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Hear daily news updates, breaking news from across the LCMS, web only specials, and other items from the KFUO News Desk, brought to you by staff journalist Kip Allen.

KFUO Radio News Break KFUO Radio

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.5 • 8 Ratings

Hear daily news updates, breaking news from across the LCMS, web only specials, and other items from the KFUO News Desk, brought to you by staff journalist Kip Allen.

    New nursing satellite campus opens 

    New nursing satellite campus opens 

    In today's News:

    New nursing satellite campus opens 

    At a time when the demand for nurses in central Texas is surging, Concordia University, Austin, Texas, has welcomed 288 new students so far this year to its traditional and accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs. But they didn’t report to main campus as usual. In August 2020, under many COVID-19 constraints, the university opened the doors to its Austin Nursing Satellite Campus. The new, interactive learning environment spans 17,000 square feet, complete with a cutting-edge simulation lab, a 10-bed clinical skills lab and simulation debriefing rooms. The building also houses a student lounge and administrative and faculty offices. Rooted in the university’s Christian values, the nursing program features an accredited and rigorous curriculum delivered utilizing an interactive e-learning platform, along with hands-on skills training and clinical rotations at the area’s top hospitals. 

    Pro-life demonstrators are sued 

    New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against Republican activists Bevelyn Beatty and Edmee Chavannes for protesting at Planned Parenthood. The federal lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction prohibiting the women from going near the abortion provider’s building. The lawsuit says that the women, who gained viral recognition for repeatedly painting over Black Lives Matter street murals in New York, have been protesting at the clinic nearly every week since 2019. James claims that the women would get close to patients and staff without masks and harass them as they entered the building. 

    New Mexico considers abortion up to birth 

    Two extreme abortion bills are heading to the New Mexico House and Senate this week. The bills would allow abortion up to birth in the state. The bills would repeal sections of New Mexico’s 1969 abortions statute. In doing so, they would allow abortion on demand throughout pregnancy and would also end conscience protections that allow medical personnel to opt-out of abortion based on moral or religious grounds. The bills would also remove requirements that parents be aware of a minor daughter’s abortion. According to New Mexico Alliance for Life, the bills will repeal all abortion restrictions put in place by the state’s 1969 criminal abortion statute and would fail to replace the statute with any laws that protect women, their babies or pro-life health care workers. The bills will actively codify abortion up to birth in New Mexico state law, force medical professionals to commit or assist in abortions and force New Mexico taxpayers to continue funding abortions on healthy babies and women throughout pregnancy. 

    Supreme Court asked to rule on tuition assistance 

    A group of parents in Maine seeking state tuition assistance to put their children in a religious private school have asked the United States Supreme Court to rule on their behalf. At issue is a state provision that only allows for tuition assistance if a private school is "nonsectarian in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution." The First Liberty Institute, the Institute for Justice, and others filed the appeal on behalf of the families to the Supreme Court on Friday in the case of Carson v. Makin. 

    • 3 min
    Bull selected to head Concordia Nebraska

    Bull selected to head Concordia Nebraska

    In today's News:
    Bull selected to head Concordia Nebraska
    In August, Dr. Bernard D. Bull will become the 11th president of Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward, Neb. (CUNE). Bull, who currently serves as president of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, will succeed the Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, who accepted a call last year to serve as president of Concordia University, St. Paul, St. Paul, Minn. Stuart Bartruff, chair of the CUNE Board of Regents, said that Bull is “known nationally for his innovative insights regarding Christian education at all levels” and that he had the unanimous support of the board. The Rev. Russ Sommerfeld, currently serving as interim CUNE president, will continue in that role until Bull’s arrival. 
    Court hears argument concerning ministerial exception 
    The Archdiocese of Chicago will be in court this week for oral argument before the entire Seventh Circuit to defend its right to select and supervise its own ministers of the faith. In Demkovich v. St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, the former music director of St. Andrew parish is suing the Archdiocese of Chicago for requiring its liturgical leaders to follow the tenets of the Catholic faith. As the church music director, Sandor Demkovich played a central role in conveying the Catholic faith to the congregation. When Demkovich entered into a same-sex marriage in violation of his employment agreement and 2,000-year-old Church teachings, the pastor let him go. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru reaffirmed that religious groups have the right to choose who teaches the faith. Today, the Archdiocese, represented by Becket Law, will argue before the entire court that religious organizations must be free to select, supervise, and communicate with their own ministers of the faith without government interference. 
    Baby is found in a garbage bag 
    An Illinois woman is facing both first degree attempted murder and child abandonment charges for the attempted killing of her newborn child, who was found tied up in a trash bag inside a nursing home restroom. Forty-year-old Verna Tolentino. was an employee at Glenview Terrace Nursing Home in Glenview, Illinois, at the time of the incident. According to an NBC News affiliate, Tolentino locked herself into a bathroom and called 911 during her shift on Jan. 11th, reporting “abdominal pain.” More than two hours later, janitorial staff cleaning up that restroom were shocked to find a baby boy in a tied-up garbage bag. The baby was taken to a local hospital where he was stabilized. Tolentino was subsequently transferred to the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital where she was admitted in order to receive postpartum care. The Cook County State’s Attorney Felony Review Unit approved the attempted murder and child abandonment charges in early February after reviewing the case. 
    ‘Abortion Center to the Stars’ closes 
    A late-term abortion facility in Beverly Hills, California, which was known as the “Abortion Clinic to the Stars,” has closed and its office has been vacated. According to a business record obtained by Operation Rescue, the Sinai Women’s Center, which also went by the name Pro-Choice Medical Center, had its last day of business on Dec. 31, 2020.  The office was vacated over the weekend of January 30-31, 2021, according to a City official. The abortion business, which was owned and operated by abortionist Josepha Seletz, was one of eight abortion facilities to openly conduct risky, multi-day abortions into the third trimester of pregnancy. 

    • 3 min
    Egger extended call for President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

    Egger extended call for President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

    In today's News:

    Egger extended call for President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

    Concordia Seminary, St. Louis has extended a call to Dr. Thomas J. Egger, the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Professor of Exegetical Theology and chairman of the Department of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, to serve as the 11th president in the school’s 182-year history. The call was extended after a unanimous vote on the first ballot by the electors and following interviews with the final slate of two candidates. Egger was originally nominated for the presidency by all three sources that Synod Bylaws allow to submit nominations: the faculty of Concordia Seminary, the Board of Regents of Concordia Seminary and numerous LCMS congregations. 

    Republicans move to save women’s sports 

    Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah last week led 13 of his colleagues in introducing the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, legislation that would protect athletic opportunities for female athletes. Specifically, the bill would ensure that Title IX provisions relating to athletics treat sex as that which is "recognized based solely on a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth." Further, if any recipient of federal funding who operates, sponsors or facilitates athletic programs or activities permits a male to participate in a women's sporting event, they would be found to be violation of the statutory regulations outlined in Title IX. 

    Supreme Court reopens California houses of worship 

    The Supreme Court issued an injunction stopping California’s extreme COVID-19 ban on indoor worship in churches, synagogues and other houses of worship. The Court ruled in two cases, South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom and Harvest Rock Church v. Newsom. Both churches sued California Gov. Gavin Newsom, challenging the state’s total ban on indoor worship services — the most extreme in the nation — that targeted churches for closure while allowing non-essential retail stores such as Macy’s to open to hundreds of customers, as well as hair salons, nail salons and Hollywood soundstages. The Justices wrote several opinions in addition to the Court’s order.

    Senate Democrats block ‘Born Alive’ legislation 

    With a vote of 52-48, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed as an amendment to the 2021 Budget Resolution in the Senate. All Senate Republicans, along with Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, voted in favor of the amendment. Forty-eight Senate Democrats blocked the amendment, which required 60 votes to pass. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that, when a baby is born alive following an abortion, health care practitioners must exercise the same degree of professional skill and care that would be offered to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. It also requires that, following appropriate care, health care workers must transport the child immediately to a hospital. 

    • 3 min
    Texas Planned Parenthood wins an extension 

    Texas Planned Parenthood wins an extension 

    In today's News:

    Texas Planned Parenthood wins an extension 

    On Wednesday, a Texas judge blocked the state from removing Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood, after it filed a last-minute lawsuit against the state. The new rule was set to go into effect on Feb. 4 after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state could defund the abortion corporation. Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit alleges that the state did not give Medicaid patients who use Planned Parenthood adequate time to find a new provider. Patients had been given 30 days to find a new health care provider as opposed to the six months Planned Parenthood requested. Now that the grace period has ended, Travis County Judge Maya Guerra Gamble ruled that patients should be given more time, set a hearing for Feb. 17 and placed a temporary restraining order on the rule. 

    Kansas voters to decide on abortion 

    Lawmakers in Kansas last week overwhelmingly passed a ballot proposal that if approved by state voters would amend the state constitution to clarify that there is no right to an abortion. Senators in the Sunflower State voted 28 to 11 last Thursday to support Concurrent Resolution 5003, which places the amendment on the Aug. 2, 2022, state ballot, where a simple majority would be needed to change the state’s constitution. The language of the amendment states that “The constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion.” The measure, known as the “Value Them Both Amendment,” was passed in the Kansas House by a vote of 86 to 38 on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a pro-abortion Democrat, denounced the proposed amendment and claimed that it would harm the economy and send the state back “to the Dark Ages.” 

    School grants a student a religious exemption 

    A public high school in Illinois has approved a student’s request for a religious exemption from a required sexuality program after a national legal group voiced concern that the student faced the threat of possible discipline for her refusal to take part in the program. The First Liberty Institute announced yesterday that senior Marcail McBride's parents are satisfied with the offer from administrators at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora for their daughter to complete an alternate assignment instead of participating in the school’s Student Gender and Sexuality Program. In a statement, the legal group said that the academy “reversed its position and approved senior Marcail McBride’s request for a religious accommodation.” 

    Christian movie studio changes its name 

    The faith-based studio Pure Flix Entertainment has changed its corporate name to Pinnacle Peak Pictures as it begins production on “God's Not Dead: We the People.” Pure Flix Entertainment is the studio behind the “God's Not Dead” franchise. It's rebranding to Pinnacle Peak Pictures follows AFFIRM Entertainment acquiring the Pure Flix subscription VOD service last year. Pure Flix’s subscription video on demand will keep its name, but because of Sony’s AFFIRM deal, Pure Flix Entertainment became a separate company. Pinnacle Peak Pictures, which has offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale, Arizona, will continue to operate as a leading independent faith and family studio. Along with the “God’s Not Dead” franchise, the indy studio's most popular film releases include “The Case for Christ” and “Do You Believe?” Pinnacle Peak Pictures has also produced, acquired, marketed and distributed more than 100 faith and family-friendly films. 

    • 3 min
    Virtual life conference is scheduled

    Virtual life conference is scheduled

    In today's News:

    Virtual life conference is scheduled

    LCMS Life Ministry will host its first-ever virtual life conference March 19–20. The conference will include both live sessions and on-demand videos, as well as the opportunity to engage with speakers through question-and-answer sessions. The theme of the 2021 conference is “Making Disciples: Valuing Life.” Conference sessions will explore the Lutheran understanding of the sanctity of human life. Scheduled speakers include the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, LCMS president; Timothy Goeglein, vice-president of External and Government Relations for Focus on the Family; and Deaconess Tiffany Manor, LCMS Life Ministry executive director. A Spanish-language track will also be available. To register for the conference, visit lcms-life.org.

    Education nominee supports transgender sports

    President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Department of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, said he will work to protect a new executive order that mandates biological males be allowed to compete against biological females. Specifically, he will work to make sure the practice is allowed in high schools, where female athletes are often stripped of scholarship opportunities and athletic titles after being forced to compete against biological men. This policy has been a major focus in Connecticut where several female athletes are suing.

    Female athletes want to preserve women’s sports

    High-profile female athletes and women’s sports advocates are hoping to enact federal legislation that would protect women and girls’ competitive sports by limiting the impact of Biden’s executive order mandating the inclusion of transgender athletes in sports. Biden’s sweeping executive order, dubbed the Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation Act, provides across the board transgender rights. The group is planning to propose federal legislation to codify protections for girl and women athletes from competing against biological men in sports while creating a way for transgender competition.

    ‘Hurt After Abortion’ campaign starts

    A prominent pro-life activist has started a new project designed to help women who want to take legal action after experiencing complications from an abortion. Hurt After Abortion, launched last month, is the latest project of Pro-Love Ministries, which was founded by pro-life activist and former Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year, Abby Johnson. The project is a partnership with the Thomas More Society, a notable Catholic law firm.

    Spiritual confidentiality continues in North Dakota

    A bill in North Dakota that would have criminalized priests unwilling to report on what they heard during confession and violate the seal of confession under certain circumstances has been withdrawn. SB2180 sought to amend a state law regarding mandatory reporting of abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults. On January 29, Republican state Sen. Jerry Klein moved that the bill be withdrawn. His motion prevailed. The bill’s intent was to force members of the clergy to report what they heard about abuse or neglect as spiritual advisors. Two passages exempting clergy from mandatory reporting would have been eliminated from the North Dakota Century Code.

    • 3 min
    Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod called home 

    Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod called home 

    In today's News:

    Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod called home 

    The Rev. John Arthur Moldstad, Jr., president of the evangelical Lutheran Synod, died in Madison Lake, Minnesota, on Jan. 29. He was 66. For almost 10 years, LCMS president Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison has met informally once a year with Moldstad and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod President Rev. Mark Schroeder. A funeral is set for Saturday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, North Mankato, Minnesota, with committal immediately following at Norseland Lutheran Cemetery in St. Peter, Minnesota. Visitation will be held at Peace on Friday, Feb. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. 

    Democrats urge elimination of religious protection 

    President Joe Biden is facing pressure from fellow Democrats to eliminate a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created under the Trump administration in 2018. The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights was established to ensure the federal enforcement of laws that exist to protect the fundamental rights of conscience and religious freedom. Both the Democratic Women’s Caucus and Secular Democrats of America are calling on Biden to end the division. Sixty female Democrat lawmakers penned a letter to Biden in December encouraging him to “use executive powers to immediately begin reversing the harm wrought by the outgoing administration…” on the list of their demands is the elimination of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of HHS, claiming that it “has been weaponized to justify discrimination.” 

    First Liberty seeks conscience exemption 

    Yesterday, First Liberty Institute sent a letter to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) demanding that it immediately approve senior Marcail McBride’s request for a religious accommodation exempting her from the school’s student gender and sexuality program. IMSA requires students to complete the student gender and sexuality program before graduation. Students must agree to both “stay engaged” and “experience discomfort” while participating in the program, which uses sexual language to identify sexual preferences and gender identity. In November, Marcail’s parents notified IMSA leadership that Marcail could not participate in the program because it forces Marcail to violate her religious beliefs. The IMSA leadership repeatedly denied the McBride’s request and threatened to punish Marcail if she does not participate in the program. 

    Court okays a Nativity Scene 

    The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a Nativity Scene displayed annually at the Jackson County Courthouse in Indiana. Liberty Counsel represents Jackson County. The Seventh Circuit ruled that the Nativity Scene is Constitutional under the Supreme Court’s recent decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association, which upheld the Peace Cross in Maryland. The Seventh Circuit wrote, “applying American Legion, we conclude that the county’s Nativity Scene is Constitutional because it fits within a long national tradition of using the Nativity Scene in broader holiday displays to celebrate the origins of Christmas — a public holiday. 

    • 3 min

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