Evangelical Group Pays Newspaper to Reprint Bible in Sunday Paper

The International Bible Society has paid the Colorado Springs Gazette $36,000 to include the New Testament as an insert in its Sunday paper.

...for the International Bible Society, it's a winner. It gets new souls to save. And the Gazette? Well, the newspaper will make $36,000 for distributing the New Testament, as well as proceeds from a full-page ad that will appear that day thanking 130 local Christian churches and ministries (including Focus on the Family and New Life Church) who shelled out the money to pay for the insert.

This is only the first of several such planned inserts:

Colorado Springs is merely the first city where the International Bible Society plans to distribute the New Testament inside daily newspapers. Jackson said the group is currently in discussions with the Denver Post to distribute a Denver version; Seattle, Nashville and Santa Rosa, Calif. are also high priorities.

The local Synagogue is less than pleased. But it has decided to try and make a positive statement by distributing unwanted bibles to churches and homeless shelters. One other reason it disapproves of the inserts--they show a disrespect for that which is holy:

For many Jews, putting Bibles in plastic sacks and then throwing them on the ground is desecrating God's word. "We don't even put our Bibles on the floor," Simon noted. "If a car runs over it, or it falls into the gutter, that's desecration; it's the name of God."

The evangelicals respond:

"We want to shout His name from the rooftops," he said. "This is an efficient and powerful way to send out the news."

Whatever happened to the idea that one's religion is a personal matter between you and your preferred higher being? Does anyone else find excessive public displays of religion tasteless?

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