For those who believe there is a war on Christianity raging across the world, the act of British hotel chain Travelodge removing copies of the Bible from their hotel rooms is sure to be seen as a tragic victory for secularism, reported The Huffington Post.
While the chain says it has not yet received any complaints about the bibles in its rooms, Travelodge has decided to pull all of them from its rooms.
This decision was based on customer research and the fact that we live in a multicultural society. Therefore in order not to discriminate against any religion, customers who would like a Bible can pick a copy from any one of Travelodge’s 500 hotel reception desks across the country, whilst staying at the hotel. To date, Travelodge has not received any customer feedback regarding this decision.
Travelodge also told The Huffington Post that the Bible-removal policy had actually been in place since 2007, despite the fact that it has only now caused an uproar among British Christians. The Church of England released an official statement, saying:
[It is] both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word ‘diversity’.
Despite outrage at the removals of the Bibles, some Christians are not as upset about Travelodge’s decision to remove them — including the provost of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow Kelvin Holdsworth.
Travelodge have indicated that they’d be happy to supply bibles from their front desk. And anyway, anyone with a smartphone can access the Bible. Christians should be encouraging new ways of engaging with the text. Christianity doesn’t depend on having bibles in hotel rooms. Bibles in hotel rooms depended on Christendom, but that is now gone. I don’t think faith has much to fear.
But that hasn’t stopped the barrage of other angered Christians lambasting the decision, calling the disappearance of the Bible another stride in a war against Christianity. Tim Stanley, A U.S. historian penned a an op-ed in British newspaper The Telegraph attacking Travelodge.
It’s an act of cultural vandalism upon a tradition that goes back 126 years. It’s long been comforting to know that when the TV gets irritating and there’s nothing left to do in your hotel room, you can always open up the bedside table drawer and find a Gideon’s in there. I’ve stayed in a hotel in Detroit that was obviously being used for immoral purposes (or as a place to shelter from the gun crime) and was delighted to discover that even in that den of vice there was a well-ruffled Good Book chained to the desk.