How to improve the Bibles in hotel room nightstands
I was staying in a hotel and, of course, there was a Bible in the night stand drawer (sometimes, there's also a Book of Mormon). This was right after the school shooting at Sandy Hook in Newtown Connecticut. Watching that news I wondered where God was. Was he just watching? Again? Innocent children dying a horrible death, most while praying to God that he keep them safe and alive. God, apparently, just watched their heads get blown off. I was disgusted at the calls for 'prayer', so I wrote this statement in the complimentary book that contains God's word.
Why didn't God stop that shooter in the Connecticut school? Was he not powerful enough, or did he just not care?
Right: I also wrote this in another Bible: Why did God send a tornado to an elem school in Moore OK?
But, I wasn't happy with the vandalism of a book. It doesn't seem right to deface the book. That Bible may provide some much needed guidance, inspiration, or comfort for a hotel guest. Granted, such feelings would be based on an elaborate myth, but, still, for many people, it is real and helpful. There's gotta be a better way.
1. Handwritten notes left inside the Bible.
2. Printed cards or adhesive-backed stickers that can be placed in the inside cover.
• Covert and simple installation
• Make it look like it belongs in the book.
• Bible study tips serve as an aid and courtesy to the hotel guest.
• One could print up some cards/stickers and stash a few in a suitcase pocket.
• They could include a web address with additional absurd Bible study verses.
A few verses to help with your Bible study.
• Deuteronomy 21:18-21 - A stubborn rebellious son, his father and mother shall bring him out and the men of his city shall stone him, that he die.
• Matthew 15:22-28 - The brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child; and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
• Matthew 10:34-35 - Jesus: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother.
• I Corinthians 14:34-35 - In church, women must be in submission. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their husband at home; it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church.
• Exodus 35:2 - The seventh day shall be a holy day - whoever does work on that day shall be put to death.
The Gideon Bible in the room
Gideons International started in 1898 when two traveling salesmen decided to share the only room left at a hotel in Wisconsin. They shared a common faith and formed an evangelical association for Christian businessmen. Only one other person showed up to their first meeting - they named the organization after Gideon, an Old Testament judge who led a small band of men to defeat a much larger army. Most of the new members were men who frequently traveled and spent many of their nights in hotel rooms. To be more effective witnesses for Christ on the road, they had the idea of providing Bibles to hotels. “The Bible Project” was adopted in 1908.They started with a hotel in Superior, Montana, then set out to put a Bible in every hotel room in America. Since 1908, they’ve distributed more than 1.7 billion Bibles, expanding beyond the US to more than 190 other countries.
When a hotel opens, local Gideons members will present a Bible to the hotel's general manager in a small ceremony and then give enough books for each room and some extras to the housekeeping staff for distribution. In addition to hotel rooms, the Gideons also give Bibles to military bases, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and to students on college campuses. Each Bible handed out is free of charge, and the project is funded entirely by donations to the group. The Gideons will also replace any books that go missing or get worn out, and the group says that the books have an average six-year life span. They ignore the “thou shalt not steal” rule when it comes to the Bibles. They’d rather you just take the book if you need it that badly.
Based on the success of the Gideons’ Bible project - the group’s own statistics claim 25% of the people who check into a hotel room will read the Bible placed there - other religious groups have begun distributing their own free literature to hotels. The Marriott hotel chain, founded by a Mormon, places The Book of Mormon in many of its rooms, and many hotels also offer Buddhist, Hindu, Christian Scientist or Scientologist books along with the standard Gideon Bible.
Links to other religious essays
The decline of Christianity
The absurdity of religion, believing that myths are real
The value of prayer
The Bible: some questions to ask believers
Quotes: Words of Wisdom about religion
Islam for the novice
Jim's spiritual journey