Right wing Christians just aren’t very Christian-like. For example, it was just three years ago that the Supreme Court ruled that corporations with religious owners cannot be required to pay for insurance coverage of contraception. Hobby Lobby basically expanded religious rights and constrained Obamacare. On Wednesday, the U.S. filed a civil complaint requesting Hobby Lobby to forfeit thousands of ancient Iraqi artifacts which were illegally imported in 2010 by the arts and crafts chain store.
Talking Points Memo reports:
Hobby Lobby agreed in December 2010 to purchase “over 5,500 Artifacts, comprised of cuneiform tablets and bricks, clay bullae and cylinder seals, for $1.6 million,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced in a release.
The artifacts “originated into the area of modern-day Iraq and were smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, contrary to federal law,” the office said.
Hobby Lobby will now have to pay $3 million to settle a federal case over smuggled Iraqi antiquities it bought to demonstrate its “passion for the Bible.” SURE, just like Jesus would do.
— Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) July 5, 2017
The Daily Beast reports:
The Department of Justice alleges the deeply religious company intentionally mislabeled artifact shipments and failed to provide the artifacts’ accurate nation of origin. Thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullac were shipped to Oklahoma City beginning around 2009. Though a consultant to the company estimated the artifacts’ value at $11,820,000, an invoice shows Hobby Lobby paid $1,600,000 for them in deals with the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Shipment of these artifacts, which were labeled “ceramics” and “samples,” totaled more than $2,000 and thus require formal entry. Hobby Lobby continued with the deal even though an expert advised the company the artifacts were likely looted and carried “considerable risk.”
Pics of some of the artifacts were provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Plundering for Jesus!
In a statement, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green called the smuggling op just a matter of making “regrettable mistakes”
“We should have exercised more oversight and carefully questioned how the acquisitions were handled,” Green said, then added that the firm fully cooperated with the investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, according to MSNBC.
Right, those 5,513 artifacts were just a ‘mistake.’
Hey, you know what other group makes money from stolen antiquities? Islamic State militants (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq are garnering between $150 million and $200 million a year from illicit trade in plundered antiquities and we’re sure it’s just out of ‘passion’ for their holy book. Fundamentalists have so much in common, don’t you think?
We get it, Hobby Lobby. Birth control is against your religion but smuggling isn’t.
Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images