The University of Wisconsin-Extension, the outreach arm of the state’s public university system, has complied with atheists’ demands to end the tradition of placing Bibles in guest rooms at a campus conference center.
After a guest staying at the Lowell Center reportedly complained about the holy books, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a secular advocacy group, sent a letter in early November to the University of Wisconsin-Extension, charging that the Bibles constituted an endorsement of Christianity, reported The Wisconsin State Journal.
By placing the Bibles inside public accommodations, the Freedom From Religion Foundation argued that religious neutrality was being abandoned.
In a Nov. 25 response letter, university Chancellor Ray Cross pledged to remove the Bibles from the 137 guest rooms by Dec. 1 — an act that officials now confirm has been completed.
“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,” Bill Mann, director of the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s conference centers, said in a statement.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation had been working for decades to get the Bibles removed from University of Wisconsin-Extension guest rooms.
In a press release on its website, the organization praised Cross’ decision to ax the holy books.
“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,” said Freedom From Religion Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott.
This is not the first time Bibles on public property have sparked controversy and, judging by the actions of church-state separatists, it won’t be the last.
(H/T: The Wisconsin State Journal)
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.
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