Hobby Lobby Has To Return All The Cool Bible Shit It Stoled From Iraq. UNFAIR!

Sincerely, the U.S. government

Well this is a story that is very unfair to Jesus! A while back, we learned that Hobby Lobby, the slut-pill-hating evangelical Christian company owned by the evangelical Christian Green family, was under federal investigation just for MAYBE illegally importing a bunch of looted religious artifacts from Iraq in 2010 and 2011, so they could put them in their Bible Museum For Bibles And The People Who Love Them, which is set to open soon in Washington DC. You see, when places like modern-day Iraq, a region that featured heavily during Bible Times, are ripped asunder by war, they are also looted of ancient artifacts and whatnot, and the plunderers help those fancy items find their way to the black market so nice families like the Greens can buy some Old Timey Iraqi Bible swag for themselves.

Did the Greens buy their sexxxy ancient cuneiform tablets directly from ISIS? Well, no. For one thing, the group known as ISIS wasn't really in full swing when Hobby Lobby was doing these illicit transactions. The Green family bought them through dealers from Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and they were then shipped to America "from Turkey" (not from Turkey) labeled as "samples of 'hand-crafted clay tiles,'" which was a great big bullshit lie. Now Hobby Lobby has settled the case and agreed to give up all the Bible stuff it stoled, and the corporate person with sincerely held religious beliefs must also pay a $3 million fine for its crimes:

Hobby Lobby has now agreed to forfeit thousands of antiquities that it bought over the years — via a process that prosecutors say was "fraught with red flags" — and pay an additional $3 million to resolve any claims by the US government, according to court papers filed on Wednesday.

US laws restrict the import of Iraqi cultural items that were looted from Iraqi institutions or where "a reasonable suspicion exists that they were illegally removed." Iraq bars the export of antiquities and restricts private possession.

Because it's a civil asset forfeiture case, it has an awesome name:

The United States of America v. Approximately Four Hundred Fifty (450) Ancient Cuneiform Tablets; and Approximately Three Thousand (3,000) Ancient-Clay Bullae.

GO TO JAIL, tablets and bullae!

But anyway, who among us has not bought "approximately four hundred fifty (450) ancient cuneiform tablets and approximately three thousand (3,000) ancient-clay bullae" (looted from Iraq while babies' heads were getting blown off) from Israeli and Emirati antiquities dealers, then lied about the value, provenance and contents of the big heavy boxes we're shipping to America in order to avoid government scrutiny, so our brand new shiny History Bible Stuff can be prominently featured in our brand new shiny History Bible Museum? Totally normal!

Hobby Lobby wired $1.6 million to seven different bank accounts associated with five different people to pay for the items. The artifacts were shipped to the United States in multiple packages falsely labeled “Tiles (Sample).” They were also sent to multiple locations. As the complaint notes, “The use of multiple shipping addresses for a single recipient is consistent with methods used by cultural property smugglers to avoid scrutiny by Customs.” On customs forms, the UAE dealer supplied false invoices that substantially undervalued the pieces, presumably as a way to avoid customs inspection.

What part of BADASSEST BIBLE MUSEUM EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI do these dork ass U.S. investigators not understand?

Hobby Lobby says it's sorry for robbing the Middle East of all its Bible stuff, and blames the whole kerfuffle on how it was new at smuggling Bible stuff at the time. Won't happen again, that is for sure! As part of its agreement with the big secular government, Hobby Lobby has to promise to be REALLY careful in the future, and if the company buys any more hot Bible merchandise in the next 18 months, it has to report those purchases.

Hobby Lobby is still allowed to break into your house in the middle of the night and replace your stash of slut pills with glue and glitter though.

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[The Atlantic / Buzzfeed]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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