I just read about a 56-year-old New York man who is suing four major fast food chains — McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendys, and Kentucky Fried Chicken — because his use of their product has made him obese.
All I want to know is: where do I sign up?
I couldn’t take advantage of the tobacco lawsuits since I don’t smoke. Since I don’t drink coffee, it’s unlikely I’ll get one of those multi-million dollar judgments from spilling McDonald’s coffee in my lap. But hamburgers I understand.
In fact, I would suggest extending the lawsuit to other culprits. For example, McDonald’s is used in our home primarily as a source of Happy Meals, but I can do some real damage at Pizza Hut or Olive Garden. Add them to the list. And what about Taco Bell; those burritos can’t be good for you, can they?
And if burgers are deserving of a lawsuit, surely desserts warrant a class action! Milk shakes at Dairy Queen, hot fudge pie at Shoney’s — carry those calories into court to be weighed in the scales of justice.
Then again, why limit it to fast food? I’ve eaten at a Ruth’s Chris Steak House a couple of times. Who’s to say that those succulent slabs of sizzling steak aren’t going to come back and attack me in the arteries some day? Call in the lawyers!
In our litigation-crazed society, everyone’s a victim of something and we demand our day in court — or at least a check. In almost every area of life we can think of things for which we’d love to shift the responsibility to someone else.
I don’t remember a single class in college where they discussed the dangers of bounced checks, credit card late fees, or IRS audits. Sue ’em!
Did my seminary classes tell me how mean some deacons could be to a young minister? Of course not. Sue ’em!
I’ve heard some sermons that have really convicted me, even inspired guilt about something I’ve done or not done. But did the church provide any kind of warning on the bulletin? Of course not. Sue ’em!
By contrast, I’ve heard some sermons that literally put me to sleep, wherein I could well have been endangered should my head have fallen against the pew immediately in front of me. Not to mention the pain and suffering which would have been caused from the embarrassment of it all. I say: Sue ’em!
Of course, there’s always a danger that people in our society will decide to reclaim the notion of personal responsibility and put an end to the litigation-mania now so prevalent. If that happens, what are we going to do with all those trial lawyers now busy suing McDonald’s, Burger King, et al?
Imagine the first day of law school, where the future barristers learn a phrase with which they’ll all become familiar: “Do you want fries with that?”

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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