PROTESTERS DOUSE BOULDER BOOK ROAST
Rocky Mountain News
More books were stolen than burned last night at a fundamentalist
rally in Boulder that disintegrated into a shouting match between
more than 250 supporters and protesters.
The Rev. Maurice Gordon, pastor of Denver's Lovingway United
Petecostal Church, and the Rev. Philip Day, pastor of Boulder
United Pentecostal Church, which hosted the ideological inferno,
had planned to burn about 40 books and 22 booklets dealing with
mysticism and the occult.
However, all but three of the books were pilfered by a throng of
poster-carrying, slogan-chanting protesters who swiped the books
from a pile on the ground outside the church where Gordon and Day
were attempting to speak to the rowdy dissenters.
"They stole them right out from under us," Gordon said after a
Only Shirley MacLaine's _Out_on_a_Limb_, Sarah Lyddow Morrison's
_The_Modern_Witch's_Spellbook_ and Barbara Marx Hubbard's _Happy_
Birthday_Planet_Earth_ were ignited--if only briefly. It wasn't
long after Gordon had the books burning in a modified barbecue
grill that protesters doused the flames with a fire extinguisher
and overturned the smoldering grill.
Gordon said he figured there would be a mob at the event but was
surprised at the groups unruliness. He said the crowd was giving
Boulder a reputation as "a hangout for heathens." And Day said
the rowdy crowd characterized the city's "spiritual darkness."
The ill-fated book burning characterized the evening, during which
legitimate conflicts between right-wing fundamentalism and left-wing
liberalism took a back seat to hecklers and the spectacle of white-
hooded female zealots who called themselves "The Klanettes."
Outfitted in white slacks and sweaters and conehead-style masks,
the Klanettes acted as unofficial cheerleaders for the event. While
refusing to give their names, one of the Klanettes summed up the
group's goal: "Any time there's hatred and bigotry, that's where
we'd like to be."
Doug Johnson of Denver took the evening's honors for most visible
and vocal protester. Armed with an American flag, Johnson heckled
Day and Gordon from a distance of about 2 feet. His antics clearly
rattled both men, but Johnson said his purpose in attending was not
"I just don't like the constitutional statement they're making here
tonight," he said.
Jim Nichols of Boulder was one of the few people who didn't take sides.
He said the lively exchange of barbs and ideas was healthy, no matter
the ideological motivation.
"The guy's got a right to do this," Nichols said of the book burning.
"This is what the constitution an democracy are all about."
Gordon stopped short of calling the event a failure, but added that
the actions of the rowdy crowd were in fact a cry for help.
Gordon said he and Day would continue to work toward a spiritual
awakening of the Denver-area population, but did not cite specific
BOULDER HECKLERS MAKE BOOK BURNING TRULY TORRID AFFAIR
The Denver Post
It was billed as a book burning, but it turned out to be a roast.
The Rev. Phil Day's attempt to drive the devil out of Boulder--by
burning what he considers Satanic materials--attracted a handful
of supporters and an entire flock of hecklers to his north Boulder
"For God's sake, Phil, get some therapy!" screamed a man in the
crowd. "Only bozos burn books!" yelled another. One woman held
a sign: "Burning books is easy. Reading them takes intelligence."
If Day was troubled by the commotion, he didn't let on. He seemed
content to swap insults.
"We might be burning some books tonight, but soon, God will be
burning you," Day told the crowd of about 200.
For nearly two hours, the banter continued.
Because of fears that his book-burning party would violate a Boulder
ordinance, Day had disguised his effort as a picnic. He assembled
hot dogs, hamburgers and marshmallows alongside a Weber grill filled
with hot coals.
But the crowd had other plans. They doused the coals with water and
spilled them on the ground. Still, Day was unflappable.
"I'm afraid you're upset because you enjoy the things of the devil,"
Among the "things of the devil" that Day had scheduled for incineration
Saturday night were three titles that were pure Boulder: "An
Introduction to Yoga," "The Handbook to Higher Consciousness,"
and "Make ESP Work for You."
Day was too busy trading barbs with the crowd to speak with reporters,
but his wife expained that those books really are dangerous.
"You have to understand what's behind them," Barb Day said. "It
wouldn't be clear just from reading the titles."
Although she agreed that her husband probably had set himself up for
a confrontation, she defended his efforts.
"We are not against reading and we are not against thinking," she
said. "Everyone should have a right to their own philosophy. But
I'm not surprised how this turned out."
After Day tired of the routine, he turned center stage over to the
Rev. Maurice Gordon of Denver, no stranger himself to unusual events.
"If ever there was a city that needs a moral awakening, it is the city
of Boulder," Gordon preached. Then he invited the crowd to attend
"I assure you, you will be treated better than you treated us."
As a personal aside, I think there is nothing more horrible and
disgusting than burning books. I'd even save "Nomads of Gor" and
"In Search of Ancient Astronauts." But I might bend my scruples
to do as a friend suggested and take a Bible to such an event and
toss it on--just to see these geeks jump.