Goofing off in a hotel room

I’ve been doing a little goofing off these days, working on some art projects, and generally playing around with Photoshop. I was going through some pictures, and had a bit of a laugh when I saw “The Teaching of Buddha” photo from Cancun. This book was in the hotel room instead of a bible.
I guess either the Gideons hadn’t been by, or the Abimelechs had. I like the style and general mischievousness of the Abimelech Society. And they were apparently Canadians. Here’s a little tidbit of information from our good friends at Positive Atheism:

The Abimelechs are an association of Atheist commercial, business, and professional men and women who have as one of their objects: The removal from circulation of the so-called Word of God or Holy Bible, from hotels, motels, hospitals, school classrooms, university dormitories, penal institutions, and many other places, and by the confiscation of New Testaments from school children, service personnel, and nurses.
The Association was founded in Canada 29 years ago by a couple of Freethinkers who, in a hotel room, found the only reading material to be a Gideon Bible, and were angered by this overt propaganda by the Christians and decided to do something about it. There are now adherents in many countries around the world, and thousands of Bibles and New Testaments have been withdrawn from circulation, confiscated, destroyed, or put to some useful purpose.
The Abimelechs named themselves after the bastard son of Gideon and his followers who, in the story related in ninth Chapter of the Book of Judges, were inspired to usurp the work of the Judge Gideon and his associates, who had wrought havoc upon the many peoples whose religious beliefs differed from their own conviction that Yahweh was the Only True God.

So, in the same vein as Biologists Helping Bookstores I thought it might be fun to try being an Abimelech. I’ve always thought it would be fun to make sure each hotel room I visited had a copy of “The God Delusion” or some other book to balance it out. Or perhaps a little calling card saying “This bible removed courtesy of the Abimelech Society”. That might be something someone would actually buy (say a bunch of postcards with that little message on it and something inspiring, like a picture of a sunset on the back).
Here’s my first attempt on this as an art piece:
The next thing I wanted to do was to compile a list of books that would either replace the bible, or complement it — balance it out, so to speak:

  • “The Teaching of Buddha”
  • “An English interpretation of the Holy Quran” by A. Yusuf Ali
  • “Wicca For Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice” by Thea Sabin
  • “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac
  • “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins
  • “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” by Christopher Moore
  • “The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993” by Charles Bukowski
  • “The Origin Of Species” by Charles Darwin
  • “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” by Christopher Hitchens
  • “Wish You Were Here: A Tour of America’s Great Hotels During the Golden Age of the Picture Post Card” by Barry Zaid

If you have a list of other books you’d add, please leave a comment.

2 Responses to “Goofing off in a hotel room

  • The Tao Te Ching, for sure. It’s short enough to read in a single evening, as a bonus.
    Principia Mathematica, either Newton’s or Russell’s?
    Bullfinch’s Mythology?

  • Good selections. How about these:
    “Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie
    “Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels” by Alexander Heidel
    “The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever” by Christopher Hitchens
    “The Jefferson Bible” by Thomas Jefferson
    “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism” by Susan Jacoby