Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Can You Sue God? Apparently, But I Wouldn't Advise It - Part I: The Filing

Nebraskan State Senator Ernie Chambers filed a lawsuit against God. He accuses God "of making and continuing to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons, including constituents of Plaintiff who Plaintiff has the duty to represent." It says that God has caused "fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects, and the like." It also says God has caused "calamitous catastrophes resulting in the wide-spread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants including innocent babes, infants, children, the aged and infirm without mercy or distinction." He's seeking a permanent injunction ordering God to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats.

Oh where to begin? Let's start with the point this lunatic is trying to make. He says that senators periodically offer bills prohibiting the filing of certain types of suits. His objection is that doors of the courthouse should be open to all. "Thus anybody can file a lawsuit against anybody - even God." I believe he has just made the opposite point, that the state should regulate what lawsuits can be filed. This frivolous lawsuit is just costing taxpayers money.

Logistically, there are numerous problems with the filing of this lawsuit. He filed this in Nebraska. That would require Nebraska to have jurisdiction over all these catastrophes and terrorizing, which would mean they would have to have taken place in Nebraska. Last I checked, nothing has ever happened in Nebraska. Second, how is God going to be served the papers for this? You'd have to physically track God down. "Plaintiff, despite reasonable efforts to effectuate personal service upon Defendant ("Come out, come out, wherever you are.") has been unable to do so." Chambers asked in the suit that the court waive personal service given the "peculiar circumstances" of the case. "Peculiar circumstances," you got that right. I don't believe the law allows for the waiving delivering the papers to notify the defendant, even to God. (Why they didn't have the foresight to write this into the law I don't know.)


Now let's turn to the heart of the case. Let me start by pointing Mr. Chambers to past transcripts of press conferences and press releases from God, found in the Bible, to aid him in his suit. (The Lord knows that he needs it.) In particular I'd advise he check out the book of Job. God already addressed the issue of why bad things happen to Job and his friends, and we are fortunate enough to have what God said, although unfortunately not on YouTube, so he'll have to read.

God's King of all of creation, so he probably has sovereign immunity. But putting that aside, let's look at what God has said. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements_surely you know! Pr who stretched the line upon it?..." Job 38:4. And turning to the book of Romans, (11:33) "Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" So we must draw from these statements that we are not in a position to challenge God.

I could take a look in depth at some of the many theological problems of this guy's case, but I recently had it pointed out to me by some friends that my blogs can get too long, so that will have to wait. This guy better hope God doesn't choose to make an appearance in court to address these charges. I'm afraid that Chambers will find himself, like Job and his friends, being the one cross examined, and not God.

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