Saturday 28th January 2023

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November 28, 2022 Frontpage No Comments


Well, we’re on to Christmas having now survived the Midterm Elections and Thanksgiving, which sometimes turns out to be family bickering day if, in fact, siblings have now ended up on opposite political poles. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to solve the problem you may have with your pesky relatives who refuse to believe your logically particular ideology. I, at least, am satisfied that this column was able to duck political and legal issues for two weeks while we celebrated All Saints and Thanksgiving.
But I can’t stay quiet about such things for too long, which is probably why my wife and I had to eat Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves. There’s not a whole lot I can dwell on at length this week, but I do have a few nuggets that I’ll pass on for whatever they are worth.
First some good, but not unexpected, news: Another federal judge, earlier this year, has ruled that “In God We Trust” is, in fact, constitutional.
The case in which our national motto was involved arose from a public charter school which had displayed a plaque or poster containing the motto in the school entrance. One Dustin Faeber, an attorney, filed the suit on behalf of his minor daughter. Evidently, the parents took umbrage over the plaque’s message that they saw while they were dropping their child off for her first day in kindergarten because they wished to raise their daughter in a non-religious manner.
Accordingly, the plaintiffs asked, on behalf of their kindergartener — who presumably could not even read the poster — for an order for the state to remove its display.
Judge Aleta A. Trauger rejected the challenge to the motto, citing a long line of cases which had supported it, and dismissed the parents’ argument noting: “The entire display in which the poster of the national motto is situated itself contains no religious symbolism or references and, as such, reflects no intention on the part of the School Defendants to establish or promote a religion. . . . It is not coercive; and it does not involve any excessive entanglement of a government institution and religion.”
One for the good guys.
In another case about public expression of faith, a school upheld a teacher’s right to paint her parking stall with a Bible verse.
In Wesley Chapel, Fla., the Wiregrass Ranch High School allows teachers to paint and decorate their parking spaces. Of course, that’s probably not as popular as Twitter employees getting free lunches and wine coolers on tap, but it was something nice.
Anyway, a teacher painted on her spot the words, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Hardly fighting words, but it did cause a ruckus. Apparently, an instructional assistant, Marina Gentilesco, did find offense in it. “I feel like it’s attacking me as a Jew,” she claimed.
She was quoted in the local press as saying, “It brings me to the verge of tears, because it brings me back to the six million that perished. Six million perished because of our faith — because we’re Jews.”
Apparently, those painful moments were just too much for Ms. Gentilesco, who opined that the Bible verse would not be offensive if found on a church building, but doesn’t think it belongs on school grounds.
The school officials looked at the issue a little differently, however. School spokesman Stephen Hegarty said the Bible verse was not a violation but a personal expression.
“There is no proselytizing going on,” he said. “It’s not compelling students to do anything one way or the other….It has nothing to do with instruction,” he said. “It’s just a teacher expressing themselves just like they might wear a crucifix on their shirt. Teachers and students are free to express themselves.”
Another one for the good guys. And some good legal news:
In Amarillo, Texas, a federal district court rejected the government’s interpretation of the word “sex” in federal law to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
The case, Neese v. Becerra, involved two physicians who challenged the Biden administration’s mandate in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that required them to perform medical procedures that violated the physicians’ religious or conscience rights. It also challenged the administration’s requirement that men (trans-women) be allowed to compete on women and girls athletic teams.
The court wrote in reference to female athletics: “Title IX’s protections center on differences between the two biological sexes — not SOGI [sexual orientation and gender identity] status,” the court wrote in its opinion. “Title IX expressly allows sex distinctions and sometimes even requires them to promote equal opportunity. . . . Defendants’ theory actively undermine[s] one of [Title IX’s] major achievements, giving young women an equal opportunity to participate in sports.”
The court ruled that the administration’s interpretation, or reinterpretation, of the word “sex” was overbroad and must be struck down.
But even with harbingers of good things to come I can’t overlook the fact that no sooner did we get rid of all those annoying political ads (except for Georgia — sorry about that), than we now have to listen to all those mind-numbing ads for Medicare annual enrollments. I don’t know which is worse. On second thought I do. It is the ads for Camp Lejeune victims that I now get every day in my email.
Finally, I know we’ll have a lot to say about the election — that is if we ever get all the ballots counted, but I do not understand how with all of our technology it takes us to Thanksgiving to count votes cast in early November. I have a solution. Get rid of all the electoral gimmicks in the law to streamline the process: ballot harvesting, jungle primaries, ranked-choice voting, and month-long mail-in voting.
Absentee and mail-in voting should be limited to just a few weeks and require signature matches. For in-person voting all should be required to provide a photo identification. I simply do not believe the Democrats who claim that minorities are under a hardship to provide the ID.
My one comment on the results: despite the overly optimistic advance claims by national partisans, I thought the election went well here in Iowa. We re-elected our pro-life governor, Kim Reynolds, by a landslide and turned out our longtime attorney general in favor of a pro-life Republican, Brenna Bird, who will, hopefully, be a counterweight to the newly elected George Soros funded Democrat county attorney.
I think I should just try putting my head in the sand for another few weeks.
(You can reach Mike at: and listen to him every Thursday on Faith On Trial at

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