Iowa State University to Boot Bibles from Hotel Rooms Following Atheist Complaint

Iowa State U Memorial Union Credit CBurnettAMES, Iowa — Officials at Iowa State University have decided to give the Bible the boot out of its Memorial Union hotel rooms following demands from a prominent atheist organization.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had sent a letter to the university last month, citing an anonymous complaint. The organization then asserted that the presence of the Bibles signified the promotion of Christianity by a government-0wned university.

“If a state-run university has a policy of providing a Christian religious text to guests, that policy facilitates illegal endorsement of Christianity over other religions and over nonreligion,” the letter, written by FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott, read. “Providing Bibles to Memorial Union guests sends the message that ISU endorses the religious texts. Including Bibles sends the message to non-Christian and non-religious guests that they should read the Bible…”

The organization then requested that the Bibles be removed.

Last week, Memorial Union Director Richard Reynolds responded to the correspondence via email, advising that the university would comply with FFRF’s request.

“The concern you raised about the availability of Bibles in the guest rooms of the Memorial Union has been taken under advisement and, effective March 1, 2014, the Bibles will be removed from the hotel rooms,” he wrote, noting that officials will move the Bibles to the university library.

Following receipt of the email, FFRF issued a news release stating that it had “scored another victory for secularism.”

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“We’re delighted to see reason and the Constitution prevailing,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We can all sleep easier knowing secularism is being honored at our public universities.”

“Many nonbelievers greatly object to its primitive and dangerous instructions to beat children, kill homosexuals, atheists and infidels,” she added, “and that it sanctions the subjugation of women, who are scapegoated for bringing sin and death into the world.”

As previously reported, FFRF likewise convinced the University of Wisconsin last month to remove Gideon Bibles from its Lowell Center guest rooms following a complaint. But some stated that the university should not have caved due to the offense of a single complainant.

“How thin-skinned have we become in our country that we can be offended because a Bible is placed in a drawer in a room? If you disagree with the Bible and find it to be a farce or fairy tale, then just ignore it,” Jeff Shergalis, assistant pastor at Madison Baptist Church, told Christian News Network.

“I have never been offended when in the lobby of a doctor’s office I see a copy of Mother Goose stories,” he continued. “It seems strange that people who claim to be so intellectually superior that they are above believing the Bible are so easily offended by it.”

“Many of our founding fathers read the Bible, quoted the Bible, and believed the Bible,” Shergalis added. “It seems very sad when a city that is named for a president who declared a ‘National Day of Prayer and Fasting’ is so quick to remove God and His word from its facilities.”

Photo: CBurnett


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  • dude

    Just wonder honestly if he did not believe then why make a fuss about it? He had an agenda because he does believe but refuses to accept it.
    But it common to be a cry baby about Christianity because we do not fight back. I will say if you like having freedom which most do just like causing problems it get’s attention. I would say maybe you went to a Church and doubted because they way people act? Call people to the alter for a quick prayer with the notion God will change your life if you do. Problem is they should have done more reading and less teaching because that is not what the bible says. Repent and believe! Lets break it down for you. The 10 Commandments tell the law of God. If you ever stole any thing – then you are a thief,Ever used Gods name in vane? that’s called Blaspheming its serious, ever looked at someone with lust? Then he see’s you as an adulterer, ever hated any one then he see’s you as a murderer in your heart. If you add these things up no matter if you did them once that’s you. A Good judge will find you guilty but someone died to pay the price for you Jesus. He has the power to change your life if you ask him and are sincere … keep asking praying and reading the bible. No, matter what anyone ever does I will worship him.

  • E.A. Blair

    If you are a really good, devout Christian, you should be carrying a copy of your holy book with you when you travel and shouldn’t be relying on a state-run institution to provide one for you. Or, you can stay in a privately owned hotel that does provide what you are neglecting to bring with you.

    Why do you expect the state to provide for you something that you should provide for yourself. You’re just another moocher and taker.

    • M. A. Saeger

      E.A.BLAIR:
      In you are really concerned with being a moocher and taker, perhaps you should advise all to bring their own soap, towels, toilet paper, etc, rather than relying on a state-run “institution”. The college doesn’t provide the Bibles, I’m rather sure.

      The Gideons International provide Bibles to all hotels, motels, and anyone who wants one (free) in the hopes it will help someone, and it has–do some research on the Gideons; quite interesting. The Gideons wouldn’t care if they took the Bible with them. Being a good (or bad) Christian doesn’t mean they always have their Bible with, for many have come to rely on the Gideons; also, not everyone traveling is a Chistian.

      On my travels, I have seen spiritual books of other faiths/religions in hotel rooms, including the Book of Mormon.

      Sorry to say, I wouldn’t expect anything but a negative post from a anti-Christian. God bless you.

      • Blonch Quizno

        People need soap, towels, toilet paper, etc., E. A. Blair. That’s what the accommodations are expected to provide.

        Nobody needs a bible.

    • James J. Grimes

      You’re full of hate, aren’t you?

  • Servant

    As usual, FFRF is WRONG. Unfortunately We The People must listen to “their” take on the Constitution, and not the Truth.

    May the Lord God Almighty forgive them for their intentional ignorance. Someday the FFRF will no longer have a say in who places a Bible in their establishment.

    Come Lord Jesus come!

    • BelieverInTruth

      May I ask what you mean by “‘their’ take on the Constitution, and not the Truth.”?

      I’m curious if there is something that has been overlooked in the context of the Constitution.

    • James

      “their take on the Constitution”?

      The Constitution of this nation is pretty clear on the facts of government not picking sides on religion. In fact the founding fathers, some of whom were religious and some of whom were not, were very precise about their wording of the constitution, and you will notice that it does not mention God, or a creator, or any religious texts. The only mention of religion in the constitution, as it was written originally is to state that the government of the United States may not pick sides.

      So, maybe you should read that amazing document that our government is based off of, instead of assuming that it supports your view when it doesn’t.

    • Blonch Quizno

      Servant, your kind has been intoning “Come Lord Jesus come” as the magical spell it is for hundreds and hundreds AND HUNDREDS of years. And still no Lord Jesus! What do you suppose the problem is? In the Gospels, Jesus told his contemporaries it would be in their lifetimes – big fat lie! Paul thought he would live to see it and, in fact, it would be within the next 5 minutes! Wrong again! There have been Christians in every generations (since Christians began to exist) who believed that “Lord Jesus” would return in their lifetimes. And they’ve ALL been wrong. Dead wrong.

      How much wrong do you have to see all around you before you realize it’s wrong? Magic doesn’t work. No matter how much you wish it would.

      • http://Christiannews.net Joanne Wolf

        Blonch, Sorry I could not find your reply to me, but I found this one and if you will re-read about the coming of the Lord…they “hoped” it would be in their time (every generation since has hoped that and every prophecy has happened each time with earthquakes, etc.) but the Lord specifically said “it will not be in your time,” to the diciples, for I go to prepare a place for you in My Father’s House, “but I will send you a “Helper”…i.e., the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit,” in my place until that time comes and NO ONE, NOT EVEN I or the ANGELS in Heaven know…only the Father knows (God)…”and not until EVERY NATION”hears the Word of God…Then I will come back. I can give you the scriptures if you like, but why would I…I have no reason to lie. I’m not trying to save your soul; that is up to you and the Lord. I am merely re-stating Scripture that I believe. I’ve been angry and lonely and all the things I hear in your and other’s arguments UNTIL I found HIM and He came to me because I cried out for help. I could go no further down and I had children to raise. He loves me that much that He saved me after we crucified Him on a Tree and willingly gave His Life for all of us…He came to teach Love and no more and they feared Him because of it. Go figure, aye? I’ll keep on praying for softened hearts for you and my daughter who, by the way, along with her dad, was an athiest. I’m out of room, but not His Love and I love you all no matter what, because of His Love for me.

  • Terri Kisamore

    Here is the bottom line. These Bibles were donated free of charge to be placed in a drawer in a hotel room. They are there if anyone wants to look at one. Most people don’t even open the drawers in a hotel because they live out of their luggage. People give their hard-earned money to help buy these Bibles so they can be donated and placed by volunteers. They are gifts from the heart. Any of you who would like to donate your own money and personal time to do the same with the Qur’an, Buddhist literature, or even the Satanic Bible, feel free. Of course, I’d be a little weirded out about a Satanic Bible since demonic activity might be a side effect (what else would you expect?) but I doubt that altruistic generosity is practiced by the others as much as it is by Christianity. As for the atheist that complained, what good word of hope would she like to offer instead for the next person to occupy the room she stayed in. Maybe she would like to leave a nice note in the drawer to explain how she spared them from words like “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul …”

  • Blonch Quizno

    Terri Kisamore, you REALLY believe in “demonic activity”? You REALLY believe in “demons”? REALLY????? Do you check for them under your bed each night?

    Oh, and remember that Jesus told you to avoid using vain repetitions when you pray (Matthew 6:7). You’re welcome.

    • Terri Kisamore

      If Jesus can toss a demon named Legion out of a man (he and the disciples dealt with them more than once), I’d say believe in them. Besides, they are the fallen angels that rebelled against God with Lucifer. Didn’t get the comment about vain repetitions 😮

    • Cory Gage

      Blonch, do you really think you are going to appeal to anyone by attacking them? I understand it is frustrating to keep slamming into the responses that stem from faith. Faith is emotional, and I get feeling the need to respond on an emotional level, but it will do nothing but alienate each side even more. They say “don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin.” I say, “If you must confront them, don’t attack the faithful, attack the faith.”

  • http://Yahoo Teresa Clanton

    Simple solution! When a person calls to make reservations they can make a request to have the Bible removed during their stay, remove it and when they leave put it back! You do not have to ask them… only remove if they bring it up! I believe the ‘majority’ of people have no problem with the Bible being in their room and they should ‘oblige’ the ‘majority’! If I were this/these Motel/Hotel’s you will be surprised how many people will make it a point to stay in the Motels/Hotels with Bibles! You are losing Americans every time they read this! If you do not honor those that ‘DO’ like the bible being in the room or those that it is not an issue there are already sites with people that are going to boycott this attack on the Bible and your decision to remove them!

    • Cory Gage

      How about not having them in the room being the default position, and having bibles, along with any other religious materials that is donated, available on request? Honestly, I would completely go for that one.