The Abimelech Society
from The Canadian Atheist (a quarterly newsletter)
<<< The Bible is the most stolen book, here is one group that needs our prayers. >>>>
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 There are now adherents in many countries around the world, and thousands of Bibles and New Testaments have been withdrawn from circulation, confiscated, destroyed, or put to some useful purpose.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.
The above 'mission statement' of the Abimelech Society describes the purpose and the work. It is not a formal organization: there are no dues or elected officers, no annual meetings, and anyone who supports the aims of the society as described in the mission statement is welcome to consider themselves a member. We do encourage discussions among members of topics relevant to the Society such as: what to do with specimens once confiscated. The Society maintains a Book Depository in Winnipeg, Manitoba for temporary storage of specimens.
Among the known final uses of specimens are: insulation material in home construction and rolling papers for smoking tobacco and other herbs. Because of their dense nature, specimens burn poorly in fireplaces, although they have been employed as fuel in restored steam locomotives by Atheist rail buffs. Bible paper usually is poorly absorbent and therefore is not recommended for hygienic purposes except in case of extreme need.
It is hoped that the direct actions of Atheists in endeavors such as those represented by the mission statement of the Abimelech Society will contribute to the diminishing influence of organized religion worldwide. From the psychological point of view, involvement in this type of direct action gives freethinkers a sense of participation in the ongoing struggle against ignorance and superstition, and reduces their sense of helplessness in a society of religious dupes.
The question has been asked at times, is this confiscation of Bibles and New Testaments possibly an illegal activity? Would we be liable to prosecution for theft? I rather think not, for many of the specimens indicate that the readers should take it along if they become engrossed in the text. So we don't think the removals are in themselves actionable, given that the original distributor, the Gideon Society, permits their removal.
"The Canadian Atheist" a quarterly newsletter, Autumn 1995 issue.
[copy &paste] http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/abimelec.htm for the site where I got this article