Man Sues Bible’s Publishers For Libel

A Michigan man is suing Bible publishers Zondervan and Thomas Nelson for libel against homosexuals.

Bradley LaShawn Fowler claims that the versions of the Bible the aforementioned publishers put out state that homosexuality is sinful — and that has led Fowler to suffer “discrimination, emotional pain and mental instability.”

Fowler also claims the bible passages in question leads him “…or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence … including murder,”

He is seeking $60 million from Zondervan and $10 million from Thomas Nelson.

What do you think of this lawsuit? If holy texts contain teachings that might lead to other people being discriminated against, is that libel of some kind? And what do you think the outcome of the lawsuit might be?


13 responses to “Man Sues Bible’s Publishers For Libel

  1. Uh…no. I saw this before & guess what? Not admirable. People tossing around libel when what they really mean is “I hate your free speech” are jerks. I mean– I personally think that translation argue-ers are silly? The Bible pretty clearly condemns homosexuality. Of course, it condemns shellfish. Maybe living a life based on it isn’t the best idea.

  2. If the Bible can make people discriminate against homosexuals, why can’t it make people love one another or feed the poor or give up all their material posessions, welcome strangers into your borders, forgive debts, eliminate the act of charging interest or even just some simple stuff like not kill each other…

  3. I think he has an interesting point in that the language in the editions put out by those companies clearly has changed in a surprisingly short time, and they’ve pretty clearly been trying to keep up with current fundamentalist Christian thought on the matter (the change from “homosexuals” to “persons who engage in homosexual behavior,” for example). And then there’s the question of how accurate the translations are to begin with, of course.

    I think it’s likely that the publishers named in the suit are following specific agendas. That said, I’m not sure they can be held liable for that. We do have this thing called the First Amendment, and these are religious texts presumably vetted at some point by religious authorities. I’m not sure the publishers of those texts can be held to account for the doctrine they expound or the ways in which that doctrine is interpreted. It’s disturbing, but not actionable.

    IANAL, of course. But neither is the guy pushing the suit.

  4. You can’t libel a group that large, legally. Basically, libel applies to recognizable individuals, and a group of anything more than maybe five people is considered unrecognizable as individuals.


  6. Jayunderscorezero

    I’m having one of those Jungian synchronicity moments. This is the nth story that I’ve read in a row today that’s basically about teh Christians versus teh Gays.

  7. No but he might be able to get defamation of character?
    Why not? It essentially says that he, regardless of any other redeeming characteristics, is a bad human being

  8. Plus, as a hater of all religions, I hope he gets it to work for him!

  9. “Plus, as a hater of all religions, I hope he gets it to work for him!”

    I hope your hatred of religion wouldn’t lead you to hope for such a drastic compromise in the 1st amendment rights of us all. Moreover, does this mean I can sue for libel those atheists who publish books and articles which claim that raising my child as a Christian is a form of child abuse? I hope not. I prefer free speech be almost without limits. And while libel has historically been accepted as an exception to the 1st amendment, it exists only within very narrow bounds. This is clearly well outside any form of libel recognized by the American jurisprudential system.

  10. As a man who was stoned to death because I slept in the same bed as my wife while she was menstruating, I too want to sue the writers of the Bible! If that’s too big a group, I’ll just sue Moses.

  11. Well now, why don’t all of us sinners sue?
    I believe I counted about 10 plus sins other than homosexuality.

    If reading by text there are many things that God hates, so in context why not just sue Him.

    and if one would really look at reality, it isn’t a christian thing. I know people who aren’t christian and don’t accept biblical teachings who have a really bad attitude toward anyone displaying homosexual tendencies.

    it seems to be the American way… blame and suit, blame and suit.

    too, who takes responsibility for their own actions anymore? Sure it is handy to claim interpretations vary, and that is just what is taking place; changing the interpretations to suit our conscience.

  12. Hmmm… two thoughts…

    Can the Catholic Church be sued for issuing various encyclicals?

    And if this case stands in favor of the individual, will this allow for a class-action suit of African-Americans since the Bible was also used to justify slavery?

  13. I am envious of these people who must be so well off financially that they can waste their time and others’ on such silly lawsuits.

    I have to agree with Oxysmoron. Why is it people feel the need to constantly assign blame? Imagine the tax dollars saved if we put our government’s resources towards things that actually mattered rather than silly hearings for the singular purpose of pointing a finger at someone. Hmmm… Perhaps a bit too radical of an idea.

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