A while back, we blogged about a Christian ministry's plan to include the New Testament as an insert in newspapers. They may want to make sure those papers go to wealthy travelers now that a lot of luxury hotels are doing away with nightstand Bibles. Contrary to what you might think, this isn't meant to make a statement of any kind; the hotels are removing phone books, as well, in an attempt to be more environmentally friendly.
Interestingly, there are 79 percent more Bibles in hotels, motels, and inns today than there were in 1988 -- so it's not an industry-wide trend. In fact, there's a correlation between a hotel's cost and its offering of religious material; the more expensive a place's rates, the lower the chances you'll find a Bible in your room. Only 73 percent of luxury hotels provide an in-room bible, as opposed to 99 percent in economy hotels.
Since research indicates most guests don't even read the Bible when staying in a hotel, it seems like a no-brainer to take them out of nightstands (so long as you keep religious material at the front desk for guests who request it.) But the decision's sure to stir up some controversy among people who see it as a statement, regardless of the green defense.