Day By Day

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Sarah Palin Nails It!

She wrote on Facebook:
People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.
 Exactly! Well said, Sarah!

Some other interesting commentary:

Jim Geraghty finds it surprising that some people are surprised that Sarah Palin would denounce the Koran burning. Not surprising at all, given the amazing amount of vitriol that has been heaped on this good woman.

Allahpundit at Hot Air gets to the heart of the matter:
The grand irony of this crank pastor’s publicity stunt is that he’s trying to force the public to confront a difficult issue — when, if ever, is it appropriate to offend Muslims? — but doing it in such a grotesque, notoriously fascist manner that he’s guaranteed a united front against him among pols and pundits. Denouncing a book-burning is as easy a litmus test for decency as it gets in American politics.
Read it here.

The idea expressed in Allahpundit's last sentence, that somehow book-burning is as indecent an act as can be performed comes in for some examination from Ann Althouse. What's wrong, she asks, about burning a book?

Good lord. There's an immense difference between burning your own book as a way of saying "I hate this book" — which adds more expression to the marketplace of ideas — and the confiscation and destruction of other people's books — which is about depriving people of access to expression that they want to consume.

It's offensive to say "I hate this book" about a book that some people revere, but that's the point. It's a vigorous, vicious expression. Burning your own copy of a book is the same thing. Unless you possess the only copy of the book — or, perhaps, an artistically or historically distinctive copy — the burning is just a way of being showily expressive and getting a big audience. It's absurd that any clown who wants attention can light a tiny fire and become world famous. Get a grip, people.

Indeed! As Althouse notes, the amount of attention devoted to discussion of this act is ridiculous and serves only to increase tensions and empower obscure and offensive people. She urges us not to abet these publicity whores. But this is an election season and too many people think that they can gain advantage from endlessly chewing on this issue.

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