So says the Navy.
The Navy on Thursday ordered the Bibles returned to rooms and said it is reviewing a decision by the Navy Exchange to remove them from its worldwide network of military hotels.
Atheists had cheered a victory after a complaint prompted the exchange to begin moving the Bibles to its lost-and-found bins this summer, but the Navy said the decision was made without consulting senior leadership.
“That decision and our 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. “While that review is under way, religious materials removed from Navy Lodge rooms will be returned.”
The Navy Exchange sent a memorandum in June to all its lodge managers saying the Bibles and all religious materials left in rooms will be removed using “established procedures for lost-and-found property.”
In the meantime, managers were ordered to “refer all inquiries about placing religious materials including Bibles to the chaplain’s office for the military installation where the lodge is located,” according to the memo written by Bill Mayhue, the Navy lodge program regional manager. It was signed off on by the director of the Navy Exchange lodges program.
“This will allow the commanding officer to determine … whether the materials will be accepted and how they will be handled and distributed,” Mayhue wrote…