In the suit ... Sylvia Ann Driskell, 66, of Auburn, Nebraska, asks in a seven-page, neatly handwritten petition (PDF) that U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard decide once and for all whether homosexuality is or isn't a sin. The suit doesn't cite any case law under which a judge could make such a determination. In fact, it cites no court cases at all, quoting Webster's Dictionary and numerous Bible verses, instead, to bolster Driskell's central contention, which is: "That homosexuality is a sin and that they the homosexuals know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality. Why else would they have been hiding in the closet."
First up from the God Machine this week is an unusual new lawsuit filed this week by a Nebraska woman claiming to be an "ambassador" for "God and His Son, Jesus Christ." As NBC News' M. Alex Johnson reported, the apparent defendant in the case is literally every gay person on the planet, accused in the suit of breaking "religious and moral laws."
The lawsuit, such as it is, gained national prominence after being noticed by writer Dan Savage who said, "Man, I hope I get deposed!"
According to the local court, the litigation was entered into the docket as -- I'm not kidding -- Driskell v. Homosexuals.
Opponents of gay rights probably shouldn't get their hopes up on this one. Call it a hunch.
Also from the God Machine this week:
* In Rowan County, N.C., the local Board of Commissioners has opened its official meetings with sectarian invocations -- 97% of which have been Christian -- read by local government officials. A federal court this week struck down the local policy as unconstitutional.
* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), an unannounced Republican presidential candidate, recently mentioned "a Christian devotional written in the first-person voice of Jesus by missionary-turned-author Sarah Young," while appearing at a campaign event in Iowa. The governor's brief mention apparently gave the book a big boost in sales, and it "shot to the top of a couple of online retailers' best-seller lists, including Amazon."
* The Associated Press this week highlighted the Vatican's "rehabilitation of liberation theology," which is "continuing under Pope Francis with the movement's founder appearing at an official Vatican event next week talking about 'a poor church for the poor.'"
* End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles believes that if the Supreme Court clears the way for marriage equality nationwide, the United States may be hit by "a fireball from space." Something to look out for.