If you can't sue the Lord for libel, what are your options? A Michigan man is about to find out. Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, has filed lawsuits in a Michigan federal court against Zondervan Publishing and Thomas Nelson Publishing, claiming some editions of the Bibles those companies put out call homosexuality sinful, which has led him to suffer discrimination, emotional pain and mental instability.
"Defendant willfully caused me to endure acts of hate, discrimination, and loss of sleep, appetite, by structuring their New King James Bible to reflect God’s distaste of homosexuals," Fowler wrote in his complaint against Thomas Nelson filed this week.
"By designing this product to promote hate and violence toward homosexuality, because such product is promoted as being the ‘authentic word of God,’ it is a design defect," says Fowler’s lawsuit.
Fowler is seeking $60 million from Zondervan, alleging their Bibles refer to homosexuality as a sin have made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of "demoralization, chaos and bewilderment." He is seeking $10 million from Thomas Nelson.
The suit against Zondervan claims 1982 and 1987 editions of the publisher’s Bible declare homosexuality to be wrong in 1 Corinthians 6:9:"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders."
Fowler claims the term was edited out of the 1989 and 1994 editions, but consumers were not informed.
"This misrepresentation is a willful and deliberate tort. Fraudulently imposing a written defamation or libel in order to prevent me from marrying someone of the same sex in this state," his lawsuit states. "This obvious coerced method of mind control and social dictatorship violates the religious [sacred] laws which prevent anyone from adding to the Biblical scriptures or from taking any words away from the text."
Fowler levels similar allegations against Thomas Nelson regarding the company’s earlier versions of the New King James Bible.
The intent of the publisher was to promulgate a point of view to cause "me or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence ... including murder," the lawsuit states.
Fowler said the editions of the Bibles he cites have destroyed his relationship with his family who refuses to support him because the Bible says homosexuality is a sin.
What do you think? Should the publishers of Bibles be held accountable for the pain inflicted by what many readers consider to be God’s word?