Reading the Bible on the toilet?

This might sound silly, but is it a sin to read the Bible on the toilet?

You shouldn’t be spending that much time on the toilet. It’s not good for you and can lead to other problems. You really should just get in there, do your business, and leave.

That being said, if the bathroom is the only place you can get peace and quiet (moms know what I mean), you could put the cover down and treat it like a chair. Or put a small folding chair in the room.

Not a sin.

What problems can be caused by reading on the toilet? Growing up in a house with many annoying people in it, I did a lot of reading on the toilet. I experienced no negative consequences.

And no, it’s not a sin. Just remember to flush.

But be careful. My copy of Henri Nouwen’s Genesee Diary slipped out of my hands years ago and fell in the toilet! A tragedy :frowning:

Two Jesuit novices both wanted a cigarette while they prayed. They decided to ask their superior for permission. The first asked but was told no. A little while later he spotted his friend smoking and praying. “Why did the superior allow you to smoke and not me?” he asked. His friend replied, “Because you asked if you could smoke while you prayed, and I asked if I could pray while I smoked!”

The dreaded H. I can’t spell them, so I won’t try :slight_smile:

Sometimes the business on the toilet takes time, and I used that time to read my Catechism. I kept it in the bathroom and would read a little when i was in there. I accomplished a great deal in small snatches of time. There is nothing wrong with reading the Bible on the toilet.

I’m not sure what you are talking about, but nothing bad every happened to me that started with H. Hiding out in the bathroom did sometimes make it possible to get my homework done. Is that your dreaded “H”?

As a female who has roomed with several females (military and such), I don’t know of any who spent ‘quality time’ on the toilet. However, in a family of three brothers and a father, plus boyfriends and a husband, they did typically ‘stay put’ longer. Personally, and as was the case with female roommates, our ‘quality time’ in the bathroom was in the tub.

I’m not trying to give TMI, but to give background for my concentrated reflection (a couple of years ago) on the quote:

“Every man likes the smell of his own farts.” - Icelandic Proverb

There was just a ‘ring’ to it that caught my attention. Like how men often pass gas ‘so freely’ (without shame or embarrassment), for instance…and often with a strange laughter. :wink:

I’ve wondered about ‘spiritual connections’ with the oracle sites and their methane gases but came to no workable theories.

Some men say their best ideas come to them in the bathroom. I don’t know if that means the shower, the john - or in the shower after using the john?

My perspective of whether God cares where we read his Word - He only cares that we read and desire to Know. God is either everywhere or He is not…bathrooms and bedrooms are not off-limits, nor during the commission of a robbery (if one should feel so inclined at that moment).

Thanks for the question that brought this curious topic back to the surface, even if just for a bit. :slight_smile:


We should treat Bibles with greater reverence than other books. I’m not going to say the matter in question is absolute; there could be exceptions (to take an extreme example, a concentration camp). But personally, I wouldn’t be comfortable bringing the written Word of God into the restroom – let alone keeping it there – partly just out of respect, but also because of what might happen to it.

I think it’s hemorrhoids.

I have heard that too, about simply sitting there for so long, but it’s not like sitting there reading means you’re actually going or trying to go the whole time. It may be that if one is prone to them, one should avoid sitting in positions that put strain on them.

In our house growing up we never had reading material in the bathroom, but somehow I always ended up reading the shampoo bottles over and over and over again anyway (just like when I sat at the breakfast table and read the cereal box). Some people just like to have something to read to keep their minds occupied.

I have a magazine rack in our bathroom and put material for both kids and adults on it, including spiritual stuff. The kids’ books have been a great help when it comes to potty training. :thumbsup:

Here’s another CAF thread on this topic from 2007. I like #23 for ‘balance’.

Post #23 - Perhaps it depends on the outlook of the person doing the reading. If in your mind this cheapens the sacred, then you shouldn’t do it. Others might not even understand the problem, and for them it probably doesn’t matter.

Post #32 - I sure hope not–I’ve done it many times! I often keep a copy of the CCC on the back of my commode and have consequently read through almost the entire book. Many of my friends have paperback Bibles and religious reading in their bathroom–sure beats the Reader’s Digest.

I figure if the Bible should fall into the toilet, it’d just be up for ‘retirement’. :slight_smile:


I would agree with this. We are a sacramental faith. We believe that times and places can be sanctified…set apart for God. I don’t believe the bathroom is an appropriate place for studying the Sacred Scriptures or praying the Liturgy of the Hours. The Church herself states that it is ideal to pray in a sacred place, especially a church, but even a prayer corner in one’s home is a good start. Of course we can and should pray anywhere and always… but performing “sacred actions”, such as Lectio Divina (prayerful reading of the Scriptures), should probably be done in a somewhat more dignified manner than sitting on the toilet.

The story is told that St. Theresa of Avila was doing her “business” while praying at the same time. The devil appeared to her and mocked her for praying while performing such an activity.

The Saint’s reply (paraphrased): “Be quiet! What comes out of my lips is for God. What comes out of the other end is for you!”

That said, while I can and will read the Bible casually while “seated on the throne”, I would still perform Lectio Divina or pray the Liturgy of the Hours in a more dignified setting, even if just in the driver seat of my SUV.

In my house, the bathroom is the most sacred room. It’s the one room where the other members of my household feel I have a legitimate claim to be left undisturbed for a little while. If someone is bold enough to break the boundary and knock on the door and shout, “What are you doing in there?”, all one has to say is, “What do you think?” and that’s the end of the invasion. No other room in the house offers such a respect of privacy. It’s like the Adoration chapel of the family home. (Unless, your home actually has an Adoration chapel.)

The condition that they sell Preparation H for.


“Whatever happened to Preparations A through G!!!”

Speaking for myself, sitting on the toilet is the last place I would want to be reading my Bible! I don’t see it as a sin, but I don’t find it appropriate. But that is just me.


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