Are you listening to Issues, Etc.?

Pr. Wilken just said something about LCMS, Inc. opposing the application for the trademark of Issues, Etc. The trademark that LCMS, Inc. failed to renew since, um, 1999.

And he said something about LCMS, Inc. threatening Pr. Wilken and Jeff Schwarz as well.

Stay tuned.


Are you listening to Issues, Etc.? — 30 Comments

  1. Pastor Wilken mentioned something about this as well at a conference in Wyoming. That Issues had applied for the trademark since the LCMS had ditched it & that on the last day the synod had left to file an objection to this action they did so, all the while claiming publicly that they had no objection to Issues claiming the name.

    It’s a whole sordid affair. And it’s rich that our synodical leadership which goes ballistic when anyone attempts to sue it throws around the threat of legal action against others so freely.

  2. And we are still supposed to accept (I suppose) that Inc’s only problem with the program was budgetary!! If this is indeed true, do they not realize how ridiculous, completely and unbelievably ridiculous, this makes the Synod leadership appear? I pray that this is not really happening.

  3. The actions of the synod speak plainly. No need to reach for any interpretation but the obvious one. Anyone who still thinks the synod canceled Issues, Etc. for “financial reasons” left out there?

  4. Perhaps it is only my inner brat thinking but perhaps it is time to play hardball. Sueing for access to financial documents for bean counters to look over.

  5. I know people in the church have sued each other and people have sued their synod, but I have never heard of a synod suing one of its own pastors and layman before. Is there any kind of precedence for this?

  6. Sam,

    I think they briefly mentioned it near the end of the Listener email segment last Friday. I think they’re also planning a show on it next week sometime.

  7. Surely no one would ever allow a lawsuit against Wilken and Schwarz when they know how easily that would be used against them at the next convention.

  8. Karl,

    Hatred, envy, and vitriol outweigh common sense and political expediency in the minds of insecure people. That’s why LCMS, Inc. may bring suit against an LCMS pastor and layman despite possible political repercussions.

  9. One mustn’t forget that the highest crime & offense in the synod today is not preaching false doctrine or promoting unLutheran practices, it is criticizing the institution & our divinely elected leaders.

    The institution will crush whoever stands in its way, be they liberal, conservative, confessional, or neo-evangelical emergent. Granted that it will more likely be conservatives & especially confessionals because they question the institution & demand accountability of it. But still the institution, or Synod Inc as Wilken would call it, is sacred & untouchable by anyone.

    We really have returned to a situation similar to the Papacy of the Middle Ages. Do whatever you like, even you Luther, just don’t question the Pope or the system.

    Hmm, since such a comment would be likely to get me put on someone’s list, I should probably use my full name for this.

    Rev. George Naylor
    Bayard, NE

  10. Here’s the transcript from the show:

    Todd Wilken:
    “I marvel as well at the fortuitous and good, quick, return of the program, and the continuation of the program. It’s not that we’re, we’re not without our difficulties still with regard to the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. I mean, Jeff mentioned last week I think that the application for the trademark on the name Issues, Etc. is being opposed by the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod Incorporated. Actively, legally opposed. And along with that news of the opposition, also came a letter informing us of the opposition and that we, Jeff and I personally, are being threatened with legal action. They haven’t initiated any legal action against us that we know of but they have threatened to do so. So, even though the story is over, the show is back, the drama as my daughter would say, the drama of all of it continues.”

    Jeff Schwarz:
    “In some ways I think the drama has just begun.”

    Todd Wilken:
    “If this is going to be the second act, it looks like it. I mean, if the invincible stupidity of the church Corporate is true to form and plays its part well, it’s just the beginning of the second act. By the way, we will be posting a web extra at our web site, in the next couple days, explaining in detail, kind of the latest, and I won’t say the greatest, the latest and the saddest news, having to do with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod’s opposition to the Issues, Etc. trademark name, and their threat to sue us personally. We’ll be posting it at our website,”

  11. What plans does LCMS Inc. have for the name Issues, Etc., should they regain it through force of law?
    Use it to spread gospel, maybe? What a concept.
    Methinks the brand would be greatly compromised.
    What would be the slogan for the LCMS Inc. version of Issues, Etc.?
    ‘Mission-centered; bottom-line-focused’
    ‘Issues, Etc.: A wholly-owned subsidiary of LCMS, Inc.’
    ‘Issues, Etc.: NOT your grandfather’s gospel’

  12. Opposing the Issues Etc trademark and threatening a Pastor and Layperson. I can’t think of a better way for the Synod/KFUO to save money.

    Kind of like Obama trying to tax and spend his way to economic prosperity.

  13. It will indeed save the Synod/KFUO money – money in the form of contributions they will no longer receive when hundreds of congregations cease to pay Caesar. If the Synodical contribution would cause you to sin, which it would if the Synod sues a brother, then just say “no,” and “woe.”

  14. One wonders if it would be worthwhile for various LCMS Congregations to pass resolutions that they will leave the LCMS unless LCMS, Inc. leave’s Issues, Etc. alone.

    Would anything else work to force Pres. Kieschnick to drop the matter?

  15. I’m a little slow today!
    What possible reason is there for suing Todd & Jeff personally?

    Since lcms inc. has stated publicly that they have no interest in the name (as indeed they don’t) the content having been developed by Wilken & Schwarz and the name abandoned in 1999, what is the point of this (last minute and two faced) obstructionism?

    Have Kieschnick & Co not proved themselves sufficiently ridiculous over this program already?

    The show will go on, Jerry, if not under this name then some other. Have you considered that you may like the next title less?

    [The new articles for the Wall Street Journal, etc., are probably underway.];)

  16. FYI, Todd & Jeff posted a Web Extra on the web site and podcast. Go listen to it. I am no longer willing to give Kieschnick any benefit of the doubt in this matter based on the statements of Todd & Jeff. Listen, and form your own opinion.

  17. The Web Extra is now available by podcast or the on-demand page of Issues, Etc. Basically, the synod is stating that legally the name, “Issues, Etc.,” is still theirs, and they won’t give it up without certain demands being met, demands that seem pretty ridiculous.

    I think the synod’s case has been weakened by the fact that they did NOT officially object to the new show’s name being the same until about 7 months after it started up again. How fair is that? If the synod truly felt they wanted to keep the name, “Issues, Etc.,” they should have objected right away, thus giving the new show the option of fighting for the name or beginning the new show with a new name. Waiting for the new show to establish itself for seven months before objecting is like trying to change the rules well into the game.

  18. Listened to the Web Extra on this last night. Loved the bump music (“I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty). That sick feeling I got in my stomach last Holy Tuesday is back. LCMS, Inc., with Jerry at the helm, should be utterly ashamed by their actions. How many times has Jerry said that we don’t have time to waste on incessant, internal purification, ’cause there’s souls dying without Jesus out there? That has always rung hollow in these ears, because it is nothing more than an excuse to abandon sound doctrine and practice for the “anything goes” approach Jerry has gone out of his way to endorse and promote during his reign. But, how much more does that ring hollow with these latest actions? We don’t have time to maintain sound doctrine and practice, but we do have time to call in the lawyers and fight for something we didn’t want and don’t own, wasting synodical dollars we don’t have (but, please, get out your wallets and send us more!), and threatening suit against individuals, one of whom is an official member of our synod. And, all of this, after they cried “foul” and treated those involved in the Anderson lawsuit with such disdain. “How dare Christians bring suit against other Christians,” they cried. How utterly hypocritcal and un-Christian! Sick! Just sick!

    Todd and Jeff, don’t back down. We know you won’t. We won’t either!

  19. Rob writes (#25) – “I think the synod’s case has been weakened by the fact that they did NOT officially object to the new show’s name being the same until about 7 months after it started up again.”

    Not that I want to be in the position of defending LCMS, Inc., in their actions in this case (but the 8th commandment compels me to) – Even Todd and Jeff conceded that the objection was timely because it was within the 30 days allowed by the US government to file a public objection. The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly and the US Patent Office did not have the approved application prepared for public comment until November, which is when the LCMS objected. They are not reinventing the wheel, but working within the constraints of governmental regulation. (I know, they claim that as a church they don’t have to, but sometimes you can’t fight City Hall!)


  20. I wasn’t speaking about the official objection to the name with the US trademark office, which as you pointed out was not able to be made until recently. However, the LCMS WAS informed prior to the new show’s premier that Todd and Jeff were planning on beginning a new show, and under the same name. If the LCMS truly objected for one reason or another, they should have done so immediately, demanding that the new show NOT be named Issues Etc., unless certain demands were met. That would have been at least a bit more fair and straightforward. As it is, the show has been on for seven months, developing its audience and name recognition, with the LCMS’ full knowledge, and the LCMS has not raised any official objection until very recently.

    Again, had the LCMS initially objected, the show might still have gone on. It may have been under the name “Issues, Etc.” or under some other name. But NOT to object for seven months and THEN to demand they stop using the name just doesn’t seem fair, in my mind.

  21. This is curiouser and curiouser!!!! What is up with this idiot Kieschnick? A lust for power? A desire to win? How can he have so much hate in his heart?

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