Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gideon to Trojan

I mentioned several months back a modest counterrevolution in Sweden, when one of the hotel chains decided to remove Gideon's Bibles from their hotel rooms--and even those very liberal Swedes, as a nation, responded with upset. Religion was making a modest comeback in Europe. (Admittedly, starting from near-zero, almost anything is a step up.)

Now I see this rather astonishing article in Newsweek. Yes, I found out about this from the American Family Association, and as with most such amazing claims that I receive, I make some effort to verify it before going forward. From November 8, 2007 Newsweek:
In the rooms of Manhattan's trendy Soho Grand Hotel guests can enjoy an eclectic selection of underground music, iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs and even the living company of a complimentary goldfish. But, alas, the word of God is nowhere to be found. Unlike traditional hotels, the 10-year-old boutique has never put Bibles in its guest rooms, because "society evolves," says hotel spokeswoman Lori DeBlois. Providing Bibles would mean the hotel "would have to take care of every guest's belief."
What might be surprising to many Americans is that the Bible-free room isn't a development just in hip New York City hotels. Across the country upscale accommodations are doing away with the Bible as a standard room amenity. And in its stead have arrived a slew of "lifestyle" products that cater to a younger, hipper (and presumably less religious) clientele. Since 2001 the number of luxury hotels with religious materials in the rooms has dropped by 18 percent, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The Nashville-based Gideons International, which has distributed copies of the Christian scripture to hotels since 1908, declined to comment on this trend.
Edgier chains like the W provide "intimacy kits" with condoms in the minibar, while New York's Mercer Hotel supplies a free condom in each bathroom. Neither has Bibles. Since its recent renovation, the Sofitel L.A. offers a tantalizing lovers' dice game: roll one die for the action to be performed (for example, "kiss," "lick") and the other for the associated body part. The hotel's "mile high" kit, sold in the revamped gift shop, includes a condom, a mini vibrator, a feather tickler and lubricant. The new Indigo hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., a "branded boutique" launched by InterContinental, also has no Bibles, but it does offer a "One Night Stand" package for guests seeking VIP treatment at local nightclubs and late checkout for the hazy morning after.
Now, it doesn't particularly bother me that hotels might be aiming at encouraging some wild times by their guests. Let's face it: much of the upscale "bed and breakfast" market is romantic getaways. (Although the "One Night Stand" package is pretty clearly aiming at actions that aren't "romantic getaways" at all.) It does somewhat concern me that hotels think:

1. Bible, or "intimacy kits"--as though the two are mutually exclusive. I am always astonished at how secular Americans so completely misunderstand Christianity and its view of sexuality. Christianity teaches that sex outside of marriage is wrong, but it strongly encourages sex inside of marriage. The secularists should be aware that the infamous "lie back and think of England" statement attributed to Alice, Lady Hillingdon (1857-1940) has never been properly attributed, and even if she did write it, it may be more a statement of her relationship to her husband than a widely held Victorian belief.

2. That there's some need to scrap Bibles for fear of offending what? Muslims? Dhimmitude is coming, and the same corporate interests that have bent over forwards to make the homosexual community happy are going to put our collective heads on the block to make Islam happy. Heaven forbid that U.S. corporations not take steps that offend the majority of Americans!

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