A California pastor says he found the Bible filed under “fiction” at a Costco store near his home.
Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach said he made the discovery Friday while shopping for a present for his wife in Simi Valley.
“All the Bibles were labeled as fiction,” said Kaltenbach, pastor at the nondenominational Discovery Church. “It seemed bizarre to me.”
The pastor said he checked the shelf for other Bibles, and he told Fox News’ Todd Starnes that each copy had a sticker that said: “$14.99 Fiction.”
Kaltenbach said none of the Costco employees he found would answer his question about the Bibles, so he took a photo of one and posted it on Twitter.
“People are pretty shocked and upset,” Kaltenbach said. “We are supposed to be living in an era of tolerance, but what Costco did doesn’t seem too tolerant.”
The pastor said he doubted the Washington-based company would have labeled a Koran as fiction and took the label personally.
“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. “On the one hand Christians should not yell out.’ 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.”
A spokeswoman for Costco told Starnes the Bible was mislabeled as the result of human error at a warehouse,” and that the issue had been resolved.
But Starnes said “a boatload of Bibles” remains marked as fiction at the Simi Valley store, and he said the spokeswoman denied further comment.
“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,” said pastor and author Robert Jeffress. “Christians need to call out organizations like Costco whose actions undermine Christianity – regardless of whether those actions are accidental or intentional.”
Costco has drawn the ire of conservatives for its refusal to allow guns into its stores, and its cofounder and former CEO, Jim Sinegal, has become a liberal hero for paying workers fair wages and earning much of his income through stock options, rather than salary.
[Image: An angry man holds a Bible and a crucifix via Shutterstock]