Over the centuries, religion has cloaked hypocrisy – and it’s getting a test again as President Trump and Senate candidate Roy Moore hide behind the Religious Right’s self-interested sanctimony, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
In Babylon-on-the-Potomac recently, the brand new, $500 million Museum of the Bible had its grand opening. Donald Trump did not attend, perhaps fearing a fate like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when the remnants of the Ten Commandments are unsealed, holy mayhem ensues and miscreants melt like candles.
Just a couple of blocks from Capitol Hill, the museum sprawls across eight floors and 430,000 square feet, giving visitors a chance to meet New Testament re-enactors, see a burning bush and Bibles that belonged to Babe Ruth and Elvis, walk through a replica of a village from the time of Christ, experience a motion ride called Washington Revelations and grab a snack at the Milk and Honey café (There’s also a cafeteria-style restaurant called, you guessed it: Manna).
At the gift shop, you can buy key chains, hats and T-shirts, frankincense and myrrh body wash, a $1,250 leather foot stool shaped like a rhinoceros (because rhinos were on Noah’s Ark, of course) or a $125,000 bejeweled pomegranate made of Jerusalem stone (the Song of Solomon: “I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates”).
As the old joke goes, this is what God would do if He had money.
To be fair, by most accounts, the museum is well designed and executed, high-tech and state-of-the-art. Philip Kennicott, art and architecture critic for The Washington Post, wrote, “What it does well, it does as well or better than any museum in the country,” but added:
“There… is a lot of slippage between [the museum’s] claims that the Bible is enormously influential (which is indisputable) and that the stories it tells are fundamentally true (a claim disputed not just by atheists, agnostics, secular scholars and scientists, but also by billions of adherents of the world’s other religions). Every resource of…