Monday, September 26, 2016

What effect does the erosion of marriage have on poverty rates? Next FOT

Joining us Tuesday will be Rachel Sheffield, a policy analysist analyst in the DeVoss Center
Rachel Sheffield
for Religion & Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation
on how the erosion of marriage is driving up poverty in the United States. Rachel’s work at the DeVoss Center
focuses on welfare, marriage and family, and education. She writes regularly on the family, religion and civil society ( for The Foundry, Heritage’s policy blog, and also contributes to news and commentary sites such as The Daily Caller, and National Review Online.

Her work has been cited by The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times, among other major media outlets. She appears regularly on radio programs across the country, and also speaks to student groups and audiences on Capitol Hill.

Join Deacon Mike Manno, Gina Noll and Rachel tomorrow at 9 a.m. (Central) on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM; and streaming at where you can find a downloadable phone app and pod casts of our older programs, including last week’s program on Saul Alinsky and the previous week’s program on George Soros. The program will be re-broadcast at 9 p.m.

As usual we’ll have news and information of interest to people of faith as they try to navigate through today’s increasingly secular society.

Faith On Trial is brought to you courtesy of our underwriters:  Attorney Rick McConville, Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055; and Confluence Brewing Company – off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road where there is live entertainment in the tap room every Thursday.

Celebrating the Pro-Life Movement's first legislative victory: Life advocacy groups have opportunity to capitalize on Hyde Amendment's 40th anniversary

CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2016 -- September 30, 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Hyde Amendment, widely acknowledged as the first legislative victory of the pro-life movement following the 1973 legalization of abortion in America. TC Public Relations is encouraging life advocacy groups to capitalize on this opportunity to build awareness and promote their organizations.

The Hyde Amendment is named after its chief sponsor, Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois. The late statesman, known for his eloquent and unwavering defense of life, successfully barred the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortion in most circumstances. Though it has taken various forms and has undergone modifications, to date the Hyde Amendment remains intact – although the 2016 Democratic platform includes an explicit call to repeal it.

Tom Ciesielka, president of TC Public Relations, noted, "The 40th Anniversary of the Hyde Amendment is one that pro-life groups will want to mark publicly for a number of reasons. First, it is a significant milestone, second it is an opportunity for life advocates to recognize an early success that has endured, and – with its first party-wide challenge by Democrats – the defense of the Hyde Amendment may prove crucial at this moment."

Ciesielka offers the following suggestions for pro-life groups to consider when observing the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment:
  • Host an informal Hyde-themed coffee, brunch, or dinner for your board members or core volunteers –take time over a meal to learn the impact of the Hyde Amendment and plan to advocate for its continuation. 
  • Create a series of social media posts for the anniversary week:
    Educate about the Hyde Amendment and its impact (i.e., "Did you know the Hyde Amendment saves 300,000+ babies each year by placing restrictions on federal abortion funding?" or "Celebrate 40 years of the Hyde Amendment: restricting federal funding of abortion").

  • Cite quotes by Henry Hyde, such as, "This is a debate about our understanding of human dignity, what it means to be a member of the human family, even though tiny, powerless and unwanted." (Find more quotes at       
  • Submit an op-ed piece to a local media outlet marking the anniversary and explaining why your community is better because of it.
  • Announce an annual Hyde Life Issues Essay Contest for children – granting awards for a selected piece within each academic range. 
  • Gather outside an abortion clinic and sing spiritual songs, pray, and read aloud Henry Hyde's Plea to Override President Clinton's Veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban (taken from the Congressional Record, September 19, 1996) – text found here
  • Add Henry Hyde's book, "Catch the Burning Flag: Speeches and Random Observations," to your staff's reading list and consider gifting a copy to a local library.  
  • Pray for the defeat of any challenge to the Hyde Amendment, including the current Democratic Party platform push to repeal it.
"As pro-life advocates observe this milestone in the movement," added Ciesielka, "It can be a time to look into their own organizational history and the surrounding community to find the landmarks and events worth recognizing in similar ways." Some possible benchmarks might include:

  • The founding date of the organization or birthday of its original organizer 
  • Anniversary of a group success (i.e., closing of a local abortion facility) 
  • A somber recognition of a particularly heinous incident (i.e., a death via botched abortion) or an annual memorial for all local victims 
  • Recognition of a particular accomplishment (largest protest, longest vigil, most churches represented) 
  • Local events, practices, or traditions that celebrate life
                                    About TC Public Relations

TC Public Relations is a Chicago-based firm managing reputations for businesses and nonprofit organizations. President Tom Ciesielka and staff handle media relations, social media strategy, and crisis communications for clients that include attorneys, authors, churches, and social change advocates. Visit

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Disguised Socialism of Saul Alinsky, An EWTN documentary – Next FOT

In 1971 Socialist community organizer Saul Alinsky wrote the book, Rules for Radicals, dedicated to Lucifer, as a how-to for Socialist community organizing. The influence of that book has influenced the thinking of many of today’s political leaders, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as spawning left-wing organizations such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS), and the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), among others.
This week (Wednesday 9.m.; Thursday at noon; and Saturday at 5 p.m.) EWTN will broadcast a 60 minute docu-drama, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Disguised Socialism of Saul Alinisky, a profile of Alinsky’s influence on society in general and the Church in particular.
Joining us Tuesday for a discussion of Alinisky’s legacy will be Stephanie Block, author of several books on Alinsky, including Organizing the Culture of Death (link on the side), and the four-volume Change Agents: Alinskyian Organizing among Religious Bodies. Stephanie
Stephanie Block
served as consultant for the film and appears in it. She is also the author of the recent article on last week’s topic, “George Soros and Churches on the Same Page.” She is a Spero News Columnist and edits the New Mexico-based Los PequeĊˆos deCristo.
Stephanie is married and the mother of seven children, one of whom is a Catholic priest, and one daughter who is a Dominican, four are married and she has 19 grandchildren.
Join Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll Tuesday at 9 a.m. (Central) on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 and 94.5 FM and streaming on for an interesting discussion of the Alinsky legacy. Not only will we have a discussion of the politics of Saul Alinsky, we’ll have a review of the film by our research associate Stephanie Crowley. The program will be re-broadcast at 9 p.m. and podcasts of earlier programs can be found here.
Faith On Trial is underwritten by our loyal sponsors: Attorney Rick McConville, Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055; and Confluence Brewing Company – off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road where there is live entertainment in the tap room every Thursday.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Bishops reaffirm teaching on life in light of deceptive ad campaign

Bishop Richard Pates
Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates joined New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and other bishops in affirming Catholic teaching that instructs life begins at conception and ends at natural death.

This affirmation makes clear Catholic Church teaching in light of a deceptive ad campaign, "Abortion in Good Faith," funded by a group that calls itself Catholics for Choice, which placed ads in major newspapers across the country Sept. 12.

 Their ad campaign contradicts Catholic Church teaching.

"The use of the word 'Catholic' used to promote the taking of innocent human life in the ad campaign is offensive not only to Catholics but to all who expect honesty and forthrightness in public discourse," said Cardinal Dolan, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. "CFC is not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. It has no membership and clearly does not speak for the faithful."

He referred to Pope Francis, who said this past summer, "Life must always be welcomed and protected...from conception to natural death. All of us are called to respect life and care for it."

"CFC's extreme ads promote abortion as if it were a social good," said Cardinal Dolan. "But abortion kills the most defenseless among us, harms women, and tears at the heart of families. Pushing for public funding would force all taxpaying Americans to be complicit in the violence of abortion and an industry that puts profit above the well-being of women and children."

"Abortion is often portrayed as a conflict between the needs of the pregnant woman and the unborn child. Yet we know that when we offer education, help and compassion to women facing crisis pregnancies, and the extensive availability of adoption, we can help her and protect the young and vulnerable life growing within her," said Bishop Pates. "It's not an either or, it's an opportunity to help both mother and child."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A bishop who proclaims ‘life really matters’ in the coming election

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas responds to an ad by “Catholics for Choice” that was placed in a local newspaper:
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland
A full page ad placed in the San Antonio Express-News, the Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News on Monday, September 12, by so-called “Catholics for Choice” attempted to mislead the public by claiming that they are a legitimate voice of the Catholic Church. I applaud my brother bishops in those dioceses who quickly and clearly disavowed this group and made it crystal clear that they do not speak for Catholics in any legitimate way.
Although I am thankful that this group did not deem the Tyler market to be one that was worth their effort, I still felt I should speak out.
The teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the sanctity of life in the womb is ancient and clear. Certainly not every Catholic embraces this truth as fully as I would hope. But it is truly absurd and diabolical for a group which embraces the pro-choice, pro-death agenda, and denies life to countless human beings simply because they haven’t yet been born, to attempt to co-opt the term Catholic. As a Catholic Bishop, I often find myself ranting at the television in response to the latest statement of a politician, actor or other public figure, but I must remind myself that ranting at the television does no good.
As the November election approaches, let us all reflect deeply on the ills of our society and how we can find our way back to the truth. I believe we must start with the basics. When we choose a candidate for whatever level of public office, we MUST inquire as to their stand with regard to the life of the unborn. Of course it is not the only question, but the questions don’t get more basic than that. Our vote is very often the only voice we have and we MUST VOTE NO to abortion, to the selling of the body parts of aborted children, to the further erosion of the moral teachings that flow from the Gospel and to all the threats to the Sanctity of Life that our society faces.
I am well aware that very often we are unable to find a candidate who upholds the Sanctity of Life in all of its dimensions, but I believe we must begin with the most basic issues. If a candidate for whatever office callously demands the slaughter of unborn children as a so-called right and vigorously supports organizations that profit from the multi-billion dollar abortion industry, then how can any other human right they may champion be truly meaningful?
Our beautiful Catholic faith, guided by the Holy Spirit teaches the world that human life begins at conception. In order to re-build our fractured human family, we must return to that precious beginning and stand tall for the Sanctity of Life. Let us pray that we may re-learn the beautiful truth that the conception of a child through the sexual union of a man and woman in Holy Matrimony is our most wondrous human act and that the child conceived is God’s most precious gift to the world.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Is George Soros trying to control the Catholic Church?

Lisa in Vatican Press room
LifeSiteNews has been reporting on the efforts of Billionaire Socialist George Soros to gain the support of the Catholic Church for his leftist political agenda.  In recent weeks LifeSite has reported how he has tried to use and abuse the Church to support his “progressive” policies, including world-wide abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, and other positions that are anathema to the Church in particular and most Christians in general.
One of LifeSite’s reporters, Lisa Bourne, who wrote about Soros’ attempt to bring down the Church (read it here), will join us Tuesday to discuss her findings and what affect this might have on the presidential election. Find out what is going on, and how it is being done so you can be armed with the facts from a Catholic perspective.
George Soros
Join Deacon Mike Manno, Gina Noll, and Lisa at 9 a.m. Tuesday for an interesting discussion of where faith and politics intersect this year, and other issues of importance to people of faith, on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM; and streaming on  The program will be re-broadcast at 9 p.m. Podcasts of earlier programs can be found here.
Faith On Trial is sponsored by our loyal underwriters: Attorney Rick McConville, Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055; and Confluence Brewing Company – off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road where there is live entertainment in the tap room every Thursday.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

State to squelch undercover reporting

Posted on Sep 9th 2016 in Advocates in Action Blog

In the wake of last year’s release of undercover videos depicting Planned Parenthood officials brokering in baby parts (including custom orders for specific parts), at least six states have yanked public funding for the nation’s largest abortion mill.
California’s response? Punish the messenger.
Despite existing laws banning recordings without the permission of all parties, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) has introduced AB 1671, which provides additional protections for healthcare providers by making it illegal to distribute videos or transcripts of private conversations on any medical-related topic, not just a patient’s medical history. That means investigative reporters and researchers would be stripped of a vital tool in depicting unethical or illegal behavior such as billing practices and price setting for pharmaceuticals, to name a few.
The bill, which is now on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, is opposed by the media outlets across the state, including the Los Angeles Times, which said that it would “disincentivize potential whistleblowers from recording malfeasance when they witness it.”
It is interesting to note that the left never seems to complain about such undercover recordings when it comes to disclosing the treatment of cows, pigs and chickens during the manufacturing process, but the gruesome treatment of babies is off limits.
To read more about this bill, click here.