Trial of the millennium

Ed Smith
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It has finally happened. A Nebraska Senator has sued God for acts of terrorism against the inhabitants of the Earth. When I say sued, I mean sued. He's put the necessary documentation before the courts in an effort to put God on trial and hold the Almighty accountable.
Senator Ernie Chambers has charged God with making terrorist threats against himself and his constituents, and for visiting death, destruction and terrorism upon "millions and millions" of the Earth's inhabitants.
It should be known that the good senator skips regular morning prayers in the legislature. He has also been known to be quite critical of Christians.
Now that I come to think of it, when I was a theologue in university, I, too, frequently skipped morning prayers at the university chapel. That had more to do with my innate laziness than a lack of faith in God.
To be honest, as I invariably am in this column, I have been known on occasion to be rather critical of Christians myself. As Mahatma Gandhi, a devout Hindu, once remarked, "I find much that is appealing and good in Christianity, and I am attracted to it until I meet Christians."
I don't know if that's word-for-word faithful to the original comment because I'm quoting from memory, but that was certainly the gist of it. Whatever, I have no intention of suing God for anything unless it's for the results of the last federal election, and I don't think God would have touched that with a 10-foot pole.
Likewise, if we're going to go to all that trouble with courts and lawyers, I think we should be holding God responsible for something more crucial, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that God has anything to do with the Leafs, either.
Quick: what do the Maple Leafs, the Blue Jays, the Argonauts and the Raptors (the Toronto basketball team) all have in common? Answer: neither one of them is playing for the Stanley Cup.
Ernie's charge against God sounds like crimes against humanity. As such, lawyers for the Creator will probably insist on a change of venue on the grounds that: No. 1, God is not allowed in United States courtrooms; and No. 2, God wouldn't get a fair trial in the States, anyway.
Consequently, I expect the trial will be held in Nuremberg, where they have a long history of dishing out justice.
Then there's the problem of who the lawyers will be for either side. I would think the chief lawyer for the defence would be Jewish, since God's son was also Jewish. Indeed, the most celebrated legal mind of our time, Alan Dershowitz, once defended Jesus in a trial similar to what Ernie Chambers is advocating. Other Half and I sat in on one of his law classes in Harvard some years ago. The man could sell Stanley Cup tickets in Toronto.
OK, that's the defence. The prosecutor would have to be the devil or a reasonable facsimile. Shouldn't be any great problem finding one of those in the U.S. bureaucracy, if not the Senate or, for that matter, the administration.
Find the people who convinced honourable men like Gen. Colin Powell that the U.S. had to invade Iraq because they were manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. All kinds of stand-ins for Satan among the mortgage company CEOs who knowingly and out of personal greed built the bubble they knew would one day burst.
Find someone to play the devil in Canada? Nope, the only fellow we had in that league is in jail - in the States. The devil is a slippery, slimy fellow. On top of that, he's a sleeveen. The lawyers for God would have to be on their toes. Anyone seen a film called "The Devil's Advocate" with Canadian Keanu Reeves and American Al Pacino? Right.
Perhaps the devil is a little like the boy who was explaining to his friends his personal view of Beelzebub.
"The devil is like Santa Claus," he said. "It's your father."
Jury selection would be a bit of a challenge. The defence would hold out for angels and archangels. The prosecution would want 12 good evil people and true. No problem finding them. From Judas Iscariot to Vlad the Impaler to Adolf Hitler. The list goes on.
They'd finally have to agree on 12 neutral people. You might find some of them in some determination where they're not quite sure about anything. The United Church? Wait a minute! That's Buddy Wassisname's line, not mine! He's Roman Catholic, for heaven's sake! I just repeated it because it sounded cute. I'm sorry. OK? OK!
Something to be concerned about is the outcome of such a trial.
Actually, there's only one thing to worry about and that's who'll win. If God wins, there's nothing to worry about. If Satan wins, there are only two things to worry about: either he'll take us all to heaven (God having vacated the premises when the verdict was announced) or he'll send us all to hell.
If we go to heaven, there's nothing to worry about. If we go to hell, there are only two things to worry about: either Hugh Hefner and every playmate from 1955 on will be there, or the place will be full of politicians. If Hefner and the girls are there, there's nothing to worry about.
If the place is full of politicians, there are only two things to worry about: either you've never had anything to do with politics, or you're a politician.
If you've never been involved in politics, there's nothing to worry about. If you're a politician there are only two things to worry about: how hot the flames are and how long they'll last. As far as the trial itself is concerned, God should be held accountable for only one really stupid act.
Creating Senator Ernie Chambers.

Ed Smith lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is

Organizations: Toronto Maple Leafs, Blue Jays

Geographic location: United States, Toronto, Nuremberg Iraq Canada Springdale

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