Hobby Lobby, owners under federal investigation for “looting artifacts”

Hobby Lobby, owners under federal investigation for “looting artifacts” October 27, 2015

By Andrew L. Seidel
Staff Attorney
Freedom From Religion Foundation

Hobby Lobby’s owners’ list of crimes is growing longer. First, they tried to foist a factually inaccurate, proselytizing, rather absurd bible class on students in the Mustang School District in Oklahoma, and probably violated open meetings laws in the process. Then, when the Freedom From Religion Foundation derailed those plans, they began selling that bible course overseas, where there was no pesky First Amendment to stop them. They also publish incredibly misleading full-page ads in newspapers, trying to show that this is a Christian nation by altering the words of founders. And, of course, no one will forget the Supreme Court decision that changed “religious freedom” protections into weapons companies can use to impose archaic religious rules on employees with no regard for employees’ rights.

Now, it looks like “the illicit importation of cultural heritage from Iraq” might be added to that list. U.S. Customs and Border Protections has been investigating the Green family, the company’s owners, since 2011, when CBP seized 200-300 clay tablets with cuneiform writing, according to The Daily Beast. This could feasibly impact the company itself, and not just the owners who collect biblical antiquities, because the tablets were being shipped to Hobby Lobby’s headquarters in Oklahoma City when they were seized. The tablets were “destined for the Museum of the Bible,” the family’s massive museum set to open in Washington D.C. in 2017.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Greens, might bend the law to get these artifacts, since they even bend reality when it comes to biblical artifacts. A page from their draft bible curriculum shows pictures of biblical artifacts yet to be discovered, including the holy grail, the ark of the covenant, Noah’s ark, and, I kid you not, Moses’ magic wand—which looks suspiciously like Hermione Granger’s wand.

Hobby Lobby biblical 'artifacts' - 1

Hopefully, U.S. Customs will return these tablets to their rightful owners and punish the Greens violating federal and perhaps international law. I seem to recall another set of tablets, supposedly central to the religion Hobby Lobby and the Green family claims to follow. I think they say something about not stealing….

 

FFRF is a national nonprofit dedicated to keeping state and church separate and educating about nontheism. For more information and a copy of our paper, Freethought Today, please click here.

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