The American experiment was based on mutual respect, acceptance of differing religious beliefs and common decency. Burning anyone's sacred scripture is an affront to all of these.

The world needs more voices not fewer. More faith not less. It is not God that tells man to hate, kill or stifle thought. It is a fringe understanding of religion. God beckons us to seek His face. I refuse to believe that a loving Father would punish honest and bold questions. But I do believe there must surely be eternal consequences for those who hate or kill in his name.

Let us not fail to recognize that this week we witnessed Christian extremists behaving in ways made infamous by a monster fascist. The reactions by Muslim radicals only mirrored the minds of those in Iran who currently stone people to death for what they call the "sin of homosexuality."

The world has once again come to a point where it cowers at best and, at worst, appeases crazy and dangerous men of all philosophies of God and man. We must again link arms and unite despite our differences against evils that only wish to destroy or enslave no matter the god they hide behind. "The truth shall set you free" is more than a phrase -- it is a universal principle that cannot be changed by a bonfire or suicide vest.

History teaches us what happens to those who not only burn books, but also to those who do not respect freedom of speech -- especially when most find it vile and offensive.

You'll never guess who said it.

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