| Christ died so we may|
write articles about
|A multi-chef broth|
|Devil's in the details|
|The pearly gates|
Checked into his room
Only to find Gideon's Bible
|—The Beatles, "Rocky Raccoon", The Beatles (The White Album)|
The Gideons are the people responsible for your finding a Bible in your hotel room. They're pretty decent as missionaries go—they unobtrusively provide the message, and let you read as you see fit.
The dark side of the Gideons
While those outside of the Bible Belt believe the above, they do not know the other activities these folks engage in. The Gideons are well known for going as near college campuses as possible and very vocally proselytizing. Even worse, though, they often go into rural public elementary schools to proselytize. When school boards and their members that have explicitly endorsed the Gideons' actions have been confronted over its unconstitutionality by parents and legal groups such as the ACLU, they have in certain cases responded that they are simply attempting to help the poor students, or that interaction between church and state is inevitable, so we might as well tolerate it.
Among the Gideons only men hand out Bibles; women are not allowed to become Gideons and can only serve the men as auxiliaries.
- An amusing story of this is recounted by Al Franken in his book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.
- "Bible Distribution in Public Schools." Freedom from Religion Foundation.
- Dave Bohon. "ACLU Targets Tennessee Schools Over Christian Activities." The New American. 2011 May 13.
- Charles Lewis. "Bible distribution in classrooms divides Ontario community." National Post. 2010 November 30.
- Leslie Newell Peacock. "More preachin' in school." Arkansas Times. 2009 October 30.
- Doug Koop. "Gideons slow down pace of change." ChristianWeek. 2010 September 22.