In today’s News:
Strip Clubs, yes; churches, no
A California judge ordered San Diego to reopen strip clubs even as local officials crack down on churches. San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil ordered the state to end any actions that prevent the clubs from “being allowed to provide live adult entertainment,” according to the decision. The owners of two strip clubs argued that their business is legally protected speech guaranteed by the first amendment — the same argument that churches have been making about their own services. The judge’s decision is not final as that in a full hearing, which will occur at the end of the month, but it temporarily allows the strip clubs to reopen for indoor services, as other institutions close. In their legal complaint, strip-club owners argued they have complied with social distancing requirements. They also warned that another shutdown would mean financial ruin. The judge temporarily sided with them.
Arguments heard yesterday on nativity scene
Liberty Counsel presented oral argument yesterday before a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals refuting the opinion by an Indiana federal judge who ruled against the nativity scene display at the Jackson County Courthouse. Liberty Counsel represents Jackson County and also filed a motion to stay asking the court to allow the nativity scene to be displayed during the holiday season this year while the judges make a decision. In addition to the nativity scene, the annual holiday display also includes a large lighted Santa Claus, sleigh with reindeer, and a group of Christmas carolers. The courthouse grounds are also decorated with many kinds of lights and other non-religious symbols of the holiday season. Judge Tanya Pratt previously ruled in favor of a plaintiff who does not live or work in the county and does not transact any business in the Jackson County Courthouse. This building no longer hosts court proceedings as they are now conducted in the new courthouse.
The Rev. Dr. David G. Schmiel called home
The Rev. Dr. David G. Schmiel, who served as the 15th president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., (CTSFW) from 1993 to 1996, died on Nov. 3. He was 88. In addition to serving as president of CTSFW, Schmiel was pastor of congregations In Gresham, Neb., and Onalaska, Wis.; professor at St. Paul’s College in Concordia, Mo.; professor and dean of faculty at Concordia College, St. Paul, Minn.; director of instruction at CSL; president at Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and director of theological education for the LCMS Board for Higher Education. He authored numerous papers and served for several years on the LCMS Standing Committee on Pastoral Ministry. A funeral was held on yesterday at Crossview Lutheran Church, Edina, Minn., with burial at Lakeside Cemetery in Minneapolis. In addition to the Lcms Office of Pastoral Education, memorials may be made to Csl or a recipient of the donor’s choice.