Hobby Lobby, Steve Green, & the New Bible Empire Print E-mail
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FI AM cover copy(Free Inquiry April/May 2015)

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Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby and son of its founder and CEO, David Green, loves to tell the story of the company’s brush with financial ruin and salvation via divine intervention. David founded the craft-supply store in 1972, at first a modest Oklahoma City picture-frame business. By 1985, Hobby Lobby had expanded to several more area stores and become the go-to supplier of gewgaws for home decorators and holiday artists.

It seems that the company erred in its enthusiasm, growing too big too fast. Soon it was slouching toward bankruptcy. As journalist Brian Solomon recounted in Forbes, David Green had “overleveraged the business and diluted the inventory with off-brand, expensive products like luggage, ceiling fans and gourmet foods.” David, an evangelical Christian, blamed himself for the sin of entrepreneurial pride.

Solution? He told his family at a hastily called gathering that they needed to relinquish control of the ship and let God take the rudder. Yes, the board would cut wages, close under-performing stores, and refinance debt. But, according to the son’s tale, the best business decision his father made was to get under his desk and pray. “Dad asked God, ‘If this company is going to survive, God, you’re going to have to intervene. God, this is your company; I give it to you. If you want it to survive, it’s up to you.’”

In 2013, while accepting the John M. Templeton Award for Biblical Values, sponsored by the National Bible Association, Steve Green declared that in 1986, the post-prayer year, Hobby Lobby’s profit doubled. “God did intervene,” stated the Oklahoman, who is a far more media-savvy empire-builder than his placid and pious father. “God honored what Dad did. It became a real lesson to us that it is not our company. We are only stewards of what God has entrusted to us.” (The family seems to speak with one voice, though Steve is in the public eye the most.)

In return for relinquishing the rudder, God made David Green very rich: his worth—which, apparently, is shared by, or made available to, sons Steve and Mart and daughter Darsee—is $4.8 billion. Such is the power of the Lord in this father-son-family privately or closely held company. Today, Hobby Lobby has some 13,000 employees, 572 stores in forty-seven states, and $3 billion in yearly revenue. It is America’s most lucrative Christian enterprise, excepting only the top-tier Bible publishers and the church denominations themselves.

We know a lot about Steve Green and Hobby Lobby because the company won an infamous, culture-changing court decision last summer. In a 5–4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Hobby Lobby to deny coverage for four Affordable Care Act mandated “abortifacients.” The Green family complained that these procedures aborted the life of an implanted fetus, which they oppose. Hobby Lobby’s lawyers argued that their objection was an expression of their religion, a core company value “consistent with biblical principles.” According to evangelicals, the pro-life dictate is revealed in Psalm 139:13: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” Though the passage hardly forbids abortions, Hobby Lobby

claims that this scriptural reading is evidence of the company’s “sincerely held religious belief,” forming the theological basis for the court’s accommodation—in essence, verifying that belief.

By contrast, what we don’t know a lot about are Steve Green’s plans to teach these sincerely held beliefs, which he also calls “biblical truths,” in a national public-school curriculum, led by him, funded by his family’s wealth, and based on principles that he and the family believe derive solely from Scripture.

In the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision, critics are taking apart Green’s biblical inconsistencies. One such critic is Jonathan Merritt, a senior columnist with Religion News Service and a regular contributor to The Week. In a June 2014 article titled “Stop Calling Hobby Lobby a Christian Business,” Merritt savaged the Greens’ supposed biblical orientation. He argued that the company is hardly Christian since it imports most of its items from China—a state riddled with “nightmarish labor conditions, inadequate workplace regulations, and rampant child labor,” not to mention some thirteen million abortions, many done forcibly, which occur in that country each year. Merritt accused: “Hobby Lobby imports billions of dollars’ worth of bric-a-brac from a nation that denies 1.35 billion citizens freedom of worship.”

Merritt tells me that the family overlooks the Bible’s “true” message. As a book to live by, he says the Testaments, which the Greens say they honor, “talk about justice more than they talk about prayer, heaven, hell, or salvation.” The Greens’ personal interpretation of Scripture bespeaks, in Merritt’s view, a kind of cafeteria Christianity: choosing certain parts of the Bible to accept and other parts to reject. The problem, for Merritt, is that Hobby Lobby sees “everything through the lens of individual responsibility and individual sin—not social responsibility and

social sin.”

Since the company was supposedly saved by God’s intervention in 1985–1986, Steve Green and family have been proselytizing the gospel consistently and “consistent with” their “biblical principles,” so that others—both individuals and businesses—can be saved, too, from their souls to their bottom-lines. They believe that God’s munificence can be ours as well. All we have to do is to accept the inerrancy of the Bible or—at least, as an opening gambit—let them re-center the book in our public schools. How else does one become a good Christian, Green asks, but by knowing the Bible—reading, studying, testifying?

Emboldened by the Hobby Lobby decision, to say nothing of the family fortune, Green is spending whatever it takes to make the Bible the centerpiece of his campaign to convert the United States, all of it, to Christianity.

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In his Templeton Award speech, Green announced that he is busy with two concurrent Bible offensives. One is launching a four-year curriculum for public high-school students to “learn about” Scripture. The other is building a Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. He laid out three reasons why he’s pushing the Bible into public education and the nation’s cultural space: “It’s true. It’s good.” And its story and message have had a positive “impact” on our culture. Let’s examine these claims one by one.

It’s true. Green claims that “most every archaeological discovery,” especially those since and including the Dead Sea Scrolls, “supports the evidence of this book.” Lacquering with a broad brush, he says most Bible scholars “support the accuracy of this book. The book that we have is a reliable historical document.”

According to Green, the “evidence” of manuscripts he’s seen reveals that more than forty writers put the Bible “together harmoniously” over a period of 1,500 years. He claims that more evidence for this book exists than for all the “classical works combined.” That, he says, indicates that there is a god behind the Bible. And “if there is a God behind it, and it is God’s word to us, then when we read it, that living God shows up. In that sense, it is alive. It does speak to you and to me. It discerns our heart and our intentions. It convicts us. It tells us how we should live.”

It’s good. The goal of teaching and preserving the Bible “is to show that . . . when we apply it to our lives, it has been good, because it has. That man [humans]—when he/we live according to the precepts that are given, it is good for us.”

It’s had an impact. “This book,” he says, “has impacted our world to the degree that people don’t recognize the impact it’s had. It’s our job to point out, whether it be our government, education, science, art, literature, family, on and on, in every area of our life, this [book] speaks of [sic] and has had an impact.” Green contends that sales of the Bible (some twenty-five million copies every year) constitute evidence for Americans’ belief in the book’s ethical guidance—even though worrisomely, as he acknowledges, a smaller percentage of the populace is reading it than ever.

Green’s case for biblical literacy is grounded on the agreeable idea that America’s population is, as he states, the “most ignorant ever.” While it’s true that more than 90 percent of Americans “have a Bible on their shelves,” Green says, “they’ve never read it.” Americans don’t read Scripture because “we aren’t teaching it in our schools.” His goal is “to reintroduce this book to this nation because of its ignorance of what God has taught. We need to know it, and if we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary. Someday,” he went on, teaching the Bible in high school “should be mandated. Here’s a book that’s impacted our world unlike any other and you’re not going to teach it? There’s something wrong with that.”

Fear not. Green has developed a public-school curriculum, whose digitized coursework and specious claims I’ll discuss in detail shortly, that was slated to begin in fall 2014 in Mustang, Oklahoma. The school board had asked the curriculum authors to submit a revised proposal, but the Mustang school board did not receive one and has now abandoned the project. (The school district is now writing its own History of the Bible class.) Green and his course developers are undeterred. They announced they are “committed to providing an elective high school Bible curriculum . . . [and] look forward to working with other school districts interested in such an offering,” according to Jerry Pattengale, the executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative, an in-house Scripture-based think tank, and head of the curriculum-writing team. Despite the setback, Green-watchers are still troubled by the link between the stalled curriculum and the other half of Green’s new Bible empire—the Museum of the Bible.

In 2012, the Greens bought the Washington Design Center, a former abode of showrooms for luxury-home furnishings, for $50 million. They are now building a 430,000-square-foot, eight-story, private edifice two blocks south of the National Mall. The restored and adapted building is scheduled to open in 2017. (A Politico story forecasts that the museum’s eventual price tag will be $800 million, roughly a quarter of the Green fortune.) Its glitzy displays and “living history” exhibits will showcase Green’s bibliomania. He brags that he’s collected 44,000 objects and artifacts related to Scripture, among them a cache of pre-Christian Torah scrolls and Babe Ruth’s Bible.

The twin juggernauts of the curriculum and the museum—at which the curriculum’s study program will be centralized—require vast capital, a clutch of handpicked scholars, and a sales job pitched to Americans via soft politicians and amenable courts, all of which the family has already achieved. If Green gets his way, he will remake the nation in God’s image. No, strike that. In his biblical image of God.

Curriculum and museum are joined at the hip. Accordingly, to Jerry Pattengale, who is also the Museum of the Bible executive director of education, the link between coursework and source is clear. “While thousands of schools already use other biblical curricular options,” Pattengale declared, “the Museum of the Bible’s offering is distinct on four fronts: its tie to a major museum [Green’s coming museum], its access to a collection of artifacts, its engagement with a breadth of leading scholars, and its robust level of technology. This curriculum utilizes convergent media in creating an interactive, student learning experience.”

If allowed, this single stream of Bible classes and Scripture “wealth” will foist upon Americans something we’ve never seen before: a religion-based educational program aimed at all public- school kids, emanating from a command-and-control center in Washington, D.C., and—most frightening—under the aegis of one family’s hoard of artifacts, money, and Christianizing mission.

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In 2014, Green and his Green Scholars previewed a pilot version of their Bible curriculum for the Mustang school district in Mustang, Oklahoma, next door to Hobby Lobby’s corporate headquarters. According to Religion News Service, the program, “The Book: The Bible’s History, Narrative and Impact,” includes spiral-bound text as well as videos, audio, web links, and “state-of-the-art digital enhancements” for student smartphones, featuring Green scholars’ lectures. The heavily digital platform also offers narratives on “the creation,” so-called “scientific discoveries” about the Bible’s historicity, and the book’s supposed “influence” on America’s founding through the ideas of the drafters and signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

One section of the curriculum’s draft—the layout parades colored borders, captioned photos, narrative vignettes, and sidebar columns, all in eye-popping distraction like a multi-ad website—covers a topic called “Assessing Sources.” Basically, this section stipulates that the Bible and its artifactual fragments form the curriculum’s lone source. How does this work? One method presented is “corroboration of evidence.” Historians, according to the program, want such evidence “because it gives them greater confidence that their sources are historically true records.” Such corroboration “helps to determine truthfulness. Many types of evidence exist, such as literature, personal records, laws, tradition, geography, and interviews of witnesses.”

How does the curriculum achieve this truth? By asking—and answering—this overarching (if less than objective) question: “How do we know that the Bible’s historical narratives are reliable?” The writers’ logic follows suit: “Although we may not know all the details of most biblical events, we do know their essentials quite accurately. For example, we do not know many details about King David’s reign. We do not know all of the cities he controlled nor the names of all of his advisors. However, we do know that he was a real leader in Jerusalem.”

In addition, the curriculum privileges the Bible above all other books in Western culture and renders the Hebrew and Christian god one-dimensionally, describing him as “faithful and good,” “gracious and compassionate,” and “an ever-present help in times of trouble.” Finally, the program asserts that the Bible is the fountainhead of hallowed American institutions. Liberation struggles associated with “women’s suffrage, [the] abolition [of slavery], freedom of the press, and equal rights” can all be traced to their origin in prophecy and fulfillment through Scripture.

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Last April, when this curriculum debuted and copies were examined by legal groups, secular organizations, and religious scholars, the pushback began apace. Informed observers condemned Green’s initiative as wrong and misguided. Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) wrote in a letter to the Mustang school board that Green’s classes “present serious legal risks.”

State and federal courts have, for decades, prohibited public schools from allowing sectarian classes, presenting the Bible as “religious truth,” devotional prayer, silent Bible-reading, and even voluntary after-school use of the facilities for Christian worship. The idea is simple and elegantly expressed in a 1989 Colorado court ruling: There is a “difference between teaching about religion, which is acceptable, and teaching religion, which is not.”

AU’s senior litigation counsel, Gregory Lipper, tells me that while he’s alarmed about the curriculum’s chutzpah, he’s most worried about the Green family’s purchasing power: “They have so much money,” he says—arguably enough to bankroll a national effort to place the Bible in schools and, the Greens hope, make their curriculum a compulsory addition for high-school instruction. What’s more, Lipper says he fears Green’s sudden prominence as “a religious-right folk hero” who, “especially in the aftermath of the contraception decision,” can now somehow decree educational policies.

In April 2014, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a “cease-and-desist” letter to Sean McDaniel, superintendent of the Mustang Public Schools, urging him to “cancel this class.” FFRF wrote, “Hobby Lobby and the Greens have made it abundantly clear that their goal is not to educate students, but to convert students. Those students are under your charge. You have a duty to ensure that the public schools and their employees do not inculcate religion.” The Green-promoted book “reads like a Sunday school lesson for elementary schoolchildren, not a legitimate public high school text.” And, in bold, FFRF declared: “This course is too tainted with Christian bias.”

Indicative of that bias is a litmus test for scholars who are creating this program. AU reported that of the sixty-four scholars who produced the materials, “at least 52 were educated at and, in many cases, also teach at sectarian institutions that require them to sign a doctrinal statement confirming the inerrancy of scripture. Several of them have no doctoral education or professional research experience whatsoever. Their only qualifications appear to be a shared belief in Biblical literalism.”

Against these illiberal qualifications, a good deal of outrage is aimed. Leading the pack is Dr. Mark Chancey, professor of religious studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a member of the board of directors of the Texas Freedom Network. For the past decade, he’s volunteered to critique dozens of Bible curricula. Typically, he finds them repeating the same errors of sectarian bias, shoddy history, and questionable assertions.

Chancey tells me that “it was obvious that conservative Protestant Christian beliefs were built into the very structure of the curriculum, the skeleton on which the material was hung.” He says that students would be encouraged to look for a set of ideas that had “applications” to their lives. Unsubtly, the course emphasizes “themes” or “theological filters,” such as God’s love, presence, promise, justice, and plan, which wrongly “facilitate sympathetic presentation and personal application of the material.” Chancey sees these themes as arbitrary, tending only to spotlight “the good traits of Christianity,” which, in turn, lead to a “salvational history”: that is, those who truly study this book will discover the metanarrative of salvation and accept Christ.

In a recent report about Green’s plan, “Can This Class Be Saved?,” Chancey notes that archaeologists do not agree on any true or dominant Bible narrative; nor do they see the book’s events as reflecting an “accurate history,” which is in any case a meaningless designation for ancient texts. For instance, the curriculum states that Adam and Eve, Noah, and Moses were all “historic personages,” not mythic or fictional characters. What’s more, Chancey writes, the authorship of the Bible’s sixty-six books is left undisputed. The debate over the books’ authorship is in fact among the most contentious in contemporary Bible scholarship, but it is one which the curriculum completely ignores.

A final point on the curriculum’s ignorance: it refuses to teach anything controversial—for example, that miracle claims are apocryphal, that any prophecies failed, or that “facts” about Jesus’s life are actually conjectural. Hector Avalos, professor of religious studies at Iowa State University, characterizes Green’s plan as “prescriptive—he’s already chosen a viewpoint and he thinks that’s the only one there is or should be.” It’s biblically illiterate, he tells me by phone, “because you don’t get an accurate picture of what the Bible is.” One egregious error, Avalos notes, is one most proselytizers make: “It’s not true that our Constitution is based on the Bible. If anything, it’s anti-Bible.” Its famous opening phrase, “We the people,” arises from the consent of the governed. “The people,” Avalos says, “are making decisions about laws as opposed to biblical notions of law, which are completely God-given. People have no choice in God’s law. He gives you the law; there’s no democratic process. What [Green] thinks the Bible is, is not what the Bible is. If you take his course, you end up biblically illiterate—knowing nothing about what the Bible says.”

Indeed, since the Jesus Seminar was founded in the early 1990s, attacks against claims of a Jewish savior who was divine and worked miracles have been unrelenting. See the work of Bart Ehrman, John Dominic Crossan, John Shelby Spong, and Robert M. Price, as well as feminist Bible critics such as Elisabeth Fiorenza. Some of them still revere the Bible’s rhetoric but are agnostic about or have left Christianity—in part because, contrary to Green’s assertion, recent biblical archaeology has cast doubt over most of the Bible’s claims. Canadian religious scholar Tom Harpur, who has proposed a new “cosmic Christianity,” has noted that the Jesus Seminar judged authentic only one-sixth of Christ’s words quoted in the New Testament; for Harpur, even one-sixth is a stretch.

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Both Chancey and Avalos believe that Bible literacy should be taught. Chancey prefers a curriculum that “neither promotes nor disparages particular religious views, specific religions, or non-religion.” And, he writes, we must be careful because the “Bible makes claims that are outside the verification of historical methodology.” This means they exist, for the most part, as claims and must be taught as such. The only reasonable curriculum Chancey knows is published by the Bible Literacy Project, a New York nonprofit that has developed “First Amendment safe” materials for schools. So far its program has been permitted by courts because, as Chancey says, it refrains from bias “in walking the constitutional line.”

Avalos advocates a “multiple-viewpoint approach,” that is, describing all Bible perspectives, whether positive or negative, “proven” or disputed. But the problem for Avalos remains: “Even college texts are [written by] religionists.” A religionist is one, he says, who “believes religion is good and we should support it.” Such courses on any level will work only with “very well-trained faculty.” He faults the Green program because “it’s not a serious Bible course. There’s no notion that [teachers] know the original languages or can translate. Most repeat what the textbook says,” and, with Green, it would be his version—the Bible through his keyhole.

The Green high-school course continues to be revised by the Green Scholars. Jerry Pattengale says he wants to make the program more “scholarly objective” [sic]. In a letter to Mustang superintendent McDaniel in September, Pattengale wrote that he has “tried to look past the obvious ad hominem aspects of their [the critics’] challenges” (against his boss, Steve Green, no doubt) and feels it’s “clear that most of the concern was with the Narrative sections.”

I asked Pattengale to comment on the curriculum and its revision. He referred me to Green’s Atlanta publicist, DeMoss, who, in turn, offered as response only a press release and an article about the program from Religion News Service, where Pattengale serves on the managing board. AU’s Gregory Lipper isn’t sure whether the revisions will mark a “good-faith effort to change the curriculum or just keep the content the same but make it harder to challenge in court.” He notes further that Hobby Lobby has retained the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) as a consultant and a reviewer of the program. ADF is an organization that, Lipper says, “uses the legal system to spread the gospel.”

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As the engine of an unprecedented Bible curriculum and the man with the dough to push it through, Green has appointed himself keeper of the evidence for what he defines as the Bible’s “historical accuracy.” In his Templeton Award speech, he told his audience he’s been buying biblical antiquities since 2009; the compulsion has bloomed into the largest collection of its kind “in private hands.” Why the hoard? For Green, the more manuscript scrolls, codices, books, or fragments he has, the more proof there is that the Bible is inerrant—a feature he believes is not only contained in the text but whose sheer number of copies further testifies to its truth.

Clearly this venture is his family’s calling—apparently shared with no one else except other true believers. What it’s not is a bottom-up movement of religious studies professors, evangelical preachers, Bible societies, and independent scholars. It is not a multilayered approach to the Bible. John Kutsko, president of the Society of Biblical Literature, is critical of Green’s self-aggrandizement and the singularity of his belief. He said that Green ignores scripture’s negative aspects, in particular, its role as “a tool of oppression.” He’s also worried about the museum’s adjacency “to the National Mall [where it] gives the impression that it’s almost a national museum.”

Like Houston’s Mission Control, Green’s Washington Bible headquarters hopes to pump its “convergent media” into high schools, engaging and entertaining (they hope) millions of students online, in the classroom, and on their smartphones. In turn, the high-schoolers will—if correctly taught—recruit their families to visit the museum. It’s a passive, captive, Wi-Fi-connected audience of untutored young minds indeed—nearly fifteen million fresh faces arrive every four years in America’s high schools—and Green will reach them if he has his way.

The family’s mix of museum and media dovetail seamlessly. The enterprise is echoed in the museum’s mission statement, filed in 2012, when Hobby Lobby registered the undertaking as a 501(c)(3): “To bring to life the living word of God, to tell its compelling story of preservation, and to inspire confidence in the absolute authority and reliability of the Bible.” Recently, Chancey says, on the heels of so much flak aimed at the draft curriculum, the statement was reworded, starved of its substance. It now reads, “To invite people to engage with the Bible.”

Perhaps Steve Green is changing his mind. In a recent e-mail to a Washington Post reporter, he clarified that “the intent has always been to build a nonsectarian museum. The evolution has been my understanding of what exactly that means. Growing up in a faith tradition, it is easy to get tradition and what the Bible says mixed up. Learning to distinguish between the two is our challenge.”

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How curious to have Green, a twenty-first-century biblical maximalist, argue for the Bible’s supremacy while the majority of Bible scholars and some lay Christians see themselves as biblical minimalists: they’ve concluded the Bible has scant historical accuracy, seeing Jesus as either human or a fictionist’s creation. The number of Bible colleges in America has fallen by 50 percent since 1997. What’s more, as Avalos reminds me, in many quarters the Bible is being rejected—blocked by courts, read less, and reinterpreted in films such as Son of God or Noah or Exodus: Gods and Kings to attract interest.

Like Billy Graham, Green fancies himself an empire builder, a John D. Rockefeller bringing a scriptural oil boom to America at a time when many Americans have moved on to alternative fuels.

The signs are rampant in our culture that the Bible is waning in its readership and authority. In 2014, Biblica, a publisher that produces Bibles in the “top 100 major languages in the world,” launched the Institute for Bible Reading. The program addresses what it identifies as a “growing crisis in Bible engagement.” Translation: the book Biblica terms “the most powerful catalyst for spiritual growth” is, according to its own research, becoming irrelevant. Young people are not interested in reading or relating to the Bible at rates that Biblica finds alarming. As the Gallup Organization notes, there has been a 20 percent drop in occasional Bible-readers in the last generation. Nine in ten Christians want help with Bible reading and do not get it from their churches or their pastors. According to Biblica, “unless this trend is reversed, by 2040, two-thirds of all Americans will have no meaningful relationship with the Bible.” And all this when, paradoxically, Gospel marketers sell or give away 100 million Bibles every year.

Christians such as Green are trying to hook savvy users—video junkies, cell-phone devotees, audio enthusiasts, and tablet mavens—into embracing Bible-infused technology, whether it’s viewing Mark Burnett’s ten-hour series The Bible on the National Geographic channel or using the YouVersion app to get Scripture, searchable and readable, on the small screen. (Incidentally, David Green sponsored this app, which, as I write, has grown to 170 million free downloads.) But this rise in Bible broadcasting may be hollow—more shrewd advertising and gimmicky technology than anything substantive. The two most influential avenues where Christians wield power are in building brick-and-mortar institutions and donating to candidates friendly to their political goals. And, clearly, in these two instances the Green family is finding success.

The question is, why is it a good thing for Steve Green and his extended family, a billion-dollar fortune, a closely held, Supreme Court–legitimized company, and a tendentious Bible curriculum to promulgate one religion and one book to such a pandemic degree? Thomas Jefferson cared not a jot whether individual citizens embraced or rejected theism or the Bible. A shared belief is not essential to a republic, which exists despite individual faiths and non-faiths. But, Jefferson warned, neither the religious nor the irreligious can be “fanatical.” One family’s faith cannot have greater or lesser public weight in a democracy. As Richard Rorty has written in Objectivism, Relativism, and Truth, citizens “must abandon or modify opinions on matters of ultimate importance, the opinions that may hitherto have given sense and point to their lives, if these opinions entail public actions that cannot be justified to most of their fellow citizens.”

The Green family is (pardon the expression) hell-bent on instituting its Christian agenda, wielding the words of only Bible scholars it approves of and with little citizen or government input. I suspect that this approach seems doable in family members’ minds because God has ordained it, and after all, he filled their coffers. Such an autocratic notion of the public good shuns discussion, debate, oversight, or a consensus of competing views. It aims to establish anything but an objective, nonsectarian Bible school program and a massive faith-based showcase in Washington, D.C.—a city devoted, last time I checked, to the peoples’ houses of government. Green’s museum with its school-curriculum tentacles is like a Vatican writ small. It amounts to no more than a personal decree of a sincerely held religious belief.

Most Americans don’t want what the Greens want. Let’s hope they (that is, we) and their (that is, our) courts stand up and say that.

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References

Boorstein, Michelle. “Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green Has Big Plans for his Bible Museum in Washington.” Washington Post Magazine, September 12, 2014.

Caplan-Bricker, Nora. “The Hobby Lobby President Is Also Building a Bible Museum for Over $70 Million.” New Republic, March 25, 2014. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117145/museum-bible-hobby-lobby-founders-other-religious-project. Accessed February 4, 2015.

Glickstein, David. “Steve Green’s Speech at the Templeton Awards 2013.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjjv9QVrCJU. Accessed January 5, 2015.

Hinton, Carla. “Mustang Schools Stills Plans Bible Class, But Not with Controversial Green Scholars’ Curriculum.” The Oklahoman, December 12, 2014.

http://newsok.com/mustang-schools-still-plansbible-class-but-not-with-controversial-green-scholars-curriculum/article/5375150. Accessed February 4, 2015.

Jones, Sarah. “A Biblical Catastrophe: New Details Stoke Concerns Over Okla. Public School Bible Class.”

https://au.org/blogs/wall-ofseparation/a-biblical-catastrophe-new-details-stoke-concernsover-okla-public-school. Accessed January 5, 2015.

Merritt, Jonathan. “Stop Calling Hobby Lobby a Christian Business.” The Week, June 17, 2014.

Roberts v. Madigan, 702 F. Supp. 1505 - Dist. Court, D. Colorado 1989.

Scrivener, Leslie. “Tom Harpur Speaks About His New Book, Born Again, My Journey from Fundamentalism to Freedom.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2011/05/20/tom_harpur_speaks_about_his_new_book_born_again_my_journey_from_fundamentalism_to_freedom.html. Accessed January 5, 2015.

Solomon, Brian. “David Green: The Biblical Billionaire Backing the Evangelical

Movement.” Forbes, October 8, 2012.

Staff. “Hobby Lobby Aims for Obamacare Win, Christian Nation.” Politico.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/hobby-lobbysupreme-court-case-107877_Page2.html. Accessed January 5, 2015.

Staff. “Museum of the Bible Submits Elective Bible Curriculum to School Board in Oklahoma.”

http://demoss.com/newsrooms/museumofthebible/news/museum-of-the-bible-submits-elective-biblecurriculum-to-school-board-in-ok. Accessed January 5, 2015.

Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_college. Accessed February 4, 2015.