Today is Religious Freedom Day – How Free Are We?


Protect the Right of Conscience

Religious Freedom Day is celebrated in America each year on January 16 — the date of the 1786 passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. That Virginia statute, like similar ones passed in other states, was designed to give broad protections to religious freedoms, which were subsequently enshrined at the federal level in the First Amendment of the Constitution, which states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

The Founders viewed the First Amendment and the state measures as fully securing the inalienable rights of conscience — the right to hold specific religious beliefs and then act on and behave in accordance with those beliefs. Of all religious rights, they viewed the protection of religious conscience as the most important.

For example, Thomas Jefferson said:

No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.


[O]ur rulers can have no authority over such natural rights, only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God.

James Madison similarly declared:

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort . . . Conscience is the most sacred of all property.

Sadly, in the 20th century, the rights of conscience were reduced primarily to the right of religious expression — a significant narrowing of original intent. Thus, protection was accorded to certain religious actions but no longer the motivations behind them. The U. S. Supreme Court established what it called the “Lemon Test” which protected religious expressions as long as there was no religious motivations behind them — that is, religious expressions were permitted only if they served a secular purpose and motivation. Thus the rights of conscience became largely irrelevant.

But in the 21st century, the First Amendment was narrowed even further so that the rights of religious conscience are no longer protected. Thus, if your religious conscience says that you cannot participate in a homosexual wedding, or in the funding and promotion of abortions, or if you hold religious beliefs saying that there is a difference in genders, you can be prosecuted.

So this year on Religious Freedom Day, let’s remember that the foundation of all of our religious liberties is the right of religious conscience. Let’s vigorously defend this right to those around us so that they, too, can recognize and protect the full scope of our religious freedoms.

Artist Poses Nude in Streets of New York to Remember Slavery and the Violence and Racism that ‘Still Scars America’

By Danette Clark:


Buck naked (with the exception of a pair of white pumps), Nona Fuastine poses with both hands pushing against one of the two massive columns that frame the front door of City Hall in New York City, as though attempting to topple the massive building. The caption beneath the photo — ‘They Tagged the Land With Trophies and Institutions From Their Conquests.’

According to The Guardian, Faustine posed naked in the streets of New York as a reminder of the vulnerability of the slaves once sold there and “the violence against humanity that still troubles the nation today”.


In another photo, Faustine is seen standing nude on a wooden box, reminiscent of an auction block, in the middle of an intersection on Wall Street. This photo caption says ‘From Her Body Came Their Greatest Wealth’.

Admittedly, Faustine’s “White Shoes” series is intended to serve as more than a just a reminder that individual racism exists. It’s a public declaration of her belief that America’s “financial systems are founded in blood“.

These kinds of public statements, this narrative that the American system is inherently and systemically racist, have become increasingly common in recent years. But why?

According to reparation activist Charles Ogletree, this is a narrative that must be, not only introduced to, but incessantly imposed upon society so that the reparations movement, specifically reparations lawsuits, can succeed.

Last week, I wrote about the new Slavery Memorial and Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University and how they contribute to the advancement of this narrative.

Specifically, as Charles Ogletree wrote in Tulsa Reparations: The Survivor’s Story, in order to succeed in obtaining reparations for African-Americans, there is a need to “promote the convergence of interests between reparationists and the reluctant majority population by forcing the majority population to confront past and present injustices against African Americans. ” It’s a strategy being used to literally, in the words of Ogletree, “transform the American debate about race” and “re-orient the public’s perception”.

According to Jon Levin at, Nona Faustine says the white heels she wore in each of her photos symbolize “the white patriarchy that people of color can never escape”.

Levin goes on to suggest that:

Much of that patriarchy can be seen in the practical manifestations of race in America. Slavery and the cruelty of the Jim Crow era left a staggering wealth gap between black Americans and their white counterparts.

Apparently, Levin too got the memo from the reparations movement that says the majority population must see inequality and disparities all around them and then come to believe that those disparities exist as a direct result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, or else African-Americans won’t get paid.

To read more on the reparations movement in America, start here.

Brown University Erects Slave Memorial, Opens Center to Study Need for Reparations to African Americans


By Danette Clark:

“The Slavery Memorial”, a four and a half ton cast iron ball and chain sculpture, now sits on the front campus of Brown University. Next to it, a granite plaque with the following inscription:

This memorial recognizes Brown University’s connection to the trans-Atlantic slave trade …. In the eighteenth century slavery permeated every aspect of social and economic life in Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders dominated the North American share of the African slave trade, launching over a thousand slaving voyages in the century before the abolition of the trade in 1808, and scores of illegal voyages thereafter. Brown University was a beneficiary of this trade.

The memorial, Brown says, recognizes the university’s “connection to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the work of Africans and African-Americans, enslaved and free, who helped build our university, Rhode Island, and the nation.”

The memorial was dedicated on September 27th of last year. One month later, Brown hosted an opening ceremony for the new permanent home of its Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice.

Planning for both the Center and The Slavery Memorial began in 2006 when the university released a report on slavery and reparations.

The 107 page Slavery and Justice report, the result of an initiative spearheaded by former Brown University President Ruth Simmons, made a series of recommendations “designed to acknowledge the school’s slavery-tainted past.”

According to The New York Times, in 2003, Simmons appointed a Committee on Slavery and Justice charged with spending two years “investigating Brown’s historic ties to slavery; arrange seminars, courses and research projects examining the moral, legal and economic complexities of reparations and other means of redressing wrongs; and recommend whether and how the university should take responsibility for its connection to slavery.”

According to the report, it was discovered that several of the university’s early supporters, including its founder, Rev. James Manning, and its first treasurer, John Brown, were slave owners. Nicholas Brown Jr., however, for whom the university was named, was a staunch abolitionist.

Brown’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice describes itself as “a scholarly research center with a public educational mission… that creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery while also examining how the legacies of slavery shape our contemporary world.”

In 2012, I undertook a very extensive research project on the reparations movement in America, a movement that [likely not surprising to many] completely encircles President Obama. The information I gathered was so vast that it ultimately resulted in a six-part series instead of a single article.

In that Reparations Agenda series, I explained how reparation activists have admitted that they have learned, through failed lawsuits and other attempts to gain monetary reparation for African Americans, that their movement will never succeed unless they can establish — first through public perception, then through the courts — that there is a legacy of slavery that exists today. In other words, there must be a perception or belief among the majority that African Americans are still suffering under an oppressive system or society, or under, as some have referred to it, “The New Jim Crow.”

Brown University’s Slavery and Justice report contends just that. Specifically, the report states as follows:

… the nation also continues to be marked by profound racial disparities in most measures of human welfare, including education, employment, wealth, rates of incarceration, access to housing and health care, infant mortality, and life expectancy.

Surveying the state of racial politics in America today, the rancor and raw emotions that discussions of racial issues seem instantly to arouse, it is hard to resist the conclusion that the United States is such a society.

As explained in Part 5 – The Reparation Agenda: Obama’s Race Rhetoric Literally Scripted by Reparations Movement…, President Obama said it best — coincidentally or not, in such a way that would most benefit the movement — when he said this:

But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Notice in the quote from the Brown report above that it considers a society steeped in ‘racial politics’ and ‘raw emotions aroused by discussions of racial issues’ to be evidence of a society scarred by the ‘legacy of slavery’. Again, according to reparation activists, this legacy must exist in order to succeed in proving that blacks in America are entitled to reparations.

The Brown report was written and released in 2006. Consider how more so our society has become one marred by racial tension and raw emotions since President Obama took office. How convenient for the movement.

Numerous universities have since followed Brown’s lead in researching their own ties to slavery. Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Emory, the University of Virginia, University of Alabama, and University of Maryland, to name a few, have completed their research and released their findings, some along with a formal apology for their historic ties to the slave trade.

Brown University is home to the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the 22-year-old education reform movement pushed across the nation by Obama and Bill Ayers, starting with their previous work on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and continuing today.

The Annenberg-backed Coalition of Essential Schools and their affiliates are notorious for teaching Critical Race Theory, which says that white supremacy in America is the root cause of racial inequality. In other words, selling students on America’s ‘legacy of slavery.’

According to the Providence Journal, former Brown President Ruth Simmons spoke at the opening ceremony for the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice last October, encouraging more universities to take on the task of “shining a light on racial tension, human trafficking, and inequality.”

In 2009, Simmons was appointed by Obama to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Go here to read more on the Reparation Agenda.

District Handout for Educators: ‘Whiteness is a condition’, Constitution to Blame for Inequality, Whites Only Allow Blacks to Advance in Society When it Benefits Whites


By Danette Clark

Whiteness is “a condition” says a Portland Public Schools professional development hand-out, and educators should learn to “interrupt the perpetuation of White Supremacy.”

The 20 page document, SPELLing out Institutional Barriers to Just Schooling: Moving from Compliance to Equity and Excellence,” was created by Pacific Educational Group (PEG) for a seminar that took place in 2013 with Portland educators and some students.

The purpose of the seminar, the packet says, was to integrate PEG’s framework “to analyze a racial equity challenge for focal emergent bilingual/multilingual students in PPS.”

PEG is a California based organization who says its mission is to “transform educational systems into racially conscious and socially just environments.”

As evidenced by most of their professional development print-outs, at the heart of PEG’s framework is critical race theory, which, in a nutshell, is the theory that United States law is racist — that it was created and is still structured to uphold white supremacy.

PEG admits that it targets ‘white culture’ as the source of the problems minority students face, and says “it is critical for educators to address racial issues in order to uncover personal and institutional biases that prevent all students, and especially students of color, from reaching their fullest potential.”

Page 10 of the Portland Public Schools/PEG seminar packet asks educators to engage in “courageous conversations” about race. For example, it says, educators should “know that Whiteness is a condition as well as its aspects or levels, and the purpose of recognizing it for deepening the conversation.”

Page 4 of the packet defines several tenets of critical race theory (CRT), such as “the permanence of racism,” “whiteness as property,” and “interest convergence.”

These tenets are defined as follows:

The Permanence of Racism — The notion that racism is a permanent component of American life. Racism in the USA is pervasive and operates like the air we breathe; it is ubiquitous and omnipresent.

Whiteness as Property — Due to the history of race and racism in the United States and the role that the U.S. jurisprudence has played, whiteness can be considered a property interest in three ways-1.the right to possess 2. the right to use 3. the right to disposition.

Interest Convergence — Civil rights gains for people of color should be interpreted with measured enthusiasm because the first civil rights have been enjoyed by Whites forever because they were basic tenets of U.S. democracy.  

The late Harvard Professor Derrick Bell, friend and mentor to President Obama, is often credited for laying the foundation for CRT. Bell published several articles on ‘interest convergence’, which contends that whites will only promote racial advances for blacks when those advances also promote white self-interest. In other words, only if it is in the best interest of whites — when their interests converge with those of blacks — will blacks be allowed to advance in American society.

For example, in an article published in the Harvard Law Review, Bell challenged the narrative that Brown vs. Board of Education was a turning point for equality in America. According to Bell’s website,, he instead asserted that the decision was “the result of a convergence of interests.”

Another tenet of CRT found in the Portland schools seminar packet is a theory referred to as “critique of liberalism’, which basically says that liberals have good intentions for minorities, but because of the U.S. Constitution, those intentions cannot come to fruition.

Specifically, critique of liberalism says that there are “three basic notions that have been embraced by liberal legal ideology — the notion of colorblindness; the neutrality of the law; and incremental change.” However, according to a book by PEG founder, Glenn Singleton, More Courageous Conversations About RaceCRT scholars believe that while “these appear to be desirable goals in practice, given the history of racism in the U.S. … the idea that the law is indeed color-blind and neutral is insufficient (and some would say disingenuous) to redress its deleterious effects.”

Earlier this month, EAGnews reported that the St. Paul school district has spent nearly $3 million over the past five years for PEG’s services. Under PEG’s direction, disciplinary changes were made that, according to some St. Paul teachers, have resulted in “chaos throughout the district, with far too many students out of control because they know there are no real consequences for their actions.”

According to the report, PEG rejects the concept of using suspensions or expulsions to discipline black students.

In 2013, EAGnews reported that Portland schools had already paid more than $2.5 million in tax payer dollars over 6 years to PEG, which according to the New York Post, has only resulted in more violence in the district’s schools.

From the New York Post:

After a black high-school boy repeatedly punched his teacher in the face, sending her to the emergency room, the teacher, who is white, was advised by the assistant principal not to press charges. The administrator lectured her about how hard it is for young black men to overcome a criminal record.

Worse, she was told she should examine what role she, “as a white woman” holding unconscious racial biases, played in the attack…

New Initiative Seeks to End JROTC Programs to ‘Counter the Dangerous Nature of Conservatism and Militarism in Public Schools’


By Danette Clark

In an effort to remove anything and everything resembling patriotism and military-style discipline and teamwork from public schools, a new initiative has been launched that specifically targets JROTC, Starbase, Young Marines, and several other voluntary school programs.

“A National Call: Save Civilian Public Education”, launched late last year, is the effort of several progressive organizations to “confront the conservative, corporate, and military influences in our educational system” and to counter their “dangerous nature.”

From the website,

The signers of this statement believe it is urgent for all advocates of social justice, peace and the environment to recognize the dangerous nature of this problem and confront it with deliberate action.

The most aggressive outside effort to use the school system to teach an ideology with ominous long-term implications for society comes from the military establishment.

On the site’s “Where Do We Go From Here?” page, a call is made to others to join their efforts:

Progressive individuals, organizations, foundations and media all have important roles to play in confronting the conservative, corporate and military influences in our educational system.

To that end, the initiative provides a list of “ideas for action,” which includes speakers pools to address youth groups, classrooms and youth conferences, and the support of outreach and educational initiatives that “teach progressive values to young people.”

“Organizations supporting efforts to introduce history and civics lessons from a progressive perspective” are also recommended. Among those are Communist Howard Zinn’s Zinn Education Project and Rethinking Schools, an organization whose curriculum editor, Bill Bigelow, admits that he wants to “tell students that they shouldn’t necessarily trust the ‘authorities,’” and says that he sees “teaching as a political action… to equip students to build a truly democratic society.”

Bigelow, an endorser of the Save Civilian Education initiative, also teaches that George Washington was not a hero, but a war criminal.

One particular Rethinking Schools resource, Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, was banned from Tucson, Arizona classrooms because it was found to be extremely hostile toward whites and depicted America, in general, as a racist and oppressive nation.

Other endorsers of the initiative are Iraq Veterans Against the War, Code Pink co-founder Madea Benjamin, former California Senator and former Weather Underground Organization leader Tom Hayden, and far left MIT professor Noam Chomsky, all of whom have partnered for years in their anti-U.S. military efforts.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a Communist-led anti-war organization that continually works to increase its presence in public school classrooms.

Both IVAW and Code Pink partner with some of the most radical anti-Israel organizations in the world, like Al-Awda, for example, an organization that denies Israel’s right to exist.

IVAW speakers have been known to show graphic war images to students while blaming U.S. soldiers for murdering innocent civilians.

For example, as recently reported, U.S. military veteran and IVAW member Ethan McCord can be seen in a video telling high school students that U.S. soldiers are trained from day one to dehumanize the enemy and also “to dehumanize civilians here at home”. Later in the video, McCord refers to military recruiters as pimps and the army as their whore.

In a 2011 resolution on Palestine, IVAW described the United States’ military support of Israel as a “coordinated strategy to dominate the Middle East.”

Another endorser of the initiative, Countering the Militarisation of Youth, says they oppose any U.S. military presence and influence in education as well as in social media, entertainment, fashion, and even public events such as parades and memorials.

The group says their work is “breaking the cycle of teaching violence to young people”, yet ironically, they partner with groups like the Muslim Students Association, an organization founded by the jihadi terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Save Civilian Education claims that some military programs sneak into schools under the cloak of STEM education, and therefore, calls for an end to those as well.

Also a ‘threat’, they say, are lesson plans and coloring books created by tea party groups that “teach a conservative interpretation of the Constitution, where the federal government is a creeping and unwelcome presence in the lives of freedom-loving Americans.”

According to the group, the problem with this kind of curriculum and with programs like JROTC, Young Marines, and Starbase, is that they have the “effect of popularizing military values, soldiering and, ultimately, war.”

JROTC is a voluntary program that says it exists to teach students character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity, while preparing them for college and to be leaders in a diverse workforce.

The JROTC curriculum includes “education in citizenship, leadership, social and communication skills, physical fitness and wellness, geography, and civics.”

Starbase, also a voluntary program, says its mission is to expose the nation’s youth to the “technological environments and positive civilian and military role models found on Active, Guard, and Reserve military bases and installations, nurture a winning network of collaborators, and build mutual loyalty within communities…”

Through the Starbase program, students can “study Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s principle; explore nanotechnology, navigation and mapping” and “use the computer to design space stations, all-terrain vehicles, and submersibles.”

The Starbase website says the program seeks to “motivate students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)” and “serves students that are historically under-represented in STEM, such as those who live in inner cities or rural locations, are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance or have a disability.”

Middle School Diversity Day Speaker: ‘Gender is a lot more than what your genitalia are’


Photo above not from EAGnews (I just think it’s funny).

From me @

Piedmont Middle School’s annual “Diversity Day,” included Cuban music, dance, jazz, hip-hop, and a transgender man who grew up a girl in Southern California.

Volunteers helped to organize the event and some parents brought foods representing their cultures while students were rotated through the classrooms to hear 16 speakers “representing different races, disabilities and sexual orientations.”

The driving force behind the annual celebration is the combined effort of Piedmont art teacher Kim Lipkin and film class teacher, Anne Smith, according to San Jose Mercury News.

It was in Lipkin’s classroom that students heard the story of Ali Cannon, a transgender man who grew up a girl in Southern California.

“Cannon talked about his journey, including feelings that he was different, rejection and ostracism by other girls in middle school and his final decision to change his gender.”

“We think of boys and girls in terms of biology, what’s between your legs,” Cannon said, “when gender is really a lot more than what your genitalia are. People identify all along the spectrum of what they feel inside.”

In another classroom, Piedmont parent Brij Kothari, president of Planet Read, talked to students about teaching people around the world to read.

Kothari told Mercury News that he believes diversity days are important.

 “The Piedmont school district is open to learning about other cultures, and the importance of that in a globalized world cannot be understated,” he said.

According to the news report, the school’s annual event has given middle-schoolers “a glimpse of the wider pluralistic world” for the past 15 years.

“Seeing diversity in simply racial terms does not account for the differences found in any community,” says Lipkin.

“You see the kids they are happy, they have their arms around each other and are very, very engaged with the people who are coming to talk about their lives,” Lipkin said.

“Everybody thinks it’s a race issue, but there are many ways you can be diverse and express diversity,” she said. “There is diversity within any culture, any color or any race.”

Diversity Day celebrations like this one take place in many public schools across the country.

In 2012, Gorham Middle School in Maine came under fire for a Diversity Day presentation that, according to parents, “turned sexual in nature.”

According to WCHS News, the school’s ‘Civil Rights team’ hosted representatives of the group PRYSM, Proud Rainbow Youth of Southern Maine, to talk about gender diversity and discrimination.

One parent, however, said her son told her that the presentation turned into a discussion about homosexual foreplay.


Kindergarten ‘courage’ lesson features whites harassing blacks



Kindergartners at Richfield Elementary School were given a lesson on “courage” that included pictures of white children shouting at African-Americans and holding signs with hateful messages on them.

A parent contacted WBTV saying she was “disgusted” by the lesson and found it to be “degrading and racist.”

Terry Griffin, Superintendent of Stanly County Schools, told WBTV that the pictures, which show white people holding signs saying “Whites Only,” “No Negroes,” “No Coloreds,” and “I want segregation,” were included on a worksheet given to students as a follow up to a story on “Ruby Bridges,” the first African-American child to attend an all-white school in the south.

While Griffin declined an on camera interview with WBTV, she did defend the lesson, and said that a guidance counselor was teaching the class at the time and used the material to reinforce their character trait of the month: “courage.”

“Any time we have a concern expressed, that’s just part of a procedure we use, certainly, is to go back and reflect on it,” said Griffin, “to see, as in terms of age appropriateness, if it was appropriately aligned with the objective they we’re trying to accomplish there.”

richfield racist lesson

Griffin added, however, that no parent had contacted the school directly to complain about the lesson.

According to WSOC, the worksheets ask students to choose words to describe the emotion the people in the pictures are feeling.

However, when asked by ABC whether the pictures are appropriate for kindergartners, some said definitely not.

 “They are too young to understand,” said one parent.

“Oh dear Lord, that’s too young,” Chris Drye said. “You need to have a sense of history. That’s more of maybe a fifth-grade project.”

Rev. Roosevelt Horne, however, with the local NAACP chapter, told WSOC-TV that he’s not offended by the images. He said he doesn’t think they will sway how a child feels about those of a different race.

“Racism is taught in the home not in the kids,” Horne said. “They play with and love each other. They see no color barrier until they go home.”

But some might argue that lessons like this will create that color barrier at school, especially among children so young.

Stanly County Schools officials say, for now, they are not going to stop using the lesson, but say they will review their material and possibly make changes if they get a written request from a parent.

The lesson on Ruby Bridges was published by The Wright Group, a product of McGraw-Hill Education.

McGraw-Hill is a leading educational assessment partner and curriculum developer of the Common Core State Standards initiative.