A number of years ago, I had the privilege to stay overnight in room 19 at the Central House Hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin. In 1898, John H. Nicholson and Samuel E. Hill shared this room in the crowded hotel. They realized that both were Christian believers and had their evening devotions together. That night, the two men decided to form an organization dedicated to Christian evangelism. And on that meeting, Gideons International, a Christian organization devoted to evangelism through the distribution of Bibles, began. From that humble beginning, Gideons presently operates in 194 countries and disseminates Bibles in at least 93 languages. Perhaps best known is the fact that the Gideons place Bibles in hotel and motel rooms, but they also distribute Bibles to hospitals, colleges and universities, and jails and prisons. Among the hotels where the Gideons’ Bibles were placed were hotels operated by our nation’s military.
On these pages over the past several years, I have written numerous times about the mischief caused by Michael “Mikey the Whiner” Weinstein, Esq., the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”), a decidedly anti-Christian group. While completely ignored by the Pentagon during the presidency of George W. Bush, he has been given an open door by Mr. Obama’s civilian leaders at the Pentagon and sycophantic generals and admirals. You may recall that several years ago, Mikey Weinstein stated that U.S. troops who proselytize for their Christian faith are guilty of sedition and treason, and should be punished, by the hundreds if necessary, to stave off what he called a “tidal wave of [Christian] fundamentalists.” Of course, there is a small, pesky issue raised by the First Amendment to the Constitution, but I digress.
Now by September 1, 2014, housekeepers at Navy Lodges and base hotels are being instructed to remove Gideon-placed Bibles from the rooms. This comes from a directive from Rear Admiral Robert J. Bianchi, the head of NEXCOM (Navy Exchange Service Command). Admiral Bianchi ordered housekeeping staff to impound all Bibles from the 34 Navy Lodges and the 24,000 rooms at the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites. Admiral Bianchi’s directive came after MRFF filed a formal complaint over the placement of Bibles in the Navy hotel rooms. This decision is particularly jarring as President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, wrote the introduction to the Armed Forces’ Gideon Bible that was given to every soldier, sailor, and Marine during World War II.
Of course, our Lord Jesus had a hard time getting a room at the inn, and now, His Holy Word will no longer be welcome either. It seems to me that if the MRFF doesn’t want to see a Bible in the Navy hotel room, they can simply leave it in the drawer. In 2012, the U.S. Air Force tried to remove Bibles from its hotels and lodgings, but reversed its decision after great public outcry. If you wish to contact Admiral Bianchi, or his deputy, Michael Bockelman, to ask him to reinstate the Bibles in Navy hotel rooms, please call 1.757.631.3600 or 1.757.502.7496. I have already left my message for Admiral Bianchi, and I am sure that he will enjoy hearing from “regular folks,” as our president refers to us. Navy veterans are particularly encouraged to call. Oh, I think that your congressman and senators might have an interest in this topic as well. The Navy hotels are apparently simply throwing out the Bibles. It should not be so.