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Hobby Lobby family wants to bring “literal reading of the Bible” to public schools

Posted by on Jun. 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM
  • 138 Replies

 

Hobby Lobby family wants to bring “literal reading of the Bible” to public schools

The family at the center of the high-stakes SCOTUS case is stirring controversy with other projects

Hobby Lobby family wants to bring "literal reading of the Bible" to public schools (Credit: AP/Tony Gutierrez)

The Supreme Court could issue its opinion in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby any day now, and Politico on Monday took a close look at the corporation — and the family — at the center of the high-stakes case. That David Green and his family are devout and literal-minded Christians has been well established in their public statements and court briefs, but there seems to be some disagreement among religious scholars about the tone and intent of some of the projects the family has taken on recently — including a museum of the Bible and a biblical curriculum the family is hoping will be taught in public schools.

The questions about those projects in some ways mirror the questions at the heart of the case before the high court: Does the Green family want to practice its faith quietly, as their lawyers have argued in court? Or do they want to impose their faith on others, pushing their Christian worldview on its employees at Hobby Lobby and — if they prevail at the Supreme Court — empowering other companies to do the same?

From Stephanie Simon at Politico:

The plans that have been made public so far — including the high school curriculum — seem aimed at portraying scripture as historically accurate and an unequivocal force for good, said John Kutsko, executive director of the international Society of Biblical Literature, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to Biblical scholarship.

That approach fails to incorporate the latest scholarship, acknowledge that the Bible has also played a role as a tool of oppression or recognize different religious viewpoints, Kutsko said.

“It’s a simple, superficial, literal reading of the Bible,” Kutsko said.

In his view, that’s inappropriate both in a public high school and in a private museum that “by virtue of being adjacent to the Mall gives the impression that it’s almost a national museum,” he said.

Plans for the museum have been similarly criticized as being about proselytizing and not historical accuracy or scholarly education:

The original mission statement for the Museum of the Bible Inc. — the foundation leading work on both the museum and the curriculum — said the project aimed “to inspire confidence in the absolute authority and reliability of the Bible.”

But some involved in the project have pushed back on that characterization:


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But if the goal of the museum were evangelizing, “I can assure you, I would not be involved,” said Harry Stout, a professor at Yale Divinity School who has consulted on the museum. “They’re really interested in getting it right.”

Stout sees one motive above all in the family’s work. The Greens, he said, “are really smitten with the Bible.”

Read the rest here.

by on Jun. 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM
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FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Jun. 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM
2 moms liked this

Yeah, try getting that in the schools.  I would pull my kiddo in a heartbeat.

These people are over the top, extreme and well, they have that right.  Keep it in your family and have fun with that.

Try to push it on others, by way of the schools, you are proving you are a hypocrite.

As for the museum, meh............

lovemyguys
by Bronze Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:03 PM
4 moms liked this

I don't get this issue. It's their family, they can believe what they want. It's their money, they can fund what they want. It's their company, they can run it the way they want. What is the issue?

VooDooB
by Platinum Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:21 PM
1 mom liked this

Read the rest here.  

That takes you to politico, which is a completely different article then the one you posted. Your OP is a Salon Opinion piece. Weird how they did that.

 http://www.salon.com/2014/06/16/hobby_lobby_family_wants_to_bring_literal_reading_of_the_bible_to_public_schools/

VooDooB
by Platinum Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:22 PM
1 mom liked this

Hobby Lobby aims for Obamacare win, Christian nation

Hobby Lobby is pictured. | AP Photo

The Hobby Lobby founders' mission is far bigger than a single court case. | AP Photo

The evangelical owners of Hobby Lobby made a fortune selling crafts supplies and made headlines fighting government-mandated birth control coverage. They’re also using their billions to sell the American public on the literal truth of Scripture — through a public school Bible curriculum, a huge museum around the corner from the Smithsonian and public forums on the faith of the Founding Fathers.

The Green family may be best known in secular circles for their lawsuit against Obamacare, a high-stakes — and highly political — case that could undercut the administration’s goal of setting minimum standards for health care coverage. By the end of this month, the Supreme Court will decide if the federal government can force the Greens to include methods of contraception they deem sinful as part of employees’ health insurance.

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The pending Hobby Lobby ruling has thrust the Greens into the national spotlight, but the family’s mission is far bigger than a single court case. The Greens are spending hundreds of millions on a quiet but audacious bid to teach a wayward nation to trust, cherish — and heed — the Bible.

(From POLITICO Magazine: Big Money, the Koch Brothers and Me)

They’re building a huge museum dedicated to the Bible a few blocks from the Mall in Washington , with as much public space as the National Museum of American History. They’ve financed a lavish traveling exhibit as well, complete with a re-created 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.

The Greens are sponsoring scholarly study of the Bible and hosting forums such as a recent panel on faith’s role in shaping early America, which they hope to package for national broadcast.

Most provocatively, they’ve funded a multimillion-dollar effort to write a Bible curriculum they hope to place in public schools nationwide. It will debut next fall as an elective in Mustang High School, a few miles from Hobby Lobby’s Oklahoma City headquarters.

A draft of the textbook for the first of four planned yearlong courses presents Adam and Eve as historical figures and introduces God as “faithful and good,” “gracious and compassionate” and “an ever-present help in times of trouble.” A list of “curses for disobeying the Lord” warns of defeat, fever and “disaster and panic in everything you do.”

(Also on POLITICO: Iowa GOP takeover: The implications for 2016)

Hobby Lobby founders David and Barbara Green and their three adult children — sons Steve and Mart and daughter Darsee Lett — have donated generously to Christian institutions over the years, but these projects are on another scale entirely. A source close to the family estimates the museum alone will end up costing as much as $800 million, including the acquisition of thousands of ancient artifacts.

The family, with a net worth that Forbes estimates at $5 billion, has not flinched from the price or scaled back its vision.

“Our goal … [is to] reintroduce this book to the nation,” Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, said last spring before the National Bible Association. “This nation is in danger 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.”

The family’s vision is beginning to stir concern, not just among the American Civil Liberties Union and atheist groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but even from some Bible scholars.

The plans that have been made public so far — including the high school curriculum — seem aimed at portraying Scripture as historically accurate and an unequivocal force for good, said John Kutsko, executive director of the international Society of Biblical Literature, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to biblical scholarship.

(Also on POLITICO: The fall of teachers unions)

That approach fails to incorporate the latest scholarship, acknowledge that the Bible has also played a role as a tool of oppression or recognize different religious viewpoints, Kutsko said.

“It’s a simple, superficial, literal reading of the Bible,” Kutsko said.

In his view, that’s inappropriate both in a public high school and in a private museum that “by virtue of being adjacent to the Mall gives the impression that it’s almost a national museum,” he said.

Supporters, however, say they are confident the Greens will focus on scholarship rather than salvation in their public outreach.

The family does proselytize quite publicly three times a year, taking out full-page ads in newspapers across the country every Christmas, Easter and Independence Day. The ads celebrate the power of faith and direct readers to a toll-free number for Need Him Ministry, a global initiative to bring nonbelievers to Jesus.

If the goal of the museum were evangelizing, “I can assure you, I would not be involved,” said Harry Stout, a professor at Yale Divinity School who has consulted on the museum. “They’re really interested in getting it right.”

(LISTEN to POLITICO Pro's Procast: Your guide to Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby)

Stout sees one motive above all in the family’s work. The Greens, he said, “are really smitten with the Bible.”

NOT TYPICAL BILLIONAIRES

The Greens are not your typical tycoons.

David Green, the son of a pastor, launched the company that would become Hobby Lobby in a garage in 1970, backed by a $600 loan. The arts-and-crafts chain now has more than 600 stores and some 16,000 full-time employees and brings in more than $3 billion a year in sales. David Green remains the CEO.

Faith is at the foundation of the business. Stores play Christian music and are closed on Sundays. The Greens have steadily raised their starting wage, to $15 an hour for full-time workers, to reflect their belief, centered in their faith, of the dignity of all people. The company’s first principle, posted on its website, is “honoring the Lord in all we do …”

Given that credo, Steve Green has said he felt he had no choice but to sue over the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that health insurance cover a full range of contraceptives. The Hobby Lobby plan covers most birth control, but Green has said he cannot in good conscience help employees pay for IUDs or emergency contraceptives because he believes them to be tantamount to abortion.

Mother Jones magazine has reported that Hobby Lobby covered some of the disputed methods of contraception in its health insurance plan until 2012, when the family began considering a lawsuit. The magazine also reported that Hobby Lobby contributes to an employee 401(k) plan with investments in pharmaceutical companies that make the IUD, emergency contraceptives and drugs used during abortions.

The Greens declined an interview request; a spokeswoman said their attorney had advised them not to talk publicly until after the Supreme Court ruling.

In a video interview posted online by The Heritage Foundation, Steve Green said the family sued to uphold religious freedom. “We just felt like our hands were tied and that the only option we had was to sue the government, saying that this isn’t fair, that you require us to do something that violates our conscience,” he said.

The Supreme Court has heard one other challenge to the ACA. In 2012, on a 5-4 vote, the justices upheld the “individual mandate” — the requirement that most Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty.

Friends describe the Greens as reluctant plaintiffs who shun the spotlight. They shun most of the perks of wealth, too. They’re not major political donors. Aside from the lawsuit, they generally don’t weigh in on national debates. Those who know them unfailingly describe them as humble, gracious and reserved. Even their corporate headquarters is exceedingly modest.

Family members “genuinely see themselves as servants,” said Wes Lane, who runs a faith-based civic organization in Oklahoma City.

The Greens have not been splashy in their philanthropy, either.

The family has quietly given away tens of millions of dollars to Christian colleges and churches. They saved a faltering Oral Roberts University after a scandal with a gift of more than $70 million, gave a 170-acre ranch to pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and have donated land and money to countless other Christian ministries, without fanfare.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-case-107877.html#ixzz34uzMwxLV

VooDooB
by Platinum Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:25 PM
1 mom liked this

Most provocatively, they’ve funded a multimillion-dollar effort to write a Bible curriculum they hope to place in public schools nationwide. It will debut next fall as an elective in Mustang High School, a few miles from Hobby Lobby’s Oklahoma City headquarters.

A draft of the textbook for the first of four planned yearlong courses presents Adam and Eve as historical figures and introduces God as “faithful and good,” “gracious and compassionate” and “an ever-present help in times of trouble.” A list of “curses for disobeying the Lord” warns of defeat, fever and “disaster and panic in everything you do.”



So it will be launched as, and will likely stay an elective class. Such as (in my day) Spanish, French, Home Eco, etc was. I don't see an issue with an elective course on bible studies. Why do you OP? It won't be forced taught in public schools. Elective is a choice to take the class or not.

denise3680
by Gold Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM
6 moms liked this

so basically they do not want anyone else telling them what to do but they want to tell everyone else what to do:/  Seems that people like this want it both ways. this is exactly why I cannot take these types of people seriously:/

VooDooB
by Platinum Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:32 PM

No. Sak's Salon article is screwed. The truth of it is, they want to make a bible course an elective class in public schools. I don't see the issue. I also don't see it happening. The outrage is manufactured bologna.

Quoting denise3680:

so basically they do not want anyone else telling them what to do but they want to tell everyone else what to do:/  Seems that people like this want it both ways. this is exactly why I cannot take these types of people seriously:/


lovemyguys
by Bronze Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:35 PM


Quoting denise3680:

so basically they do not want anyone else telling them what to do but they want to tell everyone else what to do:/  Seems that people like this want it both ways. this is exactly why I cannot take these types of people seriously:/

Seems to me they are using their money to support things they believe in and trying to avoid using their money to support things they don't believe in....so what's the issue? They aren't demanding no one use contraceptives. They just don't want to pay for it personally because it goes against their beliefs. Isn't it their right to use their money the way they want? That's what EVERYONE does. They use their money to live the life they believe is best.


denise3680
by Gold Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:37 PM

 

oh, ok thanks for clarifying that article:/  yeah I do not think it will happen either. IMO if people want to learn more about the bible in school then go to a private religious based school or go to church:/

Quoting VooDooB:

No. Sak's Salon article is screwed. The truth of it is, they want to make a bible course an elective class in public schools. I don't see the issue. I also don't see it happening. The outrage is manufactured bologna.

Quoting denise3680:

so basically they do not want anyone else telling them what to do but they want to tell everyone else what to do:/  Seems that people like this want it both ways. this is exactly why I cannot take these types of people seriously:/

 

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM
3 moms liked this
They can do what they want. And I can think they are nutjobs who should lose legal cases if there is reason to.

There is no need for elective bible study classes as part of a public school curriculum. They are wasting their money. They can be stupid of they want.
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