Earlier today, I was walking to class after lunch and a man approached me. He had a strong accent that I really could barely understand (I don’t even know what kind of accent it was, but he was maybe Russian?). He was talking to me about this book that he was holding, called “The Journey of Self-Discovery”. I really couldn’t tell exactly what he was saying, but I made out words like “the afterlife” and “spirit”, so I assumed it was something religious. I then saw the words on the bottom of the cover of the book, “His Divine Grace”, underneath which there was a name. My first thought was “Oh, this guy is a Catholic and this book is written by a Pope or Bishop or something”. But then he opened the book and pointed to pictures of Buddha and other Hindu art. I made out words like “reincarnation” and “buddha”. It was then I realized what he was trying to tell me.
So he was offering two books (he showed me the other one, and it was obviously Hindu). He wanted to give me them, but he was asking for a small donation. This is where the moral theology comes in: I thought to myself, “If I take these books, I can go home and burn them and no one else will be able to get them from this guy. And I only have a quarter on me, and I don’t think I quarter is enough that I am materially supporting this guy, especially because it costs more than a quarter to make these books”. So I found a quarter in my backpack and gave it to him. He gave me one of the books, the “Journey” one. When I went to class, one of my classmates said, after seeing my book, that he was also offered a book and didn’t want it. So I took that from him too. I plan on burning both when I get home.
My question is: “Is it right for someone to accept these books (going as far as to pay for them) in order to protect others from being influenced by them?”
Also, should I burn them? That is my gut reaction, but I will wait until I get some answers first.