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Bibles in Hotel Rooms
Posted: 01 June 2013 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
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In the US, I don’t think I have been in a hotel without a bible in the room. This one particularly one I am at know, the housekeeping staff insists on sitting it open to a certain verse, that I suppose, speaks volumes to her.

I wonder why hotels think all their guests want a Bible. If the “Holy” Bible was such a significant part of ones life, I certainly would think they have their own and would bring it with them!

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Posted: 02 June 2013 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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FinallyDecided - 01 June 2013 06:37 PM

In the US, I don’t think I have been in a hotel without a bible in the room. This one particularly one I am at know, the housekeeping staff insists on sitting it open to a certain verse, that I suppose, speaks volumes to her.

I wonder why hotels think all their guests want a Bible. If the “Holy” Bible was such a significant part of ones life, I certainly would think they have their own and would bring it with them!

Its obvious they are simply doing what all good businesses do. They are playing to the perceived needs of the majority of their customers. On the other hand there is nothing stopping you from leaving a note with your own personal views about the specific verse tucked into the bible ( on a separate piece of paper of course so you don’t vandalize the hotel’s property). If written well you may change some minds.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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macgyver - 02 June 2013 08:15 AM
FinallyDecided - 01 June 2013 06:37 PM

In the US, I don’t think I have been in a hotel without a bible in the room. This one particularly one I am at know, the housekeeping staff insists on sitting it open to a certain verse, that I suppose, speaks volumes to her.

I wonder why hotels think all their guests want a Bible. If the “Holy” Bible was such a significant part of ones life, I certainly would think they have their own and would bring it with them!

Its obvious they are simply doing what all good businesses do. They are playing to the perceived needs of the majority of their customers. On the other hand there is nothing stopping you from leaving a note with your own personal views about the specific verse tucked into the bible ( on a separate piece of paper of course so you don’t vandalize the hotel’s property). If written well you may change some minds.

It would, however, most likely be removed immediately by the housekeeping staff, if for no other reason than that they are instructed to remove every bit of extraneous material from the rooms.

The bibles are placed there through the efforts of the Gideon Society, which has garnered a singular amount of influence on the hotel industry. How they managed to place bibles in nearly every hotel room in the country, I don’t know. It is an overwhelming marketing success story. I know of no other advertising effort so successful in pushing an agenda by placing its materials in nearly every hotel room in the country.  That is exactly what it is, an advertising program, no matter what the Gideons call it. I would love to see what the response would be from the hotel industry if a Humanist or atheist organization (or any organization other than the Gideons, for that matter) tried to place even a pamphlet in the same hotel rooms where Gideon bibles are placed.

Lois

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Posted: 02 June 2013 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I am happy to report I did not find a Bible in my room at the Copenhagen Airport Hilton last week. One of the things I like about the Danish is their almost universal lack of interest in religion.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The bibles are placed there through the efforts of the Gideon Society, which has garnered a singular amount of influence on the hotel industry. How they managed to place bibles in nearly every hotel room in the country, I don’t know. It is an overwhelming marketing success story. I know of no other advertising effort so successful in pushing an agenda by placing its materials in nearly every hotel room in the country.  That is exactly what it is, an advertising program, no matter what the Gideons call it. I would love to see what the response would be from the hotel industry if a Humanist or atheist organization (or any organization other than the Gideons, for that matter) tried to place even a pamphlet in the same hotel rooms where Gideon bibles are placed.


It does however have a reverse effect. Opening the end table drawer to deposit your whatever and what do you see? A Gideon bible. In every hotel and motel I’ve occupied over the past forty years; there it is. It might as well be a piece of furniture as one expects to see the familiar light brown covered hard copy amidst the motel complimentry paper pad and pen. You just get used to it being there and don’t really see it as a book, but an object quite like the infamous “motel art” hanging over the bed. I often wondered how many people picked up this KJV and thumbed through it rather than ordering a movie? Not many I’ll wager. Most xtians already have their well thumbed and marked book anyway. FFRF has an insert explaining how Gideon behaved in the bible. It might make for more interesting reading for the weary traveler.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 02 June 2013 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 02 June 2013 11:02 AM

The bibles are placed there through the efforts of the Gideon Society, which has garnered a singular amount of influence on the hotel industry. How they managed to place bibles in nearly every hotel room in the country, I don’t know. It is an overwhelming marketing success story. I know of no other advertising effort so successful in pushing an agenda by placing its materials in nearly every hotel room in the country.  That is exactly what it is, an advertising program, no matter what the Gideons call it. I would love to see what the response would be from the hotel industry if a Humanist or atheist organization (or any organization other than the Gideons, for that matter) tried to place even a pamphlet in the same hotel rooms where Gideon bibles are placed.


It does however have a reverse effect. Opening the end table drawer to deposit your whatever and what do you see? A Gideon bible. In every hotel and motel I’ve occupied over the past forty years; there it is. It might as well be a piece of furniture as one expects to see the familiar light brown covered hard copy amidst the motel complimentry paper pad and pen. You just get used to it being there and don’t really see it as a book, but an object quite like the infamous “motel art” hanging over the bed. I often wondered how many people picked up this KJV and thumbed through it rather than ordering a movie? Not many I’ll wager. Most xtians already have their well thumbed and marked book anyway. FFRF has an insert explaining how Gideon behaved in the bible. It might make for more interesting reading for the weary traveler.


Cap’t Jack


All of that is true but it does have the effect of giving the bible credibility, a form of subliminal advertising that no other religions or philosophies have the ability to use on that scale.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The ubiquity of Gideon Bibles is not as benign as it may seem. Here’s another thing about the Gideons and their bibles that should be more widely known:

A typical Gideon Bible or New Testament contains:

a short preface;

a pamphlet suggesting Bible verses that may be of assistance in various sorts of trouble;
translations of John 3:16 into a variety of languages and scripts;

the Bible text itself, without notes, references, or any other reference matter other than chapter and verse headings — this can either be the full Bible (typical of the copies placed in hotel rooms), or just the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs (typical of the copies handed out as gifts to individuals);
a short description of the evangelical understanding of salvation, with biblical quotations, and a place for the reader to sign and date their confession of Jesus as their savior (this is especially common in the shorter editions the New Testament and Psalms).
l In addition to their well-known hotel-room Bibles, the Gideons also distribute Bibles to members of the military of various countries, to hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, MPs and students.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideons_Internationa

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Posted: 02 June 2013 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Although I’m a strong atheist, I wasn’t as active as a salesman at my company who carried a tube of superglue with him, and each time he stayed at a motel, he would quietly run a strip of it across all the edges top and bottom of the book, then put it back.  The glue would soak in, set up and bond all the pages together so it was back to being a block of wood, but it wouldn’t be noticeable until someone tried to open it.  Since he traveled extensively for quite a few years, I’m sure there were hundreds of them glued together.  I kiddingly asked if he charged the company on his expense reports for the glue, he laughed and said, “No, that would be unethical.”

Occam

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Posted: 02 June 2013 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The ubiquity of Gideon Bibles is not as benign as it may seem. Here’s another thing about the Gideons and their bibles that should be more widely known:

Yeah Lois, but you have to OPEN it first. Cherry picked bible verses are themselves ubiquitous. They’re seen on billboards, at football games (the same old John 3:16 printed on cardboard with a sharpie) on church marquees, especially in our area, bumper stickers abounding along side the ubiquitous fish symbol usually flanked by an NRA sticker (oops bled over from another topic), and painted on the sides of barns and outbuildings. I do like Occam’s friend’s suggestion though, just in case. Or FFRF’s suggestion of inserting their tracts in the book or their Gideon disclaimer. periodically there are a few fundie nuts who hang out on a street corner of my hometown and shout selected passages at passersby who ignore them entirely and treat them as mental patients. They hand out tracts and new testaments to those who are willing to accept them but most people just hurry by as if they’ve seen a snake. So unless someone’s in your face shoving their version of “god’s word” in your hands I wouldn’t worry too much about the Gideons.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 02 June 2013 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I guess a case might be made that glueing up Bibles in hotel rooms is a kind of “statement” that could possibly be considered free speech.

I once took a Book of Mormon from a hotel room.  Not as a statement of any kind.  I just figured the Mormons wouldn’t mind.  I read some of it.  It seemed pretty silly - like someone’s lame attempt to create story lines in a Biblical style.

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Posted: 02 June 2013 07:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Any bibles that are defaced in hotel rooms are immediately replaced,possibly even by the housekeeping staff who have probably been given a good supply of “clean” copies.

But here’s a sticker you might consider pasting in hotel room bibles. It’s best to put it inside the bible rather than on the cover, as some suggest, because hotel housekeepers would immediately see it and replace it or the Gideon’s would replace it.


http://atheism.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=atheism&cdn=religion&tm=10&f=00&tt=2&bt=4&bts=4&zu=http://www.zazzle.com/bible_warning_sticker-217586842335457670

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Posted: 02 June 2013 11:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I wonder how the Gideon group has enough financial resources to furnish nearly every hotel/motel in the US with a Bible?

I’ve never been to one, but I wonder if the motels with the “hourly rates” (and we all know what that means), have Bibles too?

Unbelievable that in 2013 huge hotel chains insist on putting these books in every room. And I consider myself a “laid back” atheist, so I just simply closed the bible and put in the drawer. Interestingly, when I came back to my room, my towels were not replenished, I could have made up my bed better and the trash wasn’t taken, but rest assured, the Bible was removed from the drawer and opened to his/her favorite verse. As long as there is a client in the room, I can’t believe they would have the audacity to open the drawer (which personal items could have been in) to take a Bible out that I put choose to put away during MY stay!

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Posted: 03 June 2013 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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There is an article in this weeks Economist about this, in Georgia State Parks.  Ed Buckner, who used to work at CFI Int. found 9 Bibles in his cottage and made a protest.  The American Atheists (AA) is now offering literature we would consider more appropriate for the Georgia to place in the cottages along with the Bible.  Who knows, this could be the start of new library system.  shut eye

The Economist website is down for maintaince until Weds. I2wll try to remember to post a link then.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I would be interested in a poll done to see the percentage of hotel patrons who actually sit in their room and read the Bible provided to them. I would imagine the percentage to be quite low.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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FinallyDecided - 03 June 2013 07:11 PM

I would be interested in a poll done to see the percentage of hotel patrons who actually sit in their room and read the Bible provided to them. I would imagine the percentage to be quite low.

Probably lower than the percentage of people who pay for porn movies while on the road.

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Posted: 04 June 2013 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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DarronS - 03 June 2013 07:12 PM
FinallyDecided - 03 June 2013 07:11 PM

I would be interested in a poll done to see the percentage of hotel patrons who actually sit in their room and read the Bible provided to them. I would imagine the percentage to be quite low.

Probably lower than the percentage of people who pay for porn movies while on the road.

But the bibles are free and available even to children who, in a sane world,  should never be exposed to such a dangerous book.  At least kids can’t access porn without parents’ permission, it must be paid for and it can be blocked. The bibles are right there with their ugly content freely available to innocent eyes, and most parents,having never gotten beyond Adam and Eve and the serpent, don’t even know what’s in it. Evidently if porn, violence and sadism have prayers with it, they automatically pass muster. Maybe the porn industry should take note.

Lois

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