(RNS) The Gideon Bibles are going back in the Navy’s nightstand drawers.
In June, the U.S. Navy ordered housekeepers at thousands of Navy-owned guest lodges near U.S. and international bases to remove the Bibles and any other “religious materials” from their rooms. Scriptures would remain available on request.
But public outcry, prompted this week by a social media alert from the American Family Association and protests by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, led the brass to reverse course Friday (Aug. 15).
Now, the Navy’s “religious accommodation policies with regard to the placement of religious materials are under review,” Navy spokesman Cmdr. Ryan Perry wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes, the daily military newspaper. Meanwhile, the Bibles (New Testament and Psalms but no Hebrew Bible) will be tucked back into nightstand drawers.