Dramatic Increase in Attendance for Off-Campus Religious Instruction in Central Ohio

Religious release time programs increase in popularity as optional classes during the school day.

Pastor Claude Davis of New Life Church in Whitehall, the facilitator of a released time program, said that their program drastically jumped from a mere 18 students on the first day to 269 students in attendance last year.

Read More

REPORT: More than 18 Christian Universities Actively Promote Abortion Providers

Person sitting down. Praying hands on a Bible

Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) recently documented dozens of Christian-affiliated schools that maintain ties with or reference to Planned Parenthood.

Campus Reform found many of these schools are also tied to abortion in other ways. Below is a sampling of Christian-affiliated universities and colleges that promote abortion advocacy and providers. 

Texas Christian University

Affiliation: Disciples of Christ

Read More

Callista Gingrich Commentary: Protecting America’s First Freedom

On January 15, during a Sabbath service at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, four worshipers were taken hostage by Malik Faisal Akram.  Thankfully, all four hostages were freed, but that does not erase the evil and hate surrounding this terrorist attack.

Using Jewish worshippers as hostages to force the release of an imprisoned convicted terrorist was the explicit motive of Akram, as made clear by his statements during the attack.  The Washington Post reported, “Akram chose this place, according to people who heard him on the live stream, because it appeared to be the closest assemblage of Jews to a federal facility in Fort Worth where an American-educated Pakistani convicted terrorist is serving an 86-year sentence for shooting at U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.”

Ironically, the day after this horrific attack, the United States observed National Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.  This law later inspired and shaped the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Read More

Navy, Air Force Allegedly Issuing Blanket Denials of Religious Exemptions from COVID Vax Mandate

The Navy and Air Force are allegedly issuing predetermined blanket denials of requests for religious exemptions from the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, in violation of federal law and regulations.

Vice Admiral John Nowell, deputy chief of naval operations for manpower, personnel, training, and education, created a 50-step standard operating procedure streamlining the denials of these requests, known as religious accommodation requests (RARs).

The military is required by law to evaluate RARs on an individual basis to ensure due process under the Fifth Amendment and protect service members’ First Amendment right to religious freedom.

Read More

Commentary: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ Helped Make the Modern Santa – and Led to a Literary Whodunit

close-up of Santa Claus suit

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known by its opening line “‘Twas the Night before Christmas,” has a special place among Christmas traditions, right alongside hot chocolate, caroling and bright lights. It has also inspired the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly old man sporting red and a round belly.

But this poem has been steeped in controversy, and debate still looms over who the true author is. Traditionally, Clement C. Moore – a 19th-century scholar at the General Theological Seminary in New York, where I work as a reference librarian – has been credited with writing the poem in 1822 for his children. Every December, library staff shares our multiple copies of the poem in an exhibit to celebrate the holiday season.

No matter who wrote it, the poem is a fascinating object that has shaped Christmases past, present – and maybe yet to come.

Read More

Commentary: Five Times Campuses Ruined Holidays in 2021

two people with Santa hats looking at Christmas tree

Woke and leftist ideologies often target traditions and celebrations around holidays, particularly those that pertain to Christianity and American identity. 

With 2021 coming to an end, Campus Reform has compiled a list of the top five instances of colleges and universities ruining holidays on campus.

1. Colleges celebrate Valentine’s Day with ‘Sex in the Dark’

Multiple colleges hosted a question and answer “Sex in the Dark,” a virtual Q&A event with health experts, just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

Read More

Complaint Claims Minnesota Nursing Home Discriminated Against Catholic Employee

Brookdale North Oaks

A North Oaks nursing home rejected a Catholic employee’s request for a vaccine exemption despite granting exemptions to employees of other faiths, a complaint filed Monday claims.

Daniel Reinke, a sales and marketing manager at Brookdale Senior Living Center in North Oaks, says he was placed on unpaid leave and threatened with termination when he refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19 on religious grounds.

“I sincerely believe that receiving an injection produced, developed, or tested using human cell lines derived from direct abortions is sinful. All three available vaccines in the United States were tested, developed, or produced using these cell lines. I believe that abortion is a mortal sin, and any act supporting it, such as receiving the COVID-19 injection, would make me complicit in the act of abortion,” Reinke says in a charge of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Read More

Frat House Cannot Hang Its Own Christmas Wreath, University Insists

Christmas wreath on an oak door

Fraternity and sorority students at Emory University are not allowed to hang their own exterior Christmas decorations.

That policy was news to members of the Atlanta university’s Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity when Josh Gamse, assistant director of sorority and fraternity life, informed the chapter Dec. 3 that its wreath was violating school policy.

“Since this is the second violation of the policy, an incident report will be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct,” Gasme wrote in an email obtained by Campus Reform. 

Read More

Emails Reveal University President ‘Struggled with Supporting Free Speech’ for Christian Activist’s Appearances on Campus

A Christian activist’s appearances at Salem State University prompted the institution to change its free speech policies while being legally compelled to uphold the individual’s First Amendment rights. 

Campus Reform has previously covered the activist, Chike Uzuegbunam during his legal fights to exercise free speech as he publicly promotes his religious views, which have come under scrutiny for their purported anti-LGBTQ messages. 

In October 2020, Uzuegbunam won his Supreme Court case against his institution after Georgia Gwinnett that his speech, which included controversial flyers, “should not be constitutionally protected,” Campus Reform reported in March. 

Read More

State Senator Shane Reeves’ Fourth Annual Faith, Family and Freedom Event Celebrates God in America

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee — State Senator Shane Reeves held his fourth annual Faith, Family, and Freedom Event at The Grove at Williamson Family Farm in Murfreesboro. About three hundred people attended, and dinner was served as well. The night began with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Before Reeves began his speech, he informed those attending that Senator Bill Hagerty would not be speaking. “In case you have not noticed, but Senator Hagerty is not here. And he’s not going to pop out from behind the curtains here.

Read More

Minnesota Catholic School Offers ‘Social Justice Algebra’

Benilde-St. Margaret’s students gathered in a common area

Some students at Benilde-St. Margaret’s (BSM), a Catholic preparatory school for grades 7-12 in St. Louis Park, are actively working to weave “social justice” themes into the curriculum.

The school’s student newspaper, Knight Errant, published an article last Thursday which stated that social justice is “a key part of Catholic education,” though it did not make a necessary distinction between the historic meaning of the term and its contemporary 21st century meaning.

“BSM has committed to upholding the seven Catholic Social teachings in its strategic plan, and incorporating social justice into the BSM community is an important part of meeting that goal,” the article claims.

Read More

Salvation Army Withdraws Guide That Asks White Supporters to Apologize for Their Race

The Salvation Army has withdrawn its controversial “Let’s Talk About … Racism” guide following criticism and donor backlash over the text that asked white supporters of the charity group to deliver “sincere” apologies for their race and the past sins of the Church.

As a result of some of the guide’s more extreme positions becoming public, donors and supporters across the country have been rescinding their support of the organization.

In a statement titled “The Salvation Army’s Response to False Claims on the Topic of Racism,” the 156-year-old organization denies that the purpose of the guide or subsequent discussions revolving around the guide were meant to tell anyone “how to think.” However, the group has also opted to withdraw the guide for “appropriate review.”

Read More

Commentary: Natural Law Liberalism—An Ideology for the Republican Party

Large sign that reads "God Bless America, We will Survive!"

Do you ever wonder why Democratic politicians frequently resort to name calling when challenging Republicans? Why do the so-called mainstream media always seem to have the same anti-Republican talking points? Why are Republican judges consistently portrayed as evil? Why do progressive commentators and democratic policy makers always seem to “talk down” to their conservative opponents? 

Alternatively, does it seem odd that most Republican politicians and conservative speakers often try to portray their arguments as policy disagreements and their opponents as “good people” with “differing views”? Republicans and most mainstream conservative pundits generally answer policy questions directly. They try to show respect and yield to opposing points when they make sense. Republicans in general just want to argue for practical solutions to problems. 

The reason for this is simple: the Democratic Party over time has embraced an all-encompassing ideology that governs the way their politics and quest for power are shaped. All Democratic politicians and their pundits embrace at least some key aspects of this ideology. This fact is not readily apparent to everyone because Americans are not inclined to over-intellectualize politics. Most Americans view government and politics as a means of enacting the best common-sense policies to govern their daily lives. Each issue is viewed on its merits and Americans often split policy allegiance between Republican and Democratic ideas. Republican politicians subscribe to this concept as well, frequently supporting individual Democratic policies or at least trying for a compromise if the Democratic policies appear to have some stand-alone merit. Unfortunately, this is increasingly a losing proposition because they are fighting against a unified ideology bent on reshaping our constitution and imposing a totalitarian worldview. Democrats and the Left believe that the future is the collective and the collective is guided by an intellectual ruling class. 

Read More

Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Religious Rights and Freedoms This Thanksgiving

People putting wine glasses together for a toast

The majority of Americans, 73%, say their rights come from God, not government, and say government can’t force Americans to violate their religious beliefs, according to a poll conducted by Summit.org and McLaughlin and Associates.

“There’s a widening gap between the dominant media narrative and what the American people actually believe,” Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit.org said in a statement accompanying the poll results. “We’re seeing that in these numbers. As we approach a holiday established to thank God for His blessings on our nation, the American people still believe that our rights come from God, not from government, and that the right to believe and practice our religion must be respected.

“Despite everything, it is encouraging to see that Americans still acknowledge the freedoms that made this nation great.”

Read More

Washington Florist Who Declined to Arrange Flowers for Same-Sex Wedding Settles Lengthy Lawsuit

Barronelle Stutzman

A Christian florist in Washington settled a legal case Thursday centering around her refusal to provide custom floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

“I have put to rest the last legal considerations for a decision my husband, Darold, and I made nearly a decade ago,” Barronelle Stutzman said in a release from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

The public-interest law firm that represented Stutzman stated that the legal battle that started in 2012 will end with a $5,000 payment to Robert Ingersoll, the customer she turned down.

Read More

Commentary: Biden Targets the Religious Freedom of Federal Contractors

Joe Biden is systematically eliminating the religious freedom protections that Donald Trump established. The latest example of Biden’s secularist program comes from his Labor Department, which is planning to undo Trump’s policy of defending the religious freedom of federal contractors.

Trump’s Labor Department protected federal contractors who “hold themselves out to the public as carrying out a religious purpose.”

“Religious organizations should not have to fear that acceptance of a federal contract or subcontract will require them to abandon their religious character or identity,” said Trump’s Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia.

Read More

Commentary: Halloween’s Roots in the Christian Tradition

Person decorating with candles and pumpkins

Conventional wisdom holds that Halloween is essentially a secular and pagan holiday, the result of the Christian Church appropriating an ancient Celtic harvest festival. But one strain of critical opinion tends to the view that the holiday was thoroughly Christian from the start.

In the church calendar, Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve) is the beginning of a triduum of holidays commemorating the dead, continuing with All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2. It was common practice among the early Christians to commemorate the deaths of various martyrs at the places of their demise. In the 9th century Pope Gregory IV decided that the time had come for a single universal feast to commemorate all the saints, as well as a day to pray for one’s deceased loved ones. The pope chose a time of year—the end of harvest and the beginning of winter—when many people’s thoughts naturally turned to the idea of death.

The macabre aspects which have grown up around Halloween in modern times—the emphasis on witches, ghosts and other ghoulish figures, the glorification of gore and violence—have led many people to doubt its Christian character and many Christians to shun it. Yet according to some historians, these demonic elements of the holiday originated from a distinctively medieval Christian idea of exorcising evil by ridiculing it. Christian theology holds that Jesus conquered sin and death; and death loses its sting precisely when one is able to laugh at it.

Read More

Gang Blamed for Kidnapping 17 American Missionaries in Haiti

Missionaries of Charity in Haiti

A gang known for previous abductions has been blamed for the kidnapping of 17 American missionaries in Haiti on Saturday, NBC News reported.

The Christian Aid Ministries missionaries were kidnapped on their way from the construction of an orphanage, according to a message from Ohio-based ministry, NBC reported.

“This is a special prayer alert,” the ministry’s one-minute message said. “Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”

The U.S. Embassy is working with the field director of the mission, whose family stayed at the ministry’s base with an unidentified man while the abduction took place, the message said.

Read More

Report Finds Members of the French Catholic Church Abused 330,000 Children

People sitting in church pews at a church

Members of France’s Catholic Church sexually abused 330,000 children over the past 70 years, according to a new report on abuses in the country’s Catholic Church.

The 2,500-page report is France’s first real documentation of the abuse, the Associated Press reported, and is based on research by France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

“The Catholic Church is the place where the prevalence of sexual violence is at its highest, other than in family and friend circles,” the report said, according to CNN.

Read More

Nashville Has Three of Tennessee’s Top Five Private Schools, According to a National Ranking

aerial view of Lausanne Collegiate School

This week, Niche rolled out its “2022 Best Private Schools in America” list and revealed which Tennessee private schools ranked highest out of the national pool. Niche is a website that gathers data on schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces in order to help people decide the best places to go to school, live, or even work.

Read More

Commentary: Guided by Faith, Divinity Student Fought His ‘Anti-Racist’ Princeton Seminary — and Won

Timothy Keiderling’s decision to enroll in the Princeton Theological Seminary reflected his commitment “to give my life to work for justice and to live out the values of the Kingdom of God.” In a letter to the seminary’s president, Craig Barnes, he wrote that he “would sacrifice anything to make sure that my brothers and sisters see relief from their oppression.”

But the seminary’s concept of justice clashed with Keiderling’s conscience when PTS required him to attend “anti-racism” training sessions that he considered a form of indoctrination. He refused to participate in the sessions even after being reminded that they were mandatory. And then – early this year, with the potent support of the newly founded Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) – he convinced the seminary to exempt him from the training.

It was “a real victory which can advance the academic freedom cause substantially,” says Princeton Professor Robert George, a leader of the AFA who acted as an adviser to Keiderling, and whom the latter credits with making his victory possible. “Instead of a victim, we have a victor — one who stuck to his guns and persuaded his institution not only to respect his right of conscience, but to acknowledge the difference between education and indoctrination.”

Read More

Web Designer Forced to Publish Messages Countering Her Religious Faith Asks Supreme Court to Hear Case

Person coding a website

A Colorado web designer asked the Supreme Court to take up her case challenging a state law forcing her to publish websites with messages counter to her religious beliefs.

Lorie Smith filed the petition with the Supreme Court on Friday, arguing a lower court ruling that upheld the Colorado law was wrongly decided, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the firm representing her, announced. The law compelled Smith’s speech in violation of her First Amendment rights by forcing her business 303 Creative to produce content against her beliefs, she said.

“The government shouldn’t weaponize the law to force a web designer to speak messages that violate her belief,” ADF General Counsel Kristen Waggoner said during a press call before filing the petition. “This case involves quintessential free speech and artistic freedom, which the 10th circuit astonishingly and dangerously cast aside here.”

Read More

Editor and Publisher of the New England Review Press, Rebecca Bynum Talks Publishing and New Book ‘The Quran Speaks’

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Editor and Publisher of the New England Review Press, Rebecca Bynam in studio to talk about the world of publishing, controversy, and new book The Quran Speaks.

Read More

Alaska Airlines Fired Flight Attendants for Saying Democrat Transgender Bill Harms Women

N615AS Alaska Airlines 2000 Boeing

Alaska Airlines fired flight attendants for questioning its support of a proposed federal law that would open women’s spaces to biological males, according to complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Their union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, allegedly refused to defend their Title VII employment rights against religious discrimination during the proceeding and “disparaged” the employees’ Christian beliefs.

The Seattle-based air carrier, which once decorated a plane with the logo of Nirvana’s first music label Sub Pop, did not respond to queries from Just the News about the allegations and why employees shouldn’t fear official retaliation for expressing their views.

Read More

Educational Think Tank Calls on Supreme Court to Uphold the Constitutional Rights of Parents

Supreme Court building

In a press release Friday, The Buckeye Institute announced that they are “filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in Carson v. Makin calling on the court to make clear – as it has in many other cases – that it is a violation of the U.S. Constitution to deny students and their families financial aid that is available to all other students on the basis that family chooses to use their aid to send their children to a religious or ‘sectarian’ school.”

Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of the educational think tank said, “The core constitutional issues before the high court have been asked and answered many times: the government cannot discriminate against religion in administering benefit programs.”

Read More

Catholic Charities Official Invites Biden to Witness Border Crisis in Person

Sister Pimentel

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas invited President Joe Biden to witness the migrant crisis for what would be his first trip to the southern border as president.

Thousands of migrants resorted to staying in dangerous tent cities in Mexican border towns after the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) were implemented in 2019 and the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s efforts to repeal the policy, Catholic Charities Executive Director Norma Pimentel said in an op-ed Monday for The Washington Post.

Pimentel asked Biden to visit the Rio Grande Valley and negotiate with Mexican officials to secure more humane conditions for the migrants. She appealed to the president’s Catholic faith to provide humanitarian assistance to the migrants.

Read More

Brushing off Supreme Court Rulings, California County Fines Church as Commercial Enterprise

Hands praying on top of a Bible

While the state of California and multiple counties continue to settle with churches after imposing unconstitutional restrictions against them, one county is expanding its efforts to pursue damages against a church, claiming their worship services are a public nuisance.

In its latest request, filed Aug. 31, Calvary Chapel has asked the court to dismiss the public nuisance claim along with the $2.8 million in fines levied against it, arguing the county has not provided any evidence to support the accusation that the church has caused any harm to the public.

The battle between the county and the church began in late spring 2020 after the state and county encouraged residents to protest the death of George Floyd without numerical limitations or public health restrictions, even as the same authorities imposed severe constraints on houses of worship.

Read More

Commentary: Christian Schools Vastly Outperforming Public Schools During COVID-19, According to New Survey of Parents

Among last year’s other lessons, none may be more important than this: Our taxpayer-funded education establishment cares more about adults than children.

Consider the evidence: public school union bosses pressured officials to close schools and keep them shuttered beyond what medical authorities recommended. In spite of the obvious harm to children of school closures, unions throughout the country lobbed threats and issued demands. In Chicago, the union went so far as to sue the Mayor to keep schools closed; in San Francisco, the city had to sue its school board.

A public education system that failed to do right by our children has kept union bosses empowered and politicians cowed. Thankfully, our country offers an alternative—one that proved its mettle this past year. In a recent survey of public school and Christian school parents, the Herzog Foundation found that parents of children who attended a Christian school were vastly more satisfied with their school experience.

Read More

Facebook Courts Religious Groups, Religious Leaders Remain Skeptical

Facebook has been courting partnerships with religious groups in hopes of becoming their virtual home, the New York Times reported in late July. Experts and religious leaders told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the social media platform’s interest in shaping the future of religious experience should be closely monitored to protect religious freedom.

Though it is unlikely that a virtual religious experience will replace in-person religious services, the Times acknowledged, Facebook’s partnerships with religious groups expose Facebook’s plans to shape the future of the religious experience — as it has done with both political and social life.

“I just want people to know that Facebook is a place where, when they do feel discouraged or depressed or isolated, that they could go to Facebook and they could immediately connect with a group of people that care about them,” Nona Jones, a nondenominational minister and Facebook’s director for global faith partnerships, told the Times.

Read More

Commentary: Leading the Charge Against Critical Race Theory

Young boy reading a book

Critical Race Theory continues to permeate our classrooms and infect our children’s minds with outrageous ideas about their nation’s history. But a growing number of Americans are standing up to fight back against its false tenets and demand its removal from K-12 education. At the forefront of this patriotic effort is 1776 Action, an advocacy group committed to the vital work of restoring honest and unifying education in public schools throughout the nation.

The group’s Candidate Pledge has garnered national attention in recent weeks for its emphasis on America’s values and its vow to eradicate divisive race- and gender-based ideologies such as CRT from America’s schools. Political candidates who sign the pledge commit to restoring “honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country” and to promoting a curriculum that “teaches that all children are created equal, have equal moral value under God, our Constitution, and the law, and are members of a national community united by our founding principles.” The pledge also seeks to prohibit any curriculum that divides students by race and sex – or sets out to infuse harmful ideologies into course material.

In May, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) became the first candidate to sign the pledge, declaring that CRT and similarly divisive theories are “shameful [and] must be stopped.” Other high-profile conservatives running for office, such as Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin, also vowed to replace CRT with “a high-quality civics curriculum.” The two Republican candidates for Governor of Kansas, former Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt, have also signed the pledge. As more candidates sign this pledge, it will put pressure on teachers, principals, and school boards to declare their stances on CRT and other key educational matters. It will also hold them accountable for the materials they teach and ensure our children are not indoctrinated with malicious theories that seek to denigrate our country and reduce students to their sex or skin color.

Read More

Commentary: Don’t Force My Church to Pay for Abortions

Baby hand in adult hand

Imagine, 75 years ago, some British officer lining up a group of young Indian children against a wall in Bombay, handing some bullets to Mahatma Gandhi, and ordering him to load soldiers’ rifles so that they could execute the youngsters.

Would you expect Gandhi to go along with that? Why would an officer even give such an order – except to humiliate Gandhi and mock what he stood for?

Perhaps that gives you some idea of how it feels for the people of my congregation, Cedar Park Church, to be ordered by Washington state officials to provide an insurance plan that covers abortions. Directly paying for abortion coverage is as unimaginable to us as putting bullets in a gun we know would be used to end a child’s life. It is antithetical to everything we preach, teach, and believe. That’s why we had to file a lawsuit through our Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys that is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which will hear arguments today.

Read More

Commentary: Dissenting from Woke Superstition

Person sitting down. Praying hands on a Bible

A few weeks ago, I offered commentary on wokeism as a new iteration of Karl Marx’s notion of religion as the opiate of the people. Specifically, I made the case that wokeism is not so much Marxism but a heretical Christian construct that oligarchs exploit for the sake of their own preservation and dominance. Wokeism hoodwinks labor—those we often call the forgotten middle class—into serving the interests of monopolistic Big Tech and Wall Street capital, and its handsomely compensated technocrats (those Marx called the petty bourgeoisie).

Other recent pieces, including “The Art of Spiritual War,” by Michael Anton (which discusses wokeism as a parallel to the corrupted Christianity of Machiavelli’s day) suggest a growing consensus that wokeism, rather than something new under the Sun, has characteristics of something old, namely religion. Understanding wokeism as a religion, cult, or spiritual phenomenon may help us challenge and defeat it.

They Believe In Something Else 

Permit me to borrow for a moment a thought from a friend. Deion Kathawa wrote recently that our modern, technology-driven immorality may represent “a worldview that is closed off to the supernatural.” But this is only a superficial closing off. It is a fundamental feature of human psychology that it is never truly closed off to the supernatural.

Read More

Commentary: Catholics Are Getting Smart About Responding to Gender Ideology

People sitting in pews at a Catholic church

Catholic parishes, schools, and dioceses have for years responded to transgenderism by simply ignoring the issue altogether. But that’s starting to change, largely because the problem is getting too big for churches to ignore. 

“My sense is that nearly every parish includes families with loved ones grappling with identity issues or gender dysphoria,” Mary Rice Hasson told The American Spectator. 

Hasson, who directs the Catholic Women’s Forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, recently founded an initiative called the Person and Identity Project, which aims to equip Catholic parishes and schools with resources to combat gender ideology. 

Read More

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Denies Media Reports That Vatican Told Bishops to ‘Hit The Brakes’ on Biden, Eucharist Discussions

Vatican Saint Peter's Basilica at dusk

The Vatican did not tell bishops not to move forward drafting a document on the Eucharist, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops clarified this week.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox and multiple other outlets have claimed that the bishops were flouting a Vatican warning when they approved a measure June 18 to draft a statement on the Eucharist.

In a document issued June 21, the USCCB explicitly said that the Vatican did not tell the bishops not to move forward with the document.

Read More

60 Catholic Democrats Accuse Bishops of Weaponizing Eucharist Against Biden

Catholic church worship

Catholic congressional Democrats are accusing U.S. Catholic bishops of weaponizing the Eucharist against President Joe Biden.

Sixty Catholic Democrats issued a “Statement of Principles” Friday warning U.S. bishops against “the weaponization of the Eucharist.” Signers included Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro and New York Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez.

Most of the Democrats who signed the statement appear to publicly support abortion in direct conflict with Catholic Church teaching.

Read More

Commentary: What Greek Epics and Their Teachings on the Special Relationship Between Fathers and Sons

Greek statue of man's face

Father’s Day inspires mixed emotions for many of us. Looking at advertisements of happy families could recall difficult memories and broken relationships for some. But for others, the day could invite unbidden nostalgic thoughts of parents who have long since died.

As a scholar of ancient Greek poetry, I find myself reflecting on two of the most powerful paternal moments in Greek literature. At the end of Homer’s classic poem, “The Iliad,” Priam, the king of Troy, begs his son’s killer, Achilles, to return the body of Hektor, the city’s greatest warrior, for burial. Once Achilles puts aside his famous rage and agrees, the two weep together before sharing a meal, Priam lamenting the loss of his son while Achilles contemplates that he will never see his own father again.

The final book of another Greek classic, “The Odyssey,” brings together a father and son as well. After 10 years of war and as many traveling at sea, Odysseus returns home and goes through a series of reunions, ending with his father, Laertes. When Odysseus meets his father, however, he doesn’t greet him right away. Instead, he pretends to be someone who met Odysseus and lies about his location.

Read More

Commentary: Remembering D-Day

D day

This Sunday marks the 77th anniversary of the greatest gamble in World War II.

On June 6, 1941, more than 156,0000 allied forces launched from the sea onto the beaches of Normandy.  Nearly 7,000 allied ships commanded the French coastline, and more than 3,200 aircraft dominated the skies.  A few miles inland, 23,000 paratroopers landed to block German reinforcements from the shore.

After years of preparation, practice, and training, the Allies had come to break German power in Europe.

Read More

California Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Legal Fees to Church that Violated Coronavirus Restrictions

People holding hands in air at church worship service

After a lengthy court battle, the government of the state of California backed down in its efforts to enforce coronavirus restrictions on a church that continued hosting in-person worship services, and has now agreed in a settlement to pay the church’s $2 million worth of legal fees, Breitbart reports.

When the state repeatedly attempted to enforce strict capacity limits, mask mandates, and other “social distancing” requirements on the San Diego-based Pentecostal church, the church’s lawyers filed suit with the United States Supreme Court, winning all three suits. This ultimately led to lawyers on behalf of the state of California agreeing to the settlement, which was approved by a federal judge.

Responding to the settlement, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, a legal group that represents churches facing suppression of their First Amendment rights, pointed out that while businesses such as Costco were limited to 50 percent capacity, while churches were forced to stay as low as 25 percent, and sometimes even lower.

Read More

Michigan High School Valedictorian Forbidden from Mentioning Christianity in Graduation Speech

Silhouette of graduate holding up graduation cap

A high school valedictorian in Michigan is being prohibited by the school from mentioning her Christian faith in her graduation speech, the Daily Caller reports.

The student, Elizabeth Turner, is the valedictorian of Hillsdale High School in Hillsdale, Michigan. Upon submitting the draft of her speech to the school, the speech was returned to her with several passages censored due to her mentioning Jesus Christ and her Christian faith. The justification given by the school’s principal, Amy Goldsmith, was that discussing Christianity was “not appropriate” and would not be “representing the school.”

“You are representing the school in your speech, not using the podium as your public forum,” Goldsmith said in her comments on the Google Doc version of the speech. “We need to be mindful about the inclusion of religious aspects. These are your strong beliefs, but they are not appropriate for a speech in a public school setting.”

Read More

St. Cloud Bishop Requires Vaccine for Those Participating in Church Camps, Programs

Bishop Donald J. Kettler

A St. Cloud Catholic bishop is requiring participants, including children, who attend church camps to be fully vaccinated.

Bishop Donald Kettler of the Diocese of St. Cloud sent a letter to pastors last week outlining his requirements for day camps, overnight gatherings, and similar events.

The bishop is requiring all “staff, volunteers, and participants attending these programs to be fully vaccinated as a condition of participation.” Proof of vaccination will also be required.

Read More

Commentary: Mask Mandates Promote Servitude, Not Safety

Man on escalator with mask on

The other day, for the first time since March 2020, I embarked on a journey outside of the slave state of California. My wife and I drove to Montana. While I had heard tales of the existence of freedom in other states, I had yet to experience the thing firsthand.

My experience in Montana confirmed what I have long suspected and known, but not witnessed or experienced for myself—that there are two Americas and two very different types of Americans. There are free states and slave states. There are fearful, obedient slaves, and fearless, free Americans.

I didn’t wear a mask for an entire weekend in Montana—not entering my hotel, not walking down the street, not entering a grocery store or gas station convenience store, not getting a coffee, and not entering numerous restaurants and bars. At no point did I put on that filthy face diaper. Nor did anyone else.

Read More

Conservative Hispanic Leaders Explain Why Texas Voters Are Shifting Republican

The Republican party in Texas is drawing Hispanic voters disillusioned by the Democratic party’s extreme values, two female Hispanic Republican leaders with Democratic backgrounds told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

South Texas saw both a liberal decline and a conservative surge during the 2020 election, the New York Times reported, a surge that has emboldened Republicans hoping to win in Latino communities throughout the United States. Hispanic female Republicans are stepping up to the plate, the publication reported.

“I am starting to see this need to connect with the Hispanic community and let them know nationwide that it’s the Republican party that offers opportunities,” Adrienne Pena-Garza, chair of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, told the DCNF.

Read More

Commentary: Democrats’ False Middle East Mythology

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

What a disaster! And it’s only just begun — if we cannot do something to stop it.

Iran is up off the floor, regaining confidence in the strength of its bargaining position, restored to it as a free gift by the Biden team. Rockets from Gaza are again falling by their scores on Israeli civilians. The northern border of Israel is on highest alert. The last remaining Jews in Yemen have left as Iran’s proxies, the Houthis, consolidate their control over large areas of the country. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is appealing to the Democrats in control to take it off the U.S. terror list even as its leadership publicly encourages the wave of violence against Jewish civilians sweeping through Jerusalem.

It was only a few months ago that we were marveling at how peace was swiftly gaining momentum, and Iran, choked by powerful and effective sanctions, was being held to account for its actions and as a consequence had ever fewer resources to support its terrorist proxies. Most amazing, many Arab states began at last to see that Israel is no threat to them or their people and that they had common cause with Israel against Iranian imperialism. As if in a dream, we saw this trend begin as rumors, then peek into the light with a few gestures, and then finally, incredibly, burst into the limelight with the Abraham Accords. One Muslim state after another stepped forward to sign a real peace treaty with Israel and immediately open doors closed ever since Israel’s founding.

Read More

Commentary: The Vatican Museums and Persevering Through a Pandemic

Vatican Saint Peter's Basilica at dusk

On Monday, May 3, the Vatican Museums will reopen to the public.  The Vatican Museums were founded in 1506, when Pope Julius II discovered and acquired the sculpture, Laocoön and His Sons.  Today, the Vatican Museums house one of the oldest and most important art collections in the world.

The Vatican’s impressive collection consists of over 200,000 works spanning five millennia.  The collection includes remarkable 15th and 16th century frescoes by Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, and Raphael, as well as stunning masterpieces by Caravaggio and Leonardo da Vinci.  Reflecting upon her work, Vatican Museums Director Dr. Barbara Jatta said, “It’s a cultural duty undertaken with a conviction that beauty can lead to faith.” 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vatican Museums were the 3rd most visited museum in the world, hosting an average of 6 million visitors per year and generating essential funding for the Vatican. 

Read More

Commentary: The Rise of the New State Church

Saint Marys Cathedral, Natchez, United States

The United States is historically a Christian country, that is, it was founded by Christians and its population remains largely Christian to this day. The speeches and statements of our presidents, our official holidays, the prayers that are said before the opening of Congress and the Supreme Court, the imagery we see on official buildings all attest to the religious, indeed Christian, foundation of our nation. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court in an 1892 decision declared explicitly that “we are a Christian nation.”

Nevertheless, at least until recent days, Americans have understood that we live in a pluralistic society where Protestants, Catholics, Jews, even atheists, were equal before each other and equal before the law. There was no official church at the federal level that would require belief, assent, or obedience. This is not to say that there have not been dark times in our history when we failed to live up to our ideals. Catholics may recall times when our churches were burned and there were riots against us. But the highest American aspiration has always been that all should be treated equally, that a Jew should get the same treatment in a court of law as a Methodist or a Muslim.

Our twin understanding of our country’s deep religious roots coupled with an ideal of religious freedom grew out of the English tradition of religious toleration. The English had an official state church, but the English also recognized the importance of providing dissenters with some measure of freedom. The Act of Toleration of 1689 provided this freedom.

Read More

‘God Loves Me’: 10-Year-Old Trans Child Quotes Bible to Tell TX Legislators Why They Shouldn’t Ban Trans Surgeries, Procedures for Minors

Kai Shappley

A 10-year-old transgender child quoted the Bible testifying before Texas lawmakers on bills banning transgender procedures and surgeries for minors.

Kai Shappley spoke to lawmakers Monday regarding Texas Senate Bill 1646, legislation that classifies it as child abuse for anyone to administer puberty suppression drugs, hormone replacement therapy, transgender surgeries or medical procedures to minors.

Video footage posted by the American Civil Liberties Union shows the 10-year-old child reading remarks from an iPhone, criticizing legislators for “attacking me since pre-K” and explaining, “I’ve been having to explain myself since I was three or four years old.”

Read More

Supreme Court Sides with Student Whose Christian Beliefs Were Suppressed by Georgia College Campus

In a rare nearly-unanimous decision, the Supreme Court sided with a Christian college student whose right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion were initially silenced by his college campus in Georgia, as reported by ABC News.

The 8-1 decision was led by Justice Clarence Thomas, with Chief Justice John Roberts being the sole dissenting vote. Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas said that Chike Uzuegbunam, an African-American Evangelical Christian, can seek nominal damages from Georgia Gwinnett College, after officials at the school told him he was not allowed to hand out Christian literature on the campus’s “free speech zone.” This comes even after the school reversed course from its initial restrictions, and after Uzuegbunam ultimately graduated.

“It is undisputed that he experienced a complete violation of his constitutional rights when respondents enforced their speech policies against him,” Thomas wrote. “Because ‘every violation [of a right] imports damage,’ nominal damages can redress Uzuegbunam’s injury even if he cannot or chooses not to qualify that harm in economic terms.”

Read More

Middle School Lesson Separates Students into ‘Privileged’ and ‘Targeted’ Groups

A sixth-grade teacher in Minnesota recently offered her charges a lesson in “oppression” when she separated them into groups dubbed “privileged” and “targeted.”

According to documents obtained by The Blaze.com, Sunrise Park Middle School teacher Odelis Anderson prefaced the lesson by reminding students it is easier for the privileged to talk about race, while “much harder” for those who are not.

Students then were asked to consider what group they belonged to based on five types of oppression: racism, sexism, religious oppression, heterosexism, and xenophobia. Among the “privileged”: whites, men, Christians and heterosexuals.

Read More

U.S. House Passes ‘Equality Act’ Which Religious Conservatives Say Is ‘Conscience-Crushing’

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Equality Act” — a piece of legislation that critics say poses a threat to Christian universities.

The Equality Act seeks to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation” by providing the “full range of remedies available under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Read More

Former State Rep. and Sr. Advisor to Governor Lee, John DeBerry Talks About His New Role and a Very Different Democratic Party

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed advisor to Governor Lee and former Tenessee State Representative John DeBerry to the newsmakers line to talk about being ousted from the new left-wing Democratic Party and where the party is headed today.

Read More