This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A federal appeals court has affirmed the right of religious schools to hire teachers who abide by their faith doctrines. And not use those who don't.

It is Becket that announced a decision from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allows the Diocese of Charlotte to not use a former substitute teacher who sued.

That teacher had entered a same-sex union and promoted his status on social media, flaunting his disagreement with the Catholic school's standards.

The school decided then not to use his services as a substitute in the future.

Becket explained the court ruling "reaffirmed the diocese’s freedom to choose teachers who will uphold and help pass on the faith to the next generation."

The Catholic school system has operated in the region for more than 50 years, and it includes 20 schools providing "a top-notch education that also helps students grow in the Catholic faith, making the opportunity widely available to students of all backgrounds in part through generous financial aid," Becket noted.

"To ensure teachers are helping the diocese fulfill its mission, the diocese asks all of its teachers – Catholic and non-Catholic – to uphold the Catholic faith in word and deed."

The case was brought by Lonnie Billard, who previously taught English and drama at Charlotte Catholic High before retiring and offering his services as to substitute.

He had signed a contract agreeing to uphold church teachings.

But, "in knowing violation" he entered a same-sex union and wrote about it on social media.

The school stopped calling him, and he sued.

The court explained the First Amendment requires civil courts to '"stay out' of employment disputes involving ministers," and in this situation, Billard "was a minister because Charlotte Catholic required all its teachers to 'model and promote Catholic faith and morals.'"

That meant Billard's lawsuit was at an end.

"The Supreme Court has been crystal clear on this issue: Catholic schools have the freedom to choose teachers who fully support Catholic teaching," said Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, which represents the diocese in the case. "This is a victory for people of all faiths who cherish the freedom to pass on their faith to the next generation."

ADF lawyer John Bursch said, "Religious schools should be allowed to employ teachers and administrators who share the same goals, views, and values that adhere to their religion, and the 4th Circuit’s decision upholds that fundamental freedom. The court rightly recognized that the ability of religious schools to make employment decisions based on their beliefs is ‘grounded…in constitutional structure’ and that religious employers should be free to operate without fear of punishment by government officials or courts."

The ruling said, "Our court has recognized before that seemingly secular tasks like the teaching of English and drama may be so imbued with religious significance that they implicate the ministerial exception…we think the principle carries through The ministerial exception protects religious institutions in their dealings with individuals who perform tasks so central to their religious missions – even if the tasks themselves do not advertise their religious nature."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Creating the blunt campaign reminder, "It's the economy, stupid," is credited to James Carville, at the time advising Bill Clinton in his 1992 presidential bid.

He reportedly wanted to remind campaign workers, and the candidate, to focus on the nation's financial health, which he thought was a winning topic.

That same reminder might have been good for the campaign this year for Joe Biden's bid.

Except that it might already be too late.

Gallup, the pollster, explained on Monday that American consumer confidence in Biden's work on the nation's economy is "historically low."

Of course, those consumers have seen inflation explode the costs of living by some 19% since Biden took office. Mortgage rates are double what they were under President Donald Trump. Fuel prices have skyrocketed. Biden is spending trillions of tax dollars on his odd climate, abortion, and transgender campaigns. And much more.

A Washington Examiner report on the circumstances noted that confidence in a president running for reelection to "fix the economy" is lower now, under Biden, than it ever has been before.

"With Americans less optimistic about the state of the U.S. economy than they have been in recent months and concern about inflation persisting, their confidence in President Joe Biden to recommend or do the right thing for the economy is among the lowest Gallup has measured for any president since 2001," Gallup reported.

The report charged, "People feeling the pain of 'Bidenomics' are now putting the hurt on President Joe Biden and his economic team. And it’s not just Biden. Confidence in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is also the worst recorded, and it’s no better for congressional leaders."

The report noted people have more confidence that Trump would help the economy, but even those figures were not great, with the economic structure Biden has created in three years in office.

"Forty-six percent of U.S. adults say they have ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’ of confidence in Trump to do or recommend the right thing for the economy," Gallup said. For Biden that was only 38%, while Congress was in about that same range.

People for months have been telling poll takers that they believe "Bidenomics" means higher prices, lower wages, and fallen a standard of living.

It's gotten so bad Biden has stopped promoting the word he initially liked.

Gallup said the economic situation is a threat to Biden, as "not only does he have the lowest economic rating of any president seeking reelection since Gallup began tracking this in 2001, but independents trust his opponent more than him."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

In what was described by a Times of Israel reporter as "deplorable psychological warfare," the terrorists of Hamas have released a video of one of the hostages taken from Israel during their atrocity-filled attack last Oct. 7 that left about 1,200 civilians dead.

Reporter Manuel Fabian explained, "The Hamas terror group has published a new propaganda video showing signs of life from Israeli-American hostage 23-year-old Hersh Goldberg-Polin. In the nearly three-minute-long video, Goldberg-Polin, who is seen missing one of his hands, identifies himself and asks the Israeli government to return him home."

"The video is not dated, but Goldberg-Polin says he has been held captive for 'nearly 200 days,' indicating it was filmed recently. Goldberg-Polin was abducted from the Supernova rave near Re'im on the morning of October 7," the reporter continued.

The Times explained videos of Hamas' terrorism revealed that Goldberg-Polin's arm was blown off "as Hamas terrorists lobbed grenades into a shelter where he and others who tried to escape the party hid."

Other videos, described as "deplorable psychological warfare" have been released before.

The Times pointed out, "Most Israeli media do not carry the video clips themselves."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A common-sense parental rights protection that is being adopted by states in the wake of the fall of the unconstitutional Roe abortion "rights" precedent now is under attack by the leftist ideology of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

He's released an ad portraying two girls being stopped by a police officer and ordered to take a pregnancy test.

The concept in the laws, already in place in Idaho and being considered in others, is that it should be criminal to take someone else's child out of state for an abortion. Such bans target directly situations where abusers attack and rape young girls, then force them into abortions to continue abusing and raping.

Leftist legacy media outlets have portrayed opposing that as a bad thing.

One report noted, "Newsom's Campaign for Democracy ad is set to air in Alabama starting Monday."

The ad claims "Republicans are trying to criminalize young women's travel to receive abortion care. We cannot let them get away with this."

It shows two "young women" heading for a state line until they hear a siren.

"Trump Republicans want to criminalize young Alabama women who travel for reproductive care," a voice on the ad states. A trooper then walks up to the car and demands, "Miss, I'm going to need you to step out of the vehicle and take a pregnancy test."

That report claims such travel restrictions for minors are part of an effort to criminalize travel by "women" to another state for abortions.

Newsom previously has participated in other pro-abortion campaigns, using ads and billboards.

Jack Posobioec a commentator, activist, and senior editor at Human Events, caught the new ad, and noted, "Newsom just released a new ad saying Trump is going to order police to stop women crossing state lines and force them to take pregnancy tests."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The legal team at Liberty Counsel, an organization that long has fought against the rising tide of LGBT indoctrination demands, says it obtained confirmation that teachers and students at a Minnesota district are not required to attend lessons in that ideology.

Teachers and students in the Osseo Area School District 279, in fact, now are "free to exercise their legal rights to opt out of participating in the 'LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Lesson" imposed by the school.

"Teachers and students cannot be forced to participate in speech that conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs," explained Liberty Counsel chief Mat Staver. "Parents must also be given adequate opportunity to review any instructional material to excuse their children."

Liberty Counsel had sent a demand letter to the district after the district announced, "High schoolers will hear a 40-minute lesson in one of their 'advisory/foundation times' the first week of April. The skills, abilities, and knowledge that scholars will attain include: Students will gain a deeper understanding of LGBTQIA+ histories and identities; students will gain an understanding of the importance of using correct pronouns and respecting diverse identities; students will help create a brave space that is respectful of all members of our community."

After the intervention by Liberty Counsel, the school confirmed that "teacher opt-out religious accommodations will be approved" and "students may choose to leave before or during the lesson."

The report noted the planned indoctrination includes profiles of pop culture figures who identify as homosexual or "transgender," and more.

Students will hear about "instances of encouragement" to accept and affirm fake pronouns and identities.

"For example, students will be encouraged to either use false pronouns that are not consistent with biological gender and improper plurals like 'they them theirs' and other nonsensical permutations. Otherwise, they risk being labeled 'wrong' or 'incorrect,'" Liberty Counsel said.

The students also are to be asked if they are confused curious or questioning their sexuality.

The legal team noted the obstacles for parents: "On March 8, 2024, less than 30 days from the teaching of the lesson, teachers were provided an advance copy of the district’s parent opt-out email. However, parents were not provided with the lesson content. So to review the material and consider excusing their children, parents must complete an online form to schedule a time and physically go to the school district for the review. The 'Review LGBTQIA+ Learning Materials' page informed parents that 'an identification card will be required to enter the Educational Service Center' and 'only those that submit a form and receive confirmation will be allowed to view the learning materials' onsite. Buried at the end of paragraph five of the email was the actual 'opt-out form.'"

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A "Caucasian" police officer in Chicago is suing because department officials have refused permission for him to identify, officially, as Egyptian and African-American, despite his genetic evidence supporting that ID.

This comes even as the department routinely grants officers the right to choose a gender to be used in their official identity.

The situation is documented by Fox News amid a flood of "diversity, equity, and inclusion" ideologies being used by academia, corporations, and governmental personnel departments these days, which confirms that being a race other than Caucasian can mean the difference between a job or no job, promotion or no promotion.

Mohammad Yusuf, 43, claims in a federal civil rights lawsuit that his current race, "Caucasian," is incorrect because he identifies as Egyptian and African-American, and since officials allow officers to change their gender at will, he should be able to change his race.

Yusuf charges that he provided the results of a genetic test to show his race and heritage, but the department stonewalled him.

The lawsuit comes amid the department's agenda to let officers change their "gender identity" so that it matches "their lived experience," the legal filing charges.

The police department declined to comment on the dispute when asked by Fox News Digital.

Yusuf charges he's been overlooked, repeatedly, for promotions because others have labeled him "Caucasian." Those promoted have been "minority applicants" mostly, he said.

The report explained Yusuf, a 20-year veteran, cited the department's procedure to benefit minorities "even if they did not score well on promotional exams," and explained he "scored in the first promotional tier" on a sergeant's exam but was refused promotion.

Since then, he charges, there have been 75 merit promotions to sergeant, but only five have been to Caucasians.

"Despite Yusuf’s exemplary qualifications and the purported race-neutral policy of the Merit System, Yusuf has been repeatedly bypassed for promotion in favor of less qualified candidates, based on their race, specifically African American officers, some of whom had disciplinary issues and were not suitable for the responsibilities of a sergeant," the complaint charges.

He said when he joined the department, he was given the choice of identifying as Caucasian, black, or Hispanic. But now the department recognizes a list of other identifications.

The department is accused of violating Title V of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by intentionally discriminating against some individuals based on race.

There have been other fights over racial identity, but not with the same circumstances Yusuf presents.

Rachel Dolezal, for example, became known as a "race faker" after she served as president of an NCAAP chapter but was revealed to not be black.

Confirmed to have a "white" identity she lost a job as a professor of African American studies at Eastern Washington University at the time.

And U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has been treated by critics as a buffoon for several years since it was revealed she repeatedly had falsely identified herself as "American Indian" to advance her career.

It was Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity who presented evidence that for more than 30 years, she "lied about her race 'and used it to get ahead,'" the report said.

For example, in her registration for the state bar in Texas in 1986, she claimed to be "American Indian."

"Hannity pointed out that Harvard repeatedly used her to boost its 'diversity' bona fides, touting her as a person of color and a 'Native American.'"

She allowed the school repeatedly to describe her as a woman of color, or "Native American," without correcting her.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Joe Biden's transgender agenda, specifically his advocacy for chemicals and body-mutilating surgeries for children, has been put in the bull's eye by a major church organization in the United States.

A report in the Christian Post explains that a commission for the Presbyterian Church in America has dispatched a letter to Biden – and other government officials, too – asking that they discontinue promoting sex-change surgeries and other injurious treatments on minors who have gender dysphoria issues.

A PCA official told the Post that children must be protected from the "harms that come from rejecting biological sex. God created humanity male and female; persons who try to change their biological sex are attempting the impossible."

The church group is the biggest organization of confessional Presbyterian and Reformed churches in North America and includes more than 375000 members in 1,500 congregations.

The church last year set up a commission to draft a petition urging Washington to "renounce the sin" of transgenderism for children and the letter is a result of that campaign.

"Children, above all, must be protected and given time to progress through natural puberty. The PCA's letter affirms the Bible's care for children as a reflection of God's love and asks leaders of the United States government to protect the lives and welfare of the most vulnerable among us," the PCA official told The Christian Post.

The commission requested Biden, congressional leaders, and others to "protect the lives and welfare of minor children from the physical, mental, and emotional harms associated with medical and surgical interventions for gender reassignment."

The letter notes that changing a person's gender is impossible. Being male or female is embedded in the human body down to the DNA level.

"Persons who try to change their biological sex through the process of transitioning —including psychotherapy, lifelong hormonal treatments, and extensive nongenital and genital surgeries — are attempting the impossible," the church warns.

The side effects, the letter said, are not good: "sterility, infertility, cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, blood clots, pituitary apoplexy, pseudotumor cerebri, and diminished bone density."

It continued, "We believe current gender reassignment interventions for children are not in keeping with the high value of human bodies — a value determined not by circumstance, ability, or human judgment, but by the determination of our wise Creator who constituted each person a body-soul unity."

The letter said, "Providing medical intervention for transitioning does irreversible harm and injustice to all people, but especially minor children. For these reasons, we condemn the practice of surgical and medical gender reassignment, especially of minors, and we humbly petition you to protect the lives and welfare of minor children."

The Post report noted, "Petitioning the government is an unusual act in the denomination that adheres to the 17th-century Westminster Confession of Faith, which advises churches 'not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition in cases extraordinary.'"

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

One of Joe Biden's key agendas as president has been to promote the LGBT ideology, specifically transgenderism. So far he's worked at having literally every federal agency come alongside him in that work.

Joining him has been many in power in the education industry, from federal education officials to teachers' union officials to school managers.

They have faced pushback from parents who have said they have the right to know what's going on with their children in class, with what materials teachers are indoctrinating them, and more.

Now one school district has been caught trying to get away with … something.

The legal team at the ADF has taken action after an "11-year-old girl was supposed to share a bed with a male student on a school trip."

The ADF reported it has sent a letter to Jefferson County Public Schools in Colorado on behalf of the girl's parents, informing the district its policy of "hiding information from parents and lying to students is unconstitutional."

"Parents, not the government, have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, and that includes making informed decisions to protect their child’s privacy," lawyer Kate Anderson said in a statement from the organization.

"Schools should never hide information from parents, yet that’s exactly what JCPS officials did here. That put the Waileses’ 11-year-old daughter in a very challenging situation where she had to choose between sleeping in the same bed with a biological boy and advocating for her privacy in front of her teachers and peers.

"Understandably, the Wailes family is asking JCPS to cease its practice of intentionally withholding information about rooming accommodations from parents. Every parent should have the information needed to make the best decision for their children."

The report said the organization is representing Joe and Serena Wailes and their daughter "after she was assigned to share a room, and supposed to share a bed, with a male student on an overnight school trip without their knowledge."

District policy demands students who identify as male, when they are female, or vice versa, should be "assigned to share overnight accommodations with other students that share the student’s gender identity consistently asserted at school."

ADF reported, "The policy also demands that 'under no circumstance' should a student who identifies as the opposite sex be required to share a room with students of the same sex."

But, they charged, the district fails to extend that protection to "other students like the Waileses’ daughter who does not want to share a room with a student of the opposite sex."

The school is demanding it be allowed to violate the Wailses' religious beliefs and parental rights, the letter said.

The ADF explained the district's attempt to injure the girl, and its lying about it:

In the summer of 2023, on a cross-country overnight trip to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., JCPS assigned the Waileses’ daughter to share a room with a fifth-grade male student who identifies as a girl without notifying the Waileses’ daughter or her parents or getting their consent. The Waileses’ daughter only found out because the male student told her on the first night of the trip. She was uncomfortable about the prospect of sharing a bed with a male student. The girl shared her concerns with her mother, who accompanied her on the trip, and together, they met with a teacher who was acting as a chaperone.

The school chaperone asked the Waileses’ daughter if they could merely move her to a different bed rather than a different room. While she was still uncomfortable with this arrangement, she agreed to try it for one night. JCPS officials then decided to lie to her roommates, and instructed the Waileses’ daughter to do the same, telling her to say she needed to switch beds to be closer to the air conditioner. But once the chaperone and her were back in the room, the Waileses’ daughter was again placed in a difficult position when another girl in the room suggested the male student also switch to the bed near the air conditioner.

Despite the Waileses’ daughter’s continued uneasiness with the arrangement, she was scared to speak up in front of her peers on such a contentious subject and did not want the male student to feel uncomfortable. So, she went into the hall and again told her mother she was not comfortable sharing a bed with a male student. She and her mother returned to the school chaperone and again asked for her to be moved to a different room. This time, JCPS chaperones relented and moved the male student and one of the other girls to a different room, but again lied to the other girls and said the move was to give a sick roommate more space. As ADF attorneys explain in their letter, throughout the evening, the male student’s privacy and feelings were the only concern of JCPS employees. The Waileses want to ensure that all students’ privacy and feelings are considered, and notifying parents of the JCPS overnight policy would accomplish that. Instead, JCPS hides the information from parents disregarding student privacy and parental rights.

The Waileses say the school needs to let all parents – before such trips – that boys who call themselves girls will be roomed, and share beds with, girls, as parents then may want to "opt their children out of such a policy."

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