The Lakeland Mirror

Leah: Should Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms be removed?

Leah Ulatowski, Editor-in-Chief

While some individuals view Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms as an intrusion, they have given new hope to a number of people, and in my opinion, these books are a gentle invitation to Christianity in a world that is full of people forcing their views on us in the name of “tolerance.”

These Bibles are not funded by the hotel but rather distributed by The Gideons International, which is an organization founded by Wisconsinites John H. Nicholson and Samuel E. Hill.

They did not decide to provide Bibles in hotels to ruin the vacations of presumptuous guests; rather, as traveling men, they wanted to supply a resource for the diverse people that often end up staying at hotels, including overworked businessmen, the homeless, drug addicts, runaways, elusive felons, individuals in the sex industry and many more.

On The Gideons International website, the testimonies section is brimming with stories. One of the most recent is about a man who was plotting to shoot a police officer before stumbling across a Gideon Bible, reading it and dropping all his plans to pray on the floor of his hotel room. There are videos on YouTube of people sharing their experiences. I once read the late “Grease” actor Jeff Conaway sobered up in the 1980s in part because he felt convicted after snorting cocaine off a Bible in a hotel room. He eventually relapsed in the 2000s, but if the Bible story is true, the experience may have prolonged his life.

Why is only Christianity offensive? If other groups eventually take the same initiative to spread their literature, I would not have much to say. In fact, no one batted an eye when a hotel owner in Britain replaced the Gideon Bibles with the somehow less offensive “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

We are all exposed to messages that do not align with our beliefs. Family shows that I watch feature LGBT themes, including “The Legend of Korra,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Good Luck Charlie.” I recently tried doing research on “Captain America,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” to find magazine critics who perceive and attempt to convince others of homosexual undertones in the films.

Furthermore, Planet Fitness has been in the news for dismissing the complaints of a woman who was uncomfortable with a transgender person using the women’s locker room because the individual has a male physique. The company has been largely applauded.

If someone complains about the LGBT message, he or she is told to shut off the television screen or find a new gym. The complainer is chastised that positive attitudes toward the LGBT community could save lives.

I can give up on the franchise if Captain America and the Winter Soldier are ever presented gay to appease some progressives and will exercise at home if I have no desire to see certain parts of a man unless I’m married to him. So, why can’t some people be inconvenienced to sleep in the same room as a neatly tucked away Bible that has already saved a number of lives?

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1 Comment

One Response to “Leah: Should Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms be removed?”

  1. Stacy Harp on March 20th, 2015 9:15 am

    Excellent and thoughtful article. My husband and I have been members of The Gideons for almost 15 years and seen multiple lives changed. We have also had the blessing of placing bibles in hotels and domestic violence shelters, teen pregnancy homes and more. Blessings!

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Leah: Should Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms be removed?