Well, for the 130 Scandic hotels in ten European countries, they’re gone! Why? Because a humanist complained about it. As a resolution, the hotel chain now has a collection of religious/spiritual texts at the front desk. You can pick up any you’d like. It actually gives you more options than before without forcing any one of them upon you.
For most people, this is a good decision…
But, according to someone whose blog exists entirely to make this one post:
Mr. Olle Nordahl, Swedish head of the Gideonites, the organization who places free Bibles in hotel rooms all over the world, is devastated.
[my translation:] – We distribute Bibles because we know people are helped by it. People find comfort and support by reading the Bible.
Scandic claims that instead of a Bible in every room they will now have a set of Christian, Jewish and Muslim books available for their customers at the reception. But Mr. Nordahl feels this is not the same: – It’s the spontaneous reading of the Bible in one’s darkest hour that helps the most. The Bible should be available at your room, not in the reception. Who’d walk down to the reception and wait in line to read the Bible, Mr. Nordahl asks.
Austin Cline has a great response to this:
Oh, dear, people might not read the Bible if they have to make any sort of effort to obtain one! How awful!
In fact, I think that these two Christians are correct: most people won’t bother if they have to make an effort. This serves to demonstrate how just how little importance they attach to the Bible; indeed, if they truly cared, they’d probably have their own Bible with their own preferred translation with them.
Very true. Christians want people to come to Christ on their own; they say it can’t be forced. And yet, in this case, where some effort might need to be exerted (at the very least, someone could call ahead of time and request the Bible be put in their room), that’s too much to ask of anyone.
If you have a problem in the middle of the night in a hotel room, call a friend. Look at a picture of your family. Call a doctor. I don’t see how a Bible’s going to help you much if you’re not already a Christian, but if you disagree, walk the few steps to the receptionist and ask for one.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Scandic hotels, humanist, Olle Nordahl, Gideonites, Bible, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Austin Cline[/tags]