Hobby Lobby — the company that just beat back Obamacare’s mandate to provide all types of contraceptive coverage to employees, even those believed by Christians to be abortifacients — has a new venture: Owners are building a Bible museum in downtown Washington, D.C.
The site of the planned museum will be two blocks south of the National Mall, The New York Times reported.
The family members who own and operate Hobby Lobby are Christians who have long held a dream of constructing a Bible museum, The Times said. Part of the museum’s intent will be to “reintroduce this book to this nation,” said Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, The New York Times reported.
“This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught,” he said in a speech last year, the newspaper reported. “There are lessons from the past that we can learn from, the dangers of ignorance of this book. We need to know it. If we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary.”
Atheists are viewing the museum plans with growing alarm.
“I think they are a great threat,” Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, told The New York Times. “My instincts would tell me that they are choosing Washington, D.C., because they intent to influence Congress.”
The museum, overseen by the Green family’s nonprofit organization, Museum of the Bible, is set to open in 2017. The Museum of the Bible purchased the 400,000 square-foot sprawling property in 2012 for $50 million.
Hobby Lobby’s museum plan comes amid the company’s recently won Supreme Court case in which justices ruled, 5-4, that closely held corporations can indeed have religious views. The ruling meant Hobby Lobby wouldn’t have to pay for four types of birth control for employees — those viewed as abortifacients by owners.