The Wisconsin public university system removed all its copies of the Gideon Bible from the campus conference center after the Freedom From Religion Foundation complained of a constitutional violation.
Administrators with the University of Wisconsin-Extension said they received the complaint in November and after weeks of consideration and discussion, decided to remove from the Lowell Center all 137 copies of the bible — a normal fixture at guest rooms and in hotels around the nation.
“Permitting members of outside religious groups the privilege of placing their religious literature in public university guest rooms constitutes state endorsement and advancement of these Christian publications,” said FFRF attorney Patrick Elliot, in a letter of complaint, UPI reported. And on the group’s website, he wrote that “while private hotels may choose to put any type of literature they want in their guest rooms, state-run colleges have a constitutional obligation to remain neutral toward religion.”
In response, a UW-Extension spokesman said in a letter: “We reviewed the concern raised about the placement of Bibles in our guest rooms and decided to remove them. We want to make sure all guests are comfortable in our lodging.”
Gideons International gives the books for free to any hotel that wants them, as a means of winning “the lost for Christ,” their website said.