Penn State Denies Removing Bibles From Hotels After Complaint
According to a report from the Christian Post, Penn State denied removing Gideon bibles from hotel rooms following a complaint from The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
The FFRF sent a letter of complaint to President Barron on June 6, 2014, complaining about Gideon Bibles being in the Nittany Lion Inn’s and Penn Stater’s hotel rooms, and said that Penn State had the bibles removed after the letter was sent. According to the FFRF, the foundation received word on Sept. 3 from Penn State’s general counsel that Bibles were removed from the aforementioned hotels. Contradicting a press release by the FFRF, a representative of Penn State told The Christian Post that the Bibles had not been removed.
Penn State isn’t the only university receiving complaints about access to Bibles. Recently, the FFRF sent multiple complaints to universities that oversee hotels about having Gideon Bibles available in their rooms. Gideon Bibles are used for practices of the Christian religion.
In a statement released last week, FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said, “No nonreligious hotel guests should have to pay high prices to be proselytized in the privacy of their own bedrooms.” Gaylor announced that her organization was “grateful” for Penn State’s decision.
Lisa Powers, Director of Penn State’s Office of Strategic Communications, told the Christian Post that despite the claims of the FFRF, the Bibles have merely been made available for better public access.
“The Bibles have not been removed from our hotels,” said Powers. “The decision to make Bibles and other publications available in our libraries and other public access areas was made in mid-summer. There are still Gideon Bibles at our facilities and they have been there for decades.”
The FFRF argues that “public academic institutes should not have the Bibles since it is an endorsement of one religion over the others.” Powers stressed to The Christian Post that Penn State is respectful of all religions and those who have differing beliefs.