Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gay Man Sues Publishers Over Bible Verses

Here's an article from USA Today that was forwarded to me. Apparently this took place back in July. I wonder what happened with the case? The text of the article is found below in bold type, with my comments in regular type:


CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A gay man is suing two heavyweight Christian publishers, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability.

Right off the bat, the whole idea that a gay man is suing a Bible publisher is laughable. The publisher has nothing to do with the content. For example, Amazon is selling copies of "Mein Kampf." Should they be sued? Should the publisher of the book? Secondly, which of this man's "constitutional rights" have been violated? Seriously, I'd like to know.

Bradley LaShawn Fowler of Canton, Mich., is seeking $60 million from Zondervan, based in Cascade Township, and $10 million from Nashville-based Thomas Nelson Publishing.

A grand total of 70 million? Wow. That's a high price for emotional pain and mental instability. For those of you outside of the Christian publishing bubble, Zondervan and Thomas Nelson are two of the biggest Bible publishers in the country.

Fowler filed the suit in federal court against Zondervan on July 7, the same day U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr. refused to appoint an attorney to represent him in his case against Thomas Nelson. Fowler filed a suit against Thomas Nelson in June. He is representing himself in both claims.

Good luck with that.

"The Court has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of these claims," the judge wrote.

Ya think?

Fowler, 39, alleges Zondervan's Bibles referring 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 question here is whether or not Zondervan's publishing of the material that condemns homosexuality, or the man's homosexual behavior itself, is what's causing the physical discomfort, demoralization, chaos, bewilderment, and has made him an outcast from his family. It's amazing (yet not amazing at the same time) that people refuse to take responsibility for their own actions.

The intent of the publisher was 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," Fowler wrote.

Where in the Bible does it command Christians to abuse, discriminate, hate, or murder homosexuals? And don't say Leviticus something or other. That argument is so tired and worn out, and its been explained a million times. Those commands were given to a specific people at a specific time in a specific place. They don't apply to New Covenant, 21st century Christians. So really, where does the Bible say that?

Fowler's suit claims Zondervan's text revisions from a 1980s version of the Bible included, and then deleted, a reference to homosexuality in 1 Corinthians without informing the public of the changes. The other suit, against Thomas Nelson and its New King James Bible, mirrors the allegations made against Zondervan.

I have no idea what this refers to. But even if Zondervan and Thomas Nelson included or excluded certain verses, there are plenty of other Bibles out their from plenty of other publishers that we could check with.

As I think about it, I see only two possible reasons why this man would sue these Bible publishers: 1) he doesn't want to have to take responsibility for his actions and his sin (homosexual sin or otherwise); 2) he wants to get rich quick.

I suspect it's probably both.

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