This shouldn’t be complicated. Public universities shouldn’t be in the business of promoting one religion over another and that also applies to their hotel rooms.
Last year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation requested that Bibles be removed from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus inn, the Lowell Center.
Then, a few months later, they persuaded Iowa State University-Ames to do the same thing at Memorial Union.
Now, it’s Penn State’s turn:
FFRF received word Sept. 3 from the general counsel at Pennsylvania State University that bibles have been removed from the Nittany Lion Inn and the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College. Both are run by the university.
“No nonreligious hotel guests should have to pay high prices to be proselytized in the privacy of their own bedrooms,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The bible calls for killing nonbelievers, apostates, gays, ‘stubborn sons,’ and women who are not virgins on their wedding nights. What is obnoxious in a private hotel, however, becomes inappropriate and unconstitutional in state-run lodgings.”
Gaylor added, “So we’re grateful to Penn State for making this decision to respect all its hotel guests and stay above the religious fray.”
The response from someone will inevitably be that no one’s proselytizing to guests and they can ignore the Bible if they want to, but that’s missing the point. The principle remains that public schools cannot promote religion; that includes distributing one religion’s holy book but not anybody else’s.
If other universities are doing the same thing, they could save everyone time and trouble by just removing the books from their hotel rooms now. I doubt Christians will even notice.
(Image via Shutterstock)