Aug 12 2011

It’s like the atheist equivalent of duct tape

Hemant and I have neighboring rooms in the hotel that are joined by a shared door. We were having trouble keeping the doors open until Hemant had a great idea:Finally, those hotel Bibles are useful!


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  1. 1
    Jeff van Booven

    Too bad science invented the wedge first.

  2. 2
    Three Ninjas

    Actually, Christianity provided the idea that God created an orderly world, and thus the framework in which the wedge could be invented.

  3. 3

    A practical use for the bible? Amazing!

  4. 4
    Jeff van Booven

    But they created that after the fact. It’s only because they saw what a great idea it was that made them want to take credit.

  5. 5


  6. 6
    Grammar Merchant

    If you rip the Gideon’s down a bit, it can also balance a wobbly table or desk.  It’s all about thickness.

  7. 7
    Three Ninjas

    I know, man, I was just fucking with you.

  8. 8
    Alice Mullen

    If you find that the door pushes the bible so that it slides across the floor and the door still closes, open the bible to a page that gives you a thin enough section to slip under the door, put it face down on the floor and use the spine as a wedge. :)

  9. 9

    I dare you to call room service/housekeeping while it’s like that ;)

  10. 10

    The Gideons go on tour visiting college campuses to give away bibles on every street corner. Every single year for 7 years there was a day the Gideons came and nagged me to take a bible 10 times on the way to and from class.source

    In most hotel rooms that I’ve stayed in in the U.S., there is a bible, inside which is printed “placed by the gideons” or “placed by the church of jesus christ of latter day saints” and such.In view of the recent bans on gay marriage, I really dislike latter day saints’ stuff shoved in my face wherever I sleep.Is the book property of the hotel? If not, who owns it? Could I take the book and toss it into the garbage, or would that be illegal / property damage? (No, I don’t have a “moral” problem with throwing a bible into a trash can.)If it is property of the hotel, I wonder if I could bug guest services by asking that the book be removed from the room while I stay at the hotel because its presence offends me.

    The short answer, I suspect, is that it belongs to whoever wants it.I worked at hotels as a teenager. The bibles are sent to hotels for free by the Gideons (or, in some cases, some other religious organization). We used to have boxes and boxes of them in the basement. A Gideon representative would come around every year or two to make sure there were enough.I guess technically they belong to the hotel; but since they are provided en masse for free, I can’t imagine that the hotel would really feel much ownership interest in them.I think the “I’m not a Christian and I don’t want to have this in my room, will you please come and remove it” line would almost certainly work.


    Details: Is it true that when you stay at hotels you tear out the Bible page that condemns homosexuality?Ian McKellen: I do, absolutely. I’m not proudly defacing the book, but it’s a choice between removing that page and throwing away the whole Bible. And I’m not really the first: I got delivered a package of 40 of those pages—Leviticus 18:22—that had been torn out by a married couple I know. They put them on a bit of string so that I could hang it up in the bathroom.

    If you feel like vandalizing the bible or replacing it with a better book, go for it.

  11. 11

    At first I was remembering high school choir trips and getting taped into our rooms.

  12. 12

    hehehe – yes, definitley a better use of the not-so-good book

  13. 13
    Stephen J Carleton

    if you turn it around, you can really wedge it under the door to keep it open

  14. 14

    Just remember before you leave..http://hidethebible.tumblr.com

  15. 15
    Ben Crockett

    Haha! Love it!

  16. 16

    It also makes a nice coaster, as both Hitch and I have independently (I assume) discovered.

  17. 17
    Michael Brown

    The Gideons aren’t so good for this, but a pocket bible with onionskin pages can supply rolling papers in a pinch. (The ink can’t be healthy for you which is why I wouldn’t recommend it as a primary source.)

  18. 18
    Hipopótamo de Río

    He! I remember taping MY students shut in their room when I took them for a NASA contest!

  19. 19

    The paper is soft and gentle on the skin, but supple and absorbent of liquids.  It also flushes well, although the ink is cheap and might leave a stain on the skin when used.Most times, though, I’m very unlucky.  The buybulls in my hotel rooms keep falling off the desk and into the garbage can beside it, and my back hurts too much to lift it out.  I also have a problem with dropping them when reading while taking a bath, maybe because my hands are wet..

  20. 20

    Yo dawg, I heard you liked opiates, so I wrapped your opiates in the opiate of the masses so you can smoke opiates while you smoke opiates.

  21. 21

    If you want a good time, check the inside back cover for local phone numbers. Girls, and these days boys, who have been using the room with a visiting republican politician often will leave an ad.

  22. 22

    So you are suggesting that in an ideal sin free world we would not need wedges but for the actions of a rebellious angel who turned into a talking snake to con a gullible woman into eating a fruit which carried the antidote to gullibility and sharing the gullibility antidote with her boyfriend thus bringing in an imperfect world…Can’t we just start following the Hindu mythos of things? Wedges exist because Lord Shiva in his infinite wisdom danced on top of Mount Kailash and such was the racket of his music that his wife Parvathi had figure out a way to keep a door shut and so she asked Brahma to fashion a device to keep doors shut even if they didn’t want to. Forged from ivory and gold, the first wedge brought marital harmony to the gods and thus everyone was happy.It’s a better story, its a bit more believable really. (Also a solid gold door wedge is pretty much a good plot set up for an Indiana Jones movie…)

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  24. 24

    You were whatnow?

  25. 25

    Oh high school theatre and music trips, we used to have tape put on the doors at lights-out, so that they could tell if anyone had left the room to go smoke crack and have sex. That sort of thing.

  26. 26
    Ted Powell

    A much better story!

  27. 27
    Eric RoM

    “Nerds gone wild.”

  28. 28

    You can also burn the pages for fire in case there is an apocalypse. Ah, the all-purpose Bible.

  29. 29
    Jeff van Booven

    I figured as such.

  30. 30

    …wouldn’t people just have resealed the tape after letting themselves out of the room?

  31. 31
    Kari Edgerton

    I just got three copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for 75 cents at a yard sale… maybe I’ll put those there…

  32. 32

    The tape is placed over the door and its frame so that it breaks when the door’s opened. It has to be placed on the door by someone outside since once you’re back in the room, you can’t press the tape into place.The solution is to remove the tape completely from everyone’s door so that they can’t tell who left their rooms and who didn’t.

  33. 33

    I take offense to this. How dare you sully the name of the Holy Duct Tape by comparing it with some dusty tome?

  34. 34
    Peter B

    What I like to do with Gideon Bibles is mark certain sections of text (IIRC they’re all in the Old Testament), and then fold the corner of those pages in. That way, people who stay in the room after me who enjoy reading their Bible will be drawn to those pages and passages.What passages? Oh, stories like the one in Genesis in which a host offered his own virgin daughter to a mob to stop them from raping his guest (and the similar story in Judges), or the one in 2 Kings in which a bunch of children are killed by bears after calling the prophet Elisha “baldy”, or the one in Judges in which a man sacrifices his daughter as the prize for God giving his army a victory over their enemies, or the one which says you can’t mix your threads (no polyester-cotton shirts for you!). You know, good wholesome stories.

  35. 35
    Svlad Cjelli

    Just thought of something. If Eva gave food and education to every single human in the world at the time, was she the greatest philanthroper ever?

  36. 36

    It took me far too long to realise there’s a mirror in that photo..

  37. 37

    Bibles in hotel rooms. Americans are so peculiar.

  38. 38

    I’m mildly surprised that’s even legal.

  39. 39

    I don’t think there is, actually; the patterns of light on the floor where the mirror would have been don’t match up from side to side, and the bibles look like they’re placed at different lengths from their respective door.  Probably there’s a two-door setup so each door opens into the room, preventing the worry on one side, if they’re closed, that the other party can just easily use their weight to force it.

  40. 40

    Remember to put the bible on the top of the wardrobe close to the wall before you leave. That way you’ll prevent future occupants being polluted by it without resorting to theft or criminal damage.

  41. 41

    I was at a library book sale today and saw a couple Gideon’s Bibles there.  I thought, what a great idea!  Take them and donate them to Friends of the Library organizations.  First, you raise money for libraries.  Second, they’re less “polluting” at a used book sale because the people who want them are probably either already Christians, or want them for scholarly/literary reasons.  (Heck, I almost bought one — I don’t have a King James Version.)  I wonder if libraries would accept them with warning stickers in the front?

  42. 42

    Or do the Gideons already flood libraries with Bibles?  For some reason when I saw them I assumed someone had taken them from a hotel room and donated them…

  43. 43
    Peter B

    Sadly, they’re very common in Australia too. Although we’re not nearly as religious as ‘Merkins.

  44. 44
    Peter B

    Z said: “I wonder if libraries would accept them with warning stickers in the front?”Just do what some Creationists do with science books saying things they don’t like: glue the naughty pages closed.I’ll leave it to readers’ imagination what to use as glue…

  45. 45

    No, the Bible isn’t the hotel’s property, any more than a toothpick from a container of toothpicks that are distributed at a restaurant for diners to use belongs to the restaurant any longer. The Gideons put them there to be taken—and the book usually carries text saying that within the first few pages. You’re fully within your rights to toss the thing in the trash, take it home and burn it, or whatever.Depending upon the hotel, the Gideons or the hotel itself (grrr) will replace the Bible you removed. No sweat.Some years ago, I preferred using the stickers that the Freedom From Religion Foundation used to sell that you could stick to the inside cover/title page/whatever of a hotel Bible. The stickers carried a block of text that pointed out nasty passages and ugly nonsense readers could find within the book. Far more socially-minded, educational, and useful than making off with a Bible, I think.There is a Gideon-related sticker on the FFRF website—http://ffrf.org/shop/stickers-… —but that one only takes a few shots at the Gideons specifically, with only a general, vague swipe at the Bible; it’s not the one I had in mind.

  46. 46
    Der Cat

    I think I am going to just highlight the fucked up sight, and ask them to visit some of the more “Interesting Bits” in the table of contents.Maybe point out historical inacuracies…

  47. 47
    Jonel Burge

    Tip: For fellow ‘delinquents’–you know those bars that put the big black sharpie X’s on your hands when you go in, if you’re underage?Lip balm–make sure it’s a good greasy kind, put it on immediately and wipe the black off on the inside of your pockets. That way, you can now drink booze that your friends buy you without getting caught. Yay! Just drive safe, kids. And know when to stop with the booze.

  48. 48
    Jonel Burge

    It is, because you never know when we’ll sneak out and go have nerd orgies or something.

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