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Hobby Lobby founders plan to combat 'ignorance of what God has taught' with Bible museum in D.C.

Arianna Pickard Published: July 18, 2014
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After winning a high-profile Supreme Court case last month, Hobby Lobby founder and president Steve Green wants to plant a Bible museum two blocks from Washington, D.C.’s National Mall.

When the Supreme Court on June 30 overturned the Obama administration’s mandate requiring companies to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, Barbara Green, Steve’s wife and the co-founder of Hobby Lobby, called the court’s decision “a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith.”

“This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught,” Mr. Green said in a speech last year in New York, the New York Times reports. “There are lessons from the past that we can learn from, the dangers of ignorance of this book. We need to know it. If we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary.”

In Oklahoma City, Green has already put together one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. He’s spent more than $30 million collecting thousands of ancient manuscripts, Torahs, Bibles and papyrus, which he calls the Green Collection.

The “Museum of the Bible,” his nonprofit organization overseeing the project, considered building the museum in Dallas and New York but chose Washington for its tourists, museum culture and national profile. Annie Laurie Gaylor, who is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that promotes the separation of church and state, told the New York Times: “My instincts would tell me that they are choosing Washington, D.C., because they intend to influence Congress.”

By building this museum, which the New York Times calculates to be an $800 million venture, Green says he wants to “reintroduce” the “reliable historical document” to the nation.

Back home in Oklahoma, Green has already had a hand in “reintroducing” the educational value of the Bible to the public schooling system in Mustang.

Green supported a curriculum approved by the Mustang School Board in April that will teach archaeology, history and the arts through Bible stories. It will also teach that God is always there in times of trouble and that sinners must “suffer the consequences” of disobeying. The elective course, called “The Book: The Bible’s History, Narrative and Impact,” will start this fall and already had 170 students pre-enrolled when NewsOK spoke with Mustang School Superintendent Sean McDaniel in April.