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Christopher Vondracek

Christopher Vondracek

Christopher Vondracek reports on The Washington Times' National desk with a beat in culture. He previously covered education and civil legal affairs for The Rapid City Journal in South Dakota. A native of Minnesota, he taught English in various colleges before leaving the classroom for the newsroom. Vondracek can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Christopher Vondracek

In this May 22, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump looks out at the audience during a speech at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington. The Trump administration said Friday that it would bar taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions, a move certain to be challenged in court by abortion rights supporters. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) **FILE**

Trump admin bars federal funding for abortion clinics

The Trump administration issued a rule Friday barring groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals from participating in the $286 million federal family planning program, a long-expected move that would direct money away from Planned Parenthood and toward faith-based providers. Published February 22, 2019

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Chicago Archbishop, right, takes his seat with Mons. Charles Scicluna, Malta Archbishop, and the Rev. Hans Zollner, left, ahead of a press conference on a Vatican summit on preventing clergy sex abuse, at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Organizers of Pope Francis' summit on preventing clergy sex abuse will meet this week with a dozen survivor-activists who have come to Rome to protest the Catholic Church's response to date and demand an end to decades of cover-up by church leaders. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Catholics sex abuse summit sidesteps role of gay priests

Some conservative U.S. Catholics are dismayed by the official schedule for Pope Francis' Vatican summit with bishops on clerical sex abuse that begins Thursday, saying it ignores the root cause of the scandal: gays in the priesthood. Published February 20, 2019

New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, center, speaks during a conference in Gordon Triangle Park in the Queens borough of New York, following Amazon's announcement it would abandon its proposed headquarters for the area, Thursday Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Virginia officials caught off guard by Amazon-New York split

On Valentine's Day, Amazon broke up with New York City and turned all of its attention to Northern Virginia, announcing it would not set up half of its second headquarters in Queens and would move ahead with its plans for Crystal City. Published February 14, 2019

Derrick Ingram, 6, (left) and his 8-year-old cousin Thomas Jones place their hands over their hearts and recite the Pledge of Allegiance as fire department chaplain Bobby Herring raises the U.S. flag in Roseboro, North Carolina, on Feb. 8, 2019. The photo of the two boys was posted on social media, where it has become a viral sensation. (Photograph by Bobby Herring)

Viral Roseboro Pledge of Allegiance photo sparks outpouring of praise, patriotism

A simple, spontaneous gesture -- a Norman Rockwell moment captured in a cellphone photo -- has uncorked an outpouring of praise and patriotism across social media: Two small boys place their hands over their hearts and recite the Pledge of Allegiance as the American flag is raised at their town's fire station in rural North Carolina. Published February 13, 2019

Alabama man claims penile injections left him sterile

Michael Forkner, 51, says he was duped by radio advertisements promising a miracle drug for erectile dysfunction. According to federal court records, his urologist says after a year of injecting TriMix into his penis, it is now effectively nonfunctioning and may need an implant. Published February 10, 2019

Religious education in public schools is generally prohibited under the U.S. Constitution's establishment clause, which bans state-sanctioned religion, but proponents of Bible literacy say it is possible to teach from the Bible in a nonsectarian way.  (Associated Press/File)

State legislatures consider expanding use of Bible in high school curricula

Legislatures from the Bible Belt to the Dakotas are mulling bills that would establish biblical literacy courses in high schools, but some education analysts say classes focusing on the Bible's cultural and historical relevance already are offered in public schools in those states and elsewhere. Published February 3, 2019

FILE - In this May 22, 2018, file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Democrats are preparing to bring Education Secretary Betsy DeVos under the sharpest scrutiny she has seen since taking office. DeVos has emerged as a common target for Democrats as they take charge of House committees that wield oversight powers including the authority to issue subpoenas and call hearings. At least four Democrat-led committees are expected to push DeVos on a range of topics. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) **FILE**

DeVos backs federal school voucher program

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos offered strong support Wednesday for the nation's only federal school voucher program, foreshadowing what could be a bitter appropriation process in the Democrat-led House. Published January 23, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen Pence, left, waves to anti-abortion supporters and participants of the annual March for Life event, during a reception in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Trump addresses March for Life via video; Pences attend pre-march rally in person

Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise cameo, a Montana senator announced a newly-formed Pro-Life Caucus, and thousands of marcher held signs and marched up Constitution Avenue Friday afternoon to the U.S. Supreme Court during Friday's annual mid-January March for Life in Washington D.C. President Donald Trump, who made history by being the first president to address the March for Life meeting by video last year, even squeezed in a sequel this year. Published January 18, 2019

People participate in the March for Life near the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. The march -- which typically draws busloads of Catholic school students, a large contingent of evangelical Christians and poster-toting protesters of many persuasions -- falls each year around the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized a legal right to abortion and intends to pressure Congress and the White House to limit legal access to the procedure. The Supreme Court is at right. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Rare pro-life Democrats join March for Life rally

The 46th annual March for Life on Friday in Washington promises a diverse lineup of speakers to address tens of thousands of marchers -- including two elected pro-life Democrats, an increasing rarity on the national stage. Published January 17, 2019

Supreme Court hears case Tennessee, Total Wine & More case

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over a Tennessee law requiring liquor store owners to reside in the state for at least two years, prompting one justice to ask a big box store challenging the law if it aims to become the "Amazon of liquor." Published January 16, 2019