Ventura County News
Bibles labeled 'fiction' at Simi Valley Costco; company apologizes
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A church pastor was shopping at the Costco in Simi Valley when he discovered that the Bibles were labeled as fiction, sparking an uproar on social media.
Caleb Kaltenbach is the pastor of the Discovery Church in Simi Valley. As a pastor, Kaltenbach is a big fan of the Bible. So when Kaltenbach was shopping at a Simi Valley Costco, he stopped to take a look at the Bibles. What he saw threw him for a loop.
"It was labeled fiction, and it stuck out to be because I've never seen a Bible labeled fiction," he said.
Kaltenbach snapped a photo and posted it on Twitter.
"The picture went viral, and here we are today," he said.
A nationwide flap was born, with tweets both blasting and supporting Costco posted.
One woman tweeted, "Labeling the Bible 'Fiction' is insulting. If they had labeled the Koran Fiction, Libs would B furious."
Another person tweeted, "Is it not fiction? I think Costco has this correct. Please provide factual data to support otherwise."
Costco officials have apologized and say the fiction tag was not any kind of religious judgment. They say this was a flat-out labeling mistake in their distribution center.
"Our CEO, he's a devout Catholic. He obviously loves the Lord. This isn't something that he is purposely trying to do. It was a mistake," said Dusty Groves of Costco.
Costco representatives say the store removed the mislabeled Bibles as soon as they heard about the problem and replaced them with Bibles that are not tagged "fiction."
Several ultra-conservative groups approached Kaltenbach, wanting to organize a boycott against Costco, but he said he shot it down, saying he believed it was an honest mistake, and he plans to shop at Costco again.
"I totally believe them. I believe it was a mistake. I don't believe there's some kind of evil genius behind the scenes," he said. "But I do believe that it's telling of where our nation is spiritually."
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