Suing God: What a Stupid Idea

OMAHA, Neb. — State Sen. Ernie Chambers filed notice today that he intends to appeal a judge’s dismissal of his lawsuit against God.

Chambers’ lawsuit asks for a permanent injunction against God, alleging that the defendant has caused “fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects and the like.”

An atheist, Chambers has said he filed the lawsuit last year to uphold citizens’ rights to sue “anyone else, even God,” after his colleagues in the Legislature sought to limit so-called frivolous lawsuits.

Douglas County District Judge Marlon Polk had dismissed the lawsuit in October, saying there was no evidence that the defendant had been served. What’s more, Polk said, “There can never be service effectuated on the named defendant.”

But in his notice of appeal, Chambers says the same court he is appealing to acknowledges God. Chambers cites the invocation read each time Nebraska Supreme Court judges enter court: “God save the United States and this honorable court.”

The above quote, from Nebraska state senator taking lawsuit against higher power to higher court by Todd Cooper, Omaha World-Herald, November 6, 2008, published in the Detroit Free Press, is simply another example of atheist silliness and the court's lack of ability to call a frivolous lawsuit a frivolous lawsuit.

I understand the motivation. The atheist state senator, Ernie Chambers, wants to make a point that people should be allowed to sue anyone -- even what he almost certainly erroneously believes is a fictitious being in the sky. But does his lawsuit really advance that purpose? To me, it shows just the opposite -- there should be limits on litigation to avoid the waste of taxpayer money on stupid lawsuits like this. Really, how is it that filing a lawsuit that wastes everyone's time is somehow supportive of the idea that anyone else should be able to file lawsuits that waste everyone's time? Doesn't it actually add ammunition to the position that society should prevent this type of thing?

As for the court, I somewhat like the idea that the case should be dismissed because Sen. Chambers has failed to effect service. But I think that the much better and more permanent approach would be for the court to dismiss the claim because of lack of jurisdiction, lack of remedy and the problem of sovereign immunity. The court could say consistent with the Constitution that if such a God exists then the court has no authority over Him -- rather, He has authority over the court. Even if the court ordered an injunction, it is without power to enforce the injunction hence making it impossible for the court to grant the relief requested. Finally, God, if He exists, being sovereign over all things, is immune from the decisions of the court.

That would be truthful and not waste any further time because all of the propositions are obviously true.


Jinx McHue said…
An atheist who is suing God. So then he's not actually an atheist.
Layman said…
Good point on sovereign immunity.

I also think there is a personal jurisdiction issue for atheists. They would have to prove that God has sufficient contacts with the State of Nebraska to warrant the imposition of personal jurisdiction over God. I doubt the atheists would be comfortable asserting that proposition to be true.
BK said…
Good points, both.
Lifeguard said…
Focusing on the irony of an atheist asserting the proposition of god's existence being true for the purpose of suing ultimately misses the point that, once the atheist fails, he'll have successfully obtained a judicial decision calling god's existence into question.

Sovreign immunity is cute though.

There's actually a federal court decision out there (I think it's federal) dismissing a case brought against the devil. Easily one of the funniest decision I've ever read in my life.

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