Tennessee Pastor Greg Locke stated that the church has a “constitutional and a Biblical right to burn “occultic material” such as the “Harry Potter”, and “Twilight,” books.
Far-right pastor held a book burning party, asking parishioners and friends to throw books such as Harry Potter and Twilight into the fire to condemn what he called “demonic” materials.
Greg Locke, Global Vision Bible Church’s head pastor, hosted a book-burning event Wednesday night. He urged his followers to throw out “evil garbage”, such as young adult fantasy books, tarot card, “voodoo dolls, and crystals.
Bring all of your Harry Potter stuff. You can laugh at haters. I don’t care. It’s Witchcraftcraft 100 percent,” Locke stated in an Instagram posting Monday. All you ‘Twilight” books and movies. This mess is full spells, demons, shape-shifting, and occultism.
A video streamed live on Facebook shows churchgoers throwing books and other items they believe are associated with witchcraft into a huge bonfire in the church’s Mount Juliet parking lot. About an hour into the livestream, the burning starts.
Nashville Scene reported that at least one counterprotester claimed that he had thrown a Bible into flames.
Locke stated in the livestreamed video that “we have a Constitution right and a Biblical rights to do what we are going to do tonight.” “We have a burn permit. But even without one, a church still has the religious right to burn occultic material that they consider to be a threat to their religious freedoms and beliefs.”
This isn’t the first time Locke has been in the news. For spreading misinformation about Covid vaccine, the pastor was permanently banned on Twitter. He described the vaccine previously as “sugar water” stating that he would turn away anyone wearing masks to church services. He also criticised Republican Tennessee Governor. Bill Lee as a “coward…noodle…waffler” for signing an executive order that would allow the National Guard to assist overwhelmed hospitals during a Covid outbreak. Locke claimed children with autism are possessed and that they don’t have the diagnosis in the Bible.
Twitter users expressed concern about the incident. Some people compared the Global Vision Bible Church book burning to the Nazi-era Nazi concentrations in Germany.
Locke’s book-burning event is part of a larger effort to ban certain books in schools. Texas schools are removing books about racism and homosexuality in record numbers. Many of the targeted books feature LGBTQ characters or describe sex. Picture books that don’t contain explicit material include books about transgender children and historical Black figures.
A Tennessee school board voted last month to remove “Maus”, a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic book about the Holocaust that was on its eighth-grade reading list, over profanity, nudity, and nudity.