Penn State has removed Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms after a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) accused the Bibles of advocating the killings of nonbelievers.
“The bible [sic] calls for killing nonbelievers, apostates, gays, ‘stubborn sons,’ and women who are not virgins on their wedding nights,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement last week. “What is obnoxious in a private hotel, however, becomes inappropriate and unconstitutional in state-run lodgings.”
A spokesperson from the university has confirmed toCampus Reform that the Bibles have been removed from individual guest rooms following an inquiry from FFRF earlier in the summer.
“The decision to remove Bibles from individual guest rooms was made following questions from the Freedom From Religion Foundation,” Lisa Powers, director of strategic communications at Penn State told Campus Reform in an email. “It raised our awareness and we took the opportunity to review our hotel practices. We wish to be respectful of all religions, and also of those who have differing beliefs, yet we still want to make the publication available to those who desire to read it while staying with us.”
FFRF claims in their statement that Penn State officials confirmed to them that the Bibles have been removed from the two university-run inns, but Powers confirmed to Campus Reform that the Bibles can still be found by guests in public areas.
“The Gideon Bibles have not been removed from our hotels,” Powers said. “The Bibles have been removed from individual guest rooms. Bibles and other publications are now available in our libraries and other public access areas (our Nittany Lion Inn has two libraries).”
Powers said that the Bibles had been in the Nittany Lion Inn rooms for “decades” and had been in place in the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel for “probably a dozen years.”
She also confirmed that the individual hotel rooms have no other publications.
Penn State is not the first school that FFRF has gotten to remove Bibles from its hotel rooms. In February, Iowa State University removed the book from its hotel rooms following a complaint from the organization.
FFRF, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit, attacked Clemson University’s head football coach earlier this year, accusing him of showing a “preference for and endorsement of Christian religion.”