Students at Aberystwyth University (in Wales) may no longer find free Bibles in their rooms. And while the Bibles would be available for those who want them, some Christians are amazed — and disgusted — that people aren’t keen on giving their holy book to all students, whether they want it or not.
Huffington Post UK‘s Lucy Sherriff writes:
A proposal to have the bibles withdrawn will be put forward at the university’s student union council later this month, following the results of a survey conducted by the SU.
Only 4% of students said the inclusion of bibles was a “good idea”. Student John David Morgan first highlighted the issue last month, where he said the Bible’s were “inappropriate in a multicultural university”.
Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about a ban; we’re not talking about making the Bibles unavailable to those who want them; we’re taking about dropping the assumption that all students necessarily want a Bible in their room. It seems like a sensible, fair approach… but, predictably, there are believers who are crying foul.
Sherriff quotes a Christian student at the university who describes the suggestion as “disgusting,” but the most telling response comes from The Christian Institute:
A spokesman for The Christian Institute said: “It is hard to imagine how a person could actually be offended by a Bible simply being in their room.“The Gideons have been supplying Bibles free of charge for over a century now, providing support and encouragement for Christians and non-Christians alike.
“Banning the Bible because some people might be uncomfortable with it would be a huge overreaction.
“Students who feel uncomfortable having a Bible in their room could instead see this as an opportunity to try and engage with it.
“Local evangelical churches and the Christian Union will be only too happy to help them.”
I have a sneaking suspicion that this spokesperson might be a little more understanding of students who weren’t thrilled by a policy of, say, Koran distribution. But the attitude that you should either want a Bible, or talk to a Christian preacher or leader until you do, illustrates the reason that this is even an issue: because some believers simply aren’t content to worship freely, to have a strong support structure, and ready access to religion (and the Bible) when they want it. They want to make sure that everyone else has that religion thrust upon them, whether they are interested or not.
But with only 4% of the student body in favor of passing the Bibles out to everyone, it would seem that, at least at Aberystwyth University, that thinking is in a slim minority.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to David for the link)