My business in Springfield.

Upon arriving at my hotel room at Skepticon 5 I found the following piece of paper upon my pillow.

To Our Guests

In ancient times there was a prayer for

“The Stranger within our gates”

Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not soley a money making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this suite and hotel be your “second” home.  May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams.  Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you our way prosper.  May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy.  When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers.  From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities.  May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, and helpful to those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.

How sweet.

Well hotel, if god sees fit to swing by to grant me peace on account of crashing in your hotel room, while relegating the starving children of the world to the back burner yet again, that god can fuck right off.  If he wants to bring me peace, god can show that the plight of the suffering weighs on his conscience a fraction of what it weighs on mine.  I have about as much interest in being doped up on god’s peace while others starve as I do in being doped up on god’s “love” while good people burn in hell.  God’s an ass either way.

As for the business that brings me your way, every call I make will be pleasant for me, profitable for society, and helpful to those I meet, because I’ll be helping their brains to think all the thoughts their faith tells them are the devil.  That’s my business, and I could not be happier to be here doing it.

The fifth anniversary of Skepticon is going to be a huge blast.  :)

PERSONAL: Sorry to disappoint you, Julian.
PERSONAL: The corrupting power of fame and my love for my commenters.
You guys are wonderful.
PERSONAL: Mid day lab pics from the wife.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Mikel

    Do ya think this is part of their normal operations? Or is this a special note for Skepticon attendees?

  • Jasper

    I take it they also have Bibles in the room. Make sure to hide it good!

    • Dave B.

      Recycling bins at the local airport always a good choice, right?

  • Brad1990

    I agree with literally everything you said… but at the end of the day, all they did was wish you a good night and a happy trip. I wish they’d leave the “God” crap out of it, it’s unnecessary, but it’s hardly anything to blow up about, is it?

    • Jasper

      Part of the long term plan is to make people uncomfortable with simply arrogantly assuming the message would be welcome. It’s things like this that lead to more severe actions.

      Sure it in itself isn’t worth “blowing up” over, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a part of the larger puzzle that should be addressed.

      • Brad1990

        I certainly agree with your point about the assumptions around religion. For example, people always assume that because I am White and English, I must therefore be C of E. Ummmm, nope. Even if I was religious, why do they assume I must be C of E? Sure it’s based on majority demographics, but still…

        That said I do try not to get annoyed about stuff like this. To someone who’s genuinely a believer, they’ve just done a nice thing. It’s like when a relative dies there’s always some nob saying they’ll pray for them… which is ineffective, useless mutterings at best. But to someone who genuinely believes in prayer, they’re trying to be nice. I feel this message is analogous. It’s a case of “I don’t believe your prayers will do shit, but I know you’re just trying to be nice, so Thanks”.

    • baal

      One of the way christianity supports it’s privileged place in society is by being everywhere in big ways and in little ones. Advertisers are well aware of the ‘cultural background’ effect and exploit it mercilessly. Fox News used to (they still might) tell their viewers to ask gyms, doctor waiting rooms and anywhere else with a TV to turn them on. This helped fox get more viewers merely be being on in a ton of places. Yeah, it was background noise but it worked to gain acceptance of their extreme views since the establishments (with their weight) allowed it to be on.

      For those types of reasons, I cross god off my money, ask gyms to turn off the fox news channel, leave post it notes in hotel bibbles (lot’s daughters, ezekial bread & animal ejaculations, iron chariots), ask hotels to not put god on notes in my room, complain about pre-gov meetings ceremonial prayers.

      Do I think this particular note is horribly egregious? No, It’d hardly register for more than a few minutes or ruin my night. Unless the hotel was a particularly good value, I’d likely choose to take my business to a different place (and tell the mgmt why). Again, it’s not any one thing so much as these little things are everywhere all the time.

  • Drakk

    This reminds me of the Cranston banner. Just take out the god bit and it’s a wonderful sentiment for the guest in question.

  • Nate Frein

    If anyone thinks this is nice, or well intentioned, then they’ve never been on the receiving end of a christian’s “I’ll pray for you”.

    It smacks of the same christian snark.

    • Brad1990

      Surely you can see the difference between someone genuinely wishing you a good night and praying for you because they genuinely believe that it will bring you prosperity, and some up-themself religionist who says “I’ll pray for you” when what they really mean is “I’ve run out of arguments but I know you’ll burn in Hell anyway so I’ll be nice now so that I can be smug later”? They’re two quite different situations.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone attending Skepticon and staying at that hotel should make paper airplanes out of that screed, find the nearest open window and set those paper planes a-flyin’. If some policeman attempts to cite you for littering, just tell the officer you were spreading god’s prayerful word. (Seems to me the probability of that excuse working in southwest MO should be relatively high.)

  • NakedAnthropologist

    One wonders if that flyer is SOP or is it a special order for Skepticon? I’d like to thinks its a well-intioned, if not terribly inclusive former but the realist in me is leaning towards the latter.

  • Mark

    Your response makes you sound much more bitter than you probably are.

    • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      If you think that’s bitter, imagine the shitstorm if it was a Muslim prayer left out for everyone. JT’s response would be identical to his response in this case, but I can guarantee you practically nobody else’s would be.