Christian bigot torched LGBT library books to protest Iowa Pride event

Christian bigot torched LGBT library books to protest Iowa Pride event October 27, 2018

Iowa’s Paul Dorr is a thoroughly nasty piece of work – a right-wing Christian extremist whose intolerance recently led him to set fire to four books aimed  at young members of the LGBT community and their parents.

What made his act even more abhorrent was the fact that the books weren’t his to burn. They were the property of the Orange City Public Library which is now exploring legal options to deal with his act of vandalism – an act that Dorr filmed and proudly posted on his Facebook page.

Dorr, above, stated during the video (since removed):

I cannot stand by and let the shameful adults at the Orange City Library Board bring the next group of little children into their foul, sexual reality without a firm resistance.

Library Director Amanda Vazquez said that contact had been made with authorities to determine “next steps,” including possible legal action. The Orange City Police Chief confirmed that parties were discussing legal action, but declined to comment further.

This is what we know about Dorr. He is Director of an Ocheyedan-based Christian group called Rescue the Perishing, and was “Church Coordinator” for the Ron Paul presidential campaign in 2008.

Ron Paul, a bigoted idiot who wanted to become President of the US

Paul, a Texas congressman suffered a blow to his campaign when newsletters he wrote exposed him as having “an obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry”. He was also racist and homophobic. An article of his entitled “The Pink House” said that:

Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is “appalled” that no action has been taken against Dorr. Rob Boston, writing for AU, said yesterday:

Book burning is an extreme act of intolerance and a direct attack on the freedom to learn. If you don’t like a book, don’t read it or, better yet, write something yourself explaining your objections. Setting books on fire is the height of anti-intellectualism. And at the risk of violating Godwin’s Law, I should note that it is literally something that the Nazis did.

As bad as book burning is, there’s a way to make it worse: burning books that are public property – especially when someone does it as a means to force their religious views on the public.

Some of the titles Dorr consigned to the flames were targeted by religious conservatives earlier this year. They were singled out by local residents who created a flier headlined:

Homosexual/Transgender promoting materials in Orange City Library! Some aimed at pre-K kids, using YOUR tax dollars!

The effort was accompanied by a petition demanding that the titles be placed on restricted access.

Boston rightly insisted that Dorr should be arrested:

Those library books were public property. Their destruction by an intolerant Religious Right zealot who yearns to control what other people see, read and learn isn’t just an example of his narrow-mindedness – it’s also illegal.

The good people of Orange City have the fundamental right to make their own decisions about faith and social issues – and how they’ll teach their children about both. A malicious, ignorant and dangerous vandal doesn’t get to make those choices for them.

Here one angry reaction posted to Dorr’s Facebook page:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • epeeist

    This deserves a quotation from Heinrich Heine:

    Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.

    A rough translation, “Where they burn books they will end up by burning people”.

  • raven

    The fundie xians do the same thing at my local public library on the west coast.
    They used to have 6 copies of Dawkin’s The God Delusion.
    It was wildly popular and they were usually all checked out.
    Then they all started disappearing. “Lost”
    When they got down to one copy, they put it behind the counter.
    You have to ask for it.
    Not because it is restricted.
    But because they don’t want fundie xians stealing it to keep people from reading it.

  • John Pieret

    Call it Pieret’s Corrolary to Godwin’s Law: “Except when you are dealing with actual fascists.”

  • Luke Beauchamp

    He didn’t break Godwin’s Law by comparing someone to Nazis, he followed it.

  • Raging Bee

    Ron Paul wasn’t just “a Texas Congressman;” he was chairman of a House sub-committee dealing with monetary policy. That’s the job the Republicans figured was perfect for a racist goldbugger who was pretending to be a “gadfly” within the PoG…after pretending to be totally independent of the PoG.

  • barriejohn

    When I genuinely mislaid a library book, I was told that there was a large fee, far in excess of the cost of replacement, and turned the house upside down until I found it! Why haven’t the missing tomes been replaced? I knew fundamentalist Christians who encouraged this sort of practice. They also used to purchase Christian books and “donate” them, and uncritical librarians just added them to their stock. Maybe we should do the same. The excellent community centre in the town here raises funds from book and magazine sales, so I always donate magazines from the BHA and NSS, and used to take my copies of The Freethinker along, as they only charge 10p for them. My Private Eye magazines also go there, and I just hope that they do some good as well!

  • Brummie

    I am against censorship in any form. Do the same “rules” apply when one burns/destroys other sources of information? e.g. a film, a recording, a picture, or delete an email? There are many other copies in existence so precious information is not lost forever. What’s special about paper books? Yes it may be a demonstration of protest but who is damaged by it?

  • larry parker

    He stole the books. They weren’t his to burn.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Was this another false flag done by the librul meedeeeya? Gee wiz, a kid gets a picture taken of him ‘disrespecting’ a jesus statue and is arrested immediatly. This prick burns public property and so far all we hear is ***crickets***

  • Cozmo the Magician

    How about if somebody set fire to you wallett? After all , those are only pieces of paper and bits of plastic in it ? What if somebody set fire to your house? After all, its just wood and stone. Still missing the point?

  • barriejohn

    The kids are damaged by it, as they no longer have access to those books. Your reference to “censorship” here isn’t clear to me, I must say.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Yes, the same rules apply to other media. Eventually the number of good copies will decline so preservation is generally important. Some materials are not appreciated until after they become rare or lost.

    UK public libraries cannot afford to buy the books they need for their readers. Yet again, the central government grant to local authorities has been cut. A stolen or destroyed book is unlikely to be replaced because the money is needed for newly-published books. Replacing a “lost” book would mean not buying a new one. The cost that could be charged to the reader responsible for the loss would not usually cover the cost of the replacement. Pursuing the reader using legal services would cost even more and would be recouped from the library’s budget. Public libraries have to rely on the honesty and good will of their readers. Fortunately, most people are honest.

    What’s special about paper books? For a start, they are portable and the batteries do not die. They can be read almost anywhere and cannot be “updated” without leaving evidence. The supplier cannot suddenly decide that, for whatever reason, he will remove access to the title and cancel all existing copies. They do not suddenly give the message, “Your battery is low” that has just appeared here. (My battery is fine: the computer’s not so.) They do not have to be reissued on new kinds of paper because nobody can read the old paper. Paper books can last hundreds of years. CDs are already wearing out and new computers rarely have floppy drives. They are EMP-resistant. Their operating system does not have to be upgraded expensively every few years. You do not need a special projector for different titles. (It is not a “reader”; you are.) Dropping them rarely breaks them.

    Not everything is available on the Internet. Not everything on the Internet is available free, or even freely.

    I am a chartered librarian and I am proud of that. There is no known cure.