I posted yesterday about how, at the urging of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Penn State officials had removed Bibles from campus-owned hotel rooms.
I wrote about that because that’s what FFRF was told:
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.
[FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie] 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.”
Here’s what I imagine happened after that:
Christians everywhere began complaining about how the university bowed down to atheists and removed bibles from the hotels (not the rooms) because the people who complain about things like this never bother to get a full understanding of the situation — or the First Amendment, for that matter. (We saw that ignorance on full display last week after a high school football game, too.)
It led to Lisa M. Powers, the director of Penn State’s office of strategic communications, telling the Christian Post that people need to back the fuck off (I’m paraphrasing) because the Bible is still available to anybody who wants it. Just not in the rooms. Just like it should be:
“The Bibles have not been removed from our hotels. The decision to make Bibles and other publications available in our libraries and other public access areas was made in mid-summer,” said Powers. “There are still Gideon Bibles at our facilities and they have been there for decades. We do not have a specific date for when they originated.”
While the Bibles are not in “individual guest rooms,” they remain “available in our public access areas” for “those who wish to use them,” explained Powers.
The headline for the article — “Penn State Denies Removing Bibles From Hotels Following Atheist Complaint” — makes it sound like FFRF lied about what they said and Penn State had to set the group straight. That’s not the case at all.
Penn State did the right thing and FFRF explained it correctly in their news release. The problem, I’m assuming, is that many Christians don’t have any clue what’s going on and they just feel the need to complain about something because they think their rights are under attack. Somehow.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)