Nebraska senator sues God to stop terror threats


Ryan Singel of the Wired News blog Threat Level tells BoingBoing,

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers filed suit against God Friday, asking a court to order the Almighty and his followers to stop making terrorist threats.

The suit (.pdf), filed in a Nebraska district court, contends that God, along with his followers of all persuasions, "has made and continues to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons." Those threats are credible given God's history, Chambers' complaint says.

Chambers, in a fit of alliteration, also accuses God of causing "fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects, and the like."

Link.

UPDATE: Lindsay Tiemeyer points out the uncanny "halo" that appears behind this senator's head in a photo re-posted above.

N.E. Lilly adds,

Your post reminds me of the "Paranormal Restraining Orders" website. In addition to God, you can get a legal restraint from Bigfoot, Nessie, Death, and David Letterman. Disclosure: I made the site (almost a year ago)

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  1. I grew up in Nebraska, and I know that Ernie Chambers is a nutjob. He wears a ripped t-shirt and torn jeans to work at the senate.

    He made a public display a few years back when he got arrested for speeding and claimed that the police officers didn’t know how to calculate his speed, and wasted a bunch of the state’s time and money contesting a $30 speeding ticket.

    This is actually just his speed.

  2. I’m glad I don’t live in Nebraska, well, at least for this reason, I’m sure Nebraska is very nice. I’d be furious if one of my senators was wasting the money and time of the senate and the courts on frivolous nonsense like this. He oughta be impeached.

  3. It’s brilliant. He’s highlighting the idiocy of accusing everyone of being a terrorist and twisting the law to your own political and religious uses. At least God gets a trial. If Bush did this, God would be at Guantanamo.

  4. Praise Jesus for Ernie Chambers!!! I don’t know what rock the other anonymous Nebraskan lived under, but Ernie is one of the few saving graces of Nebraska politics. I also grew up there, Ernie is one of maybe two state senators of color (I’m not sure of the exact number), he has served for decades now standing up for his constituents in urban Omaha and fighting against the various commercial and frighteningly conservative interests that mark the Nebraskan concept of “progress.” The state introduced term limits several years ago simply to get him out of the senate. He is a master of irony, king of the filibuster and an avid weightlifter.

    I’m personally much more worried about the way every single other senator wastes my money by banning gay marriage and screwing over the rural/immigrant/you-name-it communities in the state.

    p.s.- his t-shirts aren’t ripped!

  5. I went to grad school in Nebraska in the 90’s and always loved Ernie Chambers. Swell nailed it. Nebraska NEEDS Ernie; they just don’t know it. Someone has to have a contrary view to keep things real.

  6. I am a Nebraskan. What this (and the Wired) article fail to mention is that this was in response to a sexual assault case where past related crimes were not allowed to be mentioned, nor the words “rape” or “victim.” While Ernie Chambers does do a lot of wonderful things (and does a great job representing his constituency), he is prone to publicity stunts like this, that don’t always reflect well on his original message (case in point here).

  7. It seems he’s doing it on principle, he’s not serious about the lawsuit.

    From that link:

    “Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers has filed a lawsuit against God. He says he just wants to make the point that the constitution allows a lawsuit to be filed for any reason.

    Senator Chambers says, “This is a way to show that anyone can sue anyone including God. It’s an object lesson too. It demonstrates that the mere filing of a lawsuit doesn’t guarantee a win.”

    Creighton law professor Mike Fenner says, “It’s a frivolous lawsuit but not one that’s really going to cost anyone much.”

    Chambers says he decided to file the lawsuit in part as a response to other lawmakers who have tried to prevent lawsuits from being filed over the years and in part due to a high profile sexual assault case in Lancaster County. In that case, there is an ongoing clash over a judge’s order preventing the use of the word “rape” and other words at trial.”

  8. I view this as a positive thing — the more politicians are distracted by idiotic performance art, the less time they’ll have to screw things up with idiotic legislation.

  9. ernie chambers is a mad genius. And sometimes he falls squarely on the side of crazy. But check out the 1967 documentary “A Time for Burning.” It’s a great story from the height of the civil rights movement and Ernie Chambers is front and center, an Omaha barber on a mission. He is compelling and correct, like one of the better angels of our nature.

    And here’s the story of his tee-shirts in the Unicameral. It’s true, he always wears jeans and tee-shirts to work. (He’s ripped, by the way, not the tee shirts.) And it rankled people — they saw it as a sign of disrespect. Years ago, a reporter finally asked him why he never wears a suit to work. He opened his desk drawer and pulled out a child’s suit. “If you want to talk to a suit, go ahead. But if you want to talk to the man, talk to me.” Nuff said. Badass.

  10. I think he did a nice job of avoiding the problems with service that got Mayo v. Satan dismissed, but I think he’s going to have a hard time getting past the issue of standing, much less the issue of sovereign immunity, should a representative of the Defendant make an appearance in the case.

  11. I not only grew up in Nebraska, but still live here. Ernie is the only black
    senator in the unicameral legislature, its longest serving representative.
    He keeps a suit in his locker for those that desire to talk with one.

    He is very well respected and is quite “well known to be brilliant”, per
    Terry Carpenter – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Carpenter

    He holds both history and law degrees from Creighton University where he
    graduated among the top of his class.

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