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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
A federal appeals court has denied a California church’s bid to hold in-person services for Christmas.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit declined to lift California’s coronavirus restrictions for the Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California in the Wednesday ruling. Under the restrictions issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, churches in the state are not allowed to hold in-person services amid the pandemic.
President Donald Trump promised Wednesday that neither the Navy nor the Department of Defense will cancel contracts with Catholic priests allowing serving military members.
“The United States Navy, or the Department of Defense, will NOT be cancelling its contract with Catholic Priests who serve our men and women in the Armed Forces so well, and with such great compassion & skill,” the president tweeted Wednesday morning, tagging the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. “This will no longer be even a point of discussion!”
Democrat Joe Biden has built his half-century in politics largely on the myth that he is a faithful Catholic with working class roots. In reality Biden is neither a faithful Catholic, nor a friend of America’s blue-collar citizens.
CNN and reporters called 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden a “devout Catholic” Thursday after President Donald Trump said the former vice president would “hurt the Bible, hurt God.”
Biden has frequently referenced his Catholic faith throughout his political career, describing his faith as “the bedrock foundation” of his life. The former vice president also supports policies that are explicitly opposed to Catholic teaching, such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
In his observations about 19th-century America, Alexis de Tocqueville pointed to religion as the first of the country’s political institutions—sweeping in its influence on our customs and powerful in its propensity to preempt and prevent tyranny.
Yet today, American religiosity is in decline. Weekly church attendance is trending downward, as is self-identification with a formal religion, denomination or belief system. The rise of the “nones” is increasing in speed and expanding in influence, replacing religious-cultural paradigms of old with a modern menu of personalized, à la carte “spiritualities.” Even where religiosity remains, it is often resistant or opposed to public expression, never mind institutional or cultural prominence.
President Donald Trump called on governors Friday to open houses of worship “right now,” warning he will override governors’ orders if they do not allow Americans to attend religious services.
Trump spoke Friday at the White House where he said governors should allow churches and places of worship to open, saying that if governors have any questions on this, “they’re going to have to call me, but they’re not going to be successful in that call.”
Many academic disciplines have gotten “woke” in recent years, especially in the humanities and social sciences. For the most part, this transformation has occurred in plain view as colleges created departments for (and offered degrees in) “Women’s and Gender Studies,” “Black Studies,” “LGBTQ Studies,” “Latino Studies,” and the rest of the intersectionality parade.
George Orwell’s 1984 defines the booming genre of dystopian literature, but Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World provided a more accurate prophecy of the future. In another of his works, Ends and Means, Huxley offered deep insights into why people choose to become atheists. In a time when 26 percent of Americans are unaffiliated with any religion, and the number of atheists and agnostics in the U.S. has doubled in the last 10 years, people of faith must pay heed to his observations. Huxley wrote that he and “most of [his] contemporaries” saw atheism’s moral vacuum as their “instrument of liberation,” because it allowed them to embrace sexual hedonism and socialism: