Senator sues God

News about the trial of Jodie Arias and the horrendous murder of  Tim Bosma in our area last week got me thinking about trials, juries, and justice, particularly issues around sentencing and the death penalty.

My musings eventually led me to the dramatization of  Dostoyevski’s story of The Grand Inquisitor and the sentencing of Christ to die again, by the Church itself.  See my most recent blogs…  and I also discovered other lawsuits against God, which I will blog about  later.

Here is a  suit from only five years ago, in  Nebraska.  Listen to the video… outrageous though it may be, Senator Chambers really sounds quite reasonable and convincing.  His efforts reminded me of the way Greenpeace  cleverly uses “peaceful direct action and creative communication” to expose folly and abuse.

Wikipedia gives us the details here:

In the U.S. state of Nebraska, State Senator Ernie Chambers filed a suit in 2008 against God, seeking a permanent injunction against God’s harmful activities, as an effort to publicize the issue of public access to the court system.[1] The suit was dismissed because God could not be properly notified, not having an address. The Judge stated, “Given that this court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant this action will be dismissed with prejudice“.[1] The senator, believing God to be singular and all-knowing, responded “The court itself acknowledges the existence of God. A consequence of that acknowledgement is a recognition of God’s omniscience … Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit.”[1][2] Chambers filed the lawsuit in response to another lawsuit that he considers to be frivolous and inappropriate.[3]

In response to Chambers’ case, two responses were filed. The first was from a Corpus Christi lawyer, Eric Perkins, who wanted to answer the question “what would God say”.[4] The second was filed in Douglas County, Nebraska District Court. The source of the second response, claiming to be from “God”, is unclear as no contact information was given.[4]

On July 30, 2008, local media sources reported the Douglas County District Court was going to deny Chambers’ lawsuit because Chambers had failed to notify the defendant.[5] However, on August 1, Chambers was granted a court date of August 5 in order to proceed with his lawsuit. “The scheduling hearing will give me a chance to lay out the facts that would justify the granting of the motion,” Chambers was quoted as saying. He added, “Once the court enters the injunction, that’s as much as I can do,” he said. “That’s as much as I would ask the court. I wouldn’t expect them to enforce it.”[6]

However, a judge finally did throw out the case, saying the Almighty was not properly served due to his unlisted home address.[7] As of 5 November 2008, Chambers filed an appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court.[8] The former state senator John DeCamp and E. O. Augustsson in Sweden, asked to represent God. Augustsson’s letters, mentioning the Bjorn (see the BjornSocialist Republic) were stricken as “frivolous”. The Appeals Court gave Chambers until February 24 to show that he notified DeCamp and Augustsson of his brief,[9] which he did. The case was finally closed on February 25 when the Nebraska Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal and vacated the order of the district court. The court quoted cases according to which “[a] court decides real controversies and determines rights actually controverted, and does not address or dispose of abstract questions or issues that might arise in hypothetical or fictitious situation or setting”.

Come back tomorrow for more!

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