#950 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 24 Aug 2014.
One of the familiar sights in hotel rooms everywhere is a Gideon’s Bible in the bedside drawer. Or so it seemed.
In a move described by the Church of England as “tragic and bizarre,” one of Britain’s biggest hotel chains has removed Bibles from hotel rooms “in order not to discriminate” against non-Christian religions.
Travelodge, which operates 500 hotels in Britain, says guests may borrow Bibles from reception.
According to the Daily Mail, the practice of placing Bibles in British hotel rooms originated with the Commercial Travellers’ Christian Association in the 1880s, a ministry later taken over by the Gideon Society, which provides free Bibles to hotels, hospitals, prisons, schools, members of the armed forces, police and rescue workers.
We may never know the full extent of the good done for people in need from those free Bibles placed in hotel rooms. Removing them is short-sighted and shows lack of compassion.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.