Bibles aren’t banned; propaganda is

Gideon — He follows me everywhere, that bloke! I was staying in a hotel once, he left his bible behind there, as well. And two years later, another hotel, dozy git left it behind again!

–Dave Lister

This week’s edition of the Student newspaper, home of the nation’s best writing and journalism, of course, is really at it this week with the front page headline:

Bibles banned from students’ rooms

Never mind. As Bookdrunk pointed out earlier this week, The Scotsman said exactly the same thing.

So is Edinburgh University banning bibles? Of course it isn’t. It’s just no longer going to leave unwanted copies of it lying around. If I were a Christian and I wanted to refer to the Bible I would have the foresight to bring my own with me. I mean, non-Christians don’t get free books. A free Economics textbook for my course would have been nice; would have saved me about thirty quid. They don’t leave those sorts of books lying around in halls of residence. So why should they leave the Bible?

As Bookdrunk says:

The counter-argument that Muslim, Jewish and Hindu organisations should distribute their own texts rather misses the point: a person should be able to rent a room without acquiring a small library of religious literature. Some religions do not have religious texts, and some people are not religious.

The article in Student (which isn’t online yet) calls it Bradbury-esque (brilliant, another shite cliche to join ‘Orwellian’). Except that the university isn’t burning books. You can still take your own Bible if you want.

From the article:

Gideons International… declares “winning others to Christ” as its central objective.

So as far as I see it, Edinburgh University is just bringing to an end Christian propaganda.


  1. Bibles Banned In Student Halls

    What’s the next step in political correctness? Ban Bibles in Hotels, in Schools, in bookshops ? Just in case we offend!!!

    I thought I lived in a democracy where free speech was cherished. “Propaganda” as you call it is part of having a free and open democracy.

  2. Firstly, as I made quite clear in the post, Bibles are not banned!

    Unwanted literature does not come under free speech, it comes under propaganda. If you want, you can find a Bible for yourself. That’s free speech. Forcing people to own a Bible? That definitely is propaganda, and there is no place for it in a free society. If you want a Bible, you can get your own.

  3. I’m totally with you on this one Duncman. I just don’t see why some places still give you bibles.

  4. The University wants to discontinue a tradition of distributing Bibles? Fair enough. But why the need to confiscate ones already distributed? This is the most disturbing to me, and it does come off reminiscent of “book burning.” Certainly they have enough confidence in their students to be able to handle an unwanted book by throwing it in the trash. And what about the students who wanted them? The implications of a mass removal of Bibles is as offensive to Christians as receiving a Bible might be to a non-Christian – if the goal was not to offend and to make all feel welcome and comfortable, who came up with this plan?