Ernie Chambers, Nebraska’s Leading Hellraiser, Sues God

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In early 2006, Mother Jones profiled Nebraska state lawmaker Ernie Chambers, the sole black member of Nebraska’s unicameral legislature and one heck of a cool dude. Sara Catania wrote at the time:

He wears sweatshirts and jeans amid a forest of suits and ties; his gray beard contrasts with the clean chins of most of his brethren. He’s been described as “left of San Francisco” in a state that for decades has been tightly tucked under the blanket of conservative Republicanism….

Because of Chambers, the Legislature routinely backs bills its members wouldn’t otherwise have dreamed of supporting. He cajoled his colleagues into abolishing corporal punishment in schools, correcting the state pension system so that women would be treated equally with men, and backing a switch from at-large municipal elections to district-based voting so that nonwhites would have a chance to serve. Under his sway, Nebraska led the nation in the 1980s in divesting in companies that did business with apartheid-era South Africa.

I can’t do Ernie Chambers justice in block quote form — read Sara’s article in full for a better picture of the man.

Here’s why I bring him up: he’s suing God. For real.

Chambers lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in Douglas County Court, seeks a permanent injunction ordering God to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats.

The lawsuit admits God goes by all sorts of alias, names, titles and designations and it also recognizes the fact that the defendant is omnipresent.

In the lawsuit, Chambers said he’s tried to contact God numerous times…

[The lawsuit] says God has caused “fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects and the like.”

The suit also says God has caused “calamitous catastrophes resulting in the wide-spread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants including innocent babes, infants, children, the aged and infirm without mercy or distinction.”

Chambers also says God “has manifested neither compassion nor remorse, proclaiming that defendant will laugh” when calamity comes.

Chambers is reportedly making a point about frivolous lawsuits, but I think he’s making a point about being awesome.

Update: Looks like Ernie Chambers reeeally chose the wrong situation to make his point, whatever it is. Read below to see the comments of Lundy, TheSoyMilkConspiracy, and elm.

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The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

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