What can I say? The ‘tragedy’ is inevitable. And I quote the illustrious, er, Number Nine who wrote the piece:
“Isn’t it interesteing [sic] what ONE single e-mail can do? One person writes to Scandic hotels to complain that he’s found a Bible in a drawer (oh no!) and whoosh – they’re gone forever. No more Bibles, no more comfort. All in the name of politically correct tolerance. “
That Number Nine finds tolerance so infuriating is quite worrying, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly politically incorrect. I believe that political correctness is an offense to the nature of humankind. But this… isn’t an example of political correctness.
It’s an example of, well, correctness.
Previously, one would presumably check into a Scandic hotel and find, instead of (or alongside) a welcoming chocolate, a Bible. Quite the bedtime reading, stories of genocide and torture in the name of a presumptuous deity. I can hardly see how it would stop one from committing suicide.
I shit you not. Number Nine later explains in his trance of enlightenment that reading the Bible will stop anyone from committing suicide:
“My good man, be sure to provide me, a guest of your fine Scandic hotels, with a copy of the Bible, for I am at a spiritual crossroads, I am lost and feel a yearning for some purpose in life – I must confess I contemplate suicide nearly every day because of the sheer bleakness of my existance [sic]. So, a Bible then, if you please.”
Of course, a rational man and perhaps even a therapist would advise this man (who Number Nine uses as dramatic example) to perhaps consider that his life is worth living simply because there’s nothing afterwards, and that the belief in God will only hinder his happiness.
It does not suffice that the hotel chain offers not only the Bible but the Qu’ran and the Torah in the reception upon request. Number Nine elucidates on the impracticality of walking 50 metres to the front desk:
“I believe that people will not read the Bible if they have to ask for it at the reception.”
The genius in this plan is undeniable. It is not enough for someone to have to be interested in the Bible, we have to shove it down their throats and invade their privacy by having it haunt them in the place where they sleep.
Number Nine suffers greatly for Mr. Nordahl. Mr. Nordahl is devastated:
“Mr. Olle Nordahl, Swedish head of the Gideonites, the organization who places free Bibles in hotel rooms all over the world, is devastated.”
Understandably! Imagine that, seeing one of your principal methods of recruitment vanish! Gone with the wind!
It is going to take a lot for people like Number Nine and Mr. Nordahl to comprehend the concept of liberty and freedom of thought.