Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top religious liberty and media stories of the year; next on FOT

From left to right: Todd Erzen, Deacon Mike, Gina Noll

Our year end review is Tuesday.  Join Deacon Mike Manno, Gina Noll, and media guest Todd Erzen as they discuss the most outrageous religious liberty stories of the year. And if you have a nominee, let us know and we’ll include it.
Join us next Tuesday at 9 a.m. CST on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on line at IowaCatholicRadio.com.

Faith on Trial and Iowa Catholic Radio is proudly underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & ScalisePC 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 – check for their weekly specials and look for Confluence products where fine beers are sold.

 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Did the 'War on Christmas' start in outer space? Next FOT

Jordan Lorence
Would you believe that the War on Christmas might have started with the astronauts orbiting the moon? Tuesday our guest is Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, who will discuss the origins of that war. Mr. Lorence’s work with the Alliance encompasses broad range of litigation with a primary focus on defending the First Amendment rights of public university students and professors.

After Mr. Lorence we’re going to discuss how the pres covers these matters with former Des Moines Register reporter Todd Erzen.  This will be a very interesting and topical discussion for the week of Christmas.  Join us Tuesday at 9 a.m. CST on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on line at IowaCatholicRadio.com.
Faith on Trial and Iowa Catholic Radio is proudly underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & ScalisePC 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 – check for their weekly specials and look for Confluence products where fine beers are sold.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Army chaplain under fire for sharing faith – we have his attorney next on FOT

Captain Joe Lawhorn is a U.S. Army chaplain and recently took part in a suicide prevention training session where he shared his own personal struggles with depression and explained how he got through tough times. That included his use of verses from scripture.  That didn’t sit well with one participant reported the incident to the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, who promptly filed a complaint against Captain Lawhorn.

The result was a Letter of Concern from his commanding officer which is essentially an accusation of proselytizing.  A former captain and atheist posted the complaint online which accused Captain Lawhorn of using “his official position to force his personal religious beliefs on a captive military audience.”
Michael Berry
Tuesday, Captian Lawhorn’s attorney, Michael Berry of Liberty Institute, will join Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll to discuss this case. 
Mr. Berry is Senior Counsel and Director of Military Affairs for Liberty Institute. He joined Liberty Institute in 2013 after serving for seven years as an attorney with the U.S. Marine Corps.
As Director of Military Affairs for Liberty Institute, Mr. Berry’s practice focuses on religious liberty within the armed forces. A recognized subject-matter expert, Mr. Berry has testified before Congress on matters affecting religious liberty in the armed forces and is routinely invited to speak before audiences across the nation about matters affecting religious freedom within the military. 
Tune in to Faith On Trial Tuesday at 9 a.m. and rebroadcast at 9 p.m. (CST) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.
Iowa Catholic Radio, KWKY Des Moines. Faith On Trial is proudly underwritten by 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 – check for their weekly specials. If you have comments or questions about the program you can contact Deacon Mike at DeaconMike@IowaCatholicRadio.com or Gina at Gina@IowaCatholicRadio.com.

Monday, December 8, 2014

How far will we go with transgendered restrooms?

Brad Dacus
Do you know who your daughter will be showering with at school? As the transgendered restroom and locker room movement moves across the country, more and more school districts and cities are adopting policies that allow men and boys to use the locker and rest rooms normally assigned for women and girls.  Recently, a state court ordered a school district to open its girls’ rooms to boys.  Where will this end?

To discuss these and other legal matters, Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institue, will join Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll Tuesday on the next edition of Faith On Trial, on Iowa Catholic Radio.  If you have a school-aged daughter this program will be a must for you.
Iowa Catholic Radio, KWKY Des Moines. Faith On Trial is proudly underwritten by 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 – check for their weekly specials.

Faith On Trial is broadcast every Tuesday at 9 & 9.  If you have comments or questions about the program you can contact Deacon Mike at DeaconMike@IowaCatholicRadio.com or Gina at Gina@IowaCatholicRadio.com.

Monday, December 1, 2014

War on just Christmas or war on Christian beliefs? How the secularists try to quiet believers: this week on FOT.

Tuesday morning join host Deacon Mike Manno and co-host Gina Noll for a lively discussion on “Winning the War onChristmas” and the secular attacks on Christian beliefs.

Tom Brejcha
Joining them for that discussion will be Thomas Brejcha, president, co-founder and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, one of the leading pro-bono law firms standing up for Christian values.  Tom has been litigating cases in federal and state courts over the last four and a half decades, arguing for the sanctity of life, religious liberty, and family values. For the last 17 years, he has served as president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society headquartered in Chicago. Serving as an Army Captain in Vietnam during 1969-70, Tom was awarded a Bronze Star and an Army Commendation Medal.
‘Tis the season for attacks on Christ, Christmas, nativity scenes and even Christmas music.  Tune into find out what is being done to defend Christmas, Christian beliefs, and Christian values,Tuesday at 9 a.m. and rebroadcast at 9 p.m. (CST) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.

Iowa Catholic Radio, KWKY Des Moines. Faith On Trial is proudly underwritten by 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 – check for their weekly specials.
Faith On Trial is broadcast every Tuesday at 9 & 9.  If you have comments or questions about the program you can contact Deacon Mike at DeaconMike@IowaCatholicRadio.com or Gina at Gina@IowaCatholicRadio.com.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Physician assisted suicide: Next on Faith On Trial

Dr. Jacaueline Harvey
Tuesday Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll will welcome Jacqueline C. Harvey, PhD, a bioethicist whose research focuses on state policies that govern life and death, primarily end-of-life legislation, to discuss the effects of the movement towards physician assisted suicide. Dr. Harvey has testified in several states against the legalization of physician assisted suicide, as well as the practice of removing life sustaining medical treatment from patients against their will. Her work has been published in Public Discourse, Human Life Review and various news outlets. Dr. Harvey is currently teaching health policy studies at the University of Michigan Dearborn and is also an Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Washington, DC.

Join Deacon Mike, Gina, and Dr. Harvey as they discuss these issues at 9 a.m. (CST) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.  The program will re-broadcast at 9 p.m. Faith On Trial is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville and Confluence Brewing Company.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Congressman-Elect David Young is next on FOT

David Young
Tuesday Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll will be visiting with the newly-elected congressman from central Iowa, David Young. He will be replacing retiring Congressman Tom Latham.  David is the former chief of staff to Senator Charles Grassley. We will be discussing issues of conscience protection for health care workers and the future of President Obama’s HHS Mandate.

Faith On Trial is heard on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM at 9 a.m. (CST) live and rebroadcast at 9 p.m. It is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville, Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PS, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055 and Confluence Brewing Company just off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Federal appeals court gives victory to traditional marriage

Erin Mersino
Tuesday on FOT we’ll welcome back one of our favorite guests, Erin Mersino, senior trail counsel for the Thomas More Law Center.  Erin has recently been involved in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee) case that upheld traditional marriage and now is working on the same issue in the Fifth Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas).

Erin was recently named Legatus’ Defender of the Faith for her work on behalf of the defense of religious liberties.  Legatus is a lay-Catholic of business professionals who demonstrate and live their faith through their Catholic lifestyles.
Join Deacon Mike Manno, Gina Noll, and Erin for a lively discussion of these and other matters Tuesday at 9 & 9 (CST) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.

Faith On Trial is unwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of West Des Moines and Confluence Brewing Company of Des Moines.

Monday, November 3, 2014

FOT Tuesday: Is America becoming a Godless nation?

Todd Starnes
Tuesday Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll will host FOX News commentator Todd Starnes, the author of the book “God Less America” a collection of stories documenting the war on religious liberty.

Todd is the award-winning host of FOX News & Commentary — heard daily on hundreds of radio stations around the nation. He also writes a column for FoxNews.com and is a regular contributor to Fox News Channel programs. Throughout his journalism career, Todd has covered a number of high profile stories — taking him from Wall Street to the White House.
Todd is the recipient of an Edward R. Murrow Award and an Associated Press Mark Twain Award for Storytelling. In 2014 he was awarded the National Religious Broadcaster’s Board of Directors Award.

Much of what Todd has written about in his book has been discussed on Faith On Trial but on very few other media outlets.  This is sure to be an interesting and challenging conversation and it starts at 9 a.m. (CST) on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.

Faith On Trial is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville, Coppola, McConville, Coppola,Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055 or csmclaw.com; and Confluence Brewing Company, off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road; live entertainment on Thursdays.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lots to cover on this week’s program including a Christian college's accrediation and subpoenas for ministers' pastoral notes

WOW! There’s been a bit of legal news while we were off the air for the Iowa Catholic Radio Care-a-thon last week, and we’ll try to catch up with some of it Tuesday on Faith On Trial.

Greg Koukl

First, our guest will be Greg Koukl, president of Stand to Reason, an organization that trains Christians to think more clearly about their faith and to make an even-handed, defense for classical Christianity and classical Christian values in the public square. He will discuss the problems of a small Christian college in Wenham, Massachusetts, Gordon College, that is being threatened with loss of accreditation by the New England Association of Schools because students are expected to refrain from “blasphemy, profanity, dishonesty, thefe, drunkenness, sexual relations outside of marriage, and homosexual practice.”
Then there is the case of Huston, Texas subpoenaing the sermons, notes and other pastoral communications of the city’s ministers who have expressed opposition to the city’s new ordinance that opens restrooms to members of either sex.  The city council had earlier passed the ordinance which triggered a city-wide petition drive to put the ordinance up for a public vote.  After city officials ruled that the petition, with three times the legally required number of valid signatures, was illegal, petition supports filed a lawsuit against the city.  The city, and its openly militant lesbian mayor, retaliated by subpoenaing the materials from ministers who were not involved in the suit.  

All this and more with Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll Tuesday at 9 & 9 (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming 24 – 7 on IowaCatholicRadio.com. Underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville and Confluence Brewing Company which this week is celebrating its second anniversary!

Monday, October 6, 2014

College drama club told to ‘dumb down’ religious theme in play

This week on Faith On Trial we will be discussing a case involving a community college that told its drama club it could not perform a play unless it would “dumb down” its religious message.
Travis Barham
In September, the club advisor told Cape Fear Community College student Justin Graves that his production could not be performed because it has religious themes, even though it received unanimous approval from the drama club. The advisor claimed that the production would violate the First Amendment if it included the religious themes, and he advised Graves to “dumb down” the religious content until it was not “obvious” to avoid any potential lawsuits or “offending” anyone.
Ironically, the advisor allowed the drama club to sponsor other productions that could potentially cause offense, including ones that included rape and incest themes.
Justin’s attorney, Travis Barham, litigation staff counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, will join Deacon Mike Manno and his co-host Gina Noll to discuss this case. Join us at 9 a.m. (Central) for a lively discussion of this and other cases that place our faith on trial.  Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.
The program re-airs at 9 p.m.  Underwriters for Faith On Trial are AttorneyRick McConville, of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC 2100 Westwown Parkway, West Des Moines, 453-1055 and John Martin at ConfluenceBrewing Company, just off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines – don’t forget to check out their Thursday entertainment!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Teacher fired for opposing Planned Parenthood; next on FOT

Bill Diss was a high school teacher in Portland, Oregon, one who consistently went the extra mile to help students succeed. He also publicly objected when Planned Parenthood built a large abortion facility in northeast Portland. When his activities became public there was a dramatic shift in how he was treated at school; administrators called him in for questioning regarding his activities and subjected him to heightened scrutiny in the classroom.

In September 2012, Planned Parenthood employees came into Diss’ classroom as he was handing back a math quiz. They were there to recruit for their Teen Outreach Program (TOP). When Diss objected and asked to be excused from participating with Planned Parenthood. Administrators not only denied his request they systematically subjected him to unwarranted review and harassment. Despite a wave of community support, including letters from students, parents and fellow teachers, Diss was fired andhis contract was terminated.


Dana Cody 
Last week Dana Cody, president and executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation, filed suit on Bill’s behalf against Portland Public Schools for violations of his civil rights and employment discrimination.

Dana has been championing the rights of women and the unborn for over twenty years. She started as a lay-counselor to women in crisis pregnancies, and then fulfilled her passion to protect women and children victimized by abortion by obtaining her law degree. In 1996, she accepted the invitation to serve as a board member of Life Legal Defense Foundation and later accepted the position as executive director.

Dana has been a frequent guest on Faith On Trial and she will join us Tuesday morning for a discussion of the Diss case and other activities of Life Legal Defense Foundation which has just celebrated its 25th Anniversary fulfilling its mission to give innocent and helpless human beings of any age, particularly unborn children, a trained and committed defense against the threat of death, and to support their advocates in the nation’s courtrooms. One of the cases Life Legal has been involved in was that of Terri Schiavo.

Join Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll as they discuss these things with Dana at 9 a.m. or catch the re-broadcast at 9 p.m.  Faith On Trial is broadcast from the Catholic Pastoral Center in Downtown Des Moines on 1150 AM and 88.5 & 94.5 FM.  It streams on IowaCatholicRadio.com. Our underwriters are Attorney Rick McConville and Confluence Brewing Company.


 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Next FOT: How lawyers can help: join the Thomas More Society in Des Moines

This week our guest is Matt Heffron of the Thomas More Society, Omaha branch.  He will be in town Wednesday to promote the establishment of a Des Moines branch and will be discussing those efforts with Deacon Mike and Gina Noll Tuesday on Faith On Trial.  The Thomas More Society is a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends and fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court.


Matt Heffron 
Matt has been a trial attorney since graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1984. He began his law practice with a commercial litigation firm in Helena, Montana. For many years, he was a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona, where eventually he was appointed Deputy Chief for the Criminal Division. He successfully tried numerous jury trials in federal court involving multiple jurisdictions and multiple parties. In 1996, he was awarded the Director’s Award for Superior Performance from the Attorney General of the United States.
He will be speaking Wednesday to the local Lawyers for Life luncheon – bring your own sack lunch.  Attorneys interested can make reservations here.  

For more information join us Tuesday at 9 a.m. (Central) on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRacio.com. The program re-broadcasts at 9 p.m. and is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenburg & Saclise PC 1200 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-435-1055 and Confluence Brewing Company, off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sexual exploitation of young girls, next on FOT

Last week Deacon Mike and Gina discussed a report from Life Dynamics on the issue of teen pregnancy in which it was reported that some underage girls, some as young as 10 were being sexually exploited by adult men.  According to the report, “In America today, we have reached the point where a junior high school girl is more likely to become pregnant by an adult than by someone close to her own age. … [The] investigation has uncovered
Mark Crutcher
irrefutable evidence that both Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation – often operating on taxpayer dollars – knowingly conceal these crimes while aiding and abetting the sexual predators who commit them.”


Tuesday, the author of that report, Mark Crutcher, founderof Life Dynamics, will join the deacon and Gina on Faith On Trial. The report itself can be found here.

In 1992 Mark founded Life Dynamics which has since become widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative and professional pro-life organizations in America. Under Mark's direction, Life Dynamics has created an extensive litigation support system that helps women sue the abortionists who kill, injure, or sexually assault them. It has also developed strategies and products for crisis pregnancy centers that have been praised by the people who work in these facilities.  In 1996, Mark authored the book, Lime 5, an exposé that has become the recognized standard for people who want to know what really goes on inside the American abortion industry.  

Join Deacon Mike, Gina Noll and Mark Crutcher for a lively discussion of his report.  Tuesday at 9 a.m. (CDT) and rebroadcast at 9 p.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM and 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.  Underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines; and Confluence Brewing Company, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines.

Friday, September 5, 2014

‘Seal of Confessional’ case headed to U.S. Supreme Court: Must a priest testify to what was said in the confessional? Next on FOT

Several months ago the Supreme Court of Louisiana ruled that a priest from the diocese of 
Professor Ciolino
Baton Rouge must divulge what transpired during a sacramental confession. Canon Law strictly prohibits priests from breaking that seal, or even acknowledging that there was a confession. 


The Diocese of Baton Rouge has now appealed that ruling to the United States Supreme Court and joining us Tuesday to discuss this matter will be Professor Dane Ciolino, the  Alvin R. Christovich Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Professor Ciolino graduated cum laude from Rhodes College in 1985, and magna cum laude from Tulane Law School in 1988, where he was inducted into Order of the Coif and selected as Editor in Chief of the Tulane Law Review.

The Diocese has released a statement that says in part:

“[T]he Louisiana Supreme Court's ruling strikes a very hard blow against religious
freedom, and one which the diocese and Father [Jeff] Bayhi feel compelled to vigorously contest. That ruling, left undisturbed, would result in a trial during which the plaintiffs would be permitted to offer evidence regarding what transpired during a series of alleged confessions, with Father Bayhi and the diocese utterly unable to defend themselves …”

Join Deacon Mike Manno and co-host Gina Noll as they discuss these matters with Professor Ciolino Tuesday morning at 9 (CDT) or the re-broadcast at 9 p.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.

Iowa Catholic Radio, KWKY Des Moines; FOT is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, and Confluence Brewing Company, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Raunchy textbooks and too many churches next on FOT

Our old friend, Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, will join us Tuesday to
Brad Dacus
discuss the case of one school’s raunchy ninth-grade’s textbooks and a California city’s refusal to permit a new church because there are already too many in the area.  Brad has been a frequent and favorite guest on FOT and is always involved in something that affects faith or parenting.


Join Deacon Mike Manno and co-host Gina Noll for a lively discussion with Brad, live at 9 a.m. (CDT) Tuesday or for the re-broadcast at 9 p.m. Faith On Trial is broadcast on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM (KWKY); 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming at IowaCatholicRadio.com.
Faith On Trial is underwritten by Attorney RickMcConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100  Westown Parkway, West Des Moines; and Confluence Brewing Company, 1235 Thomas Beck Road, Des Moines.

 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No ‘right to die’ at hands of doctors in New Mexico

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing several New Mexico legislators and a medical association have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the New Mexico Court of Appeals in favor of reversing a state judge’s decision to allow doctor-prescribed death.

In January, Judge Nan G. Nash of the New Mexico Second Judicial District ruled that physician-assisted suicide no “right more fundamental, more private or more integral to the liberty, safety and happiness of a New Mexican than the right of a competent, terminally ill patient to choose aid in dying.”

“Suffering patients need understanding and sound medical treatment, not encouragement to kill themselves – and especially not through doctors who pledge to ‘do no harm,’” said ADF Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster. “New Mexico law clearly criminalizes deliberate assistance in someone else’s suicide. The lower court was wrong to invent a right to doctor-
Catherine Glenn Foster
prescribed death that does not exist – placing New Mexicans at risk of coercion and an early grave.”

As the ADF brief filed in Morris v. King explains, “The overwhelming majority of States – and the U.S. Supreme Court – reject a fundamental right to die or to physician-assisted suicide. New Mexico, too, has banned physician-assisted suicide to assert its compelling interests in preserving life, protecting the vulnerable, and upholding the integrity of the medical profession.”

“With the growth of and trailblazing improvements in palliative care, there is no excuse to destroy life simply because it grows imperfect, old, or frail,” the brief continues. “By prohibiting assisted suicide, more attention and focus can be directed toward palliative care and research improving the latter days of a person’s life, rather than making a so-called problem go away.”

ADF attorneys filed the brief on behalf of five state senators, six members of the state house, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.

“Doctors have a fundamental duty to try to heal patients and not prematurely deny families the opportunity to honor and cherish their loved ones in their final days,” added ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “We hope the court will affirm this respect for life as the people of New Mexico have always done.”



Monday, August 25, 2014

Sneeze, ‘Bless you.’ Say what? Now go to the principal’s office!

Jeremiah Dys
Next on FOT: Kendra Turner said she was rebuked by her teacher at Dyer County High School and thrown out of class for violating the teacher’s ban on the words “bless you.”

 “She said that we’re not going to have godly speaking in her class and that’s when I said we have a constitutional right,” Kendra told a Memphis television station. Another student sent the television station a photo taken inside the teacher’s classroom showing a list of banned words. Among the censored words are "dump," "stupid," "my bad," "hang out" and "bless you."
“The assistant principal said if I didn’t want to respect my teacher’s rules then maybe my pastor should teach me because my freedom (of) speech and religion does not work at their school,” she said.

Tuesday on FOT we’ll discuss this matter with Jeremiah Dys, Kendra’s attorney and senior counsel for Liberty Institute.
Jeremiah graduated from Taylor University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts, and from West Virginia University College of Law. Before joining Liberty Institute in 2013, he provided leadership in advocacy on the issues of life, marriage, and religious freedom for a public policy organization associated with Focus on the Family.

Join Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll as they discuss this and other school matters with Jeremiah Tuesday morning at 9 (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio; 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.  The program will be re-broadcast at 9 p.m.

Faith on Trial is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola,Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC 1200 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, Des Moines.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Court upholds Iowa rule banning web-cam abortions

An Iowa trial court today upheld a rule from the Iowa Board of Medicine that regulates chemical abortion by requiring that a physician physically examine a woman before providing abortion-inducing drugs. The physician-approved regulation, which was adopted by an 8-2 vote of the Board of Medicine, would protect women from potentially dangerous misuse, such as taking the drug too late in pregnancy or during an ectopic pregnancy, by requiring an in-person exam by a physician rather than a videoconference. This practice is sometime called “telemed abortion.”

“Women can die when life-ending drugs are carelessly administered,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Iowa’s regulation and today’s decision demonstrates that doctors agree that chemical abortion can be dangerous for women and requires a careful examination. Providing these drugs without a physical examination by a physician amounts to nothing less than reckless gambling with the lives of women.”

During the litigation, Planned Parenthood admitted that, under its preferred method of chemical abortion, a physician never physically meets with a woman. Moreover, staff members—such as certified medical assistants (CMAs)—conduct physical exams or ultrasounds instead of doctors or other licensed healthcare providers.

Today’s decision acknowledged that chemical abortion is not safe for some women, and that the Board’s purpose was to ensure the health and safety of women considering chemical abortion by requiring physician presence. Such presence promotes the necessary physician-patient relationship and helps ensure examination by healthcare personnel trained to recognize the dangers inherent in the chemical abortion process.

The court also rejected Planned Parenthood’s arguments that the regulation is invalid under the U.S. Constitution, finding that the regulation poses no “undue burden” to women seeking chemical abortion in the state of Iowa.

Monday, August 18, 2014

More on the Tempe, Arizona Planned Parenthood rape case (and others) Tuesday on FOT

Natalie Decker
Last week we brought you the story of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Tempe, Arizona that failed to report the rape of a young woman because “it was not worth the hassle.” (See previous post.) Tuesday we will discuss this matter with Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Natalie Decker who is leading the call for an investigation of the Tempe clinic. Natalie serves as legal counsel with the ADF’s Center for Life. She earned her J.D. from the University of Iowa,

Natalie will discuss this case as well as several others involving Planned Parenthood clinics with Deacon Mike Manno and his co-host Gina Noll Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com. The program will be re-broadcast at 9 p.m.
Iowa Catholic Radio (KWKY) broadcasts from the Catholic Pastoral Center at Sixth and Grand in Des Moines.  Faith On Trail is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville, of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055 or at csmclaw.com.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

From today’s program: ADF report on the Tempe PP clinic

This is the Alliance Defending Freedom report on a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Tempe, Arizona for allegedly not reporting the rape of a minor as required under Arizona law:

Monday, August 11, 2014

The “War on Women” – another view next on FOT

Mallory Quigley
Is there really a war on women?  To listen to some politicians and news commentators there is and, along with their political opponents, we in the pro-life and pro-family movement are conducting it.  Are conservative Christians at war with women?   

We’ll have some answers Tuesday when our guest will be Mallory Quigley, communications director for the Susan B. Anthony List.  Mallory has been a guest on numerous national and local media outlets and well as overseeing the SBA List’s website, social media, and press relations.
So join Deacon Mike Manno and Co-host Gina Noll Tuesday at 9 a.m. (live) and 9 p.m. (re-broadcast) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.  Times are CDT. Sponsored by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa, 515-453-1055 or at csmclaw.com.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fired for opposing a “Gay Bible?” Next on FOT

Matt Whitaker
Can you be fired for comments against homosexuality on your own personal blog?  That is the position in which the editor of the Newton (Iowa) Daily News found himself.  Bob Eschliman posted on his personal blog comments about what he termed the “Gaystopo” and criticized the “Queen James Bible,” a version of the holy book that looks favorably on homosexuality. He was then fired from his job.

What rights does he have? And what about some of the other legal issues facing the Christian community today such as the IRS controversy?

Our guest Tuesday is Mr. Eschliman’s attorney, Matt Whitaker, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. As U.S Attorney Matt prosecuted cases in areas such as national security, immigration, income tax and firearms. He was also an Academic All-American and a member of the last Hawkeye Rose Bowl football team in 1990 when he played for Coach Hayden Fry.

Join Deacon Mike Manno and his co-host Gina Noll as they discuss with Matt some of the legal pitfalls waiting for many practicing Christians. Tuesday at 9 a.m. and re-broadcast at 9 p.m. (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.  Our program is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville, Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 453-1055 or at csmclaw.com.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Court rejects atheists’ attempt to remove Ground Zero Cross from museum

Cross’s spiritual role at Ground Zero has historical significance  

Recognizing the important role that religion plays in society, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order on Monday rejecting the effort by American Atheists, Inc. to force the National 9/11 Museum to remove the Ground Zero Cross from its display or to include a plaque honoring atheists alongside the Cross. 
“This is an enormously important and common-sense ruling,” said Eric Baxter, Counsel for
the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who filed a brief supporting the Museum’s right to display the cross. “The Court draws an important distinction. Even though the Ground Zero Cross is unquestionably a religious symbol, and holds deep religious meaning for many people—particularly those who found hope and inspiration in its discovery—the government does not violate the Establishment Clause by recognizing and educating others about the actual role played by religion in our history and culture.” 

The Court’s order recounts the tragedy of 9/11, and the horrific circumstances under which the rescue workers labored to find survivors and discusses how the discovery and subsequent use of the Cross in religious rituals became “a symbol of various positive expressions” including “a symbol of ‘hope, faith, and healing,’ of ‘the human spirit,’ and of ‘how people will care for each other at the worst moment in their life.’” “The history of 9/11 would not be complete without including the impact the Ground Zero Cross had in inspiring rescue workers and Americans generally,” said Baxter. “Displaying the cross in a display about ‘Finding Meaning at Ground Zero’ is perfectly appropriate.” 
Cross’s spiritual role at Ground Zero has historical significance  

Recognizing the important role that religion plays in society, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order on Monday rejecting the effort by American Atheists, Inc. to force the National 9/11 Museum to remove the Ground Zero Cross from its display or to include a plaque honoring atheists alongside the Cross. 
“This is an enormously important and common-sense ruling,” said Eric Baxter, Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom, who filed a brief supporting the Museum’s right to display the cross. “The Court draws an important distinction. Even though the Ground Zero Cross is unquestionably a religious symbol, and holds deep religious meaning for many people—particularly those who found hope and inspiration in its discovery—the government does not violate the Establishment Clause by recognizing and educating others about the actual role played by religion in our history and culture.” 

The Court’s order recounts the tragedy of 9/11, and the horrific circumstances under which the rescue workers labored to find survivors and discusses how the discovery and subsequent use of the Cross in religious rituals became “a symbol of various positive expressions” including “a symbol of ‘hope, faith, and healing,’ of ‘the human spirit,’ and of ‘how people will care for each other at the worst moment in their life.’” “The history of 9/11 would not be complete without including the impact the Ground Zero Cross had in inspiring rescue workers and Americans generally,” said Baxter. “Displaying the cross in a display about ‘Finding Meaning at Ground Zero’ is perfectly appropriate.” 

Tired of sex and violence on TV? So is the Parents Television Council, next on FOT

Melissa Henson
This week we’re going to cover a different story: that of the almost non-stop assault on decency by the television networks and cable channels.  This week’s guest is Melissa Henson, director of grassroots education and activism for the ParentsTelevision Council. The mission of the Parents Television Council is to protect children and families from graphic sex, violence and profanity in the media, because of their proven long-term harmful effects; and to provide a safe and sound entertainment media environment for children and families across America.

Join Deacon Mike Manno and Gina Noll to learn what dangers for your family, and especially your children, are lurking inside you television and how you can become a more effective advocate for media decency. We’re on live at 9 a.m. (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com.  The program will be rebroadcast at 9 p.m.
KWKY Des Moines, Iowa; Faith On Trial is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville, Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa, 453-1055 or at csmclaw.com.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

IRS promises atheists it will intrude on churches

Atheist group says tax agency has agreed to new protocols,
 procedures to settle lawsuit

Alliance Defending Freedom asked the Internal Revenue Service Tuesday to release all documents related to its recent decision to settle a lawsuit with an atheist group that claims the IRS has adopted new protocols and procedures for the investigation of churches.

ADF submitted the Freedom of Information Act request after learning of the IRS’s agreement with Freedom From Religion Foundation in a press release the group issued on
July 17 concerning its lawsuit Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, which accused the agency of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like.

“Secrecy breeds mistrust, and the IRS should know this in light of its recent scandals involving the investigation of conservative groups,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “We are asking the IRS to disclose the new protocols and procedures it apparently adopted for determining whether to investigate churches. What it intends to do to churches must be brought into the light of day.”

The IRS claims it is temporarily withholding investigations of all tax-exempt entities because of congressional scrutiny of its recent scandals, but no one knows when it will decide to restart investigations based on any new or modified rules that it develops.

According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation press release, “The IRS has now resolved the signature authority issue necessary to initiate church examinations. The IRS also has adopted procedures for reviewing, evaluating and determining whether to initiate church investigations.”

“The IRS cannot force churches to give up their precious constitutionally protected freedoms to receive a tax exemption,” explained ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “No one would suggest a pastor give up his church’s tax-exempt status if he wants to keep his constitutional protection against illegal search and seizure or cruel and unusual punishment. Likewise, no one should be asking him to do the same to be able to keep his constitutionally protected freedom of speech.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Obama executive order discriminates on basis of religious beliefs, U.S. bishops say

By CNS Staff*   

Archbishop Lori

Two chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Monday lamenting the discrimination against those with religious beliefs found in President Obama’s executive order which failed to include religious freedom protections while banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity among federal contractors.
"In too many states and in too many workplaces, simply being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can still be a fireable offense," Obama said, according to USA Today. "So I firmly believe that it's time to address this injustice for every American."
Bishop Malone
Writing at the National Catholic Reporter, Fr. Thomas Reese suggested that Catholic Relief Services, Catholic hospitals, and Catholic schools and colleges could eventually be impacted. “There is little doubt that if the administration is successful dealing with contracts, grants will soon be on the firing line,” he wrote.
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, issued a statement decrying the “unprecedented and extreme” executive order.

According to the USCCB, the bishops said in their statement:
In the name of forbidding discrimination, this order implements discrimination.  With the stroke of a pen, it lends the economic power of the federal government to a deeply flawed understanding of human sexuality, to which faithful Catholics and many other people of faith will not assent. As a result, the order will exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs.
 More specifically, the Church strongly opposes both unjust discrimination against those who experience a homosexual inclination and sexual conduct outside of marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman.  But the executive order, as it regards federal government contractors, ignores the inclination/conduct distinction in the undefined term “sexual orientation.”  As a result, even contractors that disregard sexual inclination in employment face the possibility of exclusion from federal contracting if their employment policies or practices reflect religious or moral objections to extramarital sexual conduct.
The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be chosen at variance from one’s biological sex.  This is a problem not only of principle but of practice, as it will jeopardize the privacy and associational rights of both federal contractor employees and federal employees.  For example, a biological male employee may be allowed to use the women’s restroom or locker room provided by the employer because the male employee identifies as a female.
The bishops pointed out that many states have passed similar legislation, but most have included exemptions for religious employers. “The executive order is an anomaly in this regard, containing no religious liberty protections,” the bishops said in the statement. “In this way, the order, which is fundamentally flawed in itself, also needlessly prefers conflict and exclusion over coexistence and cooperation.”
Last month, a number of religious leaders and academics, including some with ties to Catholic colleges, publicly urged Obama to include religious freedom protections in the order.
*Originally published by Catholic Education Daily
 an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society

Monday, July 21, 2014

Assisted suicide and euthanasia next on FOT

Alex Schadenberg
One of the world-wide attacks on life is in the movement to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia.  Currently, physician-assisted suicide is legal in five states: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexico. Laws permitting euthanasia are being enacted around the world. For example, Belgium which legalized euthanasia for adults 12 years ago has recently passed legislation permitting the euthanasia of terminally ill children.  And in Canada, Québec has re-introduced a bill to permit euthanasia in that province.

Tuesday, Deacon Mike and Gina Noll will discuss this world-wide danger with Alex Schadenberg, executive director and international chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. 
Don’t miss this important conversation Tuesday morning at 9 (CDT) and re-broadcast at 9 p.m. only on Iowa Catholic Radio 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 and streaming at IowaCatholicRadio.com.  Iowa Catholic Radio, KWKY Des Moines, Iowa, brought to you by our underwriter Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, West Des Moines, 453-1055.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Next on Faith On Trial: Can a judge order a priest to violate the seal of the confessional?

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge and one of its priests has been fighting an attempt by litigant to compel the testimony of statements made during a sacramental confession.  This is an extremely interesting case since the litigant trying to elicit the testimony of the priest is the penitent herself, a girl of 12, who told the priest about being molested by an adult parishioner.  There are several interesting legal questions surrounding this case: First, does the priest-penitent privilege belong to the priest or to the penitent? In most cases of privilege, the privilege belongs to the disclosing party; thus, for example, the attorney-client privilege may be waived when the client consents.

Second, do the state mandatory reporting laws concerning child abuse apply to a priest who hears of it in the confessional?  And finally, what about Canon Law that provides “The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.” Canon 983 §1.
Msgr. Larry Beeson
The priest involved and the diocese state that the priest will not testify under any circumstances.  The Louisiana Supreme Court has just ruled that the priest might be compelled to testify and sent the case back to the trial court for its determination (it had earlier ruled that the priest could be so ordered).

Can the courts trample over the seal of the confessional?
Tuesday we will have a discussion of that with Deacon Mike Manno, who is an attorney, and Monsignor Larry Beeson, a canon lawyer who listeners will recognize as the chaplain for Iowa Catholic Radio.

Join Deacon Mike and co-host Gina Noll tomorrow morning at 9 (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on IowaCatholicRadio.com  for an interesting discussion of this case. The program will be re-broadcast at 9 in the evening.
Faith On Trial is the only program of its kind on Catholic radio and is underwritten by Attorney Rick McConville of Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC, 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 453-1055 or on-line at csmclaw.com.  FOT is on every Tuesday at 9 and 9.