Navy orders removal of Bibles from hotels
Sailors and religious freedom supporters are outraged over a recent ruling from the United States Navy. The ruling calls for the Navy to remove all bibles from hotels and lodges, which are located on Naval bases around the country. The ruling comes down after an atheist group filed a complaint over the placement of Bibles in the rooms.
The navy issued the order June 19th and was just recently released to the public, the general order is that all Bibles must be removed by September 1st. Fox News obtained an email sent to a Navy Chaplain from the Navy Exchange Service Command saying, “For those Navy Lodges with religious materials currently in guest rooms, the Navy Lodge General Manager will contact the Installation Chaplain’s office who will provide guidance on the removal procedure disposition of these materials.” The vice president of NEXCOM Michael Bockelman signed the email. The NEXCOM spokeswoman appeared on Fox News saying that around 40 lodges worldwide will be affected. “We looked at our policy — and realized there wasn’t a consistent policy regarding Navy Lodges,” Martin said. “We decided we needed to have some consistency and be consistent with the Navy.”
Gideons International placed the Bibles in the hotel rooms free of charge. Last March a letter was written by the organization Freedom From Religion Foundation, who complained that “Two concerned service members, one active-duty and one retired, separately contacted FFRF to report that every Navy lodging room that they have stayed in during decades of service has contained a Bible . . . We are informed that other religious or nonreligious books are rarely in guest rooms. One complainant noted that he ‘never saw a Book of Mormon or Koran’ in any Navy-run lodge and that he had ‘been in varied Navy Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQs) with Bibles.'”
The Atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation is calling for people to contact NEXCOM about reversing the decision highlighting that the Air Force made a similar ruling about its lodges in 2012, but reversed itself after public outcry.
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