There is no longer room at one inn for the Gideon’s International class and integrity. The Gideon’s International are very intent on what service they provide – absolutely free – the Gideon’s have given away more than one billion Bibles.
UW-Extension has ended a decades-old practice and pulled Gideon Bibles from the 137 guest rooms at The Lowell Center, a campus conference facility it operates at 610 Langdon St.
The action followed a complaint from the Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.
In a Nov. 4 letter to UW-Extension, foundation attorney Patrick Elliot wrote, “permitting members of outside religious groups the privilege of placing their religious literature in public university guest rooms constitutes state endorsement and advancement of these Christian publications.” Ah…so what?
Let us just view the debate at hand shall we. Gideon’s International is an evangelical Christian organization founded 1899 in Jan Gideon’s International is an evangelical Christian organization founded 1899 in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Gideon’s’ primary activity is distributing copies of the Bible free of charge. This Bible distribution is a global enterprise taking place in over 196 countries and in over 93 languages, with the organization being particularly well known for the copies to be found in hotel and motel rooms. The organization takes its name from the Biblical figure Gideon, depicted in Judges 6.
The Gideon’s International has a strong international presence. Its members distribute Scriptures in many countries to people who cannot afford to purchase Scriptures on their own.
Gideon’s began distributing free Bibles, the endeavor for which they are chiefly known, in 1908, when the first Bibles were placed in the rooms of the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana. Members of The Gideon’s International distributed over 84.6 million Gideon Scriptures in 2012. More than 1.8 billion Bibles and New Testaments have been distributed since 1908. On average, more than two copies of the Bible are distributed per second through Gideon’s International. It is anticipated that the two billionth Scripture will be placed in 2015.
Ray Cross, chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension and the recently chosen UW System president, responded to the complaint in a brief letter to the foundation Nov. 25, saying that “after carefully reviewing your concern,” all Bibles would be removed by Dec. 1.
A UW-Extension spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that the Bibles have been removed. She released the following statement from Bill Mann, director of Extension conference centers: “We reviewed the concern raised about the placement of Bibles in our guest rooms and decided to remove them. We want to make sure all guests are comfortable in our lodging.”
Annie Laurie Gaylor, foundation co-president, said her organization of atheists and agnostics had sought the removal of the Bibles for quite some time. “Society has changed,” Annie Laurie Gaylor said. “There are more non-believers and more non-Christians to be offended.” (This is some data I would be interested in perusing.)
And so it is with hedonistic societies; we have become a society that worships the creation instead of the Creator. God have mercy on the US, but as we turn our back on Him, He will do the same to us.
Jeff Pack, a spokesman for The Gideon’s International, said he was not aware of the Madison case. The organization “follows whatever direction we are given from the local authorities we work with,” he said. “That’s the integrity we bring to this.” (For further reading please click here.)