CNN reports that, “A church's plan for an old-fashioned book-burning” ran into an unexpected snag: the fire code.
Preachers and congregations throughout American history have built bonfires and tossed in books and other materials they believed offended God.
…just good ol' fashioned, traditional book-burning, who could object?
The Rev. Scott Breedlove, pastor of The Jesus Church, wanted to rekindle that tradition in a July 28 ceremony where books, CDs, videos and clothing would have been thrown into the flames.
…rekindle the tradition, geddit?
Not so fast, city officials said.
“We don't want a situation where people are burning rubbish as a recreational fire,” said Brad Brenneman, the fire department's district chief.
So it’s a rule of general application, not one aimed at political speech, and thus very likely consistent with the First Amendment.
I don’t know whether to be appalled at the idea of modern book-burning, amused at the effectiveness of this pettifogging regulatory obstacle, cheered by the thought of book-burners who can be stopped by an anti-pollution ordinance, or fearful of how this is going to be spun as a symbol of the evils of the modern regulatory state…