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Chicken-Fried News: Holy plunder



Well, big news about Hobby Lobby, the Christian-founded arts-and-crafts retail chain founded and led by Oklahoman Steve Green and his family, was out of the glossy, gold glitter polka dot gift bag recently when the company was fined $3 million by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors believe Green illegally bought and smuggled more than 5,500 artifacts into this country, CNN reported.

We at Chicken-Fried News consider it a little bit ironic that, unlike fictional archeologist and occult expert Dr. Indiana Jones, Green hasn’t fallen into a pit of snakes and glimpsed the gilded glory of the Ark of the Covenant or its prize, the Ten Commandments.

However, the company has opened a can of worms for the $500 million Museum of the Bible, for which Green is chairman of its board and to which his family is a major contributor.

Just imagine those government-confiscated artifacts for a minute: thousands of ancient cuneiform tablets, seals and historical Bibles — you know, the sort of non-wicker, non-paint-by-numbers, non-posterboard arts-and-crafts items that might make handsome additions to a museum about, say, the Bible.

The company has previously said it hoped the artifacts, which it began collecting in 2009, would be preserved and studied by scholars.

In a statement quoted by NBC News, Green admitted he made “regrettable mistakes” and credited those mistakes in large part to his inexperience in dealing with the complexities of the acquisitions process. We’re assuming that one of those “regrettable mistakes” probably included letting dealers mark Hobby Lobby shipments filled with artifacts as “sample” and “ceramic tiles,” The Washington Post reported.


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