Last week, my colleague Bobby Ross Jr. briefly praised Michelle Boorstein's long-form feature in the Washington Post on the planned Museum of the Bible. In my own admiring review, let me count the ways.
Boorstein gives details on the look and feel and content of the museum, planned for Washington, D.C. by 2017. She presents the truly celestial numbers: a $50 million price for the 430,000-square-foot Washington Design Center, to be stocked with 44,000 biblical artifacts in Green's personal collection; the need to deal with a "dozen or so agencies" in starting the museum.
She offers an engaging look at Steve Green, president of the Hobby Lobby store chain, who expects to pay $800 million for the museum.
She traces how Green's vision for the museum has shifted, from promoting the truth of the Bible toward a scholarly, nonsectarian approach.
And (insert Hallelujah Chorus) she spends only two of the 63 paragraphs to the Supreme Court case that won Hobby Lobby the right not to insure some forms of birth control. Some writers would have digressed and obsessed over that case, adding enough text to fill a Bible.
Boorstein often puts us into the scene with vivid wording. In one example she says the future museum building is close to the National Mall: "It’s just two blocks away, and from the roof it feels as though you can take a running leap onto the U.S. Capitol."
Here is the kind of intelligent, searching content you get when an actual religion writer like Boorstein writes a religion story. She avoids taking sides, yet compels you to read further: