Background: The Green family (the folks who own Hobby Lobby) plans to spend some of their money on building a Bible Museum in
NYC [DC. My bad.] – actually, they’ve been planning to do this for some time. Why? Because they think that the Bible is, you know, the word of God; and they intend to promote interest through it via the avenue of a privately-owned, yet well-situated, museum. And hoo, boy, does that get the usual suspects in full meltdown mode:
Such sentiments have stirred fears about the museum among groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which promotes separation between church and state. “I think they are a great threat,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, a co-president of the group, which is based in Madison, Wis. “My instincts would tell me that they are choosing Washington, D.C., because they intend to influence Congress.”
Scheduled to open in 2017, the yet-to-be-named museum would welcome people of all faiths and include rare Torahs as well as historic Bibles.
You can kind of hear the NYT article writer sound interested in spite of himself, and for good reason: apparently the Greens have collected an impressive amount of Biblical-related materials with genuine historical significance. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Hysterical paranoia like Ms. Gaylor’s aside, I would say that if this is going to be a museum then it should make the effort to not be too heavy-handed in its proselytizing. I suggest, in fact, that the museum not proselytize at all. If for no other reason than it would drive the people at the Freedom From Religion Foundation stark, raving mad*.
*Yes, I know: you’d think that a secularist/atheist group would be happy that religious believers weren’t pushing their religious beliefs unduly. And, indeed, the atheists I know and like would be fine with that, especially since none of their tax money is being spent anyway. But you’re giving certain types too much credit for their ability to embrace sweet, sweet reason.