The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against God, alleging that the Almighty has repeatedly violated the constitutional separation of church and state.
The complaint argues that for centuries, God has had an unjust involvement with government and public affairs. The group says this has been particularly problematic for America since its founding.
“We are trying to keep all religion completely out of government, just as the Constitution requires, but we cannot do that when God is constantly intervening in human affairs,” said Susan Herman, president of the ACLU. But Herman claims that God alone is not to blame for the constant entangling of religion and government.
“Politicians and church leaders are always invoking God’s name and asking God to bless the country. We cannot have a secular, religiously neutral society and at the same time invite God into our affairs,” she said.
The lawsuit alleges that God has been the original and distinct source of all church-state conflicts throughout American history.
“From Bible readings and prayer in public schools to the Ten Commandments in court rooms,” Herman said, “God has been that special influence, the cause of so many infringements of our religious and civil liberties.”
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified monetary damages from God for his unconstitutional practices. It is also asking the court to impose an injunction against God to prevent further church-state violations. In order to collect damages, the ACLU argues, religious institutions and organizations must pay.
“Since God himself cannot be forced to pay, and no metaphysical mechanism exists to actually gather funds from the great beyond, we must obtain this money from those who preach and spread the word of God,” said the complaint.
Because America is largely considered to be a Judeo-Christian nation – and because God, when publicly invoked, is most often in the Judeo-Christian form – the suit asks that churches and synagogues specifically be compelled to pay compensation. Herman argues that compensation is necessary for years of religious, social, cultural, and psychological oppression imposed upon non-Christians.
The suit doesn’t end with America’s history of church-state conflict. From the Crusades to abortion-clinic bombings, according to the complaint, God has had a hand in civil liberties violations and human rights abuses outside of America.
“We have preachers out there saying that homosexuality, adultery, and other so-called ‘sins’ violate what they believe to be God’s divine law for human beings,” Herman said. “It’s high time the Almighty is held responsible for the pain he and his people have caused among homosexuals, adulterers, and other oppressed people.”
Herman would also like to see taxes imposed on churches and synagogues because the land on which these institutions are built is often in physical contact with government property, such as roads. Herman believes this is an unconstitutional mixing of religion and government.
“This juxtaposition of church and public property clearly forces everyone to accept and worship the Christian God, which the Constitution does not permit,” said Herman.
State regulation of churches and synagogues is also being sought as a means of enforcing the court injunction. Preachers and rabbis would be barred from conducting prayers for government leaders or commenting on social issues that, the ACLU alleges, properly belong in the secular realm of politics.
The lawsuit follows a recent high-profile complaint filed by God
BLess America, in which the group is seeking to prohibit radio broadcasts of religious messages. The suit, still in court, alleges that radio waves carrying religious messages unconstitutionally come in contact with airwaves carrying government broadcasts.
“To have religious and government messages mixed together like this is the exact same thing as establishing an official religion and forcing all Americans to obey it,” said Mac Arrington, a spokesman for the organization. “The wall of separation of church and state exists, even in the air.”