09 February 2009

Don't Miss This Issues, Etc.

Here's a note from Rev. Todd Wilken, host of Issues, Etc., on an upcoming Open Mics episode. Trust me, folks, you do not want to miss this installment of Open Mics! It will discuss how LCMS, Inc. wants to take legal action against the good folks at Issues, Etc. for their use of a trademark that the LCMS let lapse many years ago. In other words, it would appear that the folks at Issues, Etc. have every right to use the trademark - "Issues, Etc." - but the folks who canceled the radio program back in March 2008 now want to take legal action against the resurrected and independent program.

Hmm. Does anyone else think of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8?

Anyway, here's the note from Pr. Wilken:


Later today you will be able to find the latest, WEB EXTRA: Open Mics - "The Issues, Etc. Trademark Dispute and LCMS Legal Threat."

It will be posted at iTunes, just search for Issues, Etc. and subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already.

It will be at our website, under on-demand, a little later.



Father Hollywood said...

Why not change the name to Kishka, Etc.?

Kishka is guts, full of real meat comprised of blood and grain.

And, it sounds like "Kieschnick, Etc." which should keep the LCMS, Inc. suits and legal beagles busy.

Anonymous said...

I like your idea Father H. I was thinking they should change the name to "Kieschnick Has Issues, Etc.", but only if he can win "Issues" back in court first.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what plans the Board of Directors has for the name, if any.
Maybe to share the gospel under that banner...?
Or maybe they just want to hide it under a bushel. No!
What we're seeing here is our own TARP II plan: Terrorize a Radio Program, Part Deux.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

ISTM the answer to your "Why?" is contained in the proposed agreement. It contained a non-disparagement gag order, to be enforced by the radio show hosts giving up the right to jury trial in case of alleged breach of the agreement.

It's not about the name; that's just a way to get to the important thing, the non-disparagement bit.

Anonymous said...

If I understood things correctly, Tod and Jeff were forced to give up any severance or benefits that might have been due them, in order to preserve their freedom of speech.

Can they be forced to take that "package"...and
would they get it now? :(

What on earth did GK think would happen to Issues Etc.? Did he expect them to subside into silence like so many individual confessional Pastors have had to do?

Randy Asburry said...


You're exactly right: it's not really about the name. It seems to me that the whole trademark issue, along with the threatened lawsuit, is really just another attempt to get Wilken and Schwarz to sign a gag order--something that they did not do and fully intend not to do in the future.


I don't know all of the "legal beagle details," but I would guess that it's well beyond time for any severance package kind of details. However, it is very clear that LCMS, Inc. still wants to push the matter of a gag order with the ever-present threat of a lawsuit if they violate such a gag order. I believe that's what Pr. Wilken refers to when he says on the Open Mics episode that they don't want to give up their First or Seventh Amendment rights.

You also asked what Pres. Kieschnick thought would happen after Issues, Etc. was canceled. I can't speak for him or even guess his thoughts or motivations. But it does seem pretty clear from this trademark dispute that the push to silence Issues, Etc. is still alive and well, even though LCMS, Inc. no longer has any authority over the show; it clearly sacrificed such authority when it canceled the show last year.

To me it just seems very silly and petty. After all, LCMS Inc. did let the trademark on the name "Issues, Etc." lapse back in 1999, almost ten years ago. If they didn't care about it back then, why do they care about it all of a sudden? Clearly, as Anastasia says, there's something else at work here.

Though I do like Pr. Wilken's no nonsense approach to how this all could be settled:

LCMS, Inc.: Just drop this silly, petty challenge to the trademark and the threatened lawsuit against two Christian men! Save some money, that you really don't have, I'm sure, in the current economic times. Just allow this whole Issues, Etc. affair come to "a positive conclusion," as you said in the Reporter back in August 2008.

wmc said...

Fascinating. Now look who's threatening to sue! Isn't this the same bunch of synodocrats that were all outraged over a lawsuit a couple of years ago?

Anonymous said...

Silly and petty on its face, yet, but extremely devious and downright evil in its method and its likely plan.
I imagine, as much as anything, they hope to break the bank of Wilken and Schwarz, since they haven't yet broken the spirit.
But this bank also has 'customers' throughout Lutherandom. Many of us do what we can to support the new Issues, Etc., and wouldn't consider re-routing those dimes and dollars back to Synod or any of KFUO's programming, were the BOD to succeed in bankrupting and thus silencing Issues, Etc.
They're just shooting themselves in their apparently very tender, tiny, timid feet.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody else feel like these events are our own little "reformation" happening right now?

How did it all come to this?

Kevin in Indiana

Anonymous said...

We have a pope
in all but title.