You Can’t Make This Shit Up (Part V)

12 July, 2008

I got home from work today and (((Wife))) reads the following story to me (all quotes are from the Wilkes Barre Times Leader):

A man in Knoxville, Tennessee was “so consumed by the Spirit of God that he fell and hit his head while worshipping.”  After two surgeries (I guess they were trying to find his brain) for which the churches insurance company refused to pay (would that come under an act of God?), he has decided to sue the church.  For $2.5 million (medical bills, pain, suffering and lost income).  Matt Lincoln claims that “he has fallen from the force of the spirit before but has always been caught by someone.”  The churches lawyers say he failed to look out for his own safety (um, doesn’t God supposedly watch out for believers?) and that, after his fall, other parishioners reportedly saw him laughing.

So.  Man gets so overwhelmed with the spirit of God that he falls and breaks his head.  I have some sympathy for the guy (traumatic head injuries can be a bitch), but. . . .  Shouldn’t he be suing God?  After all, it was God’s spirit (which I assume is part of God just like his son Jesus is part of himself which the one which is the trinity which . . . (where was I?)) which divorced his rational mind from the reality around him and allowed gravity (another one of those pesky theories the Bible does not mention) to cause him to fall, not the church.  Well, maybe the pastor’s sermon put him to sleep and that’s why he fell. 

I know one or two of ya’ll are lawyers.  Who should he be suing to pay his medical bills (I’ll leave the pain and suffering out (he believes, so suffering is normal to him)) and lost wages?  The church?  God?  The pastor?  The holy spirit?  What venue (county, city, state or federal) would the case be heard under if one was suing God?  Would he have to prove himself a theist to have legal standing?



  1. God has no standing in the legal system.

    Which makes me wonder why religions have standing.

  2. Ric: Religions are a creation of man, therefore they have standing in court. Then again, God is a creation of man, so . . . .

  3. Wow, really “so consumed”? Why do churches need insurance then???

  4. Diverl: Welcome to my blog. I think churches need insurance for the same reason they need fire escapes — there really is no god upon which they can depend for physical or financial safety and security.

  5. IANAL – but I think he should sue God. Of course, as George Carlin reminded us, God always needs money, so getting the payoff would be a bitch.

  6. Of course, if someone sets a precedent for suing God, it would rather open the floodgates for a lot of litigation… I believe war crimes, neglect, murder, abuse, unsafe working conditions, incitement to murder, dereliction of duty, false advertising and (given his refusal to appear) contempt of court would all be easy charges to prosecute.

  7. Sorry – I forgot to close the tag on the previous comment.

  8. Maybe they could just sue Jesus. Just subpoena a consecrated cracker — it’s the body of Christ, right?

  9. Well, if you can’t sue God – sue his publishers…

  10. Clearly he should sue himself. It should be evident that god was trying to call him home, and he didn’t hit his head hard enough. He should have finished himself off.

  11. What a mess. Where exactly did this man hit his head? I didn’t see?

    Also, were the surgeries necessary?

    But suing God? The Holy Spirit? Even if this dude won the case, who’d pay him? Would God come down from the clouds and cut him a check?

    I can’t say I’m surprised that the church didn’t offer to pay. Not that I think they’re bad or anything, but 1. They probably don’t have that much money to spare, and 2. it’s not the first time I’ve heard of churches disappearing when someone is in need.

  12. A girl could be held down against her will, manhandled and roughed about in church and that’s ok, it’s taken years for kids who were raped and sodomized by priests to come close to justice, and this clown thinks he can sue and win for falling over? Good luck.

    If he succeeds, I foresee a rush of people going to church and having “spirit accidents”. Cha-CHING! $$$

  13. Bruce: Can you sue yourself for stupidity? Sounds like a good scam.

    Ted: He hit his head in church. As for the surgeries, I think its pretty hard to convince a surgeon (a brain surgeon, at that) to perform unnecessary surgeries. And as for money? There are two kinds of evangelical churches in America — the rich ones and the poor ones. The poor ones probably can’t even afford insurance, so . . .

    Philly: That article should be “You Can’t Make This Shit Up (Part VI)! But remember, religion does no harm and only theists can be moral. Blehhh!

    Maybe the insurance companies would write in a clause saying that personal experiences with the holy spirit are not covered. Might eliminate some of the more insane church activities — speeking in tonques, handling serpents, possession by the holy spirit, handling altar boys . . . .

  14. In light of the whole Frackin’ Cracker nonsense, I’ve learned that it’s catholic church policy to physically prevent anyone from trying to make off with an enchanted cracker. I’d like to see that lawsuit if someone got killed trying to do it.

  15. I read, some years ago about someone in the Carolinas who had left his entire estate to god. The sherriff was to notify this entity for an appearance at probate court, and after a very vigorous search concluded that “God is not to be found in (whatever) county”. This conclusion caused some vexation among the twice born.

    Not long ago some nut job ran loose through a mega church with a gun and was shot to death by a woman who was a security guard (not for the church, though, just happened to be there with the tools of her trade). She recommended that all churches have armed guards to take care of such crazies.

    A conundrum…

    How is it that people who claim to be aching in every joint to meet their diety and his family seem so reluctant to make the trip? Surely not a bit of doubt in there, is there?
    And what about this (alleged) savior’s admonition to return good for evil, turn the other cheek, that sort of fol da rol? Was this entity simply blowing smoke? A “Yes, but…” situation?

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