So a group with an anti-religious agenda wins an action in court and gets Bibles
banned from government accomodations.And a DesNews commentor
immediately blames Barak Obama. Why am I not surprised?
BYOB......Bring Your Own Bible. For government facilities to carry bibles is
indeed an implicit endorsement not just of religion but of a very specific
family of religions, and is thus blatantly unconstitutional.Kudos to
the DoD for ending this silly and improper practice.
Actually James Madison, the man who actually wrote the 1st Amendment, felt that
army chaplains were a violation of said amendment.
Could not imagine what many posts and comments would be stating by the regular
intellectuals here on this forum if in fact it was not a Bible that was put in
these rooms but a Koran instead! Let's hear the spin neo-cons.
Let the bashing of our President begin by those which possess superior
intellectual prowess in 3-2-1...Please. Have any of you ever lived outside the
Planet Utah bubble? (This is a rhetorical question) You realize we have what is
called separation of church and state regardless of our President. Stop looking
for problems and start becoming part of the solution!
A hypothetical: Let's think about another First Amendment claim. Say Larry
Flynt decides that he wants to supply, free of charge, a streaming pornography
service to every room in the Navy Lodges. Would those arguing for the First
Amendment freedom of religion also argue for the First Amendment freedom of
speech? I mean, if you're a religious person, you're not going to be
using said service, right? Why not have it available for those who would?
There is nothing wrong with the Gideon's putting Bibles in the rooms. No
one is being forced to read them and if they never open the drawer and pull it
out, how is it going to affect them? They have freedom to read or not read it.
The room isn't going to melt if a Bible isn't there. I don't see
this as any type of establishment of religion. The Bible is a book, not a
religion. You can read it or not.
The following note should be posted in each room:For the convenience
of our guests, the front desk has a small collection of donated reading material
including religious texts, novels and other literature. If you are interested
please stop by or call the front desk to check on availability. We ask that you
return any literature you borrow to the front desk when you check out. Enjoy
your stay.If the military let it be known it was instituting such a
policy, no doubt folks would be more than happy to donate paperbacks, religious
texts and other reading material for our military.Problem solved, no
charge.Like most things, if we stop the bickering and put our heads
together, a reasonable solutions is right around the corner.
Recently on Facebook there was an image going around of a breast cancer survivor
who had tattooed her chest after having a mascectomy the only thing covering her
chest was the tattoos. There is a religion that believes that tattoos and body
piercings are ways to worship God. If a collection of photos
representing these ideas were left in hotel rooms, military base or otherwise,
how many if those who support Bibles in hotel rooms would support these as
religious works? How many would scream that the semi-nude images were
pornography and should not be where children may see them?
@ coltakashiIMO, some believers place their religion before the very
Constitution that protects their right to practice their religion. And in their
zeal to convert everyone to their way of thinking, they create the situations
that organizations like the FFRF challenge. This is yet another example. If
the Gideon Foundation doesn't know that the government must show no
religious favoritism, they should. And if they respected this injunction, which
protects everyone from government interference, they wouldn't approach ANY
governmental entity with their "donations." A government official who
respects the law knows that accepting such a "gift" immediately presents
the problem of the appearance of favoritism.I place
"donations" and "gift" in quotations for a reason. These Bibles
are neither to those who are not Christian. And what I don't hear is
Christians respecting this. What I hear is, "Well, most of us are Christian
anyway, so what's the harm?"Two people separately reported
this to the FFRF. Both were military members. According to the FFRF web site,
24% of their 20,000 members are active military. It seems military service does
indeed make some reflect on religious belief.
@Tators: I have defended and will defend to death if necessary, the right of
individuals to freely practice their chosen religion in this country. As long as
it is under their own vine and tree as the founding fathers of this great nation
so wisely intended. Your attitude so perfectly embodies the religious tyranny
that the initial european settlers were fleeing when they settled in North
America. You are just blind to it.
The military services have chaplains, religious ministers of the many
denominations represented among the service members, in direct proportion to
their percentage in the armed forces. They are present all over the bases, and
on ships, and mingle with people off duty to make their services available as
counselors to help[ people with their religious and moral concerns.Military service causes many people to reflect on their religious beliefs,
because their work involves the risk of death and the taking of human life. The
great questions which religions address are every day concerns for warriors.
The Gideon Bibles are provided at no cost to the government, but provide a
service to service members and their families, the majority of whom, are
Christians. If another religious faith wants to fund a similar donation, why
not? A soldier who can maintain his integrity in the face of enemy guns and
bombs is not going to be intimidated by a closed book sitting quietly in a
closed drawer. No one is forcing the occupant of the room to read the book.
@Gildas"Imo most atheists also believe in God though the idea of a
powerful moral god irks them; any religion that bursts their very delicate
bubble seem to be targeted by them."That certainly would be only
your opiniion and not fact.
@tators"Calling Christian beliefs "blatant lies" caused you to
lose most of your credibility with a great many readers, myself included."
I did not say that christian beliefs were blatant lies said that some f
those that claim these beliefs the loudest also engage in regular blatant lies
and of course willful distortions (also known as lies) such as yours, but thanks
for proving my point. @TekakaromatagiSee above
@Brio"What you are still missing and/or apparently confused about in
this matter is that the government itself is not providing any religious
materials in these rooms."I'm not missing or confused about
that. My position is that operating those rooms under those conditions is
problematic regardless of the source of the religious materials.
"Also, they haven't precluded any other religious groups from also
providing their literature."Now THAT is a bet that I would take.
Certainly the LDS church would love to have a BOM in all Navy guest rooms. And
I am quite sure it would be provided free of charge. Wouldn't surprise me
if they asked.Regardless, I am quite certain your statement is
Oh thanks Brio, now I get it.Your ability to practice your religion
is threatened if there aren't Christian Bibles in tax-payer supported
establishments.Thank you, I tip my colander to you, good sir.
Schnee:There are only bibles because the Gideons are the only ones
to ask. If otehr groups were to ask and be denied the request to put their
texts in the rooms, then there is discrimination. As it is now, there is no
expressed or implied endorsement.@ Laura B:I would not
be opposed to a whole bookshelf of religious texts in my hotel room. I read
from the Dhammapada, Bhagavad Gita, Quran, etc. I find it interesting to read
from other religious texts, and often fimd many similarities to the Bible and B
of M. Plus, it would be a lot better use of my time than watching what is on
@Craig Clark"This poorly written article is confusing."Indeed. I just read the memo issued by NAVCOM (you can get it at the
Freedom From Religion Web Site) and it paints a very different picture than this
article does. The memo does not specifically state that the bibles are
prohibited but does take the authority to accept them away from the lodge
general managers and refers those wishing to donate to the installation chaplain
who, as the commanding officer's representative, can determine whether the
materials can be accepted and how they get distributed.@happy2bhere"I wondered what would happen if I were to leave a
Bible or Book of Mormon in the desk drawer when I stayed at a federal facility.
"According to the Navy's memo it would treated per the
lodges lost and found property procedures.@RedWings"Atheists are like the child throwing a fit when a parent refuses to buy
them what they want in a store. "Got irony?
@ Schnee:What you are still missing and/or apparently confused about
in this matter is that the government itself is not providing any religious
materials in these rooms. They are simply allowing a private group to provide
them... if and as they so choose to do so. Also, they haven't
precluded any other religious groups from also providing their literature. They
therefore have not "restricted these rooms to ONLY Bibles""Implicit" doesn't count in this matter.@ Ralph:Freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion are two entirely different
things and really not that difficult to understand. Read that sentence again...
more slowly this time if necessary. Then ponder it. Such a statement
wouldn't even be allowed to enter your "Double-Speak competition",
yet alone win it.@ Laura Bilington:No Baha'i
travelers haven't (until now) been excluded from putting copies of their
Kitáb-i-Aqdas scriptures in those rooms, but chosen not to do so. Your
argument has no merit. Also, many Marriott Hotels have been
providing both Book of Mormons and Gideon Bibles in their rooms. I've
personally seen them multiple times and haven't heard of anyone
complaining. Again... not an issue.
@Brio"Read the article again."I did and you are
correct. The article quoted NEXCOM and my brain translated that to NAVEX (Navy
Exchange) and I jumped to the wrong conclusion. Thank you for pointing that
out."So much for that bogus part of your resentment "No resentment on my part--just puzzled why NOT having the bibles in the
lodges is seen as an attack on Christians practicing their faith."of a relatively small group"Hey, they represent me; that
makes them pretty important."The religious connection is
basically indisputable."But the question remains: how does the
Navy NOT favoring Christianity over other religions by removing the bibles from
their lodging facilities prevent anyone from practicing their religion?
@Brio:"John Locke wrote "legislation must be “without
contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill
made.”"And Martin Luther King wrote in a "Letter from
Birmingham Jail" that an unjust law is a law which is in conflict with
@lost in DC"Your next target is the position of
chaplain."That's ridiculous. Chaplains perform considerably
more non-religious duties and functions than religious specific tasks. There are
the occasional zealots who forget their oath of office and have to move on but
most provide good services to ALL service members and their families. They are
not going away anytime soon.
@intervention:"We see the "moral influance" on people that
post on these threads daily . . . We see their blatant lie, their constant
contradictions and blatant hatered. "I don't see the
constant contradictions and blatent hatred. Can you provide some examples for
the benefit of the rest of us?
@Gary O:""In the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the
freedom of religion""Baloney"You have a 200
word minimum. You can go into more detail on the "Baloney".
To all the letter writers who lament the "loss of religious freedom",
decay of society, etc: How many of you have a problem with the absence of
scriptures of other religions? Do you not worry about a Baha'i traveler
who is unable to squeeze a copy of Kitáb-i-Aqdas in his suitcase? (And, up
until 5 seconds ago, did you even know that Kitáb-i-Aqdas was the
Baha'i holy book?)What do you think a member of the Gideon
Society would do if he found a Book of Mormon that had been left in a hotel
@B_Rich"In the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the
freedom of religion"That could be the winner of this year's
"Double Speak" competition.It tugs at the emotions and makes
no sense whatsoever.
@Objectified"Having Bibles available isn't forcing any particular
religion on anyone. Nobody is being forced to read them or convert. Anyone
staying in those rooms can completely ignore them if they so choose. "Having ONLY Bibles provided in gov't sponsored guest rooms is an
implicit endorsement of a particular religion. Guests are not prohibited from
bringing whatever religious reading they want with them.
The reason behind the Gideons placing bibles is a truly wonderful story, and
should not be relegated to history. If you don't want to read the bible,
don't open the nightstand table.Atheists are like the child
throwing a fit when a parent refuses to buy them what they want in a store. The
athiest wants what he will never get in this life from God - undeniable physical
proof of God's existence - and so the atheist throws a temper tantrum by
denying God exists and trying to force others to agree...
@ riverofsun:In honest answer to your question, at the end of the
day, and whenever staying in a motel room, I regularly look for the customary
Gideon provided Bible and read a few chapters from the New Testament before
turning out the lights. It helps me to sleep better to have some morally
positive thoughts on my mind. Also, I've noticed that many of
those Bibles often show visual signs of being used quite a few times before.
That's not always the case, but it is quite often.Just because
you apparently have very little use or liking for the Bible, please don't
assume all Americans feel the same as you. I can categorically confirm that
there are still many of us, just like our forefathers, who enjoy reading the
Scriptures regularly and benefit therefrom. BTW: When given a
choice, there still seems to be quite a few people who prefer reading
paper-bound books to electronic books for whatever reasons they might have.
I've noticed that when I happen to have a copy of a book in both formats, I
usually grab for the paper edition, but don't really know why.
Why do I feel less safe?
No, come on, really, tell the truth, don't get all haughty here.When
traveling for business, vacationing, military, or for whatever reason, WHO
actually picks up and reads a Bible in a rented room?Now, everyone, forget
your politics, and tell the truth.
@ Bob A. Bohey:Your comment in paying homage to secularism (hailing
it) is one of the most naive comments I've read in awhile.You
also wrote that "Only through secularism can ALL Americans be free!"Exactly how does denying the vast majority of Christian Americans their right
to publicly express their religious beliefs and practice their religion make
them free? Answer: It doesn't. In fact, that would very much
restrict and curtail their Constitutionally based freedoms.Like most
other atheists and/or secularists, you are marching down the perverse path of
putting your godless beliefs ahead of others who belief in God and cherish their
freedom to practice their religious beliefs.Having privately
provided Bibles available in guess rooms does not force religion on anyone, nor
force anyone to read or even touch the books. Guests are free to totally ignore
them if they so choose. And you are free to ironically deny the God
who made you. But you and others are not free to force your secularist beliefs
and practices on all the rest of us who do believe in Him and His Word while not
forcing anything on anyone else.
@ intervention:That same government provided freedom that allows you
to judge and condemn others for expressing their religious beliefs also
inherently allows all citizens the same right to express and practice their
religious beliefs in public. All property is either privately or publicly owned.
In this case, Navy guest rooms are public property.Calling Christian
beliefs "blatant lies" caused you to lose most of your credibility with
a great many readers, myself included.Having these Bibles available
hurts absolutely no one. Not whatsoever. Why do secularists
constantly confuse freedom of religion and freedom from religion? Our government
guarantees the first, but not the second. Having these books available is
clearly and simply freedom of religion.@ Lagomorph:In
dispute of the crux of your comment, these Bibles are not costing the government
nor the public a single cent. These Bibles are all donated. Also,
the article doesn't mention one other religion that has asked to put their
books in the rooms. Therefore, none are being excluded. That negates the rest of
your objection and that of other secular-based commenters here.As
Objectified pointed out... no one is being forced to read anything.
The bible is available online. If you can't pack one, that should be more
than sufficient for any religious person's needs.
Atheists rightly condemn the intolerant practices of the Medieval Church but
wrongly seem to apply intolerance to all religions; then many of their number go
on to oppose all religions. Intolerance thrives when there is a State Church
or, in other words, an "establishment of religion". Thankfully
Congress has made no law respecting such an estabishment by which one specific
church would be fostered and others perhaps persecuted.Atheists in
attacking even the monopolistic, state estabished, Catholic Church (remember it
was established by a Roman Emperor) are simply proverbial pots calling the
kettle black. Speaking generally, atheists have very often shown themselves the
most intolerant of all "religions" unwilling to co-exist peacefully with
those of other opinions.An overwhelming majority of Americans
believe in God and of them most profess belief in Jesus Christ. Imo most
atheists also believe in God though the idea of a powerful moral god irks them;
any religion that bursts their very delicate bubble seem to be targeted by them.
The Navy has made the correct decision. All hail secularism! Only through
secularism can ALL Americans be free!
Craig Clark, Good point. As Brio mentioned above, the Bibles are
not funded by the government, but by private concerns. Plus I wondered what
would happen if I were to leave a Bible or Book of Mormon in the desk drawer
when I stayed at a federal facility. Would the thought police track down who
was in the room and arrest me? Would they take the scriptures and throw them in
the garbage? The latter would be a hoot, as it is illegal for the U.S. military
to desecrate a Koran, but how about Christian scriptures? This whole issue has
been made into a problem where one didn't exist. Typical of people who
have too much time on their hands.
It's true that the Bibles are being provided, free of charge, by the
Gideons. It's also true that the Navy Lodges and other motel facilities are
located on government property. However, I fail to see how the mere presence of
Bibles in any way violates the so-called "separation of church and
state" - a phrase which, by the way, is not in the constitution. The
"Establishment Clause," as it is called, merely prohibits the government
from funding and establishing any official state religion, such as the Church
of England once was. It does NOT prohibit the free expression of religion or
religious views when one is on government property. It is an egregious form of
eisegesis, (reading into this amendment, ones own views and opinions which
simply are not there) which is behind these ill-fated attempts at banning the
Bible, and Christianity in particular. I do have one question for the people of
FFR: Why is it that you say nothing about the fact that government funds are
being used to build Muslim prayer rooms on the campuses of taxpayer-funded
universities, airports (which receive huge government subsidies), and yes, even
some military bases?
My previous statement was intended to say that the government is NOT buying
these Bibles. From Forbes magazine, this applicable quote:"Historian Larry Schweikart notes, 'The founding documents of every
one of the original thirteen colonies reveal them to be awash in the concepts of
Christianity and God.' Youth learned to read using Scripture. Universities
were chartered to teach doctrine. Students could not even enter Harvard, Yale or
Princeton without assenting to the Westminster Confession."Followed by this particular quote:"Christianity has always been
indelible to our social fabric."To try to reduce or ignore the
integral connection that our Founders had with their Christian beliefs and how
it was intertwined in their writings and doings is looking truth in the eye and
denying it. Yet that is exactly what secularists (and some comments here) today
try to do. They conveniently cherry pick certain irrelevant quotes in an
attempt to make their point.But God is clearly referenced 4 different
times in the Declaration of Independence. John Locke wrote
"legislation must be “without contradiction to any positive law of
Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.”The religious
connection is basically indisputable.
This poorly written article is confusing. The first paragraph says the Navy
“no longer allows Bibles and other religious materials in the guest
rooms.” But the third paragraph says that it “forbids religious
items to be PLACED in guest rooms.”That is a fundamental
difference. So which is it?
How does the presence or absence of the scriptures for one religion in a guest
room affect any of us? Why should it matter to me (a Jew) if my scriptures (the
Torah and Talmud) aren't present when I stay at a government facility, and
why should I want to find your scriptures, or anyone else's, when I check
into a room? One doesn't even need to pack books when traveling any more,
since laptop computers, tablets, e-readers and even our cell phones can have
those same scriptures readily available to us. I also have to ask if the people
up in arms over this would be as upset if it were the Koran and not their own
bible that was the subject here? If not, I submit that the furor is over the
failure to favor Christianity over other beliefs, and it's an inappropriate
demand. If so, then why aren't the demanding that all religious writings
be present in those rooms so that everyone can find his or her preferences
waiting and ready?
@ my_two_cents_worth and of course GaryO (again):The government is
buying these Bibles. Read the article again. Perhaps a little more slowly this
time. Just like in motel rooms, the Gidions, a private group, is providing
them. So much for that bogus part of your resentment and false
reasons for not allowing Bibles wherve they've been for decades without any
problems or complaints... until this single solitary letter of a relatively
Just wait, Chaplains will be the next target. People who are unhappy in life
and need to try to make other people unhappy instead of working on themselves.
Pretty much sums up the type of person who actually wastes time fighting
something that has harmed no one execept the "haters" (Obamas words) of
Once again individuals are mistaking privilege for freedom. Many thanks for the
continued good work of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. BTW, if
removing a religious book from a government-owned facility is sufficient to
prevent an individual from practicing his/her religion, then I think the problem
lies with the individual.
@i know itWe see the "moral influance" on people that post on
these threads daily that claim a moral high ground based on their Christian
beliefs. We see their blatant lie, their constant contradictions and blatant
hatered. Religion like any other school of thought, yes that is all it is, can
be a positve Influance but it can also be a crutch for moral decay.
We would be just as angry if there was a Quran or a Torah or Richard
Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion,’” in the bedside tables of
these Navy lodges, said Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious
Freedom Foundation.No, you would not.Your next target is
the position of chaplain.
Hey B. Rich -"In the name of religious freedom, we are
eliminating the freedom of religion"Baloney"Bibles booted from U.S. Navy base guest rooms"So
what's the problem?If a guest wants to read the Bible, then he
can bring his own Bible.. . . Or Koran, or whatever.Bring you own reading material. Is that to much to ask?Do you
actually expect the Federal Government to provide your Holy Books for you?That's an extremely perverse form of Socialism, don't you
It will be their own undoing.If you suppress the influence of
Christianity, the moral restraint that comes with that influence will decay.
This is evident throughout the world today. It may not be recognized by those
hostile to religion. But how people arbitrarily 'define' truth and
what is true are not the same.Without the teachings of the LDS
Church, I'd be far worse off. I've seen that in several turning points
in my life. Without the ongoing hope of the atonement, millions of people would
be lost. Like it or not, agree with it or not- those of us who have experienced
it know it is true.So many people are running away from God,
resisting someone they know nothing about. It's remarkable to watch
self-proclaimed scientists and intellectuals fear the unknown so much that
they'll invent their own version of it.Making up your own
morality won't make you right, and it will certainly not make you happy.
Just as removing the bible won't remove God. Why resist someone in your
life who wants you to be happy? It's illogical.
Objectified: "Travelers don't always have the luxury of packing bigger
books in their luggage and often enjoy the option of reading meaningful books
before ending their day."There are many meaningful books.
Should taxpayers be compelled to buy all of them for the benefit of travelers?
What of the travelers who find the Bible to be apostasy? Stocking one religious
book bought with taxpayer money to the exclusion of all others shows state
favoritism to and promotion of a particular religion (sounds a bit like an
establishment). Most of the holy books I have seen of many different faiths are
available in compact editions that fit in even the most overstuffed luggage (not
to mention e-books). Better to let the traveler tend to his or her own
spiritual needs (God helps those who help themselves, I've been told). No
need for a government handout.
Rather than leaving copies of ALL the world's major scripture, the Navy
chooses to leave none. This is a sensible practice since anyone who wants can
bring a Bible of their own in any format. There's no problem here, and
certainly no "scheme to make America a godless society."
Note the constitution does NOT say anything about promoting religion. The
founding fathers congresses published religious materials, built edifices with
religious symbols and writing, among other religious based things their
congresses did. The constitution Only says that congress can not
make laws respecting an establishment religion. In other words they can not
create a law favoring a church or religious organization.Clearly the
founding fathers would have no problem placing bibles in rooms.The
intent was to limit government interference in churches and religious
worship.Another attempt by the extreme left to intentionally
misinterpret the constitution to limit and control religious freedom.
I've been staying in Army and air Force lodging quite regularly since 1973
and have never seen ANY bible in any of my rooms. Every commercial hotel or
motel I've stayed at always had them (usually the Gideon's bible). I
guess the Navy has been slow to catch up.@B_Rich"In
the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the freedom of
religion"How so? How does having the Navy Exchange NOT put
bibles in their lodging facilities deny ANYONE "freedom of religion?"@Objectified"Having Bibles available isn't forcing
any particular religion on anyone. "Having the Navy Exchange, a
US Government agency, pay for them shows favoritism to one religion over others.
Unconstitutional."Like it or not, America is a Christian
nation"No, it isn't. Step away for the Barton and pick up
a real history read."The Ten Commandments are engraved in stone
at the Supreme Court"Maybe. The "tablets "Moses" is
holding are blank and the engraving in the court doors are Roman Numerals that
some say represent the Bill of Rights. Oh, and Confucius and other "law"
makers are engraved up there with Moses. What does that tell you?
Just another secular, anti-religion policy from the Obama administration who
apparently wants to make America a Godless society. Having Bibles
available isn't forcing any particular religion on anyone. Nobody is being
forced to read them or convert. Anyone staying in those rooms can completely
ignore them if they so choose. However, taking them out makes it
more difficult for visitors to read them. Travelers don't always have the
luxury of packing bigger books in their luggage and often enjoy the option of
reading meaningful books before ending their day. And the Bible is as meaningful
as anything gets. Like it or not, America is a Christian nation
founded on Christian principles. The Ten Commandments are engraved in stone at
the Supreme Court and at other higher government institutions. Our money
proclaims "In God We Trust". It's sad that Obama is now
choosing to ignore that heritage and is instead choosing to jump to the tune of
the 2% atheists in our country while basically subverting the vast majority
In the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the freedom of religion