Toilet paper has an obvious intended use, which is why some Europeans were outraged when a Finnish hygiene company placed Bible verses on its bathroom tissue. Following furor, Metsa Tissue decided to remove the controversial scriptures that religious critics found both disrespectful and distasteful.
The toilet paper, which was being sold in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, included verses from the book of Matthew and First Corinthians, Reuters reports. Among them was a quote from Jesus, reading, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
The specific scriptures weren’t intended to offend, the company claims. Metsa Tissue’s leaders say they were simply looking to spread love, so they turned to the Bible for inspiration. But they ended up with a public relations debacle, instead.
“People like to read small, happy messages while sitting on the toilet,” Christina von Trampe, a spokeswoman for Metsa Tissue, told Reuters. “The vast majority of the feedback has been positive. Our intention was to spread love and joy, not religious messages.”
However, much of the reaction from church communities was apparently colored by frustration and disdain. Consider Laila Riksaasen Dahl, the Bishop of Tunsberg, in Norway. She made her dislike for the Biblical references on the toilet paper more than known.
“This is bad taste and show lack of respect,” she said in an interview with Vaart Land. “Bible verses do not belong on a roll of toilet paper.”
This isn’t the first time the company has placed quotes and messages on its products. In fact, Metsa Tissue is know for doing just that and, despite the furor over the Bible verses, it doesn’t plan to stop spreading the love.
While it’s likely customers won’t be seeing Jesus’ comments on tissue again in the near future, poetry and other messages will continue to be printed.
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