Museum of the Bible a Success

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. is drawing growing interest for the museum based around the most read book in the world. Since its opening in November 2017, the high-tech museum with thousands of artifacts and displays has since welcomed thousands to its doors. Founders of the museum say displays and exhibits are sparking more conversations about the Bible and Jesus.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the Museum of the Bible.

  1. It’s 430,000 square feet. The museum is one of the largest in Washington, D.C. There are eight levels in total and because of the 22-foot ceilings, the museum stands to the height of a 17-story building. Collections include biblical artifacts, printed Bibles, manuscripts and other books and art.
  2. It’s privately funded. According to CBS News, some 51,000 donors contributed to the museum’s construction. The total cost was about $500 million and construction started in 2015. The museum opened in 2017.
  3. The biggest donor is Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby President Steve Green also co-founded the museum. “It’s not about espousing our faith,” Green said at the museum’s opening ceremony. “We just want to present the facts and let visitors decide. This is a dream of millions all over the world that love this book, that use it as a guide for their life, and we just want to take some time and celebrate and dedicate this space to our God.”

4. It’s drawn some controversy. In July 2017, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay $3 million in fines to settle a lawsuit with the Department of Justice. The DOJ’s investigation had found that the company had “smuggled” artifacts into the U.S. Thousands of Iraqi artifacts were forfeited. Many supporters of the museum attributed this controversy to the polarizing subject of the Bible itself. “It’s the most controversial topic in the world. It’s the biggest-selling book; most banned, destroyed, influential book … We will irritate everybody,” said museum president Cary Summers.

5. it’s appealing to both Christians and non-Christians. Green said this month that response to the museum has been “phenomenal.” About 350,000 people have visited the museum since it opened in November 2017. He said the museum has been impactful for people “whether they love the book or not.” Whether out of true interest or simple curiosity, people are flocking to the new museum.

6. You can dine at two restaurants inside the museum. There are two places to grab a bite to eat while visiting the museum. The Milk + Honey Café on the Mezzanine offers Churchill coffee from Springfield, Missouri. Menu items also include sandwiches, salads, ice cream and house desserts. The other restaurant, Manna, comes from Chef Todd Gray’s fast-casual concept, which includes Mediterranean spices and fresh seasonal vegetables.

7. There are bibles from presidents on display. The latest Bible to earn a spot on display at the museum is President Donald Trump’s childhood Bible — the same Bible he used during his swearing-in ceremony. At the “Bible in the World” exhibit, other Bibles from past presidents include President Harry Truman, President Dwight Eisenhower, President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush.

8. There’s a ride. For $8, you can take a virtual flight around D.C. in the museum’s Washington Revelations attraction. During the ride, you’ll be able to see scriptural references carved in stone throughout the city. Special effects, such as scents and mist, add to the “flight.”

9. You can walk through a replica of what a village looked like in Jesus’ time. One of the more popular exhibits is the “World of Jesus of Nazareth” where visitors can walk through first century Nazareth. In this “world,” you’ll see an animal courtyard, olive trees, a synagogue and a look inside a Nazareth home. This reconstructed version of Nazareth allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the time and place where Jesus lived while on Earth.

10. It’s free. Admission to the museum is free, but the suggested donation is $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Some special attractions are also available at a nominal cost. Walk-up admission is available, but you can also preorder your tickets online.

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Wales Set to “Embed” LGBT Sex Ed Into All School Curriculum, Including Kindergarten

“LGBT-inclusive” sex education will be woven into the curriculum in Welsh schools beginning in 2022, starting with preschool-age children.

The country’s public education system is making a number of changes to its curriculum and teacher training over the next decade or so. Wales used to ban the “promotion of homosexuality in schools” but is ditching that approach to teach for one that focuses more on “rights, gender equity, emotions and relationships,” The Guardian reports.

Children will be taught about the government’s view of sexuality not as a separate class or subject. It will be “embedded across the curriculum.”

“It will form a statutory part of Wales’s new curriculum…for all children aged from five to 16,” The Guardian reported.

LGBT activists have celebrated the announcement as “great news” because “our research shows that a majority of LGBT young people here in Wales have heard nothing about LGBT issues in the classroom.”

The new curriculum will officially be released in April 2019, according to the Welsh government. The Guardian suggested the sex ed changes are an “overhaul” that might make Wales a “global leader” in sex education.

As the LGBT movement has picked up steam, sex education in most Western countries – and now in developing countries, thanks to strings-attached money from wealthier nations – promotes abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and the notion that people can “switch” genders.

 

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Christian Leaders Praise Supreme Court’s Ruling in Favor of Colorado Baker

The U.S. Supreme Court handed religious liberty advocates a major victory recently when it sided with a Christian baker who refused to design a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage. In a 7-2 ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission demonstrated hostility toward religion and violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty when it ordered the baker, Jack Phillips, to design wedding cakes for same-sex couples. Phillips owns a Colorado bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Religious liberty groups applauded the ruling. “Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kristen Waggoner, who defended Phillips before the Supreme Court. “Creative professionals who serve all people should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment. This case will affect a number of cases for years to come.”

The case began when two gay men, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, entered Phillips’ shop and asked him to design a cake for their wedding reception. But he refused based on his religious beliefs. As stated in the court’s finding of facts, Phillips’ “main goal in life is to be obedient to” Jesus Christ and Christ’s “teachings in all aspects of his life.” He also believes that “to create a wedding cake for an event that celebrates something that directly goes against the teachings of the Bible, would have been a personal endorsement and participation in the ceremony.”

Christian evangelist Franklin Graham said the recent Supreme Court decision was an “answer to prayer,” describing the ruling as a “huge win for religious freedom!”

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Gallup: Record Support For Gay Relations, Polygamy

A record percentage of Americans believe that gay and lesbian relations, pornography and polygamy are morally acceptable, although a plurality believe that abortion is morally wrong, according to a new Gallup poll. The poll showed that 67% of American adults believe that gay and lesbian relations are morally acceptable, an increase from last year’s 63%. On other issues, 76% say divorce is morally acceptable, compared to 73% in 2017. Pornography is morally acceptable to 43%, up from 36% last year. Nineteen percent say polygamy is morally acceptable, compared to 17% in 2017.

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Forcing Pro-Life Centers to Offer Free Abortion Ads

The U.S. Supreme Court handed religious liberty advocates a major victory recently when it sided with a Christian baker who refused to design a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage. In a 7-2 ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission demonstrated hostility toward religion and violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty when it ordered the baker, Jack Phillips, to design wedding cakes for same-sex couples. Phillips owns a Colorado bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Religious liberty groups applauded the ruling. “Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kristen Waggoner, who defended Phillips before the Supreme Court. “Creative professionals who serve all people should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment. This case will affect a number of cases for years to come.”

The case began when two gay men, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, entered Phillips’ shop and asked him to design a cake for their wedding reception. But he refused based on his religious beliefs. As stated in the court’s finding of facts, Phillips’ “main goal in life is to be obedient to” Jesus Christ and Christ’s “teachings in all aspects of his life.” He also believes that “to create a wedding cake for an event that celebrates something that directly goes against the teachings of the Bible, would have been a personal endorsement and participation in the ceremony.”

Christian evangelist Franklin Graham said the recent Supreme Court decision was an “answer to prayer,” describing the ruling as a “huge win for religious freedom!”

 

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NEWS IN BRIEF

  • Experts say that recent school shootings in the U.S. have led to an increase in homeschooling. The Texas Home School Coalition reports that its phone calls and emails have nearly doubled with inquiries after this year’s shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas. The U.S. Department of Education estimates there were 1.69 million homeschool students in the spring of 2016.
  • New research shows increasing evidence that same-sex parenting has negative effects on children. An article published recently by Catholic University of America sociology professor Paul Sullins found children with same-sex parents suffer emotional problems two to three times as often as children raised by opposite-sex parents. His and other research shows children of same-sex parents have increased risks of certain harms, including emotional problems, depression, and sexual abuse.

 

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