Thursday, May 03, 2007

"Green Hotel" Replaces Bible With Al Gore Book


According to the Bloomberg Report the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa wants to be “the” green hotel in California. Therefore the hotel is equipped with waterless urinals, solar lighting, recycled paper and a toilet paper dispenser that only dispenses one sheet per visit. Sheryl Crow would love this place.

Additionally Bloomberg reported that the hotel had also replaced the Gideon Bibles that one typically finds in the hotel room nightstand with copies of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” which is central to much of the current day discussion about global warming.

When a few other news outlets began to highlight the story of Gore’s book replacing the Bible, the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa contacted Bloomberg and asked for a correction. They stated, this is “a new hotel, the grand opening was held on March 30, 2007. Gideon Bibles have been ordered for all the rooms and will be made available to guests.” Gore’s book will also be on the nightstand. In other words the hotel is claiming that they didn't replace the Bible, they just hadn't received their order yet.

I have great respect for the Gideon ministry and I’m grateful for the placement of Bibles in hotels, hospitals and many other places where a reading of Scripture can provide comfort or inspiration. I hold the Bible in highest esteem.

Still, the story strikes me as a bit funny because of the news coverage by reporters who probably have a low regard for the Bible and a hotel management that was sent scrambling because of little if any regard for the Bible. It seems to me to fit the analogy of the “pot calling the kettle black.”

But, the story does raise an interesting reflection. Every year the Bible is a “best seller”. Some people own 4,5 or 6 copies of the Bible. The sacred Book is frequently given as gifts for the birth of a child, graduation, birthdays, etc.

Yet, Americans are becoming less and less a “people of the Book”. By that I mean that the virtue and morality and worldview that the Bible expounds is becoming a smaller and smaller minority way of life.

Whether a copy of the Bible is on a hotel nightstand, used in a court of law to swear in a witness, sits on your coffee table or is referenced by a politician all means very little unless its truth resides in the heart. It’s the Bible that commands us to love our enemies, to forgive those who hurt us, to give to those in need and to keep our hands off of the spouse of another. The Bible is a treasure of wisdom and a revelation of the Person and purposes of God.

I agree that Americans need to become more “green”. I also contend that if we become more biblical we will become more careful stewards of a globe that God has placed in our hands.

4 comments:

Candy Gregor said...

You wrote: Still, the story strikes me as a bit funny because of the news coverage by reporters who probably have a low regard for the Bible and a hotel management that was sent scrambling because of little if any regard for the Bible. It seems to me to fit the analogy of the “pot calling the kettle black.”

This strikes me as unnecessary stereotyping. I happen to know lots of reporters, and although many of them aren't Christian, they have high regard for the Bible and would see this story as newsworthy BECAUSE the Gideon Bibles weren't in the hotel but Al Gore's book was. It's weird and interesting, but it doesn't mean the reporter made a judgment on the value of the Bible.

Scott Brewer said...

Candy:

I agree that I was stereotyping and it may well have been unecessary. I also know some reporters who hold a high regard for the Bible and you are certainly one of them.

However, I am sharing reflections through a personal blog and not reporting for a publication. My honest reflection when reading the story was "it's funny that someone that probably has a low regard for the Bible wrote a story to point out the absence of the Bible." That's just the way it struck me.

I've given a few interviews through the years about the Christian faith or church or theological matters. I can't remember a reporter who was writing the story and including my quotes who actually acted liked they cared about the story. To a person each acted as if they were merely fulfilling some editor's assignment and that they wished they could write about something important.

What's more, increasingly in my reading of newspapers and news magazines I encounter an attitude that believing the Bible and being devout in faith IS a major part of today's problems. In other words, we would be better off today if there was less public practice of religion.

With those experiences and impressions, it struck "me as a bit funny".

Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts.
Scott

John Gregor said...

You wrote: I encounter an attitude that believing the Bible and being devout in faith IS a major part of today's problems. In other words, we would be better off today if there was less public practice of religion.

I can think of several instances where the public practice of religion seems to share little in common with the message of the Bible. Perhaps the media and the religious community share some of the same challenges when it comes to living their ideals.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how God created us all human, hmmm....