Pastor holds bonfire to burn ‘witchcraft’ books like ‘Twilight’
A far-right pastor held a book burning event, encouraging parishioners to throw books like ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Twilight’ into a fire to speak out against what he described as ‘demonic’ materials.
Greg Locke, senior pastor of the Global Vision Bible Church, held a book burning event Wednesday night and urged congregants to burn “evil trash” like young adult fantasy books, tarot cards, “voodoo dolls and crystals”.
“Bring all your Harry Potter stuff. Laugh all you want haters. I don’t care. THIS IS 100 PERCENT WITCHCRAFT,” Locke said in a Instagram post Monday. “All your ‘Twilight’ books and movies. This mess is full of spells, demonism, shapeshifting and the occult.”
In a video broadcast live on Facebook, worshipers toss books and other items believed to be associated with “witchcraft” into a huge bonfire in the church parking lot in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Burning begins approximately one hour after the live broadcast begins.
At least one counter-protester claimed to have thrown a Bible into the flames, Nashville Scene reported.
“We have a constitutional right and a biblical right to do what we’re going to do tonight,” Locke said in the livestreamed video. “We have a burning permit, but even without a permit, a church has the religious right to burn occult material that it considers a threat to its religious rights and freedoms and belief systems.”
This isn’t the first time Locke has made headlines. The pastor was definitely banned from Twitter for spreading misinformation about the Covid vaccine. He has previously described the vaccine as “sweet water” and said he would turn away worshipers if they wore masks to his services. He also has critical Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee as a “coward…noodle…waffle” for signing an executive order that would allow the National Guard to help overwhelmed hospitals during a Covid outbreak. Locke claims that autistic children are possessed by demons, insisting that the diagnosis does not exist in the Bible.
On Twitter, users raised concerns about the event. Some have drawn similarities between the book burning at the Global Vision Bible Church and those that took place in Germany under the Nazi regime.
Locke’s book burning event comes amid a growing effort to ban certain books from schools. Books about racism and sexuality are being pulled from Texas school shelves in record numbers – the majority of targeted books feature LGBTQ characters or explicit descriptions of gender. Some of the books that are not explicit include picture books about black historical figures and transgender children.
Last month, a school board in Tennessee voted to delete “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel on the Holocaust, from his eighth-grade reading list on profanity and nudity.