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Bibles booted from U.S. Navy base guest rooms

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  • B_Rich West Valley, UT
    Aug. 12, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    In the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the freedom of religion

  • Objectified Richfield, UT
    Aug. 12, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    Just another secular, anti-religion policy from the Obama administration who apparently wants to make America a Godless society.

    Having Bibles available isn't forcing any particular religion on anyone. Nobody is being forced to read them or convert. Anyone staying in those rooms can completely ignore them if they so choose.

    However, taking them out makes it more difficult for visitors to read them. Travelers don't always have the luxury of packing bigger books in their luggage and often enjoy the option of reading meaningful books before ending their day. And the Bible is as meaningful as anything gets.

    Like it or not, America is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The Ten Commandments are engraved in stone at the Supreme Court and at other higher government institutions. Our money proclaims "In God We Trust".

    It's sad that Obama is now choosing to ignore that heritage and is instead choosing to jump to the tune of the 2% atheists in our country while basically subverting the vast majority Christians.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 12, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    I've been staying in Army and air Force lodging quite regularly since 1973 and have never seen ANY bible in any of my rooms. Every commercial hotel or motel I've stayed at always had them (usually the Gideon's bible). I guess the Navy has been slow to catch up.

    @B_Rich

    "In the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the freedom of religion"

    How so? How does having the Navy Exchange NOT put bibles in their lodging facilities deny ANYONE "freedom of religion?"

    @Objectified

    "Having Bibles available isn't forcing any particular religion on anyone. "

    Having the Navy Exchange, a US Government agency, pay for them shows favoritism to one religion over others. Unconstitutional.

    "Like it or not, America is a Christian nation"

    No, it isn't. Step away for the Barton and pick up a real history read.

    "The Ten Commandments are engraved in stone at the Supreme Court"

    Maybe. The "tablets "Moses" is holding are blank and the engraving in the court doors are Roman Numerals that some say represent the Bill of Rights. Oh, and Confucius and other "law" makers are engraved up there with Moses. What does that tell you?

  • the greater truth Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 12, 2014 6:03 p.m.

    Note the constitution does NOT say anything about promoting religion. The founding fathers congresses published religious materials, built edifices with religious symbols and writing, among other religious based things their congresses did.

    The constitution Only says that congress can not make laws respecting an establishment religion. In other words they can not create a law favoring a church or religious organization.

    Clearly the founding fathers would have no problem placing bibles in rooms.

    The intent was to limit government interference in churches and religious worship.

    Another attempt by the extreme left to intentionally misinterpret the constitution to limit and control religious freedom.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Aug. 12, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    Rather than leaving copies of ALL the world's major scripture, the Navy chooses to leave none. This is a sensible practice since anyone who wants can bring a Bible of their own in any format. There's no problem here, and certainly no "scheme to make America a godless society."

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    Objectified: "Travelers don't always have the luxury of packing bigger books in their luggage and often enjoy the option of reading meaningful books before ending their day."

    There are many meaningful books. Should taxpayers be compelled to buy all of them for the benefit of travelers? What of the travelers who find the Bible to be apostasy? Stocking one religious book bought with taxpayer money to the exclusion of all others shows state favoritism to and promotion of a particular religion (sounds a bit like an establishment). Most of the holy books I have seen of many different faiths are available in compact editions that fit in even the most overstuffed luggage (not to mention e-books). Better to let the traveler tend to his or her own spiritual needs (God helps those who help themselves, I've been told). No need for a government handout.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Aug. 12, 2014 6:49 p.m.

    It will be their own undoing.

    If you suppress the influence of Christianity, the moral restraint that comes with that influence will decay. This is evident throughout the world today. It may not be recognized by those hostile to religion. But how people arbitrarily 'define' truth and what is true are not the same.

    Without the teachings of the LDS Church, I'd be far worse off. I've seen that in several turning points in my life. Without the ongoing hope of the atonement, millions of people would be lost. Like it or not, agree with it or not- those of us who have experienced it know it is true.

    So many people are running away from God, resisting someone they know nothing about. It's remarkable to watch self-proclaimed scientists and intellectuals fear the unknown so much that they'll invent their own version of it.

    Making up your own morality won't make you right, and it will certainly not make you happy. Just as removing the bible won't remove God. Why resist someone in your life who wants you to be happy? It's illogical.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 12, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    Hey B. Rich -

    "In the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the freedom of religion"

    Baloney

    "Bibles booted from U.S. Navy base guest rooms"

    So what's the problem?

    If a guest wants to read the Bible, then he can bring his own Bible.

    . . . Or Koran, or whatever.

    Bring you own reading material. Is that to much to ask?

    Do you actually expect the Federal Government to provide your Holy Books for you?

    That's an extremely perverse form of Socialism, don't you think?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 12, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    We would be just as angry if there was a Quran or a Torah or Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion,’” in the bedside tables of these Navy lodges, said Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

    No, you would not.

    Your next target is the position of chaplain.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Aug. 12, 2014 7:24 p.m.

    @i know it
    We see the "moral influance" on people that post on these threads daily that claim a moral high ground based on their Christian beliefs. We see their blatant lie, their constant contradictions and blatant hatered. Religion like any other school of thought, yes that is all it is, can be a positve Influance but it can also be a crutch for moral decay.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Aug. 13, 2014 5:37 a.m.

    Once again individuals are mistaking privilege for freedom. Many thanks for the continued good work of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

    BTW, if removing a religious book from a government-owned facility is sufficient to prevent an individual from practicing his/her religion, then I think the problem lies with the individual.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    Just wait, Chaplains will be the next target. People who are unhappy in life and need to try to make other people unhappy instead of working on themselves. Pretty much sums up the type of person who actually wastes time fighting something that has harmed no one execept the "haters" (Obamas words) of religion.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    @ my_two_cents_worth and of course GaryO (again):

    The government is buying these Bibles. Read the article again. Perhaps a little more slowly this time. Just like in motel rooms, the Gidions, a private group, is providing them.

    So much for that bogus part of your resentment and false reasons for not allowing Bibles wherve they've been for decades without any problems or complaints... until this single solitary letter of a relatively small group.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    How does the presence or absence of the scriptures for one religion in a guest room affect any of us? Why should it matter to me (a Jew) if my scriptures (the Torah and Talmud) aren't present when I stay at a government facility, and why should I want to find your scriptures, or anyone else's, when I check into a room? One doesn't even need to pack books when traveling any more, since laptop computers, tablets, e-readers and even our cell phones can have those same scriptures readily available to us. I also have to ask if the people up in arms over this would be as upset if it were the Koran and not their own bible that was the subject here? If not, I submit that the furor is over the failure to favor Christianity over other beliefs, and it's an inappropriate demand. If so, then why aren't the demanding that all religious writings be present in those rooms so that everyone can find his or her preferences waiting and ready?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 13, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    This poorly written article is confusing. The first paragraph says the Navy “no longer allows Bibles and other religious materials in the guest rooms.” But the third paragraph says that it “forbids religious items to be PLACED in guest rooms.”

    That is a fundamental difference. So which is it?

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    My previous statement was intended to say that the government is NOT buying these Bibles.

    From Forbes magazine, this applicable quote:
    "Historian Larry Schweikart notes, 'The founding documents of every one of the original thirteen colonies reveal them to be awash in the concepts of Christianity and God.' Youth learned to read using Scripture. Universities were chartered to teach doctrine. Students could not even enter Harvard, Yale or Princeton without assenting to the Westminster Confession."

    Followed by this particular quote:
    "Christianity has always been indelible to our social fabric."

    To try to reduce or ignore the integral connection that our Founders had with their Christian beliefs and how it was intertwined in their writings and doings is looking truth in the eye and denying it. Yet that is exactly what secularists (and some comments here) today try to
    do. They conveniently cherry pick certain irrelevant quotes in an attempt to make their point.
    But God is clearly referenced 4 different times in the Declaration of Independence.

    John Locke wrote "legislation must be “without contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.”

    The religious connection is basically indisputable.

  • John T Scranton, PA
    Aug. 13, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    It's true that the Bibles are being provided, free of charge, by the Gideons. It's also true that the Navy Lodges and other motel facilities are located on government property. However, I fail to see how the mere presence of Bibles in any way violates the so-called "separation of church and state" - a phrase which, by the way, is not in the constitution. The "Establishment Clause," as it is called, merely prohibits the government from funding and establishing any official state religion, such as the Church of England once was. It does NOT prohibit the free expression of religion or religious views when one is on government property. It is an egregious form of eisegesis, (reading into this amendment, ones own views and opinions which simply are not there) which is behind these ill-fated attempts at banning the Bible, and Christianity in particular. I do have one question for the people of FFR: Why is it that you say nothing about the fact that government funds are being used to build Muslim prayer rooms on the campuses of taxpayer-funded universities, airports (which receive huge government subsidies), and yes, even some military bases?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    Craig Clark, Good point.

    As Brio mentioned above, the Bibles are not funded by the government, but by private concerns. Plus I wondered what would happen if I were to leave a Bible or Book of Mormon in the desk drawer when I stayed at a federal facility. Would the thought police track down who was in the room and arrest me? Would they take the scriptures and throw them in the garbage? The latter would be a hoot, as it is illegal for the U.S. military to desecrate a Koran, but how about Christian scriptures? This whole issue has been made into a problem where one didn't exist. Typical of people who have too much time on their hands.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Aug. 13, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    The Navy has made the correct decision. All hail secularism! Only through secularism can ALL Americans be free!

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    Atheists rightly condemn the intolerant practices of the Medieval Church but wrongly seem to apply intolerance to all religions; then many of their number go on to oppose all religions. Intolerance thrives when there is a State Church or, in other words, an "establishment of religion". Thankfully Congress has made no law respecting such an estabishment by which one specific church would be fostered and others perhaps persecuted.

    Atheists in attacking even the monopolistic, state estabished, Catholic Church (remember it was established by a Roman Emperor) are simply proverbial pots calling the kettle black. Speaking generally, atheists have very often shown themselves the most intolerant of all "religions" unwilling to co-exist peacefully with those of other opinions.

    An overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God and of them most profess belief in Jesus Christ. Imo most atheists also believe in God though the idea of a powerful moral god irks them; any religion that bursts their very delicate bubble seem to be targeted by them.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    The bible is available online. If you can't pack one, that should be more than sufficient for any religious person's needs.

  • Tators Logan, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    @ intervention:

    That same government provided freedom that allows you to judge and condemn others for expressing their religious beliefs also inherently allows all citizens the same right to express and practice their religious beliefs in public. All property is either privately or publicly owned. In this case, Navy guest rooms are public property.

    Calling Christian beliefs "blatant lies" caused you to lose most of your credibility with a great many readers, myself included.

    Having these Bibles available hurts absolutely no one. Not whatsoever.

    Why do secularists constantly confuse freedom of religion and freedom from religion? Our government guarantees the first, but not the second. Having these books available is clearly and simply freedom of religion.

    @ Lagomorph:

    In dispute of the crux of your comment, these Bibles are not costing the government nor the public a single cent. These Bibles are all donated.

    Also, the article doesn't mention one other religion that has asked to put their books in the rooms. Therefore, none are being excluded. That negates the rest of your objection and that of other secular-based commenters here.

    As Objectified pointed out... no one is being forced to read anything.

  • Tators Logan, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    @ Bob A. Bohey:

    Your comment in paying homage to secularism (hailing it) is one of the most naive comments I've read in awhile.

    You also wrote that "Only through secularism can ALL Americans be free!"
    Exactly how does denying the vast majority of Christian Americans their right to publicly express their religious beliefs and practice their religion make them free?
    Answer: It doesn't. In fact, that would very much restrict and curtail their Constitutionally based freedoms.

    Like most other atheists and/or secularists, you are marching down the perverse path of putting your godless beliefs ahead of others who belief in God and cherish their freedom to practice their religious beliefs.

    Having privately provided Bibles available in guess rooms does not force religion on anyone, nor force anyone to read or even touch the books. Guests are free to totally ignore them if they so choose.

    And you are free to ironically deny the God who made you. But you and others are not free to force your secularist beliefs and practices on all the rest of us who do believe in Him and His Word while not forcing anything on anyone else.

  • riverofsun St.George, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    No, come on, really, tell the truth, don't get all haughty here.
    When traveling for business, vacationing, military, or for whatever reason, WHO actually picks up and reads a Bible in a rented room?
    Now, everyone, forget your politics, and tell the truth.

  • grip Meridian, ID
    Aug. 13, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    Why do I feel less safe?

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    @ riverofsun:

    In honest answer to your question, at the end of the day, and whenever staying in a motel room, I regularly look for the customary Gideon provided Bible and read a few chapters from the New Testament before turning out the lights. It helps me to sleep better to have some morally positive thoughts on my mind.

    Also, I've noticed that many of those Bibles often show visual signs of being used quite a few times before. That's not always the case, but it is quite often.

    Just because you apparently have very little use or liking for the Bible, please don't assume all Americans feel the same as you. I can categorically confirm that there are still many of us, just like our forefathers, who enjoy reading the Scriptures regularly and benefit therefrom.

    BTW: When given a choice, there still seems to be quite a few people who prefer reading paper-bound books to electronic books for whatever reasons they might have. I've noticed that when I happen to have a copy of a book in both formats, I usually grab for the paper edition, but don't really know why.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    The reason behind the Gideons placing bibles is a truly wonderful story, and should not be relegated to history. If you don't want to read the bible, don't open the nightstand table.

    Atheists are like the child throwing a fit when a parent refuses to buy them what they want in a store. The athiest wants what he will never get in this life from God - undeniable physical proof of God's existence - and so the atheist throws a temper tantrum by denying God exists and trying to force others to agree...

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    @Objectified
    "Having Bibles available isn't forcing any particular religion on anyone. Nobody is being forced to read them or convert. Anyone staying in those rooms can completely ignore them if they so choose. "

    Having ONLY Bibles provided in gov't sponsored guest rooms is an implicit endorsement of a particular religion. Guests are not prohibited from bringing whatever religious reading they want with them.

  • Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    @B_Rich

    "In the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the freedom of religion"

    That could be the winner of this year's "Double Speak" competition.

    It tugs at the emotions and makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 13, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    To all the letter writers who lament the "loss of religious freedom", decay of society, etc: How many of you have a problem with the absence of scriptures of other religions? Do you not worry about a Baha'i traveler who is unable to squeeze a copy of Kitáb-i-Aqdas in his suitcase? (And, up until 5 seconds ago, did you even know that Kitáb-i-Aqdas was the Baha'i holy book?)

    What do you think a member of the Gideon Society would do if he found a Book of Mormon that had been left in a hotel night table?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 13, 2014 1:21 p.m.

    @Gary O:
    ""In the name of religious freedom, we are eliminating the freedom of religion"

    "Baloney"

    You have a 200 word minimum. You can go into more detail on the "Baloney".

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 13, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    @intervention:
    "We see the "moral influance" on people that post on these threads daily . . . We see their blatant lie, their constant contradictions and blatant hatered. "

    I don't see the constant contradictions and blatent hatred. Can you provide some examples for the benefit of the rest of us?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 13, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    @lost in DC

    "Your next target is the position of chaplain."

    That's ridiculous. Chaplains perform considerably more non-religious duties and functions than religious specific tasks. There are the occasional zealots who forget their oath of office and have to move on but most provide good services to ALL service members and their families. They are not going away anytime soon.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 13, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    @Brio:
    "John Locke wrote "legislation must be “without contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.”"

    And Martin Luther King wrote in a "Letter from Birmingham Jail" that an unjust law is a law which is in conflict with God's laws.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 13, 2014 1:41 p.m.

    @Brio

    "Read the article again."

    I did and you are correct. The article quoted NEXCOM and my brain translated that to NAVEX (Navy Exchange) and I jumped to the wrong conclusion. Thank you for pointing that out.

    "So much for that bogus part of your resentment "

    No resentment on my part--just puzzled why NOT having the bibles in the lodges is seen as an attack on Christians practicing their faith.

    "of a relatively small group"

    Hey, they represent me; that makes them pretty important.

    "The religious connection is basically indisputable."

    But the question remains: how does the Navy NOT favoring Christianity over other religions by removing the bibles from their lodging facilities prevent anyone from practicing their religion?

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    @ Schnee:

    What you are still missing and/or apparently confused about in this matter is that the government itself is not providing any religious materials in these rooms. They are simply allowing a private group to provide them... if and as they so choose to do so.
    Also, they haven't precluded any other religious groups from also providing their literature. They therefore have not "restricted these rooms to ONLY Bibles"
    "Implicit" doesn't count in this matter.

    @ Ralph:

    Freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion are two entirely different things and really not that difficult to understand. Read that sentence again... more slowly this time if necessary. Then ponder it.
    Such a statement wouldn't even be allowed to enter your "Double-Speak competition", yet alone win it.

    @ Laura Bilington:

    No Baha'i travelers haven't (until now) been excluded from putting copies of their Kitáb-i-Aqdas scriptures in those rooms, but chosen not to do so. Your argument has no merit.

    Also, many Marriott Hotels have been providing both Book of Mormons and Gideon Bibles in their rooms. I've personally seen them multiple times and haven't heard of anyone complaining. Again... not an issue.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 13, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    @Craig Clark

    "This poorly written article is confusing."

    Indeed. I just read the memo issued by NAVCOM (you can get it at the Freedom From Religion Web Site) and it paints a very different picture than this article does. The memo does not specifically state that the bibles are prohibited but does take the authority to accept them away from the lodge general managers and refers those wishing to donate to the installation chaplain who, as the commanding officer's representative, can determine whether the materials can be accepted and how they get distributed.

    @happy2bhere

    "I wondered what would happen if I were to leave a Bible or Book of Mormon in the desk drawer when I stayed at a federal facility. "

    According to the Navy's memo it would treated per the lodges lost and found property procedures.

    @RedWings

    "Atheists are like the child throwing a fit when a parent refuses to buy them what they want in a store. "

    Got irony?

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    Schnee:

    There are only bibles because the Gideons are the only ones to ask. If otehr groups were to ask and be denied the request to put their texts in the rooms, then there is discrimination. As it is now, there is no expressed or implied endorsement.

    @ Laura B:

    I would not be opposed to a whole bookshelf of religious texts in my hotel room. I read from the Dhammapada, Bhagavad Gita, Quran, etc. I find it interesting to read from other religious texts, and often fimd many similarities to the Bible and B of M. Plus, it would be a lot better use of my time than watching what is on TV. :)

  • Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    Oh thanks Brio, now I get it.

    Your ability to practice your religion is threatened if there aren't Christian Bibles in tax-payer supported establishments.

    Thank you, I tip my colander to you, good sir.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 13, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    "Also, they haven't precluded any other religious groups from also providing their literature."

    Now THAT is a bet that I would take. Certainly the LDS church would love to have a BOM in all Navy guest rooms. And I am quite sure it would be provided free of charge. Wouldn't surprise me if they asked.

    Regardless, I am quite certain your statement is false.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    @Brio
    "What you are still missing and/or apparently confused about in this matter is that the government itself is not providing any religious materials in these rooms."

    I'm not missing or confused about that. My position is that operating those rooms under those conditions is problematic regardless of the source of the religious materials.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    @tators
    "Calling Christian beliefs "blatant lies" caused you to lose most of your credibility with a great many readers, myself included."
    I did not say that christian beliefs were blatant lies said that some f those that claim these beliefs the loudest also engage in regular blatant lies and of course willful distortions (also known as lies) such as yours, but thanks for proving my point.

    @Tekakaromatagi
    See above

  • intervention slc, UT
    Aug. 13, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    @Gildas
    "Imo most atheists also believe in God though the idea of a powerful moral god irks them; any religion that bursts their very delicate bubble seem to be targeted by them."

    That certainly would be only your opiniion and not fact.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    Aug. 13, 2014 7:37 p.m.

    The military services have chaplains, religious ministers of the many denominations represented among the service members, in direct proportion to their percentage in the armed forces. They are present all over the bases, and on ships, and mingle with people off duty to make their services available as counselors to help[ people with their religious and moral concerns.

    Military service causes many people to reflect on their religious beliefs, because their work involves the risk of death and the taking of human life. The great questions which religions address are every day concerns for warriors. The Gideon Bibles are provided at no cost to the government, but provide a service to service members and their families, the majority of whom, are Christians. If another religious faith wants to fund a similar donation, why not? A soldier who can maintain his integrity in the face of enemy guns and bombs is not going to be intimidated by a closed book sitting quietly in a closed drawer. No one is forcing the occupant of the room to read the book.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Aug. 14, 2014 4:42 a.m.

    @Tators: I have defended and will defend to death if necessary, the right of individuals to freely practice their chosen religion in this country. As long as it is under their own vine and tree as the founding fathers of this great nation so wisely intended. Your attitude so perfectly embodies the religious tyranny that the initial european settlers were fleeing when they settled in North America. You are just blind to it.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Aug. 14, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    @ coltakashi

    IMO, some believers place their religion before the very Constitution that protects their right to practice their religion. And in their zeal to convert everyone to their way of thinking, they create the situations that organizations like the FFRF challenge. This is yet another example. If the Gideon Foundation doesn't know that the government must show no religious favoritism, they should. And if they respected this injunction, which protects everyone from government interference, they wouldn't approach ANY governmental entity with their "donations." A government official who respects the law knows that accepting such a "gift" immediately presents the problem of the appearance of favoritism.

    I place "donations" and "gift" in quotations for a reason. These Bibles are neither to those who are not Christian. And what I don't hear is Christians respecting this. What I hear is, "Well, most of us are Christian anyway, so what's the harm?"

    Two people separately reported this to the FFRF. Both were military members. According to the FFRF web site, 24% of their 20,000 members are active military. It seems military service does indeed make some reflect on religious belief.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 14, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    Recently on Facebook there was an image going around of a breast cancer survivor who had tattooed her chest after having a mascectomy the only thing covering her chest was the tattoos. There is a religion that believes that tattoos and body piercings are ways to worship God.

    If a collection of photos representing these ideas were left in hotel rooms, military base or otherwise, how many if those who support Bibles in hotel rooms would support these as religious works? How many would scream that the semi-nude images were pornography and should not be where children may see them?

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Aug. 14, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    The following note should be posted in each room:

    For the convenience of our guests, the front desk has a small collection of donated reading material including religious texts, novels and other literature. If you are interested please stop by or call the front desk to check on availability. We ask that you return any literature you borrow to the front desk when you check out. Enjoy your stay.

    If the military let it be known it was instituting such a policy, no doubt folks would be more than happy to donate paperbacks, religious texts and other reading material for our military.

    Problem solved, no charge.

    Like most things, if we stop the bickering and put our heads together, a reasonable solutions is right around the corner.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 15, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    There is nothing wrong with the Gideon's putting Bibles in the rooms. No one is being forced to read them and if they never open the drawer and pull it out, how is it going to affect them? They have freedom to read or not read it. The room isn't going to melt if a Bible isn't there. I don't see this as any type of establishment of religion. The Bible is a book, not a religion. You can read it or not.

  • Martin Blank Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    A hypothetical: Let's think about another First Amendment claim. Say Larry Flynt decides that he wants to supply, free of charge, a streaming pornography service to every room in the Navy Lodges. Would those arguing for the First Amendment freedom of religion also argue for the First Amendment freedom of speech? I mean, if you're a religious person, you're not going to be using said service, right? Why not have it available for those who would?

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    Let the bashing of our President begin by those which possess superior intellectual prowess in 3-2-1...Please. Have any of you ever lived outside the Planet Utah bubble? (This is a rhetorical question) You realize we have what is called separation of church and state regardless of our President. Stop looking for problems and start becoming part of the solution!

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    Could not imagine what many posts and comments would be stating by the regular intellectuals here on this forum if in fact it was not a Bible that was put in these rooms but a Koran instead! Let's hear the spin neo-cons.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    Actually James Madison, the man who actually wrote the 1st Amendment, felt that army chaplains were a violation of said amendment.

  • skrekk Dane, WI
    Aug. 17, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    BYOB......Bring Your Own Bible. For government facilities to carry bibles is indeed an implicit endorsement not just of religion but of a very specific family of religions, and is thus blatantly unconstitutional.

    Kudos to the DoD for ending this silly and improper practice.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    So a group with an anti-religious agenda wins an action in court and gets Bibles banned from government accomodations.

    And a DesNews commentor immediately blames Barak Obama. Why am I not surprised?