Tag Archives: world religion

The Bible for Travelers

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Maybe Hotels could put that little Blue Book in their rooms? Or, better yet, we could leave the books in the drawers and read the Great Book of Nature.

Via Friendly Atheist, this LA Times story has some Real “Good News.”

Hotels aren’t putting so many Bibles into guest rooms.

My questions:

Why would someone want to sit inside and read a Bible (or any book, really), when the Great Book of Nature is all around them?  Would you sit inside and read an ancient book while staying in Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Smoky Mountains, or any place with Nature nearby?

And, if you ARE a believer and you love your holy book, wouldn’t you just carry your God-Pages around with you while travelling?  Do you need a hotel manager to loan you a copy?

“The percentage of hotels that offer religious materials in rooms has dropped significantly over the last decade, from 95% of hotels in 2006 to 48% this year.

Among the reasons for the change, according to industry experts, is a need to appeal to younger American travelers who are less devout than their parents or grandparents and to avoid offending international travelers such as Muslims or Buddhists.”

And why Bibles in these public places anyway?  Here’s what Gideons is out to do in their quest to make the Whole World Christian where everyone reads only One Book:

“Bibles started to become a hotel standard in the late 1800s when three traveling businessmen founded Gideons International with a plan to spread the Gospels by placing the Bible in hotel rooms across the country.

The nonprofit group now has about 270,000 members in 200 countries. In its latest fiscal year, Gideon International spent about $100 million to distribute Bibles to hotels, prisons, hospitals and other locations, about the same amount as in 2015, according to the group’s financial statements.

Jeff Pack, Gideons International’s director of communications, said he isn’t sure why the STR survey shows a decline in religious material in hotel rooms, considering that the distribution of Bibles by his group hasn’t dropped.

“The decline of religious materials in hotels, as cited in the survey, is reflective of increasing secularism and independence in the world,” he said. “This has resulted in an erosion of spiritual awareness.”

OR, there is “an erosion of spiritual awareness” because too many are thinking of other worlds and too busy proselytizing and too busy reading “spiritual books” to give a care about the goodness, beauty and wonder of this world.

I’ll never really understand the Bible Believers (or Qur’an Believers. . .or any other Book Believers)


The Exotic Dance of Faith

Topless Church!

Topless Church!

Titles I was going to use:  The Topless Church, or, Protest Unto Others as You Wish them to Protest Unto You.

“Exotic Dancers Protest Topless at Church” (in Ohio)

I recently wrote about the teaching power of “Do Unto Others.”  You “do” to another so they LEARN not to “do” the same.  A contemporary twist on an ancient principle.  I think it makes sense.

The folks at this Ohio church are disgusted that this strip club is in their town, so they go and protest on a regular basis.  That’s certainly their constitutional right.  But sometimes “rights” have a way of coming back to haunt you, since others may just bring their “rights” right back to your doorstep!

So. . .what do the evil naked ladies do?  They show up at the church to “do unto the churchfolk what they do unto them.”

That seems fair, and right, doesn’t it?

(note what the well-dressed church lady yells at the “lust” ladies who are protesting:  “you don’t know love.”  Now that’s so kind and “loving” isn’t it?  My questions to the church lady would be something like, Why are you dressed so Attractive to Go to Church?  What’s with that Hair?  We may not like what You’re Doing in the privacy of that church!  Are you ashamed of the Body, or Sex?  Didn’t your God make us naked and sexual?)

What do you think about this?  (please make sure you’re fully clothed before responding!)

 


Mind or Mindfulness?

I once took a walk with Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh (of course, there were 2000 other people with us)

I once took a walk with Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh (of course, there were 2000 other people with us)

I learned from Buddhists that “mindfulness” can be very good (ironically they encourage “mind-emptying” rather than filling).  I especially liked walking meditation.  Mostly simple awareness of breath and the immediate environment.  I learned to pay attention, to be “awake” and alert to the world near at hand.  I still value those basic insights and think we might all benefit from a “practice” of mindful awareness.

Yet, I appreciate the balance of this Guardian article that asks, Why are we trying to think Less when we need to think More?

It’s fairly clear to me that IF people were thinking (reasoning, questioning) more, especially about matters of faith, we might have a healthier world, don’t you. . .think?

Breathe.  Think.  Comment. . .


Bible Q

Watching the Independent Film, Bible Quiz, I found it both fascinating and a bit frightening.

I’ve known people heavy into Bible Quizzing.  Some children are learning the Bible at the same time they’re learning to read.

(as we know, millions of people feel that Their Holy Book is really the Only Book to Read)

It reminds me of the youthful years when “knowing God’s Word” was just about everything (“living it” was something else).

I can remember as a boy of 10, standing in front of a large church and reciting Psalm 100 from memory.

(and in high school I memorized other Psalms and many Bible passages, including Galatians 2:20, a favorite:  “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. . .”–I still recite this from memory after 40 years!)

Filling one’s day and one’s brain with ancient words can have a powerful influence on Life and Worldview.

I wonder what the Bible Quizzers would think after watching these clips:

Muslim children memorizing the Qur’an

Buddhist children chanting Sutras

Hindu children chanting Vedic verses

Jewish children reciting the Torah 

Some Q’s I have for the Adults who push their children into scripture memorizing:

What is the Purpose of this?  We know that it’s making little believers, but is the intent to make them Better Human Beings?  Does it really Please Your God to fill your child’s head with ancient words before they can even rationally THINK about the words and reasonably DECIDE whether they BELIEVE OR NOT?  Are you so afraid that your child may not CHOOSE to read Your Holy Book later in life or choose NOT to believe those words, asking HARD Q’s when they have the life experience to REASON?  Are your children better equipped to find solutions to the world’s problems by spending precious time learning ancient words?

Here are some Quiz Questions for All of Us:

Can’t Children Simply Be Children?

Is there really such a thing as a “Christian Child,” a “Buddhist Child,” a “Muslim Child”?

What if, above all, children were taught the love of reading and learning, questioning and understanding?

Maybe Life is the Only Real Quiz to take?