And now, from our “It Probably Doesn’t Mean Anything But BOY is it Funny!” file, we’ve got this story from FOX “News” Todd Starnes. The subject: Bibles sold as… FICTION?
Costco has come to be known, particularly by the New York Times, as the “Anti-Walmart.” Costco’s wages average $17 an hour, which is about 47% higher than its (Walmart-owned) rival, Sam’s Club. It’s got a healthcare plan that make Walmart’s accountants look like Jack Kevorkian, plus one of the lowest rates of employee turnover and theft in the business. While some analysts have said that it’s better to “be an employee than a shareholder” at Costco, Wall Street says differently: while Walmart’s shares were dropping 5%, Costco’s were going up by 10%, selling for 23 times their expected earnings. Oh, and Costco’s founder also regularly donates to liberal causes and Democratic candidates.
Bearing all that in mind, FOX’s latest reactionary, right-pandering hatchet job should come as no great shock.
Starnes reports on the story of Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach, a Simi Valley, CA holy man and occasional Costco shopper. According to Starnes, the pastor turned him on to an egregious oversight at Costco in the form of mislabeled Bibles. While shopping for a present for his wife, the Pastor went to the store’s literary section in search of a Bible. Because, really, isn’t that what everyone goes to Costco for?
He was horrified to find the following: Bibles for sale, for $14.99, and categorized as fiction:
Stunned, the pastor wandered the store like Job in the wasteland, seeking answers from employees throughout the store. The manager, like God, had no satisfactory answers to give. The pastor snapped a picture, sent it to the rest of his congregation. He said:
“People are pretty shocked and upset. We’re supposed to be living in an era of tolerance, but what Costco did doesn’t seem too tolerant… If they don’t believe in the Bible, that’s fine — but at least label it as “religion” as some bookstores do, or “inspiration.” He went on, “I doubt they would label the Koran as fiction. “
Starnes, ever the crusader, contacted Costco headquarters and got a slightly anticlimactic response. The representative told him that “They were aware of the problem,” and that “It was a human error at a warehouse. It’s all been fixed.“
But Starnes wasn’t quite finished with those Antichrist liberals at Costco, because “…there’s a boatload of Bibles in the Simi Valley store still marked as fiction. ” The representative became curt, and responded that she wasn’t authorized to give a press statement on the matter. “There’s nothing to report,” she said.
Apparently, Starnes hadn’t gotten quite the reaction from Costco or the outrage he was looking for from the pastor, who acknowledged that it was probably a simple mistake, but added that voicing concerns is never a bad thing. So, Starnes contacted right-wing darling and homophobe Robert Jeffress for something a little more inflammatory and blurb-worthy:
“Let’s hope Costco’s explanation is true and not the result of having been caught attempting to marginalize the very foundation of Christian beliefs, the Bible. Christians need to call out organizations like Costco, whose actions undermine Christianity – regardless of whether those actions are accidental or intentional.”
Maybe Costco could avoid this problem in the future by following Walmart’s lead. Walmart gives the Christian Bible its own separate category, between Art and Music and Biography & Memoirs.
Books on Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism, on the other hand, are categorized under Religion.