The Museum of the Bible Is a Safe Space for Christian Nationalists

By Katherine Stewart

Looking at it, you’d think that the Museum of the Bible was, in fact, a museum. But the organizers of Revolution 2017, a recent gathering at the museum featuring speakers who intend to “transform nations” by “igniting a holy reformation in every sphere of society,” know better.

“We wholeheartedly believe the Museum of the Bible represents an ‘Ark of the Covenant’ for our nation, bearing witness to his goodness,” they proclaimed in their promotional material.

Calling it an “ark” may seem premature. But the business about “transforming nations” is quite serious. The Museum of the Bible, which sits a few blocks southwest of the United States Capitol, is a continuation of politics by other means.

A typical museum might invite visitors to explore the multiple meanings of the Bible and the complex history of its reception in different cultures over time. But this museum is not the place for that kind of inquiry; you’re here to celebrate. The exhibits will rock you — literally, when you take a simulated roller-coaster ride through selected biblical inscriptions on display in the nation’s capital — but they won’t shake your convictions.

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