This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A court ruling in a fight involving a California school district has resulted in a ruling that officials "can't selectively enforce discriminatory policies against Christian groups while exempting secular ones."

The decision comes from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. San Jose Unified School District Board of Education.

The case was decided on First Amendment precedents.

The appeals court ruling addressed the decision by San Jose in 2019 to derecognize the FCA. It seems a teacher had complained about the FCA members discussing issues, including their faith, on campus. Specifically, the teacher complained about the millennia-old biblical belief that marriage is between a woman and a man.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed an action against the school in 2020 but originally was denied a request for an injunction.

Now that has been reversed, based on the court's ruling that the district possibly violated the FCA's First Amendment rights.

"The district, rather than treating FCA like comparable secular student groups whose membership was limited based on criteria including sex, race, ethnicity, and gender identity, penalized it based on its religious beliefs," the appeals judges said. "Because the Constitution prohibits such a double standard—even in the absence of any motive to do so—we reverse the district court’s denial of FCA’s motion for a preliminary injunction."

The Daily Caller News Foundation explained the FCA insists that students who volunteer with the club in a "leadership capacity" sign a statement of faith that includes the belief that "sexual intimacy is designed only to be expressed within the confines of a marriage between one man and one woman" and that they will follow the club’s policy on this issue.

It was Pioneer High teacher Peter Glasser who copied the statement and posted it, complaining that the biblical belief left him "deeply saddened."

One of the outside organizations that filed briefs supporting the FCA was the ADF, and John Bursch released a statement saying, "Public schools should be fostering real diversity of thought, not discriminating against groups based on their religious or political beliefs. The 9th Circuit was right to hold that San José school officials can’t selectively enforce discriminatory policies against Christian groups while exempting secular ones. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, and civic leaders. That’s why it’s so crucial that public high schools and colleges exemplify the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students. We congratulate Becket, Christian Legal Society, and Seto Wood & Schweickert on this important win."

The ADF explained the decision also overrules the court's prior adverse ruling in its own Alpha Delta Chi case.

It was after Glasser complained that the district stripped the FCA of its status on campus.

A lower court judge denied the FCA an injunction in 2022, which prevented the group from operating as an "Associated Student Body" while the lawsuit was heard.

The appeals court faulted the district for that, saying the lower court was "trying to hold the FCA to a higher standard than it had for the past two decades," the report said.

"Here, the district’s new policy of enforcing its nondiscrimination rules likewise alters the status quo of providing FCA clubs ASB recognition. Because it was the district’s action that 'affirmatively changed' that status quo and plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction seeks to restore that status quo … the district court thus erred in applying a heightened standard applicable to mandatory injunctions."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

U.S. senators and parental rights advocates took on the Left's "book banning" narrative head-on at a hearing Tuesday, saying it is simply common sense that parents have the right and duty to keep sexually explicit "children's books" from their kids in taxpayer-funded libraries and schools.

"The 'book ban' narrative is a manufactured crisis to distract from families’ valid concerns about the quality of their children’s education and age-appropriate material in the classroom," testified Nicole Neily, founder and president of Parents Defending Education, at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

One senator at the hearing, John Kennedy, R-La., read graphic portions verbatim from two of the most controversial debated youth books, "All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto" and "Gender Queer." The content was so perverse that Fox News had to bleep out most of Kennedy's words for its daytime show, "Outnumbered."

Kennedy sent out an X post, below, of the Fox-bleeped video, under the words: "You can't play this on national television, but radicals want it in our children's schools."

"If you take away one thing from this hearing, know this: families’ concerns about books in schools is not 'book banning,'" Neily told the committee. Parents Defending Education describes itself as a "membership association that gives parents the knowledge and tools they need to be effective advocates for their children’s education.

"As a society, we don’t put 'Playboy' in kindergartens; this isn’t considered a 'book ban,' but merely common sense," Neily said in her statement. "Yet now when families ask to simply know what their children have access to – or may wish to put guard rails on accessing specific material for children of certain ages – they are pilloried in the public square."

"Such public flagellation is intended ... to send a message to any other parent with similar reservations: speak up, and the mob will come for you, too," she said.

Citing the hyperbole of media and "progressives" pushing the incendiary "book ban" narrative to demonize and belittle parents concerned about graphic and deviance-promoting material (e.g., gender ideology), Neily said that in the eyes of left-leaning critics "merely suggesting that graphic novels which detail sexual poses not be made available to elementary-aged students is tantamount to endorsing a totalitarian regime."

Among the examples of leftist overreaction she cited were:

Neily cited research by Heritage Foundation's Dr. Jay Greene exposing the Left's false use of statistics to advance its "book ban" smear against parents and conservatives.

Greene's paper, co-authored with Madison Marino and titled, "Are School Libraries Banning Thousands of Books? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Trust the Left’s Narrative," states: "Works like 'Gender Queer,' 'Flamer,' 'Lawn Boy,' 'Fun Home,' and 'It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health' either contain images of people engaged in sex acts or graphic descriptions of those acts."

"People who don’t want these books available to children in school libraries aren’t book banners. And people unwilling to defer to the unilateral authority of teachers and librarians to decide what children should have access to without democratic oversight or parental input are not fascists," the authors write.

Lee calls ALA lawyer for deceptive reframe 

At the hearing, U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, played a video clip of Deborah Caldwell-Stone, legal counsel for the American Library Association, advancing a leftist reframe to counter opposition to sexual graphic and deviant books being made available to children.

Caldwell-Stone said in the clip: "But ultimately we found that the thing that needs to happen most, and it needs to happen before these [conservative] bills are introduced, is sustained messaging ... that reframes this issue ... that takes it away from the idea that these [books] are inappropriate for minors or sexually inappropriate from minors, and promotes them as diverse materials and programming that are about inclusion, fairness and protection of everybody's right to see themselves and their families reflected in the books in the public library."

Reacting to her words, Lee said: "I think what we saw here ... is someone saying the quiet part out loud, acknowledging ... the goal is to sexualize children, to provide miners with sexually explicit material and then hide this content from the parents. [They] hide it by changing the messaging, avoiding the heat by saying: ... [Star Wars reference:] 'No, these are not the droids you're looking for' ... This is not about sexually explicit content. This is about equality, this is about justice. This is about what's right and wrong and has nothing to do with sex."

"Well, of course, that's what someone would do if they were grooming your child if someone were trying to sexualize your child," Lee said. "And make no mistake that is what's happening."

Lee sent out a post on X Tuesday with the message: "Shame on those who want to groom children."

Florida's new law turns tables on graphic school books

In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill, HB 1069, into law that turns the sexually graphic nature of books aimed at school-aged children against them – essentially saying that if a book in circulation is too explicit to be quoted at a board meeting, it's too explicit to be available to kids.

Fox News reported on Aug. 31: "A Florida school board voted unanimously to remove several dozen books from school shelves after concerned citizens read graphic excerpts from the hotly debated novels."

It continues: "The board decided to remove the books in question because of a rule signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in May that states parents 'shall have the right to read passages from any material that is subject to an objection.'"

Under the new law, "if a school board denies parents the right to read passages considered 'pornographic' or 'harmful to minors,' the school district must discontinue the use of such materials," Fox reported.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Popular conservative leader and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk said stonewalling by a national Republican women's group of a measure to restrict membership to biological women, as reported exclusively by WND, is "very troubling," on his daily video broadcast Tuesday.

Leaders at the National Federation of Republican Women, or NFRW, face the grassroots rebellion of state women leaders who do not want biological male "trans women" to be leaders and voting members in the organization.

"I would hope that the premier women's organization on the Republican side can define what a woman is," Kirk said on his own "Charlie Kirk Show."

Moreover, the woman running for election to be president on the favored "official slate" of NFRW candidates, Vanessa LaFranco, is among those who cheered the nomination of a biological man, Pam Daniels, for a "Woman of the Year" award by the New Jersey Federation of Republican Women (NJFRW), the NFRW's state chapter in the Garden State. Daniels' LinkedIn page states that he still sits on the NJFRW's board of governance.

Meanwhile, a key state leader in the grassroots campaign to get the NFRW to adopt a pro-real-women membership requirement has been told by her state club to cease speaking out in public, and ostensibly to media, WND has learned.

Kirk said he hopes the story is not true, "and I've done some independent research here, but it's very troubling based on what I'm seeing."

"There's a controversy that's come up here with the NFRW. According to, and I've verified this with a couple of sources, the National Federation of Republican Women refused to pass a resolution that biological men that think they're women are not allowed to come into the NFRW," he said.

(Actually, any vote on the matter would happen at the end of the month: proponents of the proposed bylaws change hope it will be considered at the NFRW's upcoming convention in Oklahoma City beginning Sept. 28. However, the national leadership reportedly is rejecting their efforts to even have it considered and voted on at the convention.)

Kirk covered the comments by current and outgoing NFRW President Eileen Sobjack – in a memo to state leaders that was leaked to WND – expressing her fear of a lawsuit were the organization to deny membership to "trans women."

Sobjack said “Addressing this issue would end us. I will not let this issue be our demise,” in the memo leaked to WND, to which Laura Carlson, the leader of the pro-women campaign, responded that she and allied state group leaders would pay to defend the NFRW against any LGBT-activist legal challenge.

"The national Republican women's organization is afraid of lawsuits," Kirk said. "This is a huge disappointment. I hope that there's more to this story."

He continued with an appeal to his viewers: "If any of you are part of the NFRW, or any of the state chapters, who do ... objectively, a great job, they [the NFRW] have their biennial [convention] in Oklahoma City later this month – they have a bylaws proposal that is being pushed back against."

"They say, no it's too controversial, we don't want the lawsuits," Kirk said. "If the NFRW, the National Federation of Republican Women, can't define what a woman is, we've got serious problems."

He concluded: "I hope you guys act on this if you know anybody in the leadership of the NFRW ... I would hope that the premier women's organization on the Republican side can define what a woman is."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A school district in Colorado Springs where officials had booted a student from class for having a Gadsden flag patch on his backpack has surrendered.

Officials at the Vanguard school there have confirmed they "have informed the student's family that he may attend school with the Gadsden flag patch on his backpack."

WND had reported only a day earlier the school had booted 12-year-old Jaiden Rodriguez from class.

The reason? His backpack had a patch with the image of the Gadsden flag, the famed "Don't Tread on Me" image used against the British during America's war for freedom.

Rodriguez's mother had accused the school of "one-sided" censorship.

The school's statement said, "Upon learning of these events today, The Vanguard School Board of Directors called an emergency meeting. From Vanguard's founding, we have proudly supported our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the ordered liberty that all Americans have enjoyed for almost 250 years. The Vanguard School recognizes the historical significance of the Gadsden flag and its place in history. This incident is an occasion for us to reaffirm our deep commitment to classical education in support of these American principles.

"At this time, the Vanguard School Board and the District have informed the student's family that he may attend school with the Gadsden flag patch visible on his backpack."

Sen. Mike Lee, from neighboring Utah, explained, "This was never going to end well for The Vanguard School. The First Amendment is a thing. Libs lament that it applies even to (gasp) conservatives."

WND had reported a staff member at the school claimed the flag is "disruptive to the classroom environment," because, she claimed inaccurately, it has "origins with slavery."

Jaiden's mother then corrected her, pointing out that it originated during the American Revolution as a symbol of the 13 colonies' fight against Britain, and had nothing to do with slavery.

A video showed the school staffer stating, "So the reason that they do not want the flag – the reason we do not want the flag displayed – is due to its origins with slavery, and slave trade."

The mother, surprised, said, "The Gadsden Flag?"

Yes, the school official indicated: "The ‘Don’t Tread on Me.’"

The school official was demanding that "The bag can’t go back [to class] if it’s got the patch on it, cause we can’t have that in and around other kids."

When Jaiden's mother pointed out the actual history of the flag and suggested the school official was making a mistake, referencing the Confederate flag, the school official backtracked and then claimed it was a district policy.

"I am here to enforce the policy that was provided by the district and definitely, you have every right not to agree with it."

The mother and her son then challenged the school over the fact other patches, with other political viewpoints, were not being censored.

After the confrontation, Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack obtained images of the email correspondence between school director Jeff Yocum and Jaiden’s mother.

Yocum also claimed the flag's connection to slavery, citing "reports from mainstream news outlets which linked the Gadsden Flag to racism because it was created by a slaveowner and associated with other displays of intolerance."

His evidence was that the claim was made by a graphic designer in Iowa, and in a Washington Post article that documented a Postal Service employee's allegation a coworker with a Gadsden Flag hat was racial discrimination.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a far-left activist for LGBTQ ideology and abortion, joined the conversation to defend the student, admitting the flag "is a proud symbol of the American Revolution."

"The Gadsden flag is a proud symbol of the American Revolution and an iconic warning to Britain or any government not to violate the liberties of Americans," Polis wrote Tuesday. "It appears on popular American medallions and challenge coins through today and Ben Franklin also adopted it to symbolize the union of the 13 colonies."

A commentary on Twitchy cited the school's action and said, "No, we're not making that up, and yes, this school is really really really stupid."

But it pointed out that Polis didn't actually do anything to resolve the issue.

"God forbid he actually DO something," the commentary said. "We all know he doesn't want to tick off the teacher's union/association."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A new report from the Washington Free Beacon is warning the reading public that Associated Press news stories on courts, global warming, and other issues are being funded by left-wingers.

Company spokeswoman Nicole Mier told the publication that "no funder has any influence over AP journalism," but the report confirmed multiple huge special interest group payments to the legacy wire service that got its start in the mid-1800s using telegraph wires to send stories from one city to another.

Among the funders of the reporting from AP is a foundation that was launched by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the accuracy-challenged creator of the "1619 Project" that contends all of America is racist and has been criticized by historians as being wildly inaccurate.

The report explained AP last year announced "partnerships" in which private organizations subsidize reporters writing about global warming, race, and democracy.

"A review of the donor roster shows that the vast majority fund left-wing political causes, while none are supporters of conservative initiatives," the Free Beacon reported.

Among those paying for stories is the Ida B. Wells Society, started by Hannah-Jones, which worked with filmmaker Steven Spielberg's Heartland Foundation, for example, to make AP stories "more inclusive."

The Free Beacon explained, "In some ways, it was a natural partnership: The AP's global investigations editor, Ron Nixon, serves on the Ida B. Wells Society's board of directors. In others, it may prove more problematic, given that Hannah-Jones's own reporting has been disputed by historians, who have argued—among other things—that her account of the motivations of the American revolutionaries is factually inaccurate."

The AP repeatedly has made changes to its writing style guide, on which many publications rely, to insert what now has been determined by AllSides, a group that tracks media bias, to make AP "lean left."

That evaluation said the organization's "word choice bias" and "bias by omission of views" in its coverage triggered the change.

The report noted the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, which also funds leftist and election-denier Stacey Abrams's New Georgia Project and the "Take Back the Court" group which advocates inserting politics into the Supreme Court, has given money to AP to write about race and climate.

The report charged, "A recent AP article on the topic asserts that the Supreme Court in a 2013 landmark decision 'tossed out the heart' of the Voting Rights Act when in reality the court ruled that nine southern states would no longer have to 'pre-clear' election law changes with the federal government. … A February news report said that 'GOP election tactics' intentionally disenfranchised black voters in Wisconsin."

Also, the report said, "The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, for example, provided $500,000 in 2022 to the Associated Press's 'democracy journalism initiative.' The foundation recently blasted the Supreme Court decision to overturn affirmative action, saying the decision 'impedes colleges and universities from selecting their own student bodies and fully addressing systemic racial inequalities that persist.'"

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which also funds Planned Parenthood's abortion industry, turned over $2.5 million for the AP to write stories about climate and education.

The report said AP gets millions from a long list of foundations, including the Walton Family Foundation.

The Free Beacon also noted: "The Outrider Foundation has donated in a bid to help the AP beef up its coverage of climate change and nuclear weapons. Outrider has embraced an apocalyptic view of both issues. In recent years, the foundation launched an app that simulates the effects of a nuclear detonation. One of its advisers is Michael Mann, the climate researcher behind the controversial 'hockey stick' graph…"

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The Biden administration policy of intentionally engineering a full-scale foreign invasion of America across her southern border – which in turn has facilitated what a key federal whistleblower calls a “large-scale, multi-billion-dollar child trafficking operation” with “the U.S. government" as "the middleman” – is evil, most normal people would agree.

This mega-crisis resulted in the passage of Republican-led legislation last month to slow down the endless waves of exploited humans illegally entering the U.S. by extending Donald Trump's border wall. But as everyone now knows, to sabotage the legislation Biden has been essentially throwing away $300 million worth of taxpayer-funded border-wall components by auctioning them off for next to nothing, just to make sure the wall is never built, and that the alien invasion – including the cartel-financed sex trafficking of countless young children – continues.

Again, all this is evil. There's really no other way to describe it.

But it’s much the same with every other issue today: Americans are living through a time of total spiritual warfare, wherein virtually all of the most contentious, consequential issues facing them are neither political, ideological nor psychological at core. They're spiritual – good versus evil, truth versus deception, freedom versus slavery, life versus death.

Think about it: There’s the early sexualization of innocent children in the nation’s public schools. That's just evil. Same with the mass-hysteria transgender craze that seduces mentally fragile teenagers into undergoing mutilating and irreversible surgeries. And the ongoing love affair with killing human babies in their mother’s womb. And the ever-growing persecution of law-abiding, God-fearing Americans branded as “violent extremists” and “domestic terrorists” for daring to stand up at school board meetings to protest their kids’ brainwashing, or for standing peacefully outside an abortion clinic. Everywhere you look, good is portrayed as evil and evil as good.

Today’s ruling elites champion policies that all previous generations of Americans, going back to the nation’s founding, would have regarded as immoral, destructive, insane ... and yes, evil. And of course, these same sociopathic “leaders” are in turn – knowingly or unknowingly – laboring in the service of exceedingly dark spiritual “powers and principalities in high places,” as the Bible puts it.

Honest, insightful journalist-pundits from Tucker Carlson to Jason Whitlock to James O’Keefe are all openly affirming this reality: In today’s excruciatingly conflicted America, virtually everything is spiritual. In fact, as Tucker Carlson recently put it: “It's clearly a pivot point in history. There are unseen forces acting on people. People, while they have freewill, are not really in charge of the arc of history at all. A lot of these issues are symbols of a larger battle.”

And that brings back to center stage the supremely radioactive issue – illuminated by the hit summer film “Sound of Freedom” – of the widespread trafficking and sexual slavery of children, as well as the shocking prevalence of pedophiles in the United States of America. Indeed, the U.S. is the largest market for child sexual abuse in the world.

Although much can and should be said about the who, what, when, where and how of such a loathsome, unspeakable criminal enterprise, the first and most important question is why? Obviously, there’s big money in the sexual trafficking of children, just as there is in the trafficking of illicit drugs, but what explains the huge market for child sex in the first place? To put a fine point on the question: What is it about little children that is in any way sexually attractive to some people? Innocent prepubescent children are the opposite of sexually appealing, as they represent pure, unspoiled, uncorrupted spiritual sweetness and innocence.

And that’s exactly the point. Actor Jim Caviezel, who portrays child-rescuer Tim Ballard in “Sound of Freedom,” zoomed in on the answer in a recent interview.

Question: “When you talk about the evil in the human trafficking, the slavery of children, it’s the kind of thing that beggars the imagination – you know, you can barely understand how people could do something like that …”

Caviezel: “No, I understand it. … I had guys who helped me to understand the psychology: [The perpetrators are] starting older, with pornography, and you just keep going younger and younger and younger. And I said, ‘Well, why would a man be interested in an unformed woman?’ And he said, ‘The innocence, [it’s] the demonic thing that [wants] this innocent child,’ and it becomes more attractive to them.”

In other words, to an extremely corrupt person at war with God, a child’s innocence and purity causes great discomfort – agony, in fact – just as sunlight does to the proverbial vampire. It burns. The child’s innocence constitutes a deep and unwelcome reminder of everything the perpetrator has lost, and some incorrigibly corrupt souls simply cannot stand it – and thus feel compelled to put out the light. That is why they experience a perverse, demonic pleasure, far beyond the sexual release, when they invade that child’s unspoiled, precious innocence by sexually violating and “initiating” him or her into their dark realm.

In light of this, it’s doubly shocking to realize – as Tim Ballard, who has led many missions rescuing sex-trafficked children around the world, points out – that the Biden administration is actually enabling and promoting the trafficking and sexual slavery of children.

To illustrate his point, Ballard describes what he found during a recent rescue mission in Ukraine, in which his team saved many sex-trafficked children in that war-torn nation.

“We locked into this pedophile ring,” he told one interviewer. “Now, it’s a frightening ring, because it’s a political party that was out of Holland, called the PNVD … They’re trying to legalize sex with children – they thought a 3-year-old could consent to sex. … I had to study their literature, this was a political platform …

“I called [their agenda] the ‘Pedophile Network Doctrines,’ and they include things like: Separate children from parents because parents are a bad influence – the state knows best; two, sexualize kids, let them see pornography; three, take God out of education, because that just gets in their way; and kids – consent, consent, consent – children can consent to anything. At 12 years old they should be able to vote, they should be able to do anything.”

Ballard continues, incredulously: “Now, what am I seeing here? My stomach is getting sick as I’m reading this. I read this every day – it’s the woke left’s agenda! I’m not saying they’re colluding or talking; it doesn’t matter. It’s the same dark source. Pedophiles are sitting back right now and going, ‘We’ve been pushing this agenda for decades, and now we don’t have to push any more, because the left is taking care of it for us’ – in America. In America!”

One unmistakable clue that sympathy for pedophilia is more prevalent in the U.S. than one might have thought possible is the tremendous campaign against “Sound of Freedom” by Hollywood, many media organizations and other parts of the “elite class.”

Indeed, as Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the respected founder of the Ruth Institute, an interfaith international coalition to defend the family, has said: “There's no other way to describe it: The global elite likes pedophilia.”

The most familiar albeit infamous elite example, of course, would be Jeffrey Epstein and his so-called “Pedophile Island” in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which served as the hub of an international sex trafficking ring exploiting girls as young as 11. It was frequently visited by world celebrities, from Prince Andrew to – according to multiple sources – Bill Clinton. In 2019, Epstein died suspiciously in a New York detention center while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. Officials insisted he had committed suicide, although numerous forensic experts claimed suicide was virtually impossible based on Epstein’s injuries, and there was enormous motivation for famous participants to want him silenced. After all, Epstein’s private Boeing 727, the “Lolita Express,” often took famous guests to his private island. And according to flight logs, Bill Clinton traveled to various locations on Epstein’s plane a total of 26 times, at least five times without his Secret Service detail.

‘Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms’

Then there’s Hollywood, long known for its outsized share of wild sexual immorality, including the abuse, sexual and otherwise, of children. But perhaps the best evidence of Hollywood’s sympathy for underage sex and, therefore, its aversion to “Sound of Freedom” is that, although the filming was completed in 2018 and the filmmakers had a distribution contract with 20th Century Fox, the movie was mysteriously put on ice after the Walt Disney Company acquired 20th Century Fox in early 2019. Eventually, Angel Studios, the small media company that also produces “The Chosen” TV series about the life of Christ, acquired the rights and “Sound of Freedom” was finally released on July 4 of this year.

Likewise, many left-leaning media outlets have taken to attacking “Sound of Freedom,” some claiming the anti-child trafficking blockbuster is a "QAnon fantasy." For example, Rolling Stone’s review – headlined ''Sound Of Freedom' Is a Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms' – claims “The QAnon-tinged thriller about child-trafficking is designed to appeal to the conscience of a conspiracy-addled boomer." The Guardian newspaper similarly describes “Sound of Freedom” as “the QAnon-adjacent thriller seducing America.”

What’s going on? What is so threatening about a film forthrightly documenting the horrors of child sex slavery – and showing a genuine way out?

Caviezel offered as good an analysis of this strange phenomenon as anyone.

“At one point,” he said, recalling a conversation shortly before “Sound of Freedom’s” public release, “I remember telling Tim [Ballard], ‘I think we’ve got lightning in a bottle.’ And he said, ‘That’s good, right?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but it’s gonna be hard.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because when it’s this good, darkness gets very, very upset – because it’s not a little light, it’s a mega-light, and it’s gonna draw a lot of attention.”

The bizarre, almost surreal defensiveness of America’s elite institutions in response to the film becomes somewhat more understandable when Ballard focuses his attention on the Biden administration – particularly its border policy. Before breaking away from the federal government to pursue rescuing children privately, Ballard spent over a decade as an undercover special agent for the Department of Homeland Security, spending much time at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a 2019 op-ed titled “I’ve fought sex trafficking at the border. This is why we need a wall,” Ballard explained the importance of Donald Trump’s intended wall along America’s southern border, citing several real-life illustrations, including one about a trafficking victim named Liliana:

Liliana was kidnapped at age 11 from her village in Central America. After two years of grooming her for commercial sex, she was taken by her captors across the southern border at a location where no wall existed (approximately 70 percent of the border is wall-less). Her traffickers easily transported her to New York City, where she was raped for money up to 30-40 times a day for five years. She eventually escaped and my foundation is now caring for her as she prepares to testify in federal court against her captors. In accordance with U.S. laws, as a survivor of sex trafficking in America, Liliana has been granted legal status and will soon be a U.S. citizen. …

Having reflected on her tragic plight, Liliana has recently weighed in on the current national debate. “Had there been a wall for me,” she declared, “my captors would have been forced to take me to a port of entry. A U.S. officer might have seen my distress. I might have yelled out to them. I am currently working with Homeland Security agents on my case. I love them. I think they would have rescued me at the port of entry.”

Ballard’s concerns were confirmed by Tara Lee Rodas, a Health and Human Services whistleblower, who testified in April before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement. Because of the Biden administration's border policies, she said, a “staggering 85,000” migrant children “are missing” in America.

“Today,” the whistleblower testified, “children will work overnight shifts at slaughterhouses, factories, restaurants to pay their debts to smugglers and traffickers. Today, children will be sold for sex. Today, children will call a hotline to report they are being abused, neglected, and trafficked. For nearly a decade, unaccompanied children have been suffering in the shadows.”

Under Biden, she pleaded, “the U.S. government has become the middleman in a large-scale, multi-billion-dollar child trafficking operation.”

And as Ballard told a Daily Signal interviewer just last month, “The bottom line is this, guys: Children are being trafficked into the United States. And when they get into the United States, it's very scary because we're the No. 1 country for consuming child exploitation material. So, you don't want to be a lost child in this country. And the last hope they have if they're being smuggled or trafficked through the southern border is at that port of entry – the walls FORCE the traffickers to take the kids there, where trained women and men in uniform can identify and rescue them. I've seen it, I've been part of that. And that's basically what I said to [President Trump] when he asked about human trafficking on the southern border.”

The preceding is the introductory article to the groundbreaking August issue of WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE NEW AMERICAN SLAVE TRADE: How the Biden regime enables and promotes child sex trafficking in the U.S.A.”

The entire issue focuses a bright journalistic light on the secret criminal mega-enterprise of child sex trafficking and the global elites’ affinity for pedophilia. Whistleblower is available both in the popular print edition and a state-of-the-art digital version, either single issues or discounted annual subscriptions.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Christian evangelist and author Charl Van Wyk is recalling the night, exactly 30 years ago, when terrorists attacked his church in South Africa, and he shot back.

His response, which left the terrorists stunned, drove them off.

And his actions prevented the possibility that dozens or hundreds more could have been killed, following the terrorists' initial attack that killed 11 and wounded 58.

He subsequently wrote "Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defense" about his experience, making the Christian case for individuals arming themselves. The e-book and DVD documentary are both available at the WND Superstore.

He recalled that night, July 25, 1993:

"Grenades were exploding in flashes of light. Pews shattered under the blasts, sending splinters flying through the air. An automatic assault rifle was being fired and was fast ripping the pews – and whoever, whatever was in its trajectory – to pieces. We were being attacked!"

He explained, "Instinctively, I knelt down behind the bench in front of me and pulled out my .38 special snub-nosed revolver, which I always carried with me."

That Sunday event, terrorists from the Azanian People's Liberation Army fired AK-47s and lobbed grenades, killing 11 and wounding 58 immediately.

They fled when Van Wyk fired back.

He's now released a statement, and a video testimony, about that night, and what he learned.

"Having struggled with hatred and unforgiveness after the attack, an idea struck home: the Biblical idea of reconciliation," he said. "Reconciliation is the restoration of cordial relations. It involves a change in the relationship between God and man and between man and man. It assumes there has been a breakdown in a relationship, yet also that a change from a state of conflict to one of fellowship can take place."

He explained, "God has provided reconciliation for us with Him through Jesus Christ's death. It involves repentance, turning to God, so that our sins may be wiped out, and times of refreshing that come from the Lord. (Acts 3:19-20) The Bible contains many examples of people reconciling with one another after having experienced hurt, conflict due to sin, or misunderstanding.

"I’ve been blown away at the friendships that have been forged after the massacre. I was invited to speak at the homecoming celebrations of former APLA Commander Letlapa Mphahlele, where I met his family and party officials. Another meeting in Khayelitsha testified to the cordial relations we can have with one another despite our many differences."

He said, "Letlapa introduced me to Gcinikhaya Makoma—one of the attackers who had been injured during the exchange of fire. Incarcerated at the time, Makoma and I met before the TRC hearings. I visited him in prison many a time thereafter. Lindelekile Ngqisha, former APLA unit commander, invited me to engage with members of the APLA Military Veterans Association (APLAMVA). An introduction to his pastor brother led to a joint feeding ministry for children during Covid."

He said, "The past 30 years have been ones of discovery in our many meetings over coffee and meals. We’ve spent time getting to know each other, discussing the Gospel, religion, politics, worldviews, and many other topics not usually discussed in polite company. We didn’t come to blows. We didn’t reengage violently. We didn’t even try to cancel each other. Despite our differences, we communicated with each other respectfully."

The attack has since become known as the St. James Church massacre.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

WARNING: Highly sensitive subject matter

Among the left-leaning critics attacking the surprise hit film "Sound of Freedom," about a man who quits his Department of Homeland Security job hunting pedophiles to rescue sex-trafficked children in Colombia, is a man who worked for a group that is leading efforts to recast pedophiles as "Minor Attracted Persons," or MAPs.

"Sound of Freedom," starring "Passion of the Christ" star Jim Caviezel playing child-rescuer Tim Ballard, is the surprise Hollywood smash of the summer, grossing $85 million since its July 4 release, Forbes reported Sunday. The film has been pilloried and ridiculed by various leftist publications – ranging from Rolling Stone ("‘Sound Of Freedom’ Is a Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms") to Jezebel ("‘Sound of Freedom’ Is an Anti-Child Trafficking Fantasy Fit for QAnon").

Despite hopes that efforts to save innocent children from sex traffickers might unite a bitterly divided nation, left-wing activists are dwelling on its alleged links to extreme-right "Q-anon" conspiracies rather than joining conservatives and people of faith in celebrating its focus on solving the crisis of the horrific exploitation of children.

Now Twitchy and leftism expert Andy Ngo reveal the latest man of the left to smear "Sound of Freedom," Noah Berlatsky, is the former spokesman for the foundation Prostasia, a leading group driving the left's escalating campaign to recast pedophiles as victims of "stigma" and "Minor Attracted Persons," or "MAPs."

Berlasky, author of "Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948," wrote an opinion piece Saturday for Bloomberg headlined, "QAnon and ‘Sound of Freedom’ Both Rely on Tired Hollywood Tropes." And as Ngo tweeted Sunday, "leftist activist Noah Berlatsky [was] the spokesperson for M.A.P. (minor-attracted person) advocacy group, Prostasia. In 2017, he tweeted that pedophiles are a stigmatized group who get designated as deviants for hateful purposes."

Berlasky's review of "Sound of Freedom" focuses heavily on QAnon, and even makes a connection to fascism. It concludes with these two loaded paragraphs (the link is the author's):

"Scholar Robert Paxton argues that fascism is marked, among other things, by "cults of unity, energy, and purity" and that it pursues goals of "internal cleansing." The far right is motivated by myths of corrupted innocence and corruption avenged. You can see that in QAnon. But you can also see it in Hollywood's own trafficking narratives.

So, is Sound of Freedom a QAnon dog whistle, or is it just another thriller? The answer is that – whatever the filmmaker's intentions – it functions as both. These narratives do little to help victims. But they can create coalitions of feeling, disgust and righteous rage that connect conservative conspiracy theorists with the mainstream. That's why Trump's screening it. And that's why its popularity is ominous.

Sympathy for pedophiles?

Ngo's tweet is linked to an actual 2017 tweet by Berlatsky that reads: "Pedophiles are essentially a stigmatized group. Certain people get designated as deviants, people hate them."

The unearthed tweet aptly summarizes the approach of "MAP" defenders who stress that the softer term de-stigmatizes people who acknowledge they are sexually attracted to children but have not acted out on their paraphilic desires (yet). But critics charge that watering down terms applied to adults who are prone to the sickening desire to have sexual contact with children – and portraying these adults as victims of discrimination and societal "hate" – is a dangerous first step toward normalizing pedophilia by creating sympathy for them.

In a piece titled, "BUSTED! Bloomberg writer TRASHING 'Sound of Freedom' as a QAnon film connected to pedo group," Twitchy writer Sam P. writes: "What IS IT with these Leftist rags trying to tie 'Sound of Freedom' to Q? Guys, gals, whatever you call yourselves, CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING is sadly very real and an issue that should never be partisan. If you find yourself defending child sex trafficking to own the cons [conservatives], you're a horrible person."

Then, she writes, after showing Ngo's tweet about Berlatsky, "And quite possibly connected to pedophilia ... like the writer of that piece up there. Noah Berlatsky."

The Twitchy writer states, "It is really strange that anyone would object to a film like 'Sound of Freedom'....Unless of course, those who object have ... well ... creepy connections to pedophile groups and have attempted to make pedophiles sound like the real victims here."

She also reports Berlatsky made his Twitter account private after his associations were made known: "Note, Berlatsky is also locked down so even if you're not blocked [on Twitter], unless you were already following him, you can't see his tweets. Wonder if he's trying to clean house."

Pedophilia: A 'sexual preference'?

With the explosion of pro-transgender youth programs, including more than a thousand schools nationwide that maintain an official policy of not informing parents that their student-child is "gender transitioning," critics of LGBT extremism are warning about the erosion of parental rights as a threat to children's innocence, health and safety.

Now comes along what many regard as the "final frontier" of left-driven sexual exploration and "tolerance": the potential mainstreaming of pedophilia. After all, say critics, if a child can choose an opposite-sex "gender" as an identity and begin the process of making physical and hormone-induced changes toward that goal – without his or her parents' knowledge and input – how long will it be before "progressives" assert that a child has the "right" to pursue sexual relationships with whomever he or she chooses, including adults?

The notorious "Man-Boy Love" pro-pederasty group, NAMBLA, has already made that assertion.

The first group in recent years to advocate for "MAPs," as opposed to pedophiles, is called "B4U-ACT." Included in its stated mission is "to educate the public regarding issues faced by individuals (adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children."

Prostasia Foundation, the group for which Berlasky was spokesman, is allied with B4U-ACT's approach: both groups claim to have the purpose of curtailing actual child sexual abuse while separating out the sexual "attraction" of adults toward children as a mere "sexual preference," seemingly inborn and unchangeable. (An academic paper linked to the Prostasia site states: "There is no evidence that pedophilia can be changed; interventions are intended to reduce sexual response to children or to increase self-management skills.")

A Jan. 9 article on Prostasia's blog, "Taboo Fantasies; Real Harm Reduction," encourages people with taboo sexual desires to fantasize about "even our most stigmatized feelings of attraction," which, in the case of "MAPs" (pedophiles), would be adults having sexual fantasies involving children. The writer, Eira Duval, states: "In a fictional space we are free to explore and express even our most stigmatized feelings of attraction, romance, and arousal. All without the anxiety that we might be putting ourselves or anyone else in harm’s way. Like a rollercoaster, it provides all the thrill associated with danger, knowing all the while there’s no real risk."

But creating sympathy for "MAPs" and approving of pedophiles to fantasize about their perverse desires surely is far from the minds of everyday Americans, who, based on the popularity of "Sound of Freedom," are more concerned with the practical need to protect children from sex predators:  Writes "Dave the Wes" in commenting on the Twitchy article exposing Berlatsky's affiliations: "Anyone, especially journalists, who slander this movie should have a search warrant issued for computer files and home because they are definitely pedos themselves."

Saving children motivates Caviezel

Though cynical leftist ideologues like Berlastky claim "Sound of Freedom"-type "narratives do little to help victims," that is precisely what SOF star Caviezel is hoping to do with the movie. In a special message to theater-goers shown after the film's ending, he states: "'Sound of Freedom' is one of those films that can legitimately change this world, so we want to ignite a fire in audiences and open their eyes to the dark reality of millions of children that need our help. Let's make this film a historic event and the start of the end of child trafficking... ."

"Pre-order your tickets today and you can send the message that 'God's children are no longer for sale,'" he says, echoing the main theme of the Angel Studios production.

Below is the July 13 interview by Joy Thayer of Spero Pictures with Caviezel and former Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Trump's national security adviser who was reportedly railroaded out of his position by then-FBI Director James Comey and FBI agents:

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by the Satanic Temple demanding the "right" to abortion as a religious rite.

A report from CBN said an analysis by the court revealed the group's complaint was found to be "too spare and cryptic to support its standing to sue Texas Health and Human Services" chief Cecile Young.

The legal challenge had claimed virtually unlimited abortion rights under the free speech, free exercise, and establishment clauses by claiming abortion is a "religious rite."

The report said Satanic Temple "has been challenging pro-life laws in various states over the years," a number of which have failed.

Arielle Del Turco, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Religious Liberty, believes the group is not out to change abortion legislation, but to make headlines, according to the report.

The claim was that Texas was violating members' First Amendment rights by limiting abortion.

The case dates to 2021 when the organization objected to waiting and informed consent requirements. It was expanded when the Dobbs decision overruled the flawed Roe precedent.

The complaint originally said, "The Satanic Abortion Ritual is a sacrament which surrounds and includes the abortive act. It is designed to combat feelings of guilt, doubt, and shame and to empower the member to assert or reassert power and control over their own mind and body."

It was the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas that rejected the agenda, for lacking standing.

The Washington Stand reported the organization also has sued over pro-life laws in Missouri, Idaho, and Indiana and has mocked the deaths of the unborn, claiming plans to "open an abortion facility selling abortifacient drugs and named 'Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic.'"

It has been speculated there should be waiting periods "before receiving Holy Communion."

The Stand pointed out that that's already required by the Catholic Church, in its process that includes confession of sins first.

Del Turco said calling it a religious "ritual" is bad enough.

"And while this is gross and shocking enough to make headlines, it just confirms what Christians have always known — that the religious fervor demonstrated by pro-abortion activists is not just political, it’s spiritual."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A report reveals that Promise Keepers, the organization that calls on men to live biblical lives, has been rejected by a Christian college because of its position on marriage.

A statement from a conference booking organization, Jones Literary, reveals the men's group is holding a series of events this year across America, and one was to be at Belmont University in Nashville.

But the school, which claims to be "Christian," abruptly canceled the event citing a "conflict in values."

The Promise Keepers events are called "Daring Faith" and are to be held in Houston, Memphis, New York, and other cities.

The problem apparently erupted when the organization offered guidance to men on how to respond to the current gender ideology being pushed by the Joe Biden administration, schools, unions, and other extreme leftists.

It bluntly said, "We will not stand on the sidelines and remain quiet. As fathers, husbands, grandfathers, and young men—we see the dangers of gender ideology and the harm it causes. At Promise Keepers, we affirm that God made human beings in His image to reflect Him. He created males and females with equal worth and dignity—and there was no mistake in that design. (Genesis 1:27; Mark 10:6)."

The statement continued, "In our present day, men and women are increasingly confused about their identities. Biological identity has been severed as separate from 'gender identity,' while children across the United States are actively indoctrinated into intense inner turmoil about who they 'really are.' What’s behind this change? Throughout history, humans have traditionally looked to God, the church, and their families as the starting points for identity. Now, our culture has decided each person must decide his or her own identity by looking inward—which leads to isolation, loneliness, and confusion."

The group said "We believe it is more important than ever to stand up boldly for what we believe as Christians. God’s Word is very clear on this topic—and we also see the way gender ideology has damaged lives, mutilated bodies, and torn apart families in our own communities."

Providing supporting statements directly from the Bible, the group affirmed:

The report said Promise Keepers chairman Ken Harrison reached out the Belmont for a "conversation" and still was "waiting for a response."

The men's organization, founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney, is one of the larger movements of God in the history of the church. It held stadium-stuffing conferences across the nation over the years, with 1997 Stand in the Gap event in Washington attracting one of the largest crowds ever to assemble in Washington.

The college describes itself as a "Christian community of learning and service."

It also promotes its goal of "developing diverse leaders…"

Promise Keepers explains it is focused on helping men live with integrity.

It teaches its "7 Promises," a foundational set of principles for how men of God can apply Scripture to their daily lives.

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