Healthy Food Helps Reduce Inflammation, Disease – AARP

How to make smart dietary changes to turn your health around

Why Eating Dead Food is Bad for Your Health

Your plate should be 50 percent veggies and fruit, 25 percent whole grains, and 25 percent meat, poultry or fish. — Getty Images

En español | As a nation, we’re a bit fat. OK, more than a bit. After age 60, it doesn’t get any easier. How come?

  • We eat too much. For over 30 years, we have been trained to eat 20 percent more. And now we are almost 20 percent overweight. Bingo!
  • We’re apt to move less. So we don’t burn as many calories.
  • Half or more of what we eat is “dead” food. Dead food has no nutrients. We call it dead because refining takes out almost all of its vitamins, minerals and fiber. It’s super-tasty, super-digestible and you can eat a mountain of it without feeling full. But it’s dead, and it’s making us sick and fat.

How? Stored body fat causes inflammation, the prime source of strokes, cancers, diabetes — all the bad boys. Plus, it makes you look funny and feel bad about yourself. Makes you old.

What Is Dead Food?

Filler: This is everything we’re taught to love: bread, white rice, white pasta, sugar, chips, soft drinks.

Processed food: Prepared items top this list: frozen meals, snacks, desserts. And weird stuff like ketchup.

Fast food: Think of your beloved french fries, cheeseburgers, milk shakes, griddle cakes and anything else that can be fried.

An Eating Strategy for Life

Build the perfect plate

Your plate should be 50 percent veggies and fruit, 25 percent whole grains, and 25 percent meat, poultry or fish.

Quit the Clean Plate Club

Your sainted mother was wrong — it’s bad to clean your plate. The iron rule: Exercise more; eat less.

Don’t drink your calories

Sugar-laden colas, milk shakes and sports drinks are awash in calories but don’t make you feel full.

Limit the booze

Having one or two glasses of wine a night is fine. Having 17 is not.

If you have diabetes … eat right

Your body needs insulin to digest carbs. But eat the wrong kinds of carbs and your insulin system can go haywire.

Here’s why: Your gut turns all carbs into sugar. When that sugar hits your bloodstream, insulin is released and your muscles use the sugar for energy. Great. The problem is that dead food has no fiber, so it goes through your digestive tract quickly. Your body sends out an ocean of insulin to mop up all the sugar. Phew! But now there’s no sugar in your system and you’re hungry again. An hour or two after eating a mountain of slop, you’re ravenous. The result? The insulin system breaks down and you end up with diabetes, amputations, blindness, heart attacks. Awful.

Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge are the authors of the Younger Next Year series of best-selling books and seminars that have changed millions of lives by sharing the secrets to living longer, stronger, and healthier.

Source: Healthy Food Helps Reduce Inflammation, Disease – AARP

CURMUDGUCATION: What About Rural Charters

CURMUDGUCATIONThe slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.

Source: CURMUDGUCATION: What About Rural Charters

What About Rural Charters

In a recent panel discussion, Nine Rees, the head honcho of the National Alliance of Public [sic] Charter Schools observed that “It is actually quite hard to expand charter schools in a lot of rural communities because there’s no political base of support for those kinds of changes.” And then she was on to other stuff (I’m working my way through that video and will have commentary on the whole thing some day, soon).

But I think that’s a statement worth examining, both because I’m in a small town/rural community, and because that lack of a rural political base tells us something about the problems of the modern charter movement.

Part of the rural charter problem isn’t political support at all– it’s market. My district, for example, has roughly 150 students per grade level, which means that there’s not a lot of market here to tap. A charter would have to really hustle to round up enough students to make business sense, and certainly compared to a customer-rich urban environment it’s a tough challenge. On top of that, those few students are spread out geographically, and while the “Getting the kid to school is the parents’ problem” may fly in urban districts, out here, folks expect schools to provide transportation. Want to figure out the costs of sending a school bus an extra thirty miles every day to pick up one kid? Why try to set up your ice cream stand at a remote Antarctic outpost when you can set it up on a busy street corner in Miami?

But there’s also a lack of political support because of the money.

A big urban district is swimming in so much money that we can shuffle some around and it may not be super-obvious how much money was lost when a charter opened. It’s significant, and it’s damaging, but it’s also hard for the average citizen to notice or track.

But in rural areas, money is already stretched tight, and while a loss of a half million dollars is a minor inconvenience in big districts, in a small rural district it can be crippling.

We do have one kind of charter in rural areas of PA– cyber-charters. And they are hurting us. A few dozen students gone to cybers don’t make the slightest difference in district expenses, but they cost the district a half-million dollars and that has translated into program cuts and closed buildings (there is also an impact in PA from the mismanagement of the pension fund). It is not hard for even the least attentive taxpayer to follow this conversation:

Taxpayer: Why did you close our elementary school?

School board: We needed to save a half a million dollars. Also, in other news, this year we had to pay half a million dollars out to cyber schools.

Charter schools hurt public schools. Charter schools drain resources from public schools, resources that they need to maintain their current level of service. In big busy setting, with lots of numbers and schools and students flying about, it’s possible to generate enough smoke and mirrors to obscure that simple fact, but in a rural area, it is not.

Granted, it doesn’t have to be true. States could choose to say to taxpayers, “We can have charter schools, but we’ll have to raise school taxes to pay for them.” So far, no politician seems interested in making that pitch.

There are other reasons that rural areas are not ripe charter markets. For instance, rural schools identify pretty strongly with their communities. Pennsylvania is a prime example. We have about 500 school districts which is, honestly, nuts. There should be fewer. But every time anyone starts a conversation about merging districts, there is a prodigious amount of noise about community and heritage and tradition and why students don’t want to stop being a Humbletown Husky in order to become a Vistaville Viking.

Nor do I see taxpayers wanting to trade a school board run by neighbors that you see in the store, talk to at church, yell at at a public board meeting, or just call on the phone with whatever is bugging you about the schools– well, who would wants to trade that for a board of strangers that meet in secret in some other city?

There is no mystery in why charters have not been driven to pursue rural markets, and there’s no mystery in why rural communities lack the political motivation to pursue modern charter businesses. But it’s important to remember that there isn’t anything wrong with rural charters that isn’t also wrong with charters in every other location.

What do your representatives think of President Trump’s immigration ban? | Michigan Radio

President Trump’s executive order on immigration stops all refugee admissions for 120 days and blocks citizens of seven countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

Here’s how all 16 members of Michigan’s congressional delegation view the immigration ban.President Trump’s executive order on immigration was signed last Friday.

Here’s what it does: What do your representatives think of President Trump’s immigration ban? | Michigan Radio

Northern Michigan Republican calls for “another Kent State” to deal with campus protesters | Eclectablog

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired on students, killing four of them and wounding nine, one of whom was paralyzed for life. The crime for which they were murdered was, for some of them, peacefully protesting the invasion of Cambodia. For others it was simply being near the protest. 29 of the 77 guardsmen present confessed to firing on the unarmed students they were trying to disperse.

Source: Northern Michigan Republican calls for “another Kent State” to deal with campus protesters | Eclectablog

Eclectablog has posted a new item, ‘Northern Michigan Republican calls for “another Kent State” to deal with campus protesters’, at Eclectablog.

You may view the latest post at

Trump’s Campaign Paid Millions To His Own Properties, FEC Documents Say : NPR

Now that he’s declared his campaign for re-election, President Trump can continue to funnel money into his own businesses, but the payments will also face more scrutiny.

Source: Trump’s Campaign Paid Millions To His Own Properties, FEC Documents Say : The Two-Way : NPR

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign had many unusual aspects, not the least of which was the huge amount of money it funneled into Trump’s own businesses.

And now there’s a new twist: Such payments can continue indefinitely because he’s already declared himself a candidate for re-election in 2020.

Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Trump’s 2016 campaign paid millions of dollars to fly on his aircraft, compensate his relatives for unspecified campaign activities and rent space in Trump properties, including Trump Tower in New York, the Trump golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

How much money did the campaign pay in total? Politico did the calculations and came up with a figure of $12.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2016.

Such payments are not illegal. Federal law allows campaigns to compensate businesses owned by candidates for any goods and services provided. But the amount of money Trump’s campaign funneled to his own businesses is on a scale rarely if ever seen before, says Norm Eisen, ethics adviser to former President Barack Obama.

“It’s customary for campaigns to provide some reimbursement, but we have never seen anything like this. It merits close scrutiny,” Eisen told NPR. He said the watchdog group he chairs, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is “poring over the records to make sure the charges are justified and legal.”


Wayland Union Schools Weekly Good News | Smore

Source: Wayland Weekly Good News | Smore


On Saturday, January 28th, middle school students Jourdin Dressler, Madelyn Reurink, Rylie Steuer, and Sami Reed, participated in the MISCA State Swim Invitational. They combined in three relays and set new school records!

200 Medley Relay where they finished 18th

200 Freestyle Relay finished where they placed 27th

400 Freestyle Relay they finished in 32nd.

Jourdin Dressler placed 35th in the 100 Backstroke

400 Freestyle Relay, Madelyn lead off with a 1:05.49, a new school record in the 100-Freestyle.

Big image
Wednesday Weather Kid


Dorr Elementary 4th grader, Kynlee Boomsma, was the Star 105.7 Wednesday Weather Kid on February 1st. Kynlee was picked up at her home in a limousine and brought to the studio of Star 105.7. She joined Tommy and Brook for the morning show where she read the weather forecast on air! Afterwards the limo took her and her family back to school. When she arrived at Dorr Elementary, her fourth grade friends, teachers and staff welcomed her with signs and cheers!


Odyssey of the Mind had a great Spontaneous Spectacular night on Friday, Jan. 27. The students ate a pizza dinner, received their t-shirts, got photographed, and completed five different spontaneous problems! Wayland Union Schools has four teams competing this year (Baker, Steeby, Pine and Middle) and will host the Region 4 Competition at Wayland Union High School on Saturday, February 18.
Big image


Wayland Union Schools offered their first academic Winter Camp during Winter Break this year for students in grades K-3 who were slightly behind their peers according to the Fall NWEA Reading assessment. After getting results back from the Winter NWEA assessment, the 30 kids who attended the camp achieved greater growth when compared to their peers who did not attend the camp. This growth demonstrates that additional assistance and support provided at the two week academic camp helped students improve in their reading and catch up to their same grade peers.

NWEA assessments measure growth in math, reading, and language usage. The district is also piloting the NWEA science assessment at the Middle School. Wayland Union Schools measures student growth three times a year in grades K-8, this provides immediate feedback to teachers and students and allows teachers to make adjustments to instruction.

The camp was offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8am-noon for two weeks during the winter break. A similar camp will be offered again during Spring Break as well a traditional summer learning program.

Steeby Kicks off Jump Rope for Heart


Steeby Elementary kicked off their Jump Rope for Heart campaign on Feb. 2 to raise funds for the American Heart Association. The school held an assembly and learned about the American Heart Association and how they help patients and research. The coordinator discussed the fun prizes students can win from collecting donations.


The month of February at Pine Street is Friendly Flannel Friday. The Kiwanis K-Kids are encouraging the students and staff to wear flannel/plaid to promote anti-bullying and kindness messages. If students didn’t have their own flannel/plaid clothing, the K-Kids had flannel ribbons they can wear in support of the theme.


It’s that time of year when we begin to enroll our preschool, young fives and kindergarten students for the 2017-2018 school year. Children must turn five by September 1st, 2017 for Y5’s and Kindergarten and turn 3 or 4 on or before Sept. 1st for our preschool programs. If you know someone with a child that age, please remind them of our enrollment and encourage them to attend the Early Childhood Nights – Baker, Feb. 15 and Dorr, Feb. 21.6:00-6:30pm Parent Presentation (childcare provided)

6:30-7:30pm Building tours, meet teachers, registration

Big image


CURMUDGUCATIONThe slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.


Active Shooter

So today we had early dismissal so that we could spend the afternoon running active shooter drills.

Loads of local law enforcement and other agencies participated in the drill. We had fifty-ish hand picked students to play the part of student victims. We had several previous PDs to go over how to handle ourselves. And we had two live “bad guys” with blank-firing guns to make it all nice and realistic.

We ran four drills. Because my room is far off in one wing of the building, I missed most of the excitement. I did not even hear the gunfire or the screams, and would not have known what was happening had the office not provided announcements (as part of the drill) like “Shots fired in the science wing.” That was for three of the drills.

We were not of course told what simulations would be run. I don’t know if it would have helped. Probably not. But Scenario #3 turned out to be a lunch shift. My lunch shift.

The shooters prepped the students and put them at ease. Selected some to stand against the wall and be shot dead, a couple of others to be wounded. Administrators, observers, local press stood along the walls to watch.

My usual post is on the wall with the entrance doors. The shooter fired first outside, in the hall. The shots were loud– we knew they were coming and the students still shrieked in surprise and alarm. The shooter entered and began. My colleagues at the other end yelled for the students to go toward them, to get out. I had to walk the length of the cafeteria to get to an exit, the shooter to my right, executing the four pre-selected victims. Students dove under tables, huddled against the wall. I waved them up, toward the exit. We go out, went around the building to the safe zone.

I don’t know if I saw all the students. I don’t know if I got them all out. I’m pretty sure I didn’t, and even with preparation and the fact that it wasn’t real, the choice between shooing them out and lagging back to make sure they were all up and moving while the gun was still shooting- BAM BAM BAM BAM– was a little bit beyond my processing powers in that moment.

I won’t lie. I was shaken. I’m still shaken. We debriefed at the end of the day and the law enforcement folks said we did well. Maybe that’s true. All I know is that tonight instead of thinking through how to cover the reading in my classes tomorrow, I’m replaying and wondering how many pretend students I got pretend killed today. Maybe I would do better if the real thing happened, having been through this training. But right now, having this business take up space in my head is, well, troubling.

Is this part of the job now? I suppose it is. Maybe it is. This is certainly not the first occasion to think about it. It’s been over a decade since a shooter went to a prom less than an hour away from here. But damn– all the things you do to get better at the work, at your craft, and then this on top of all that. And now it’s not just did I get that concept across, did I reach that student, did I get that planning done, but also, did I get any students killed today. I absolutely cannot imagine how teachers go through the real thing ever deal. I want to find every one of them and give them a huge hug.

I’m springy. I’m resilient and stubborn. I write what bothers me out of my system. I’ll be fine tomorrow. But I’m not fine tonight.

PA: More Bad School Evaluation

For a while, here in PA we’ve been rating schools with the SPP (school performance profile)  for a few years. It’s a fun little batch of number shuffling that pretends to be a broad method of scoring school performance that is actually 90% Big Standardized Test scores. It has been spectacularly non-useful (except that it has provided some teachers of a certain age with whom I work to invoke the Naughty by Nature classic hit).

But now the PA Department of Ed has a New!! Improved!! version of SPP. They have had thirty (count ’em, thirty) “feedback sessions” and they are ready to unveil the Future Ready PA Index.

The FRPI (which does not invoke any great old hits by anyone, but sounds kind of like the air being squeezed out of a balloon) is a “more holistic view of school performance,” even as it retains some features of SPP. This is a neat feat because SPP didn’t have very many features– mostly just the “let’s use these BS Test scores” feature. But here are some of the cool new holistic things happening.

Emphasizing the weighting of value-added measures, which incentivizes a focus on alllearners and is less sensitive to demographic variables.

Great. Doubling down on the VAM measure (in PA we like PVAAS) that uses gobbledeegook math formulas to turn BS Test scores into baloney-filled teacher evaluation scores.

Measuring English language acquisition among ESL students, not simply performanceon a test of grade level ELA standards. 

It is not immediately clear what, exactly, this would mean, but it seems to mean adding a growth measure to the managing of ESL student BS Test scores. In addition to this tweak, third grade reading and seventh grade math scores would be used to compute on-track growthiness. Also, we’ll throw in attendance as an on-track indicator.

And we’ll check to see if you’re closing the achievement gap, which should be easy because all you have to do is get a kid who runs a ten minute mile to run across the finish line at the same time as one who runs a four-minute mile. It also means we get to berate classroom teachers for failing to get their students to move faster than the leaders of the pack, rather than berating officials who fail to provide those teachers with the resources needed to perform this miracle.

Incentivizing career awareness instruction beginning at the elementary level. 

As with many states, Pennsylvania is finding that school evaluation is a great tool for taking control of local school system curriculum and programming. While both bribes and extortion work here, the FRPI seems to lean toward bribes. Implement these programs that we like, and we’ll rate you higher. Now, is elementary school career awareness a bad thing? Not necessarily. But it’s all in the execution, and as reformster Rick Hess is fond of pointing out, you can force a school to do something, but you can’t force the school to do it well.

But under this plan, eighth graders can earn their school valuable bonus points by developing a personal plan for their career. I’m wondering if the bureaucrats involved have met many eighth graders.

Addressing the issue of unequal weighting of content areas in the current SPP. 

Well, yeah. When your whole school evaluation is based on math and reading scores, that tends to put huge emphasis on math and reading scores. It’s not clear what “addressing” means exactly, as it can be anything from saying “Hey, that’s a thing” while doing nothing, to subjecting other content areas to the kind of crappy micro-management-by-test that we math and English types have been enjoying. But the more detailed “webinar” doesn’t address the specifics of this, which suggests we’re going to go the lip service route. 

Increasing the weighting of rigorous course offerings such as AP, IB, and dual enrollment. 

This remains one of the genius features of reform. Imagine if your school could get a better rating if all teachers drove Fords. The companies that have convinced government to incentivize buying their particular product, whether it’s the AP test or a college course– well, hats off to those folks. When yu can get the government to do your marketing for you, life is good. Well, good for everyone except schools that are implementing programs that don’t actually do anybody any good.

Allowing LEAs to include locally-selected reading assessments (grade 3) and math assessments (grade 7) as additional snapshots of student progress. 

This could actually be…. not bad. Yes, it’s another door opened for vendors to make a buck, but it does provide local districts with a little flexibility.

Awarding extra credit to schools graduating students with at least one high-value,industry- recognized credential.

Get your welding certificate. Also the school can get credit for students who graduate and then join the armed forces, go to college, or get a job. And they have sixteen months to do it. Who is going to track this, anyway? This seems like a swell idea, but it also encourages the school to sort students into two groups– students who will probably help us, and students who will probably hurt us. This approach serves students in the latter group poorly.

This is all supposed to launch in fall of 2018, but then, it’s also supposed to dovetail nicely with the new rules under ESSA and we suddenly have no idea what the hell those rules might be. I mean, seriously, no idea at all. Schools may be required to teach Russian or scrap IDEA or send all their students to a private school where nobody cares what is taught (or not). Literally anything could happen. I expect a lot of bureaucrats in Harrisburg are waiting to see just how uch smoke their work is going to go up in.

You can get the more detailed explanation in a youtube webinar (which more closely resembles a power-point presentation rendered as a video). You could contemplate that, or you could just stroll down memory lane with this:

Goldman Sachs Backs Bad Reform

For whatever reason, a video from your friends at Goldman Sachs has been circulating again. First floated out into the interether last June, it highlights “three ways technology will transform the classroom” (and therefor you should invest in this stuff and make a bunch of money).

Our host is Victor Hu. With a JD from Harvard law and an MBA from the Wharton School, Hu is well set to spend over a decade at Goldman Sachs, much of it as “global head of Education Technology and Services Investment Banking, advising, financing and investing in education and knowledge services companies globally.” So understand– this two minute prospectus is not sub-textually “Boy, this is going to make education awesome’ but “Boy, this is going to move a lot of merchandise and generate a ton of revenue for somebody.”

So what are the three ways that technology will transform the classroom. Well, you may have heard some of this before…

One: Personalized Learning

We all have different learning styles– nobody is average! Woohoo! “Through technology, we now have the potential to meet learners where they are.” Also, through technology, I now have the potential to make a million dollars blogging. Also, my scalp has the potential to grow hair again and my stomach has the potential to be flat again.

Content will no longer have to be presented in a “monolithic or linear format,” and also, students will no longer have to take notes with quill pens or come to school on horseback. Glad we now have the potential to solve all those problems. Now content can be “modulized” and presented to the learner on a computer screen at the right time at the right level of difficulty. Because magic.

Two: Data and Analytics

We can use data to measure student competency as well as engagement, and teachers can figure out much earlier that students get bored doing stupid computerized worksheets– oops! Sorry. I wandered off there. Actually, teachers will figure out a lot sooner when learners are struggling? Really? Do you already know how soon I can tell who’s struggling? Because I can often tell that my learners are struggling roughly two seconds after we’ve started it. Do data analytics include some sort of time machine component?

Anyway, by using “early intervention” teachers will be able to deal with issues surrounding “student potential.” Because teachers weren’t already doing that.

Three: Competency Based Learning

This one is “exciting.” We start with some stock footage of classrooms of earlier days while Hu explains that we’ve always had a factory model where students have to be in seats for a certain amount of time, and now we have the exciting prospect of replacing that with a factory model that requires students to check off a list of required tasks. Seriously– there are a lot of things you can reasonably say about CBE, but “not a factory model” is not one of them. CBE reduces education to an assembly line of tasks to be performed by the students. CBE breaks down complex learning into a list of simple tricks to perform in the same way that McDonald’s breaks being a gourmet chef into a list of simple tasks to be performed to create a Happy Meal.

Hu says that a competency based model means that people can take as long as they need to learn something, which he says means that nobody gets left behind, which is crazy talk because it means the exact opposite. If I’m driving to Cleveland in a car and you’re following, but you decide you want to stop and watch the flowers grow and maybe ride a bicycle for part of the trip and take all the time you need, you will be left behind. I mean, I think the idea of moving at your own speed and arriving in your time is an admirable approach, but it absolutely means that you will be left behind by people who take less time to accomplish the same goals.

Big Finish

Now that we have technology, people can be life long learners. You may remember the touching stories of Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who often sat in Independence Hall, dejected and downhearted. “Dammit, Tom,” Franklin would say. “If only we had computers, I wouldn’t have had to stop learning things when I was sixteen. Someday, someone will invent technology that will let people keep learning long after the graduate from high school. But until then, we’re all stuck. Want to go pick up some hot colonial babes?”

This is the kind of baloney that is used to sell investments to people with money, and if it makes little educational sense, that’s because the real audience is Amateurs With Money. That remains one of the scourges of the modern reformster movement, all the way back to David Coleman, education amateur, pitching Common Core to Bill Gates, an incredibly wealthy education amateur– people who want to sell a product not to the actual users of that product, but to the investors.

This is where Goldman Sachs thinks the big money is coming, and that paradoxically attracts big money, which is why these three not very impressive ideas continue to be a threat to the promise of public education.

Sanders and Pruitt Rumble Over Earthquakes

Sen. Bernie Sanders claimed that “the cause of” the spike in earthquakes in Oklahoma “is fracking.” But it’s more complicated than that.

The cause involves many factors — primarily increased wastewater disposal from all oil and gas operations, including from fracking. Other factors include Oklahoma’s geology and high oil prices.

Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, brought up the rise of earthquakes in Oklahoma during the confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, who’s currently Oklahoma’s attorney general. The hearing was held by the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, which approved the nomination on Feb. 2 without any Democratic support.

Sanders, Jan. 18: Can you tell me, as I think all of us know, Oklahoma has been subjected to a record-breaking number of earthquakes. Scientists in Oklahoma — or scientists say that Oklahoma’s almost certain to have more earthquakes, with heightened risk of a large quake, probable, to endure for a decade, and that the cause of this is fracking. Can you point me, picking up on Senator Harris’ discussion with you, can you point me to any opinion that you wrote, any enforcement actions you took against the companies that were injecting waste fracking water?

We’ll get to Pruitt’s answer to Sanders’ question about enforcement actions later, but first we’ll explain what scientists know about the rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma and the causes behind it.

READ THE COMPLETE FACT CHECK ARTICLE HERE: Sanders and Pruitt Rumble Over Earthquakes

Trump vows to end prohibition on church political activity | Reuters

Source: Trump vows to end prohibition on church political activity | Reuters

By Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton | WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to free churches and other tax-exempt institutions of a 1954 U.S. law banning political activity, drawing fire from critics who accused him of rewarding his evangelical Christian supporters and turning houses of worship into political machines.

As Trump used a prayer breakfast to take aim at a long-standing statutory barrier between politics and religion called the Johnson Amendment, civil liberties and gay rights groups expressed concern that he might consider an executive order to allow government agencies and businesses to deny services to gay people in the name of religious freedom.

Trump did not reference such an order in his remarks. But he lambasted the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt organizations such as churches and other places of worship, charities and educational institutions from directly or indirectly participating in any political campaign in favor or against a political candidate.