A New Kind of Lawsuit
A while back, I was assured by several readers that a certain House Bill H.R. 1592 and its Senate companion S.B. 1105 would in no way infringe upon the free speech rights of Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin and preach in accordance with the Scriptural (Old & New Testament) teaching prohibiting such activity.
One such commenter, DW, went so far as to accuse Christians in general (and I think me in particular) of being liars. He (or she) wrote:
Regardless of how one views homosexuality the bible is very clear about lying. I have read this bill and there is nothing in it that would prohibit free speech. I hate to say this as a conservative Christian who loves the Lord but it would appear that our fellow Christians are lying to us. Last time I checked ‘Bearing false witness’ was still prohibited under the 10 commandments. When we put out things that are not true we hurt our witness and destroy are credibility.
A lengthy conversation ensued and I, as it turns out, had the last word. I don’t know what happened to DW.
Anyhow, I haven’t heard too much about these bills lately, and I don’t really know what happened to them. I was reminded of this conversation today when I saw this story posted at World Net Daily: ‘Gay’ Man Sues Bible Publishing: $70 million for emotional distress because homosexuality cast as sin. Says the article:
Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, of Canton, Mich., is seeking $60 million from Zondervan and another $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Press reported.
Fowler filed his claim against Grand Rapids-based Zondervan Monday, alleging its Bibles’ references to homosexuality as a sin have made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of “demoralization, chaos and bewilderment,” the paper said.
He filed suit against Tennessee publisher Thomas Nelson in June.
Fowler said in his suit:
Fowler, who is representing himself in both lawsuits, says in his complaint against Zondervan that the publisher intended to design a religious, sacred document to reflect an individual opinion or a group’s conclusion to cause “me or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence … including murder.”
Well that should be quite enough to demonstrate that this man is serious about what he is doing. Bob Pratico had a brilliant comment:
He claims the “Bibles’ references to homosexuality as a sin have made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of “demoralization, chaos and bewilderment ….”
Uh – yeah. Sin has a way of doing that.
I’m no alarmist by any means, and I want to state upfront that this lawsuit has nothing to do with the House and Senate Bills I mentioned at the outset of this post. However, I do not believe that this will be the last complaint of this nature that we see filed in a court. This fella may not have a leg to stand on, and didn’t do himself any favors by representing himself, but eventually someone will likely complain more, and eventually more ‘credible’ lawsuits will be filed, and eventually, in all likelihood, someone will win. It’s the way of the world. Eventually, it will end up in the 9th District Court in California where it will get all the necessary TLC it needs to succeed! I hope this is the last of this sort of thing, but I seriously doubt that it will be. Sad.
On another, final note, Zondervan, predictably, was quick to take the Adam and Eve way out:
Zondervan says that even if Fowler’s claim is credible, he’s suing the wrong party. A company spokesman told WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids that Zondervan doesn’t translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations but relies, instead, on the “scholarly judgment of credible translation committees.”
I think I’m done buying books from Zondervan. Maybe not. My God this world is ridiculously stupid sometimes.
HT: Parchment & Pen