Hobby Lobby Family Spends Millions on Bible Museum

Image: Hobby Lobby Family Spends Millions on Bible Museum Hobby Lobby co-founders David Green, left, and Barbara Green.

Monday, 16 Jun 2014 10:58 AM

By Lisa Degnen

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The owners of craft chain Hobby Lobby are spending hundreds of millions to build a Bible Museum just around the corner from the Smithsonian in Washington.

The Green family, who made headlines fighting the Obamacare mandate on birth control coverage, is tapping its fortune to build the museum, according to Politico,

The facility will be dedicated to strict interpretations of the Bible and include a, "Holy Land cave, a 'Noah’s Ark experience' for kids and animatronic characters such as William Tyndale, who was burned at the stake for daring to translate the New Testament into English," Politico said.

The political news website quotes a source close to the family who says the project will cost nearly $800 million.

The Green family is worth an estimated $5 billion, according to Forbes. Politico said the Greens are dedicated to promoting a Christian message. Their popular craft stores are closed on Sundays in deference to their religious beliefs.

The family is known for holding forums on faith and they often bankroll Christian colleges and churches, according to Politico. The Greens saved Oral Roberts University from closing after donating more than $70 million.

A Bible curriculum they have sponsored will begin next fall in Oklahoma's Mustang High School, near the company's Oklahoma City headquarters, Politico said.

The Greens have faced backlash from critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union and atheist groups, according to the report.

"It’s a simple, superficial, literal reading of the Bible," John Kutsko, executive director of the international Society of Biblical Literature, told Politico. He added the location of the museum will be misleading to many "by virtue of being adjacent to the Mall gives the impression that it’s almost a national museum."

Others praise the family.

"They’re really interested in getting it right," Harry Stout, a professor at Yale Divinity School who has consulted on the museum, told Politico.

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