It was only a matter of time. We've been playing grabass with these freaking nancy-boys far too long. First they just wanted us to quit beating them up. O.K., that was fair. But they didn't stop there. They started demanding "special rights". They demanded access to our kids through Gay-Straight clubs. Then they wanted to re-define marriage. And sure enough, now they want to start using the court system to forcibly re-define religion and re-write the Bible.
A black gay activist who is also an ex-con is suing Zondervan Publishing and the Tennessee-based Thomas Nelson Publishing, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and has caused him emotional pain and mental instability. Media story published July 9th, 2008 by the Grand Rapids Press and WOOD Channel 8 (with video) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Also picked up by Western Voices World News and WorldNetDaily. Discussion on Free Republic, the Vanguard News Network Forum, and Stormfront.
Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39 (pictured above left), is seeking $60 million from Zondervan, based in Cascade Township, and another $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing in the lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Click HERE to access various court documents for both suits.
Fowler filed the suit against Zondervan on Monday July 7th, the same day U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr. refused to appoint an attorney to represent him in his case against Thomas Nelson, a Tennessee publisher. Fowler filed a suit against Thomas Nelson in June. He is representing himself in both claims.
"The Court has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of these claims," the judge wrote.
Fowler alleges Zondervan's Bibles referring 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". According to the suit, the intent of the publisher was to design a religious, sacred document to reflect an individual opinion or a group's conclusion to cause "me or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence ... including murder".
Fowler's suit claims Zondervan's text revisions include and then delete the reference to homosexuality without informing the public of the changes. The other suit, against Thomas Nelson and its New King James Bible, mirrors the allegations made against Zondervan for "manipulating" Scripture.
The report filed by WOOD-TV offers more details. According to them, his suit centers on one passage in scripture -- 1 Corinthians 6:9 -- and how it reads in Bibles published by Zondervan. Fowler told WOOD-TV in a phone interview that Zondervan Bibles published in 1982 and 1987 used the word "homosexuals" among a list of those who are "wicked" or "unrighteous" and won't inherit the kingdom of heaven. As a result, he claims his family considered him a sinner and made him suffer. Fowler further claims the company is misinterpreting the Bible by specifically using the word homosexuals. Although Fowler admits that every Bible printed is a translation, interpreted in some way, he says specifically using that word is not a translation but a change.
But a Zondervan spokeswoman says Zondervan doesn't translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations. Instead, she said in a statement, the company relies on the "scholarly judgment of credible translation committees." She stated that Bradley Fowler is suing the wrong group.
And the GodAndCulture blog revealed a connection between Bradley Fowler and the Barack Obama campaign. On the MyBarackObama.com website, Fowler posted an explanation of his lawsuit, under the title “Overcoming Religious Injustice Is Not As Easy As the Bible Says”. However, the post has since been taken down, but a partial screenshot was preserved on the GodAndCulture blog. Here's a snippet where he explained his motivation:
Ironically, I was inspired by Romaine Patterson, one of Matthew’s college associates, who prepared the Pod cast in an effort to promote her book-The Whole World is Watching. Witnessing her tenacity and ambition, empowered me with a zest for success. Something I willfully lost, during my extensive research inside biblical scriptures and its theory on homosexuals.
Initially, after hearing about Matthew’s death, I didn’t feel anything. After all, growing up in America, I have learned how to block out such tragedies, because such things are a norm. Even after having friends who were murdered for clothes, money, cars, and simply for the color of their skin. Hearing about someone being murdered due to their sexual preference just seemed normal; even though it angered me.
After being raised with a religious background and being taught that being gay or a homosexual was a sin, I learned to keep my sexual identity hidden. And like so many other’s who too, feel the same, this state of mind derived from religious up-bringing. That’s why I was completely distraught after discovering the term-homosexual-was added to the bible, in 1976, and then removed, in 2001 and 2006, without any consideration to the many victims who committed suicide or were murdered because of their sexual preference of homosexuality.
Throughout history, many people have died under the false pretenses associated with religious rituals and its beliefs. People were even enslaved due to the scriptures written in the bible. Living in a society that forces religious structure upon its citizens is challenging enough, especially to anyone who desires to live outside of those religious conformities.
In turn, Fowler leads us to two more websites under his control, BradleyAlmighty, which focuses on his suit against Zondervan Publishing, and AuthorBrad, which describes his other suit against Thomas Nelson Publishing.
In fairness to Barack Obama, there's a disclaimer across the bottom of the page stating “Content on blogs in My.BarackObama represents the opinions of community members and in no way should be interpreted as endorsed or approved by the campaign”. However, his entire contention is bogus; no book can be held responsible for the sins of those who misuse it. And certainly neither Zondervan nor Thomas Nelson Publishing were even around when people were enslaved in the name of scriptures. All Fowler is doing is picking a convenient target for judicial extortion. Being that he's an ex-con, this could be nothing more than a typical con hustle.
Bradley Fowler is probably anticipating that the publishers will offer to settle for anywhere from $1 million to $5 million, in order to set himself up for life. It's important that the publishers DO NOT OFFER TO SETTLE. They need to fight this out to the end - assuming the suit is even allowed to proceed. The judge is this case appears to be somewhat skeptical and there's a chance the suit will be thrown out. The publishers can easily outspend Fowler and they should bring their financial muscle to bear. We cannot afford to have courts dictating the contents of the Bible.
These links are harmless, just put here for experimentation
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