PHILADELPHIA, PENN. - A prominent atheist has apparently had enough of religious wars, superstition, and mystical propaganda and has decided to do something about it by suing God himself.
Christopher Hitchens, author of the new best selling book, "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," has filed a lawsuit in federal court requesting damages in the amount of $800 trillion.
"The amount is really not important," HItchens said. "It is the principle that matters. The fact is God, Allah, or whatever else you want to call him is responsible either willfully or through negligence for many of the greatest tragedies in memory."
The lawsuit alleges that if God truly is all powerful and all knowing then he should be accountable for natural disasters as well as virtually every other bad thing that has harmed mankind as far back as history has recorded.
"If you want to call yourself omnipotent and omniscient than you better be prepared to have a good explanation of why you fail to intervene in crisis that you could easily prevent," Hitchens said.
Hitchens' book has sold well since it was published a month ago. He is also getting some clergy riled up with his demands that God should not be let off the hook based on the old "the lord works in mysterious ways" argument.
Atheism is at an all-time high in popularity since the success of several books published in the past few years. Sam Harris' "The End of Faith" and its sequal, "Letter to a Christian Nation." Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" have all sold well in spite of the threat of eternal damnation for heresy.
"There is something like a change in the Zeitgeist," Hitchens said, noting that sales of his latest book far outnumber those for his earlier work that had challenged faith. "There are a lot of people, in this country in particular, who are fed up with endless lectures by bogus clerics and endless bullying."
Dick Meouw, of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., said he has already arranged legal counsel for God and has no doubt he will never have to pay a dime to the irreverent infidels.
"They have no chance of winning this," Meouw said. "It is just a way to try to stir up controversy and sell their books. But just in case, I'm fully prepared to mount a suitable legal defense for the man upstairs. I've tried calling him but so far no word on whether he will actually appear for trial."
In an additional bizarre twist to the story, British actor Eric Idle has threatened to also sue God if he is found guilty since God has appeared in several Monty Python movies and defamation of his character may affect the sales of the DVD.
"We hired God in good faith," Idle said. If he really is held accountable for all the nastiness in the world it could seriously change the entire premise of our movie bits that include God.