Hotels should offer ‘Bible-free’ bedrooms, a US atheist group has said, commenting that it would rather see Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ in the rooms.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote to numerous companies with its request, which it likened to hotels providing smoke-free rooms.
FFRF claimed that many guests are “deeply offended” by the Bibles, which they said were ‘proselytising’ people in “the privacy of their own bedrooms”.
It highlighted actions taken by the UK’s Travelodge chain in 2014 when it removed Bibles from rooms, despite having not received any complaints from guests.
The hotel company said the move was made “in order not to discriminate against any religion”.
The FFRF is based in Wisconsin and is made up atheists and agnostics. In an article, which specifically highlighted Gideon Bibles, the FFRF said it would prefer to see Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ to “the invasive Gideons”.
The practice of placing Bibles in hotel rooms dates back over 120 years, originating with the work of the Commercial Travellers’ Christian Association.
More recently, the work of distributing Bibles in hotels has been taken up by The Gideons International, which provides the service to over 190 countries worldwide.