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The Surprising Reason U.S. Hotels Keep Bibles in the Nightstand

By Amber Garrett

If you've ever stayed in a hotel or motel in the United States, you've probably found a copy of the Bible in the nightstand of nearly every room you rented. If you've ever wondered why that is, a former hotel worker on reddit shared some surprising insights.

While one big reason is that they are usually donated (most often by the Gideon Society), but apparently another intention is to provide comfort to somebody who is lonely, depressed, and perhaps suicidal.

First, why do hotels have Gideon Bibles specifically?

Well, the short answer is because they get them for free from Gideons International. The society was founded in 1899 by two traveling businessmen in Wisconsin. As was the case when they formed the society, membership is only open to men, ages 21 and older, who are members of good standing in a Protestant or evangelical church. So sorry, women and Catholics, but you can stay home.