ICYMI: Inhofe Recognizes the Museum of the Bible

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), spoke on the Senate floor yesterday to recognize the opening of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The non-sectarian museum is free to the public and opens today.  

Key Excerpts: 

“…This week, after years of planning and construction, we now will be dedicating tomorrow, officially opening, the Museum of the Bible. It was led by Steve Green of Hobby Lobby…. He’s the Chairman of the Board of Directors of this long-awaited museum will allow visitors from not just the country—but from all over the world to see what really it’s all about, and how this plays the pivotal role in our country’s history.

“There is no better place than Washington, DC—our nation’s capital—to remind us of the scope of the Bible’s impact on our history and our narrative…

“The Bible’s role in the founding of America is just one remarkable example of  how the Bible has profoundly shaped world history. It has influenced cultures in every corner of the globe and the Museum of the Bible, which is going to be opening tomorrow, pays tribute to its impact and intersection with other world religions.

“Whether considering the Bible through a secular or faith-based lens, it is impossible to deny its impact on individuals, countries, and, indeed, all of world history. The Museum of the Bible is the first educational experience that I have encountered that truly appreciates the full magnitude of the Bible’s role throughout history. The six exhibits, curated by a panel of faith leaders that span religious and geographic divides, truly bring the Word of God to life in a way that positively educates, informs and encourages people of all faiths and beliefs to learn more about the Bible.”

Read Sen. Inhofe’s full remarks as prepared for delivery below.

Mr. President, this week, after three years of planning and construction, we now will be dedicating tomorrow, officially opening, the Museum of the Bible. It was led by Steve Green of Hobby Lobby.  That’s Oklahoma. He’s a friend of mine, his parents have been friends of mine. He’s the Chairman of the Board of Directors of this long-awaited museum will allow visitors from not just the country—but from all over the world to see what really it’s all about, and how this plays the pivotal role in our country’s history.

There is no better place than Washington, DC—our nation’s capital—to remind us of the scope of the Bible’s impact on our history and our narrative.

Indeed, one of our Founding Fathers, Patrick Henry, was renowned for his readings of the Bible, saying near the end of his life—and this is significant: "This book is worth all the books that ever were printed, and it has been my misfortune that I never found time to read it with the proper attention …until lately."

Historians are now re-looking at the history of this country and they are saying that we could not have won that war. You have to sometimes close your eyes and just envision the greatest army in the face of this earth coming down with thundering marches, going through Boston and then going up to Lexington and Concord. There is no way in the world that a handful of trappers and hunters could have won that thing.

And yet they knew why, and Patrick Henry knew why that there is one thing  they overlooked and that is the strength that comes from God, that we had and that they didn’t have. He said:

“We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.”

And He did. And they fired that shot heard ‘round the world.

And I think that is really important today to think about, because people come this country today and they want to know what makes America work. You know, I have been privileged to sponsor the African dinner every February, and people come in from all over Africa, and they are always surprised when they come and find out, walking through the Capitol, what real significance that God and Bible have to the history of this country.

And now, we are the home of the largest Christian community in the world, we cannot and should not deny the role that our Judeo-Christian values played in the formation of this country. Our first president, George Washington, was steadfast in his belief of God, His law and that liberty is God’s gift.

Washington’s leadership was based on the conviction that Americans are entrusted by God to preserve basic freedoms established in the Constitution. In a letter, Washington wrote: "We should be very cautious of violating the rights of conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men and to Him only in this case they are answerable."

It is clear our founding fathers recognized and enshrined the importance of religious liberty, one of our most precious and foundational religious freedoms, that allowed them to live their lives according to the teaching of the Bible.

The Bible’s role in the founding of America is just one remarkable example of the how the Bible has profoundly shaped world history. It has influenced cultures in every corner of the globe and the Museum of the Bible, which is going to be opening tomorrow, pays tribute to its impact and intersection with other world religions.

Whether considering the Bible through a secular or faith-based lens, it is impossible to deny its impact on individuals, countries, and, indeed, all of world history. The Museum of the Bible is the first educational experience that I have encountered that truly appreciates the full magnitude of the Bible’s role throughout history.     

The six exhibits, curated by a panel of faith leaders that span religious and geographic divides, truly bring the Word of God to life in a way that positively educates, informs and encourages people of all faiths and beliefs to learn more about the Bible.

General Washington reminded us in his farewell address: "Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion."

Steve Green’s father, David, founded Hobby Lobby. You know, I remember this well because I was in the state legislature at the time this happened. And you know they started in their garage, making frames for pictures. And it turned out to be this giant, worldwide retailer—the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the history of America.

And you remember Hobby Lobby. When Obamacare required that all employers provide free access to the pills that terminate pregnancies, David clearly recognized this as a violation of his faith. That’s what America is all about. If you believe in something you do it and take your risks. And he was risking millions of dollars. But the morality was so significant from the teachings of the Bible that he went ahead and did it.

He took the challenge all the way to the United States Supreme Court and won on a split decision. He successfully argued the importance of maintaining the fundamental freedom of religion to apply his faith convictions to how he operates his private business.

Now, David won his case, but his family understood that we need to do more. And so he started the Museum of the Bible. I actually was there last June where it was under construction. When you walk through and visualize what it will look like later on. I am so anxious to be there tonight, the night before the official opening to see now what it looks like.

I’m grateful that David’s son, Steve, and his entire family are leading this effort to make the Bible and its impact more accessible to the whole world. I am especially honored that the museum will be opening on my birthday, tomorrow.