Christian Group Blocked From Distributing Bibles In Georgia Hospital In Name Of DEI, Sources Say
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Gideons International, the Christian organization known for distributing Bibles to hospitals across the country, is being blocked out by a large hospital system in rural Georgia because of new diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. 

Gideons, which distributes its free Bibles to not only hospitals, but also various other locations like hotels, and jails, is now blocked from servicing the Phoebe Putney Health System, which serves hundreds of thousands of people in over 40 Georgia counties and is one of the state’s largest healthcare providers. Gideons hasn’t had its Bibles in the system’s hospitals for months after maintaining a working relationship for several years, according to sources who spoke with The Daily Wire.

The policy raises questions about why inclusion policies would be used to exclude Christians from sharing Bibles with those who are sick or on their deathbed. It also raises questions how such a policy could be in place in a place referred to by locals as the “belt buckle” of the Bible belt. 

Gideons was founded in 1899 and has distributed over 2 billion Bibles in more than 95 languages to 200 countries and territories. It is most well known for placing Bibles in night stands in hotels across America with about a million being distributed every year to hotels and motels.

A source familiar with intimate knowledge of the situation said that Gideons was first restricted during the response to the coronavirus pandemic from entering Phoebe. The organization wasn’t let back in after COVID restrictions were relaxed and they attempted to resume their work last year. At the time, the Gideons were told their work was “a violation of the DEI policy and they would no longer be allowed” into the Phoebe facilities, according to the source.

The source said that the policy was “clearly anti-Christian” and that citing DEI to restrict the Gideons made no sense because Christians were being excluded instead of included.

Neither Phoebe’s communications team nor its chief DEI officer responded to multiple requests for comments. Scott Steiner, the CEO of Phoebe, is aware of the exclusion of the Gideons from Phoebe facilities, as are several members of the board of the health system, according to a source familiar with the situation. 

The source said that hospital policies started to take a leftward drift when Phoebe brought on Steiner as CEO back in 2019, which is evidenced by the fact that he has pushed DEI principles throughout the health system since taking the helm of Phoebe. Steiner is a member of the Georgia Diversity Council, which describes itself as the “premier resource for diversity best practices and leadership development in the state of Georgia.”

In previous comments, Steiner has said that his staff managers are not diverse enough and that he would take the lead on changing that.

“We have an incredibly vibrant and diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we serve,” he said at the health system’s diversity council’s first meeting in January 2022. “In some areas of our organization — like on our management team — that diversity has been less evident, and we are committed to looking at ways to making meaningful change.”

He added that looking at the diversity situation at Phoebe “might make me a little uncomfortable, but if we’re not dealing with discomfort head-on, then we’re not diving in deeply and honestly enough.”

According to the Albany Herald, pursuing diversity policies was a major focus of Steiner when he took over Phoebe and he appointed Jennifer Williams to be the system’s diversity and inclusion officer. William’s bio says that she is a “bridge-builder and believes in the value of diversity of thought.”

Under Williams, Phoebe has begun tracking how much money it spends with “diverse” local suppliers, tracking improvement on “diversity” each year, and conducting focus groups with employees. 

“We began with focus groups made up of minority leaders across the health system — distilling their input into key action items,” Williams said. “Two recommendations were the establishment of a permanent diversity council and systemwide diversity and unconscious bias training. Our senior leaders and health system board quickly adopted those recommendations, and we’ve been off and running.”

The exclusion of the Gideons at Phoebe Health comes as the medical institutions across the country face criticism for focusing on DEI as opposed to merit and teaching the actual medical field. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Christian Group Blocked From Distributing Bibles In Georgia Hospital In Name Of DEI, Sources Say