On one level, I agree with you…but I don’t think she was desecrating her bible. We need to remember, always, that the ink and the paper is not the bible. The WORDS are. So–though I think that one should treat scriptures (even those books that others believe are scriptures even if we don’t) with respect because of their content and symbology, we should stop short of anything that hints of idolatry.
I’ve told this story before, to make a different point, but I think it works here, too; many years ago I was watching a televangalist ranting away…and he said something that still sends chills down my back as I remember it. “I don’t care if Jesus Himself comes down and tells me that something in this book [the bible] is wrong! I will turn my back upon Him and hold to the book!” I don’t know what chilled me more–his words, or the thunderous “AMEN” that came from the audience.
When we put the physical book in which the bible is found in the ‘worship’ spot, we take a pretty long step toward just that sort of idolatry. It’s one of the reasons I deeply feel that the best treated bible is the one that has the broken spine, the folded leaves, the penned notes and the highlighting, along with sticky notes and doodles. Yes, I have a ‘family bible,’ too…a couple of them, actually, with names and marriage dates. Nobody READS them.
As for Zooey’s idea of cutting and pasting bible verses from old bibles—I’ve done that, though I actually bought paper back bibles specifically for that purpose. As for having a framed page on the wall—
I’m against that one, but for very different reasons. I’m a bit of a bibliophile, y’see, and the thought of taking a valuable manuscript or old book and selling it off page by page makes my eyes red.
On the other hand, if this is the only way to preserve them, then—why not?
At any rate, nothing we do now can possibly sink to the level of the folks who, after the bible became ‘sorta’ generally available, used them as folk cures: tear this verse out and eat it, and it’s a remedy for consumption.
Boy, do I know too much trivia.
At any rate, I don’t think that the physical manner of disposal matters as much as the intent of the person doing the disposing.