A Dry Town
In a small midwestern conservative town, there wasn't a place to get a drink for miles around, so a local entrepreneur saw an opportunity: He started to build a tavern.
Liking a "dry" town, the local church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. The businessman was polite when congregants came to protest, but work continued on the tavern.
But the night before the grand opening, a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.
The church folks were rather smug in their piousness after that -- until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the destruction of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.
The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise in its reply to the court.
At the first hearing, the judge held up the paperwork and took in the lawyers and both sides of the lawsuit.
"I don't know how I'm going to decide this," the judge said, "but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner that believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't."
Posted February 13, 2008