Thursday, June 11, 2009

Holy Spirit lawsuits

I live in the Southeastern United States, where Mormons are a small minority compared to other evangelical denominations. One comment I have heard from people who visited my church for the first time is how different the services are from some other churches. Many of these first-time visitors to LDS church meetings are struck by the absence of church bands, congregational utterances ("Amen!"), or public displays of spiritual experiences. The Mormon concept of "Holy Spirit" is a much more subdued affair than in some evangelical denominations, where fainting, convulsions, and speaking in tongues are not uncommon.

It turns out that the Mormon approach has at least one advantage: less injuries. One of my favorite legal blogs, Kevin Underhill's excellent Lowering the Bar, has recently reported on a couple personal injury suits arising from incidents in churches where a congregant was "taken by the Holy Spirit" and fell backwards. Apparently this is a common enough occurrence that the congregations have "catchers" ready to catch the falling people, but they don't always work. In one case the catchers dropped the falling man, and in another case, the falling person injured one of the catchers. Yikes! Who knew going to church could be so dangerous? Fortunately, most Mormons are only in danger of falling asleep during a long-winded talk on High Council Sunday.

Photo credit: Riveroyster.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like High Council speakers better watch out or they might be liable for someone falling asleep, falling out of their chair and hitting their head:)