Update: SMS From Heaven removed the book burning pictures from its Facebook page. However, you can still take a look at one of them further down below.
A Trip Back in Time
News broke out yesterday that a group of Polish Catholic priests banded together to organize a book burning ceremony in the city of Gdansk. I wish I could say that was just a bad April Fools joke but I’m afraid the medieval-style book burning actually happened. The group goes by the name “SMS From Heaven” and organized the ceremony in an attempt to send a message – Harry Potter books are magic and magic is heresy. Okay, that sounded like a Warhammer 40K quote but it seems to perfectly describe the occasion.
Despite not living in the 13th century (well, not physically at least), the priests publicly condemned sorcery and anyone who uses it. Given that Harry Potter is a well-known practitioner of witchcraft, it stands to reason that all books referencing the fictional character must be destroyed.
In addition to burning several Harry Potter books, the religious figures also threw into the fire a tribal mask, an elephant figurine, and a pink umbrella, among other items that were allegedly imbued with magical powers. Why the umbrella? Who knows. Ironically, the only people dressed like wizards at the ceremony were the priests themselves.
The Priests Used the Classic Scapegoat
“Many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.” – Acts 19:19.
“Burn the images of their gods. Don’t desire the silver or the gold that is on them and take it for yourself, or you will be trapped by it. That is detestable to the Lord your God.” – Deuteronomy 7:25.
A Lot of Polish People are Actually Quite Fond of Magic and Fantasy
Although the ceremony makes it seem like Poland might still be stuck in the Dark Ages, that’s not entirely the case. A lot of Polish people took to social media to ridicule both SMS From Heaven and its absurd ceremony. Others took the opportunity to remind the group about the countless sexual abuse and pedophilia allegations aimed at the Catholic Church every single year, many of which involve Polish Catholic priests.
Interestingly, it doesn’t look like SMS From Heaven burned any of The Witcher books even though magic is a major themed of the series. That’s probably for the best, though, as burning Witcher books in Poland would have likely started a full-fledged riot across the country.
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