Tag Archives: judiciary

Litigation to Asinine Proportions

Tied the Leader: The Culture of Litigation

“XerxDeeJ”:http://www.blogger.com/profile/5219727 “writes”:http://tiedtheleader.blogspot.com/2005/12/culture-of-litigation.html about one of my pet peeves — “people who sue”:http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051205/tc_nm/media_xbox_dc to epic levels over ridiculously petty and ultimately trivial issues. In this case we have a gamer who recently purchased an Xbox 360 console that has a problem with overheating. Rather than call up Microsoft and get a replacement, this gentleman feels he has to sue the company for an undetermined amount. DeeJ’s analysis of the story is spot-on; I couldn’t agree with him more.

I have to wonder how we as a nation got to where we are. These days, anyone can sue pretty much anyone over just about anything, no matter how ridiculous. Frivolous litigation has become an easy way to make a buck. I blame it partly on the people who have ramped up the volume of litigation cases, but I think I place most of the blame on judges who should know better than to allow these sorts of cases get beyond the initial paperwork. There are a lot of cases that merit laughter at their ridiculous and petty nature, that judges should dismiss immediately with just the merest hint of a chuckle.

This is not to contemn those cases that are legitimate, where actual injury or felonious behavior occur. And in such cases, I can sometimes condone litigation for excessive damages, depending on the offender, the nature of the crime, and the import of the lesson to be learned. There is a time and a place for litigation, but I think it might be possible to reduce the current levels by at least half, possibly as much as two-thirds, if only our court systems would cease trying to be politically correct all the time and our judges would stop trying to make a name for themselves and actually practice law with some degree of wisdom. A little bit of discernment and common sense go a long way, and since the average citizen seems to be in short supply of both, the people who have been trained to supposedly know better should make up the lack. Throw out frivolous lawsuits, and let people live their lives without fear of getting screwed over by every Joe Schmoe who’s looking to make a quick buck. Believe me, we’d all be a lot happier for it.

Christianity Gone Political

Here’s another definition:

fundamentalism [fəndəmentəlɪzəm, fəndəmenəlɪzəm]
A noun

1 fundamentalism

the interpretation of every word in the sacred texts as literal truth


Category Tree:

I mentioned in my previous post how the word ‘evangelical’ gets thrown around by the general populace as something of a curse word (and again, here, based on the definition above, I would consider myself a fundamentalist). I was reminded today that the word ‘fundamentalist’ gets the same treatment. (See this thread and this quote — “ Yeah, the parallels between recent fundamentalist Christian pushes for legislation on private matters on behalf of society and hisba are reasonable to draw…” — for examples.)

There are two reasons, I think, why this is the case. The first is that we, as Christians, continually face the scorn of the world for our “close-minded” and unbending beliefs. Christ told us that we would be hated and persecuted by the world for our beliefs, and I think that, to some extent, we are seeing that in daily life. However, I don’t want to focus on this reason, primarily because there is nothing we can do about it except face it with grace, patience, and
compassion, sharing our beliefs with all who will listen. Rather, I want to focus on a second reason why the word ‘fundamental’ has become such a bitter taste in the mouths of our peers.

It seems to me that both the words ‘evangelical’ and ‘fundamental’ carry as much political significance as they do religious. To a point I think there is a place for this, but by the same token, I think we also have to ask ourselves how political we should be. What I mean is this — I have watched Christians and politicians alike push for legislation that essentially forces our religious beliefs on the nation at large, and I have come to believe that maybe that’s not such
a good thing. For example, take the Terry Schiavo case. I’m all for the preservation of and the right to life. What troubles me is this recent move by the Congress to subvert the judicial system by making a law that is specific to Terry alone (at least as I understand it). As much as I would love to see Terry’s family win this case, I’m not convinced that this kind of special treatment is helpful, especially when other significant issues are being ignored. And what I’m hearing from certain corners is that this is yet another move by ‘fundamentalist Christians’ to exert their will upon the public, and the tone is one of anger, hatred, and bitterness. This does not help us to share the Gospel.

I’m not saying, though, that Christians should not be involved in politics. Quite the contrary, actually. I believe that Christians should be very active in politics, but that we should choose
our involvements wisely. One place that I personally refuse to back down is on the subject of abortion. I truly believe that abortion of all forms should be illegal because of the number of human lives lost each and every year. I know that in taking this stance, I am labelled cynically as ‘evangelical’ and ‘fundamentalist’, but it’s a ‘burden’ I’m willing to bear and carry because I believe it is truly right and good. (Frankly, I see it as more of an ethical issue than religious one.) There are some places, though, that I must part ways with others of like faith because I believe theirs is an abuse of the system.

There is a statement that I have heard come up in many political/religious discussions regarding personal and civil rights. The statement goes something like this: “Your rights end where mine begin.” Now, just because this statement orginated from an unbeliever does not necessarily mean that it is incorrect. It’s something that I have taken with a grain of salt, but the more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to agree with it. (At the very least, I’ve yet to think of a single exception to that rule.) Here’s my rationale: The United States was founded upon the rights of every man to worship God as he sees fit (even if it means not worshipping God at all). To that end, our laws have been established in such a way as to give every man free reign within reasonable limits) to do so. When one religious movement or another attempts to insert legislation to force certain religious beliefs on everyone else, that threatens those rights inherent to the foundation of this great nation. This is why I think sometimes churches and Christians are wrong to push for particular bills and laws. It seems to me that fundamental
Christianity should be involved in politics only to the point of preserving the basic civil rights upon which this country was founded. Leave the role of winning souls to Christ to the church,
to evangelism, to individual encounters with real, live people. We aren’t going to win the Kingdom through politics. We can only do that by showing personal compassion and love to those around us.

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I realize that post these posts may seem a little bit radical, and I welcome discussion on them. Please feel free to post comments here, but I have also posted them at Open Dialogue, so I would definitely welcome further, in depth discussion there.

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Update: Based on Joel’s comment, I opted to do a little further research, and here’s what I found:

fun·da·men·tal·ism (fŭn’də-mĕntl-ĭz’əm) pronunciation
n.


  1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
    1. often Fundamentalism
      An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.
    2. Adherence to the theology of this movement.

fun’da·mental·ist adj. & n.
fun’da·men’tal·istic adj.

And further:

A group protesting “modernist” tendencies in the churches circulated a 12-volume publication called The Fundamentals (1909–12), in which five points of doctrine were set forth as
fundamental: the Virgin birth, the physical resurrection of Jesus, the infallibility of the Scriptures, the substitutional atonement, and the physical second coming of Christ.

And from here (backing up what Joel stated):

“Fundamentalist” is a term that is frequently bandied about in the news media these days. Unfortunately, this term has been used so casually in describing anyone who seems to hold some sort of traditional religious belief-be they a Bible Baptist TV preacher, a Hasidic rabbi, a Mormon housewife, or a soldier of the Islamic Jihad-that the word has become nearly useless.

And you can read more here.

I think I prefer the ‘five points’ definition over the original one cited above. There’s a whole lot more interesting stuff to read at each of those sites.

Rights vs. Morality

I read an editorial in the Ball State student-published newspaper this morning. The author of the column basically said that George W. Bush wants to add an amendment to the Constitution that will permanently fix homosexuals as second-class citizens by limiting their rights and freedoms. This, again, is an example of the fact that the world just does not understand. This proposed amendment has absolutely nothing to do with freedoms or rights. It does, however, have everything to do with morality, with right and wrong. Homosexuality is wrong, pure and simple. And it is imperative that an amendment be written and passed because of the liberal courts that are abusing the legal system and violating state laws that ban homosexual marriages.

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On a similar note, I just wish people would stand up and pay as much attention to other issues of morality as they have to this one, issues like adultery, gambling, alcohol abuse, pornography, etc. But those things have all become part of the status quo, part of the norm, and I think that, given enough time, homosexual marriage may pass into the realm of the humdrum-everyday occurrences, without an amendment.

Ridiculous Litigation

Something that has come to my attention this morning on the political front pertains to the judiciary. A number of illegal aliens were arrested last week (all were Wal-Mart employees) and will soon be deported back to their homeland of Mexico. However, in the meantime, nine of these illegals are suing Wal-Mart for discrimination for not paying them overtime. The sad thing is, they will probably win the suit because there are liberal judges who fail to do their duty to protect the citizens of this country from such abuses as these. The judiciary in this country has gained far too much power, and all in the name of protecting Constitutional rights. Frankly, it’s ridiculous! Common sense has ceased to rule, being usurped by the political agendas of the few sitting behind the bench. And when a move is made to appoint judges who will exercise fairness and justice as it is intended to be exercised, that move it typically blocked by those who care little about such things. The people need to step up and elect officials who will appoint fair judges who will actually fight for the people and make decisions that are in the best interests of the country.