Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bible dropping

International Bible Society, a local organization that quietly distributes 150 tons (yes, that's right) of Scripture every year, has unleashed a slew of New Testaments on the Canadian city of Brampton, Ontario. More than 116,000 New Testaments were distributed through the local newspaper, the Brampton Guardian, and hit Canadian doorsteps yesterday morning.

The drop was part of IBS' ongoing City Reachers program, which uses local newspapers to spread the "good news," as it were. The newspapers distribute the Scriptures -- just as they sometimes distribute shampoo samples or AOL disks -- for a price. Typically, a coalition of local churches sponsors the distribution through IBS, which in turn coordinates with the local newspapers.

As far as I can tell, the distribution in Brampton came and went without comment -- at least comment from the Guardian. Not so when a similar distribution occurred here (The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo.) two years ago. It caused a minor uproar among some residents and stirred discussion among national media. Some believe Scripture should be treated differently than shampoo, and that distributing such products suggests the paper also supports its message -- dicey territory for a secular newspaper.

Still, IBS couldn't be happier with the City Reachers' program. According to IBS officials, more than 100 cities have expressed interest in similar drops.

What do you think?


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