Hotel offers “spiritual menu” of scriptures

September 14, 2014 • 6:20 am

Reader Diane L., inspired by yesterday’s post about Penn State’s hotels removing Gideon Bibles from the rooms, sent a photo she snapped in a hotel that takes religious diversity very seriously:

Your post about Penn State removing bibles made me remember a “spiritual menu” at a Portland, Oregon hotel – the Hotel deLuxe—and had to share.  I didn’t end up touching the “Make it So” button and choosing a book, but only snapped a photo of the menu.  I loved how I got a beam of light for effect!  : )


Of course it’s from Portland—the hippest of hipster towns. And “Make it so,” is, of course, the phrase used by Captain Picard on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

I have  four comments:


2. Judging by where the light beam fell, the True Religion must be Hinduism.

3. Why is the Torah a separate document, since it’s simply the first five books of the Old Testament, from Genesis through Deuteronomy? Is the deLuxe’s version in Hebrew, or do the Jews simply not want to defile themselves by holding the New Testament?

4. Where is The God Delusion?


51 thoughts on “Hotel offers “spiritual menu” of scriptures

  1. As much as I like R Dawkins (with several caveats and reservations), if one were to choose a single skeptic book for purposes of this menu, I would go for “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine.

    1. I would go for Michael Onfray’s in defense of atheism or The System of Nature by Henri Theiry d’Holdbach.
      Better still, Superstition in the ages by Jean Messlier would work just fine.

  2. Re Question 3.

    The full Jewish Bible (known as the Tanakh), and also comes bound in a single volume without the Christian New Testament books. (And the books in the Tanakh are in a slightly different sequence than the Christian Old Testament, in a way that some think makes a significant difference.)

    But the Torah (the first five books of the Tanakh) is held in greater reverence. The scrolls kept inside the “ark” in every Jewish Synagogue are the 5 books of the Torah only, not the full 24 books of the Tanakh.

    So I’m not too surprised at the penultimate item on the list.

    1. Perhaps someone could comment on how a Jewish translation of the Torah (I’m assuming it wasn’t offered in Hebrew) might differ from the KJV. The King James, was, after all a translation deliberately focused on buttressing the divinely-derived authority of the Scottish/English king, James (VI and I) and was “authorized” by the crown. It was controversial at the time as it replaced an older and (apparently) much loved Geneva translation. I would assume KJV has a slightly different focus than a Jewish translation, but that’s just a guess.

      As an aside, given the politics of its origins I never quite figured out why the King James is the version favored by most American fundigelicles.

      1. People tend to get quite upset about the merits of various translations, but, frankly, I’ve never found one that disagrees from the others with respect to the broad meaning. It’s all just different shades of lipstick on the same necrotic warthog.


    2. Once, I went to a bat mitzvah in a Reform temple & when they pulled out the torah I kept thinking of the nazis getting melted in Raiders of the Lost Ark,/i> & wondered if I’d be melted for being an atheist. I figure the Jewish version of god is okay with atheists – it’s the Catholic one that will get you. This is why I tell people that I can’t go into Catholic churches as all the statues will start to bleed. 🙂

      1. Alas, ‘taint so. I should know, what with all the church gigs I’ve done. I’m sure I could perform an entire mass without a cheat sheet…and, yet, the buildings in which I heard those “many vain repetitions” are all still standing and none of the icons have bled….


      2. OT, that scene was inspired by a scene in Alessandro Jodorowsky’s unmade adaptation of Dune. His and Moebius’s storyboards were widely circulated in Hollywood and their stamp can be seen in many later sf and fantasy films.


        1. Interesting. I wonder what scene that was going to occur in.

          I saw that movie with my Nana when she visited from NZ; she kept saying, “it is only paper mâché”. So funny that she was obliviously freaked out and reminding me it was just a movie but also funny because her special effects ideas were so limited.

          1. And the main Nazi whose face melts was none other than the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells in Blackadder 2.

            It’s all linked……

        2. If only that movie had been made…! Jodorowsky is an absolute maniac so it would have been either a great or absolutely terrible.

      3. I’ve sung in many churches and even attended a few ceremonies for family purposes, and nothing so interesting ever happened. Pity, would have livened things up.

  3. Is having scientology on the list really so surprising? Seems to have about the same quantity of nonsense as the rest…

    1. Scientologists donate books wherever they think they might possibly take root. I would guess Scientology was on that list because a Scientologist stayed there and insisted the hotel add their religion’s works too.

      (Fun fact: very few Scientologists have actually read Dianetics. They’re intimidated by it.)

    1. ++++111 !! This book changed my life!

      excerpt (On Wisdom):

      The smallest insect possesses profound Wisdom.
      That small insect knows the secrets of the earth that man shall never know.
      A fish knows the secrets of the sea that man shall never know.
      A bird knows the secrets of the sky that man shall never know.

      And what is that secret, Master, the man asked.

      He replied:
      It is this:
      All of the creatures of earth must use their imagination.
      For it is imagination that makes a piece of bread taste like steak, water taste like wine, and worms taste like chicken.

      But what about the secret of the bird, the man insisted.

      What bird? the Master inquired.

  4. Hmm…if the idea is to go with ancient and older texts of great wisdom that remain relevant to this day that perhaps people don’t read as much as they should…

    …I’d have to go with, in chronological order:

    Elements by Euclid

    Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Sir Isaac Newton

    On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

    Those three ought to keep pretty much anybody busy for at least as long as one is likely to stay in an hotel.


  5. My first thought was, what one book should be on the list as the source of all atheism. Of course, The God Delusion is an excellent starting point for atheism, but it isn’t the source. There are plenty of other good books covering a wide variety of relevant topics. (WEIT being high on the list of course).

    A good apologist will probably say it’s a virtue to have everything all in one book. I say it isn’t… our knowledge is too broad, too deep, and constantly being refined. It’s an intellectual liability to base everything on one book. Especially one that’s past it’s expiration date.

  6. “Judging by where the light beam fell, the True Religion must be Hinduism.”

    Except that we know that the almighty, whatever its true nature is, has terrible aim. 🙂

  7. I think The Portable Atheist would be a better book to represent us. We have no authority figures so there shouldn’t be a book by a single author.

    (Not that any of the holy books have single authors, either)

  8. I think the light beam actually falls onto an empty space in the list of holy books, which is, incidentally, should be the atheist choice: no faith, no holy book to justify it.

  9. The Pasta Bible
    (Available on Amazon – I was looking for a funnier pasta-related title, but this seemed apt for the context.)

  10. Also omitted is the Book of Mammon. However,it should be known that the Mammonites have split into several sects depending on what currency should be displayed on the cover (dollars versus euros) and among the Dollarite sect, a split has developed as to what the amount of the dollar bill should be ($1 vs $2). Wait!. I am informed that a Sawbuck
    sect is emerging and some Bitcoinists are not
    far behind. I don’t expect to see any of these sects leaving symbols of their religion behind in hotel drawers.

    1. An excellent choice. I also have to laugh at some of the 5-star reviews:

      “Fantastically accurate and a perfect representation of the bibles message. A great holiday gift for every age. Five stars easy.”


      “I love the way you really bring the bible to life. This should be available to everyone everywhere to learn the true teachings of god”

      1. I love the ‘Brick Bible’. I’ve also got ‘Brick Shakespeare’, which is great fun. I thoroughly recommend them, and plan to increase my collection of ‘Brick …’ books.

  11. Is it me, or is there actually a little extra white space before “Books on Scientology”? Like they felt obliged to include them, but only at arm’s length?

  12. Thank you Hotel Deluxe and Portland, Oregon.

    1. Books on Scientology, but no books on Mormonism, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventism, etc.?

    2. Good humor, but no significance as to where the light seems to focus in this photo. Good thing it doesn’t form a religious image.

    3. Unfortunately, I’ve read the Old Testament, but not the Torah, so I don’t know if there are significant differences.

    4. Hotel Deluxe: please include a selection of secular, humanist. agnostic, atheist literature. I’m certain that one Portland’s local atheist groups such as CFI, FFRF, etc. would be happy to make suggestions.

  13. Perhaps we could get readers to send reading materials to this hotel – I’d be happy to send a copy of The God Delusion and God is Not Great…. Anyone who quotes Picard must have a sense of humor.

  14. Dead Cthulhu will not wait, dreaming, at a hotel that doesn’t offer the Necronomicon, even if there is complementary Wi-Fi. They can kiss his business good-bye.

  15. What? Seattle and no Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
    The First Enlightened One, Bobby Henderson, has either moved out of Seattle, missed a trick, or is on the case.

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