Hobby Lobby president Steve Green and his wife, Jackie Green, shared their passion for the Bible as a sacred text and a crucial part of history on today’s show, discussing their new book, “This Dangerous Book: How the Bible Has Shaped Our World and Why It Still Matters Today.”
The Green family is backing the privately funded Museum of the Bible, which recently opened in Washington, D.C. just a couple of blocks from the National Mall. Entry to the museum and its Bible Garden is free.
Glenn shared a quote from one of his kids, who asked why a museum about the Bible was in Washington, D.C., where it doesn’t seem likely that many people would want to see it.
“I said, ‘I think that’s the point,’” Glenn said.
“It was the right place for us to be,” Steve Green added.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: You know, most families don’t impact people over multiple generations as much as this family has impacted our world in one and two generations.
Steve and Jackie green join us. They’re the founding family of the museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. And the author of this dangerous book. How the Bible shaped our world. And why it still matters today.
Steve and Jackie, welcome.
STEVE: Thank you, Glenn. It’s good to be here.
GLENN: So I was just in Hobby Lobby over the weekend. And we were talking as a family. And one of my older children was there. And we were talking about the museum of the Bible. And they — and she said, how did this all begin, Dad? How did this — how did this happen?
And I said, well, I know Hobby Lobby started with, you know, frames in a garage. And the family just kind of grew up in it.
But Steve and Jackie, how did the Bible part of it start?
STEVE: Well, for me, it started in my home. My parents grew up in a Christian home. My grandfather was a minister himself. My dad’s dad. And, you know, my parents took us to church and taught us to love God’s word. And follow his ways in our lives. And in our family. And so we — we just — that was part of our life. And my wife was the same. She grew up in a Christian home as well. And the Bible just being a part of our life from when we were born.
GLENN: So, Jackie, you guys have a remarkable family. And you have seen what money usually does to a family. I just read a book.
I can’t remember the name of it. But it was about Jay Paul Getty and his family. And how the money just destroyed them.
What is it that keeps your family on the track?
JACKIE: Well, I think that, first of all, I would just say, you know, God helps us to realize and remember that everything we have, we’ve given to him. And he gave to us. And we just give it back to him.
And so our blessings come from above. And there’s great joy in realizing that, you know, we don’t really have all the ownership. That it really belongs to God.
So being a family of faith, thankfully, we — we have a family that everyone has embraced their own faith. And embraces the teachings of the Bible for themselves. And I think that’s paramount in where we are today.
GLENN: Do you think you could have done — do you guys think you could have accomplished, just as a family, I don’t even mean business, just as a family, do you guys think you could have accomplished what you accomplished if you lived in New York City?
JACKIE: I don’t know. I mean, I think God can do anything anywhere. But it would be — we would have different challenges, of course. We live in a great part of the country, in the Bible Belt. And, you know, it’s a great place to raise a family and to, you know, work hard and run a business.
GLENN: So we are — you know, we were talking as we were walking through Hobby Lobby. And we were talking about the museum of the Bible. And my daughter said, why wouldn’t they build it where people would want to go see it? I mean, it’s in Washington, DC. Nobody wants the Bible.
And I said, I think that’s the point.
What’s the reaction that you guys have seen?
STEVE: Well, when we first started looking, we were actually looking in your town in Dallas. And then one opened up — said, what if God does one in Dallas?
And when I looked up at the top two — ten metros, the other two that stood out to me was New York City and Washington DC. And we did a survey. The survey showed, it would be best attended in DC, which really makes sense. Because that’s the hub of museums in our country. Where museum goers go.
So we just feel like that God knew best. That ever that this facility we acquired was a great location. Just two blocks from one of the most attended museums in our country. And that it was the right place for us to be.
Some kind of chide us thinking that our intent is to impact politics. And, of course, I’m sitting here thinking, who isn’t in this town to impact politics? And what would be wrong if that was our motive?
STEVE: But it was really because this is where the best attended it — a lot of visitors here are international, who will have an international impact. And we just think that our — our legislators ought to know the foundation of our nation and its biblical roots. And, hopefully, they would come in and it would impact them as well.
GLENN: Are you surprised at the number of people in Washington that — that — they really have no clue as to our real heritage?
STEVE: Yeah. You know, I — I think that that is a sad commentary not just here, but in our nation, is the lack of understanding of biblical influence that — the Bible had on our Founders. And how that it shaped our nation, our freedoms, our economy, our government.
It just had a huge impact.
And I think we probably know it less today than ever, partly because we don’t teach the Bible in our schools like we once did. And so there’s a great need to educate America on the Bible’s impact on our world.
GLENN: So how do you — how do you do that with — I mean, even Christopher Hitchens, you know, who was a huge atheist, he said, if you want to understand western culture, you must understand the Bible. You won’t understand Shakespeare if you haven’t read the Bible.
You know, it is the cornerstone. And he said that it should be taught as — as literary in a literary class.
But you’re not going to get that now. How do we make this shift?
STEVE: Well, and he’s not the only — even Richard Dawkins in his book, The God Delusion, says something very similar. He said to be culturally literate, you need to know it. And he lists over 100 examples of phrases just in our everyday language that comes from the Bible. Good Samaritan, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and so forth.
STEVE: So even they recognize to be educated in our world, you need to know this book, because it’s had such an impact. And that’s one of the reasons why we’ve taken the position in the museum of not espousing our faith. We’re just teaching the facts of the book because we are interested in having a curriculum to educate students in our schools about the Bible, in a nonsectarian way, not espousing faith, just teaching the facts of this book.
Because we agree with Christopher Hitchens, that it ought to be a part of our educational system.
GLENN: You — the name of the book that you guys have just put out is this dangerous book.
And I look at what’s happening in the Middle East. People won’t recognize that the group of people that are probably rivalling the first century, that are under attack now, more than anybody else, are Christians. And it is for that dangerous book.
They seem to — I know you guys travel all over the world. The people I have met in the Middle East, have a very different view of their responsibility as a Christian, to that book and to those words and to their faith, than I think most Americans do.
STEVE: Yeah. In our nation, it is just easy. And I think that as a society starts down a path of persecuting Christians, it really separates those that are serious about their faith and those that are just pretending. And it’s easy to pretend, to have a faith and attend church from time to time. But there are parts of our world where it’s a life and death situation if a person wants to follow the principles of this book.
And part of why we called it this dangerous book. We talk about those that have given their life, because of their life for this book. And it’s no different today. I understand there’s probably more people that are suffering for their faith today than ever before. Because it’s a challenging world. And there are people that love this book. And there are people that hate it. And it shows up in our news from time to time.
STU: Jackie, you talk a lot in the book about something I think Christians have a difficult time with, as I think everybody does, which is tithing and giving — giving your money away. And it’s not just about being charitable. It’s also about leading with the charity. Giving that money away first. Giving the money to God first. Can you talk about that a little bit?
JACKIE: Well, yeah, sure. I think as a family, that we — as I mentioned earlier, we do feel like our blessings come from God. And when you can — when you realize that, when you know that in your heart, it makes it a lot easier to understand it. We also — you know, we’re taught in the Bible to give to the — to take care of the widow, the orphan, and to help those in need. And feed the hungry. And, you know, clothing.
And that sort of thing. And I think that when you embrace the principles taught in the Bible, it becomes much easier to do that. Recognizing everything we do comes from God. And we share some of that. We share some of our personal experiences with the Bible, in our book. And we look at the impact of the Bible and its influence in our world, in our culture, every day. All around us.
And then, you know, we feel like it’s important for people to understand and be encouraged to read the Bible and learn more about it. Because it’s the best-selling book of all time. Consistently, year after year.
STU: More than Harry Potter. That’s confirmed.
GLENN: Listen to this. This is in the book. I love this. Let’s see. Da Vinci Code. C.S. Lewis. Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. Estimated about 80 million each.
Don Quixote, 150 million. Catcher in the Rye, 65 million. Black Beauty, 50 million. Harry Potter, 100 million, along with The Little Princess, 100 million. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, 150 million copies. The Bible is estimated to be 5 billion copies. Five billion.
STU: It seems like it deserves a museum. It really does.
JACKIE: We think.
STEVE: Well, and some have said, why now? And, of course, more times, you get the question, why hasn’t this been done before? I think we have the best material of any museum here in DC because this book has impacted our world unlike anything else.
So its story needs to be told, and that’s why we wanted to tell it, in a state-of-the-art, first class museum.
GLENN: And I appreciate the book that you guys have just put out too, because it talks about your personal life. I’m fascinated by how grounded your family is. And you talk about — you know, you talk about the adoption in your family and — and just a lot of stuff that I can really relate to. And I appreciate you sharing the personal side as well. Thank you so much. God bless, guys.
STEVE: Well, and one of those is just that we feel like it was providential. And our Founders in this nation felt the same thing, time and time again. They just felt like God was in the middle of it. And we feel that with this museum and our adoption, and those are some of the stories that we share.
GLENN: Thank you, guys. God bless you. Have a good holiday.