Many thanks to Bob Kincaid for manning the mic for Mike Thursday and Friday. Mike returns LIVE tonight with tales from the far flung fringes of the flying monkey right. Like this one from Holier than Thou Hobby Lobby.
One day soon the shelves of Hobby Lobby will split space between the pipe cleaners and rare Iraqi stone tablets smuggled illegally out of the country. Whether or not the Christian Craft Store chain actually planned to stock the antiquities in stores, or just hoard them for their Jesus museum is unclear. But they did intend to break the law to obtain them.
Wasn’t there a commandment about that? Newsweek has this:
When Hobby Lobby’s CEO Steve Green traveled in 2010 to the Holy Land-as the Biblically minded like to call Israel and a swath of the greater Middle East-to inspect and make an offer on what turned out to be 5,500 pieces of looted Iraqi cuneiform and other objects, he was setting off on a mission that continues to this day.
The fundamentalist Green family has poured $800 million into a Bible Museum so close to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., that domestic and foreign tourists who don’t read the fine print will think it’s a U.S. government project.
Now, the ancient Mesopotamian cultural relics that Hobby Lobby intended for the Green Collection will never get to the museum, with its glass ark on top and shiny high-tech displays inside, must be turned over to federal authorities in New York, according to a complaint filed Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
The feds have been looking into Hobby Lobby’s collection ever since keen-eyed clerks at a U.S. customs office in Memphis in 2011 opened several Fed Ex packages labeled as hand made tiles form Turkey. The “tiles” turned out to be thousands of rare cuneiform tablets, dating to the Sumerian and Babylonian era and the dawn of writing.
The Greens aim to present Middle Eastern history and culture through a narrow and historically dubious Judeo-Christian lens. Besides fighting a case to the Supreme Court and winning the right not to provide contraceptives for women in its health plan, the billionaire Hobby Lobby fortune is being put to use specially to erode the separation of church and state that has been bedrock to American culture since the founding of the country. Beyond the Bible Museum, the Greens, known as the Koch brothers of the evangelical movement, have spent millions creating a Bible-centered curriculum for American public schools (now in use in Israel), that so far, courts have ruled cannot be implemented.
The announcement of the agreement and forfeiture late on Wednesday in Brooklyn stated that Green had been warned by a cultural heritage consultant to be wary of Iraqi artifacts, but went ahead anyway, eventually hoovering up pieces from a trio of Israeli dealers who are not named in the complaint.
“Notwithstanding these warnings, in December 2010, Hobby Lobby executed an agreement to purchase over 5,500 Artifacts, comprised of cuneiform tablets and bricks, clay bullae and cylinder seals, for $1.6 million,” the Department of Justice announced Wednesday. “The acquisition of the Artifacts was fraught with red flags.”
Hobby Lobby has agreed to pay a $3 million fine and forfeit the looted objects to the U.S. Department of Justice, which will eventually return them to Iraq. The Oklahoma-based retail giant earned $3.7 billion in income in 2015.
Read the entire Newsweek article, it’s an eye-opener.
Also on the table is Trump’s G20 performance, which added another nail in the coffin of The US global reputation. How bad was it? Read it and weep.