CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- A church's plan for an old-fashioned book-burning has been thwarted by city and county fire codes.
Preachers and congregations throughout American history have built bonfires and tossed in books and other materials they believed offended God. The Rev. Scott Breedlove, pastor of The Jesus Church, wanted to rekindle that tradition in a July 28 ceremony where books, CDs, videos and clothing would have been thrown into the flames.
Not so fast, city officials said.
"We don't want a situation where people are burning rubbish as a recreational fire," said Brad Brenneman, the fire department's district chief.
Linn County won't go for a fire outside city limits, either. Officials said the county's air quality division prohibits the transporting of materials from the city to the county for burning.
Breedlove said a city fire inspector suggested shredding the offending material, but Breedlove said that wouldn't seem biblical. "I joked with the guy that St. Paul never had to worry about fire codes," Breedlove said.
The new plan calls for members of the church to throw materials into garbage cans and then light candles to symbolically "burn" the material.
Fire department bars book-burning:
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