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Bonfire night

A controversial group in North Carolina announced in October that they were going to celebrate Halloween by burning Bibles. They were not Satanists or unnecessarily aggressive humanists, but a Baptist church.

Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton calls itself a 'Fundamental King James Version' church and took its preference for that translation to its logical conclusion by organising a service to burn any other versions they could get their hands on.

The booklist didn't stop with the Bible. They also planned to burn books by 'heretics' including Billy Graham, John Piper, Charles Swindoll and Mother Teresa. And a spot in the flames was reserved for 'Satan's music' extending beyond the usual suspects to contemporary Christian music, 'oldies but goldies' and southern gospel. Invitations also promised barbecued chicken.
'I believe the King James version', explained Rev. Marc Grizzard, 'is God's peserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God'.

The couty fire marshal warned the church that book burning was illegal, and that if they tried it firemen would put the fire out and they would be fined up to $25,000.

They refused to cancel the event, but when it came to the big night it was pouring. Firemen and protesters gathered outside the church, while members celebrated Halloween behind closed doors. What went on in there only they and the Lord know, but there was some talk of shredding.

The church website says: 'We wanted to say that the Book Burning was a great success. It was a success because God's Word was glorified and uplifted.… Our goal was to destroy garbage and we did just that. We didn't care how it was destroyed.… Paper tears real easy.'