A few months after the atheist nonprofit Freedom from Religion Foundation complained about the Bibles that could be found in U.S. Navy-run hotel rooms, the Navy responded by removing the Bibles from its Navy Lodges.
But Fox News’ Todd Starnes reported Saturday morning that the Navy has reversed that decision — and that the Navy Exchange, which runs the hotels, shouldn’t have made the decision in the first place.
“In June 2014, Navy Exchange Command (NEXCOM) made a decision, without consultation of senior Navy leadership, to transfer religious materials from the Navy Lodge to the local command religious program,” a Navy spokesman told Starnes in a written statement. “That decision and our religious accommodation policies with regard to the placement of religious materials are under review.”
The review process could result in the Bibles being removed again, but for the time being, they’ll remain in Navy Lodges.
The Bibles were provided to the Navy by Gideons International, the group that places Bibles in hotel rooms around the country.
Starnes and Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, both rejoiced at the return of the Bibles.
Crews told Starnes that he had received many calls from active-duty military and veterans who were upset at the Navy Exchange’s initial decision.
“I am most grateful that the Navy has decided to keep Bibles in their lodges and guest quarters while they review this policy,” he added. “It is my sincere hope that Navy leaders will realize that there is nothing wrong with allowing religious literature to be placed in these rooms.”
While the Navy mulls whether to allow the Bibles to remain, the Air Force has already grappled with the issue, yanking Bibles from its on-base hotels in 2012.
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