hand. We need desperately to take action now with the resources that we have now and exhibit this great American ingenuity which we claim to possess.

Looking at what we the world possess now that can be used as fuel to warm our homes, to power our train engines, etc. that would not throw us deeper into the chasm of our own making, our pickings are slim. The burning of wood seems to be a most logical choice since its burning harms not the environment and actually benefits it, yet to do so would require the destruction of countless forests that would, in the end, utterly defeat the good which we are trying achieve. Upon closer examination of our resources, we will be surprised to find a bountiful source of fuel that has been granted to us by Gutenberg—books. Books by their very nature are as beneficial to the environment as is the burning of wood but can be done without having to fell another tree.

Some might object, “We need our books for our learning,” to which I would reply that we do indeed. We need not burn all the books that we have created to aid in this global crisis, but only a small portion due to the sheer libraries that we possess. In fact, there is one book that has since its first printing been printed millions upon millions of times over and is a most bountiful resource in and of itself—the Bible. Almost every Western household possesses at least one Bible and there are churches and libraries that are filled with thousands of them a piece. The Bible is indeed a bountiful resource.

“Why the Bible?” one might ask. Obviously, it is the most printed book in the history of printing, and therefore a great portion of the books that we possess as a society are Bibles. Also, the composition of many Bibles lends itself to better burning than many other books do. For example, many Bibles are bound in leather which gives the added benefit of using the cow hide as fuel which burns slower and longer than paper. Also, since most Bibles are simply shelf books and are never removed from their place after they are put there, Bibles are very good at capturing and holding tiny particles that float about in the air which, like cow hide, burn very well.

A religious man might object, “The Bible is a sacred document; it is the very word of God.” This is silly objection, for we know that the Bible is not thus because of how the religious regard it and because of its ill effects upon its adherents. First, the Bible’s regard by the religious: Many who claim that the Bible is in fact the very revelation of God demonstrate that it is not by what they do with it. Simply imagine that God did in fact choose to speak and chose to have men write what he had spoken down in a book, do you not think that men would read it? Do you not think that if he gave a command to the world that at least the religious would obey it? What we find however is that even those who claim to be religious do not regard the teachings that they find in their most of holy of books, and a mere reading of the Gospels would make this quite perspicuous. Those who claim to be Christians look nothing like the Christ whom they claim to follow, and this is evidence enough that the Bible would not be missed if it were used for fuel.

Second, the Bible’s effect upon its “adherents”: Granting that those who claim to follow the Christ of the Bible do not in fact read the Bible, the effects of Bible’s existence are nothing but ill. Countless denominations and divisions exist within the Christian Church and all of these find their conception in the Bible. One denomination here might fancy such and such a passage and stand upon their interpretation of it without wavering while another denomination over there might fancy another passage and stand upon it without wavering and thus discord and bickering ensue. Granted, the Bible might in fact be coherent and unified in its own context, but there are few who submit wholly to its supposed authority, and, of the few who do submit, few of them have actually read it. Thus, divisions in the religious have always existed and will always exist as long as there is something upon which they can divide.

Therefore, the solution to our present global calamity and the solution to the division among the religious are one—burn the Bibles. Without Bibles, the religious will be unified and have peace, and the world will be better place for it. I implore you, therefore, for the sake of your posterity and for the sake of your own accord, join me in this endeavor to save our icecaps and to end futile bickering among the religious by using the good, clean fuel of Bibles.

I have heard some “concerns” about the content of this post, namely whether I am being genuine or not (which I find hard to believe given the content on the hundred other posts on this site, but I digress). I encourage you to read “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift. It is a short read and readily available on the internet. If you are still confused after reading that, I really do not know what to tell you.

Categories: Miscellanies


2 replies

  1. I think that is the right vehicle… reminiscent of Mallory…


  2. I can't deny that I enjoyed using the vehicle, but I'm not sure if I should enjoy it as much as I do.


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