Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Tale Sold By An Idiot

A bio:
Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” To check out all of his work you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @toddstarnes.
What outrage can this media giant address?
What do the Bible, "The Hunger Games" and "Fifty Shades of Grey" have in common? All three are works of fiction, according to the booksellers at Costco.
Oh won't so—

Yes exactly!

So: was this a press release? Did the Board of Directors issue an edict?
Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach made that shocking discovery last Friday as he was shopping for a present for his wife at a Costco in Simi Valley, Calif.

“All the Bibles were labeled as fiction,” the pastor told me. “It seemed bizarre to me.”
Said the guy descended from the lady who got tricked by a talking snake. (Softball for commenters!)
Kaltenbach is the lead pastor at Discovery Church, a non-denominational Christian congregation in southern California.

He thought there must be some sort of mistake so he scoured the shelf for other Bibles. Every copy was plastered with a sticker that read, “$14.99 Fiction.”

The pastor knew something must be amiss so he set off in search of a Costco employee hoping for an answer. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find anyone willing to answer his question (which is not all that surprising if you’ve shopped at Costco).
Dear God, something else happened that is NOT ALL THAT SURPRISING! What next? INCEST FANTASIES IN THE RELIGION SECTION?
Since no one in the store was willing to offer assistance, the good shepherd of Discovery Church snapped a photograph of the Bible and tweeted it to his flock.

“People are pretty shocked and upset,” he told me. “We are supposed to be living in an era of tolerance, but what Costco did doesn’t seem too tolerant.”
...so I notified my flock of hayseeds and they got INTOLERANT AS SHIT!
I doubt they would label the Koran as fiction, Pastor Kaltenbach said. Heaven help us if they did.

“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 said.
How about "doorstop" and they could get it out of that nasty book section entirely?
So does the warehouse store that sells laundry detergent by the gallon have a problem with the Word of God?
And you KNOW people who buy detergent by the gallon have a stinking problem...
I called Costco headquarters in Issaquah, Wash. hoping to get answers. The nice lady who answered the phone told me she was aware of the issue and chalked it up to a “human error at a warehouse.”
Ah yes, human error of the sort that had me slip little notes in Cowboy Junkies albums advising purchasers to buy pills instead.
“It’s all fixed,” she said.

But actually, it’s not fixed – because there’s a boatload of Bibles in the Simi Valley store still marked as fiction.
And with that, quarterly sales figures for the Bible tanked. Also God destroyed Simi Valley.
At that point, the nice lady on the phone became not-so-nice and promptly informed me that Costco doesn’t talk to the press.

“Nothing to report,” she said curtly.

With all due respect, perhaps they should leave the reporting to the professionals and we’ll leave the bulk purchases of toilet paper to Costco.
Todd Starnes remembers that fateful day in 1938 when Edward R. Murrow reported from Vienna that hooligans were drinking in the cemetery and being disrespectful.
Pastor Kaltenbach said he’s not one to speak out on such slights
but seeing the Good Book labeled as fiction was bit too much to take.
Oh wait, there it is happening just like before.
“On the one hand Christians should not yell out ‘persecution’,” he said. “We aren’t living in Iraq or Iran. But on the other hand, I believe that we do need to stand up for our faith and we need to be vocal about our concerns.”
That’s a message that resonates with pastor and author Robert Jeffress.

“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,” Pastor Jeffress told me. “Christians need to call out organizations like Costco whose actions undermine Christianity – regardless of whether those actions are accidental or intentional.”
Mote and beam moment!
Steven Smith, of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the fiction label identifies the thinking of the labeler more than the content of the book.

“To label the Bible fiction is a practical front for an ideological foundation that assumes things spiritual are unreal,” he told me. “What is odd about this choice is the glut of books in the "religion and spirituality" sections in mainstream book stores. However, as large as "spirituality" sections are, there must not be any room for Christianity. Modern thinking on spirituality is too exclusive to allow for the Bible.”
THAT is why Costco wasn't selling Bibles and this story didn't happen in the first place.
Of course, this entire episode could have been cleared up had a Costco employee simply answered Pastor Kaltenbach’s question.

And that’s the Gospel Truth.
Yeah, people like Pastor Kaltenbach wouldn't find anything else to complain about. After all, he's not one to speak out on such slights.


Smut Clyde said...

What do the Bible, "The Hunger Games" and "Fifty Shades of Grey" have in common?

I'll take "soft-core porny violence" for $200, Alex.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Issaquah Isreal?

Anonymous said...

'Cause if it was true, it'd be free.
Well, that's what I heard anyway.