Unpacking, and Packing for Atlanta

I have an conundrum:

In the course of my unpacking, I am unearthing quite a collection of Bibles. Some of them even have my or Damon’s names engraved on the cover. I don’t want all these Bibles. I suppose I could stick them in the back of a closet, but I feel resistant. I love my old family Bibles, but these newer ones are reminders of a time in my life that wasn’t particularly good. Or, rather, it was chaotic and terrifying.

That said, it wasn’t the Bibles that made it so. They were innocent bystanders.

I’m aware of some of your (plural) feelings about religion/Christianity/Bibles. And I might even agree with some or all of it. I’m not religious. I don’t believe it’s the infallible word of God or anything inherently mystical. And yet, I can’t just throw them in the garbage. It also feels wrong to just chuck them on the Good Will pile.

I’m a big believer in treating things sacred to others with respect. I wouldn’t throw a Koran or a statue of Buddha in the garbage. I do not like “hilarious” or otherwise ironic religious art. I know there’s a line somewhere for me, and I’ve never bothered to define it. I wouldn’t have a problem pitching a copy of Dianetics, for example.

So. What do I do with these Bibles? I do know that I seem to be dismissing every possibility. My last option (the Hail Mary, you might say) is that my oldest friend is coming to visit soon, Perhaps I will hide them in his suitcase. I think he would understand, and have the good sense to never mention it.

On an entirely different note: We’re going to Atlanta next weekend! I’m excited for many reasons, and seeing old (and new) friends is at the top of that list. Sunday afternoon we’re going to take up residence somewhere for a few hours to invite anyone interested to come say hello and meet Alden. Any suggestions for locations would be much appreciated.

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28 responses to this post.

  1. I think I would try to find a church to give them to; that might take some research, since I imagine some of them might be particular as to what version they want, but I agree that just throwing them out seems wrong.
    I’m really looking forward to meeting you guys!

    Reply

  2. I think I would try to find a church to give them to; that might take some research, since I imagine some of them might be particular as to what version they want, but I agree that just throwing them out seems wrong.
    I’m really looking forward to meeting you guys!

    Reply

    • We’re so excited to meet you too!
      The church donation is a good suggestion. We have several versions, but there are also many many many churches in Knoxville.

      Reply

  3. I second the giving them to the church option, but I would insist that you hand them to the clergy directly and say “I don’t need these anymore I’m turning my back on my faith”. K. maybe not.
    Just check into hotels and leave them behind like those gideon people do.

    Reply

  4. I second the giving them to the church option, but I would insist that you hand them to the clergy directly and say “I don’t need these anymore I’m turning my back on my faith”. K. maybe not.
    Just check into hotels and leave them behind like those gideon people do.

    Reply

    • It’s like all those strategically deserted books and cds I’ve left strewn all over NYC. That would certainly suit my personality. Except for the getting-confrontational-with-the-minister part. Then again…

      Reply

  5. I share your undefined-borders aversion to treating others’ sacred with disrespect, and alas, have no alternatives to suggest. I think our bibles are all living in a box someplace. And when, may the day be long in coming, I inherit the big Lutheran German family bible from my father (which is ironic… he’s converted to Catholicism and doesn’t read German, and my German-speaking mother is a Catholic) I will probably keep it out on display, like the beautiful museum piece it is.

    Reply

  6. I share your undefined-borders aversion to treating others’ sacred with disrespect, and alas, have no alternatives to suggest. I think our bibles are all living in a box someplace. And when, may the day be long in coming, I inherit the big Lutheran German family bible from my father (which is ironic… he’s converted to Catholicism and doesn’t read German, and my German-speaking mother is a Catholic) I will probably keep it out on display, like the beautiful museum piece it is.

    Reply

    • Oh yeah, I have an ancient family Bible that is a treasure to me. It’s displayed pretty prominently on our living room bookshelves. I need to look into getting it repaired. It’s just about ready to disintegrate.

      Reply

  7. what about a church-related charity… one that is likely to use/give Bibles out, whether at a homeless shelter or church library or somesuch…. I’ve seen many on the Salvation Army thrift store shelves… something like that would make them available to someone who might wish for one…

    Reply

  8. what about a church-related charity… one that is likely to use/give Bibles out, whether at a homeless shelter or church library or somesuch…. I’ve seen many on the Salvation Army thrift store shelves… something like that would make them available to someone who might wish for one…

    Reply

    • That’s a great suggestion. Surely there’s a Salvation Army around here. At least I can be grateful that it will be easier to find takers for a Bible in Knoxville then it would be the aforementioned Koran.

      Reply

  9. 1. Freecycle. Someone out there wants them.
    2. I’ll take one. I used to have a bunch, too, and now I don’t think we have any. Seems we should have at least one.
    3. Discard respectfully, according to your idea of respect. Burial under an old tree comes to mind.
    I’ve burned a Bible before (with no intent of being respectful). I think it’s about the naughtiest thing I’ve ever done. The letters glowed red when they burned, which was kinda cool. But it’s not something I would recommend.

    Reply

  10. 1. Freecycle. Someone out there wants them.
    2. I’ll take one. I used to have a bunch, too, and now I don’t think we have any. Seems we should have at least one.
    3. Discard respectfully, according to your idea of respect. Burial under an old tree comes to mind.
    I’ve burned a Bible before (with no intent of being respectful). I think it’s about the naughtiest thing I’ve ever done. The letters glowed red when they burned, which was kinda cool. But it’s not something I would recommend.

    Reply

  11. Cabbage Street Cafe? I’d call in advance, but it’s decently nice, and they have beverages of the alcoholic, soft, and coffee/tea variety, as well as light and dessert food and cookies.
    You’re welcome to use my house, but it’s humble. But you’re more than welcome to it, in all seriousness. Just don’t open the guest room door.
    Take the bibles to the nursing home?

    Reply

  12. Cabbage Street Cafe? I’d call in advance, but it’s decently nice, and they have beverages of the alcoholic, soft, and coffee/tea variety, as well as light and dessert food and cookies.
    You’re welcome to use my house, but it’s humble. But you’re more than welcome to it, in all seriousness. Just don’t open the guest room door.
    Take the bibles to the nursing home?

    Reply

    • That’s such a generous offer, and much much appreciated. Where do you live?
      The twist I might ask to apply is that we can hang out somewhere near your house — Cabbage Street Cafe would probably be great if it’s near — and then beg your hospitality for Alden when he starts to wilt. It would be so nice to have somewhere quiet nearby where he could be whisked off for a nurse or a nap without forcing us to end the gathering abruptly.

      Reply

  13. I Googled Bible donation and found this:
    http://cribooks.homestead.com/bareyourbookshelf.html
    It might even be tax deductible, so everybody wins!

    Reply

  14. I Googled Bible donation and found this:
    http://cribooks.homestead.com/bareyourbookshelf.html
    It might even be tax deductible, so everybody wins!

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2008 at 4:37 am

      I always feel foolish for not checking with Google before I ask a question. Thank you. This is clearly the best solution for a lazy person such as myself. I have sent away for the mailing materials. Much appreciated!

      Reply

  15. We’re so excited to meet you too!
    The church donation is a good suggestion. We have several versions, but there are also many many many churches in Knoxville.

    Reply

  16. It’s like all those strategically deserted books and cds I’ve left strewn all over NYC. That would certainly suit my personality. Except for the getting-confrontational-with-the-minister part. Then again…

    Reply

  17. Oh yeah, I have an ancient family Bible that is a treasure to me. It’s displayed pretty prominently on our living room bookshelves. I need to look into getting it repaired. It’s just about ready to disintegrate.

    Reply

  18. That’s a great suggestion. Surely there’s a Salvation Army around here. At least I can be grateful that it will be easier to find takers for a Bible in Knoxville then it would be the aforementioned Koran.

    Reply

  19. That’s such a generous offer, and much much appreciated. Where do you live?
    The twist I might ask to apply is that we can hang out somewhere near your house — Cabbage Street Cafe would probably be great if it’s near — and then beg your hospitality for Alden when he starts to wilt. It would be so nice to have somewhere quiet nearby where he could be whisked off for a nurse or a nap without forcing us to end the gathering abruptly.

    Reply

  20. Posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2008 at 4:37 am

    I always feel foolish for not checking with Google before I ask a question. Thank you. This is clearly the best solution for a lazy person such as myself. I have sent away for the mailing materials. Much appreciated!

    Reply

  21. Posted by Anonymous on October 9, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve got a matinee on Sunday but I may give you cats a call afterwards to see if you’re still out and about. If you would, shoot me an email at matt@mr-pixel.com to make sure I have the proper cell #s, please and thank you.
    Matt Myers

    Reply

  22. Posted by Anonymous on October 9, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve got a matinee on Sunday but I may give you cats a call afterwards to see if you’re still out and about. If you would, shoot me an email at matt@mr-pixel.com to make sure I have the proper cell #s, please and thank you.
    Matt Myers

    Reply

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