A Tale of Two Bible Museums—and of Anti-Religious Bigotry

New York’s Museum of Biblical Art is set to close its doors. The reason? Despite its avowedly secular approach to the Bible, it proved to be “too religious” for most donors. Meanwhile, the Green family, proprietors of the Hobby Lobby chain, is planning a massive Bible museum in Washington DC that enthusiastically embraces both religious and secular appreciation for the sacred text. Naomi Schaefer Riley writes:

As Richard Townsend, the Museum of Biblical Art’s director, explained, the museum has tried “to move out of the shadow of [its explicitly Christian founders], but I think that, try as we might, there was brand confusion.” The implication, of course, is that you must be one brand or the other—the kind of person who thinks the Bible is a great book that has inspired beautiful literature and art or the kind who thinks the Bible contains Truth. Not both. . . .

[By contrast, although] the Green family is mostly Protestant, their museum has found partners with Jewish groups, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and even the Vatican. And they have welcomed the input of scholars with no religious background at all.

The Greens have been regularly mocked for their position that their business should reflect their values. . . . The Museum of the Bible will reflect their values as well. But as it turns out, the Greens seem to be much more tolerant and welcoming of non-believers than the secular elite seems to be of them.

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More about: Bible, Ecumenicism, Hobby Lobby, Museums, Religion & Holidays, Religious art, Secularism

To Israel’s Leading Strategist, Strength, Not Concessions, Has Brought a Measure of Calm

Aug. 14 2018

Following a long and distinguished career in the IDF, Yaakov Amidror served as Israel’s national-security adviser from 2011 to 2013. He speaks with Armin Rosen about the threats from Gaza, Hizballah, and Iran:

For Israel’s entire existence, would-be peacemakers have argued that the key to regional harmony is the reduction of the Jewish state’s hard power through territorial withdrawals and/or the legitimization of the country’s non-state enemies. In Amidror’s view, reality has thoroughly debunked this line of reasoning.

Amidror believes peace—or calm, at least—came as a result of Israeli muscle. Israel proved to its former enemies in the Sunni Arab world that it’s powerful enough to fill the vacuum left by America’s exit from the region and to stand up to Iran on the rest of the Middle East’s behalf. “The stronger Israel is, the more the ability of Arab countries to cooperate [with it] grows,” Amidror explained. On the whole, Amidror said he’s “very optimistic. I remember the threat that we faced when we were young. We fought the Six-Day War and I remember the Yom Kippur War, and I see what we are facing today. We have only one-and-a-half problems. One problem is Iran, and the half-problem is Hizballah.” . . .

In all likelihood the next Israeli-Iranian confrontation will be a clash with Amidror’s half-threat: the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hizballah, Iran’s most effective proxy in the Middle East and perhaps the best armed non-state military force on earth. . . . “We should neutralize the military capability of Hizballah,” [in the event of war], he said. “We should not destroy the organization as a political tool. If the Shiites want these people to represent them, it’s their problem.” . . .

“It will be a very nasty war,” Amidror said. “A very, very nasty war.” Hizballah will fire “thousands and thousands” of long-range missiles of improved precision, speed, and range at Israeli population centers, a bombardment larger than Israel’s various layers of missile defense will be able to neutralize in full. . . . This will, [however], be a blow Israel can withstand. “Israelis will be killed, no question,” Amidror said. “But it’s not going to be catastrophic.”

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More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Lebanon