The Association of Trial Lawyers of America today announced that its members were collectively filing suit against God.
The suit names God as a defendant in a class-action brought on behalf of the human race. Filed in New York District Court, the suit includes the following allegations:
- That God did, knowingly and willfully, create an imperfect world, thus subjecting the defendants to virtually unlimited pain and suffering.
- That, despite incessant complaints and orders to desist from plaintiffs and their duly authorized representatives, God allowed human suffering to continue up to the time the suit was filed.
Plaintiffs also allege that they have exhausted various potential remedies prior to filing the suit. Attempted remedies have included, but not been limited, to:
- Worship of multiple Gods, also known as pantheism. Regardless of the Gods selected, results were inadequate.
- Sacrifice of both humans and animals. Fun, but only slight amelioration of pain and suffering.
- Trying to replace God with society, also known as Communism. Despite being tried in numerous forms by different countries all over the globe, results were uniformly dismal.
- Ignoring God. In its broadest form this included not only the idea of a deity, but also the idea of any moral standards; any distinction between right and wrong. Tested most vigorously in New York, LA, and Berlin. Plaintiffs found this route very profitable, and generally rewarding. Only resistance came from plaintiffs on verge of death.
- Suing each other. Again, fun and profitable, but essentially a zero-sum game. Once trial lawyers had taken control of most assets the zero-sum nature of litigation became alarming. In the end they realized that God was playing divide and conquer.
As very few suits have previously been filed on behalf of the entire human race, a number of technical difficulties have surfaced. First of all, there was the pronoun question. Having depositioned a number of priests, ministers, rabbis and other God functionaries, the attorneys concluded that God was most often referred to with a masculine pronoun. (E.g. In 'his' name.) However, in a friend-of-the-court brief, Janet Reno argued strongly that, regardless of whether God had properly fulfilled its societal obligations, it would be very wrong to think of God as a male.
The lead attorneys debated at length as to whom should adjudicate such an unusual and precedent setting case; no courts clearly have jurisdiction to try the Supreme Being. The United Nations was considered, as was the US Supreme Court. The UN was ruled out on the grounds that so many of its reigning authorities do not believe that such a thing as God exists, and frown on the idea of suing a non-existent entity. The US Supreme Court was approached, but couldn't tolerate the idea that some entity, a God for instance, might have powers equal to their own.
After much debate, the attorneys have agreed to have the case tried before a special panel of celebrities, the idea being that God is entitled to a jury of his peers, and, in the age of Oprah, celebrities are as close to deities as human beings get.
Bill Clinton will serve as God's defense counsel. Having gotten away with every conceivable offense known to man, he thought he might be able to give God a few tips.
Some of the defending attorney's jury choices:
- Basketball star Michael Jordan. Having obtained demi-God status himself, he's believed to be sympathetic to the problems of Godhood.
- Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, included in case God needs to borrow money from a juror to help with its defense.
- Madonna; still a God fan, despite a few deviations from her Catholic school upbringing. Also hoping to get one of the key parts in the upcoming major motion picture.
- John Travolta, who believes that anyone who could make a comeback from Saturday Night Fever owes God a big favor.
- Richard Branson, entrepreneur and adventurer extraordinaire. Branson says he doesn't believe in God, but, given his history of narrowly escaping death, he really should. An eternal optimist unlikely to convict anyone of anything.
- Ted Kennedy. Political history aside, he's keen to be on the good side of God, what with his brothers all falling by the wayside.
Al Gore will serve as prosecuting attorney. He's rumored to be especially anxious to question God regarding the six days thing, and whether that rate of production is connected to environmental degradation.
A few of his jury picks:
- Ralph Nader, who knows that God is just the tool of big business.
- Jesse Jackson, upset that his boss sometimes gets better PR than his humble servant.
- Hillary Clinton, panting to grill God about the unfairness of men being physically bigger and stronger than women. Also anxious to be on the opposite of any case in which her husband is involved.
- Shirley Maclean, who, in a previous life, was God. She's sure the current occupant is not as competent.
- Steve Jobs, still fuming over Microsoft's triumph over Apple. Convinced that if Gates could win, there couldn't possibly be a God. Or at least not a benevolent one.
- Fidel Castro. Empowered by his ability to maintain his rule over Cuba, he plans on taunting God.
- Rupert Murdoch. Anxious to put God away before he has to face judgement.
- Barbara Walters. Angry with God for his refusal to be interviewed.
The ATLA is seeking unspecified damages on behalf of mankind, including some special compensation for litigators:
- Acknowledgement that lawyers, not the Jewish race, are the chosen people.
- Modification of the free speech clause in the Bill of Rights to exclude lawyer jokes.
- The exclusion from any jury of anyone who believes OJ is guilty.
- That sympathy (especially the mindless, irrational, blubbering kind) replace faith as organized religion's highest value.
- That candidates to public office take the 'No tort reform' vow.
We'll keep you updated as the case, scheduled to go to trial in September, progresses. The latest development is that God is seeking to have the case thrown out, on the grounds that the "New York Times", the earth's paper of record, declared him 'dead' quite some time ago.