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Week Ending June 20, 2003
Religious Freedom Coalition
June 20, 2003 3:50PM EST



THE IRAN DEMOCRACY ACT Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) has introduced the Iran Democracy Act (S-1082). This proposed new law notes that the Islamic government of Iran is on the State Department list of "state sponsors of terrorism" and that steps must be taken to free the people of that nation. The bill would fund radio and TV programming beamed to the Iranian people to encourage them in their struggle for freedom. This week there were numerous demonstrations in Tehran, Iran against the Islamic government and reports of retaliation against the demonstrators. In a statement asking for support of the Iran Democracy Act this past week, Senator Brownback stated, "President Bush has dubbed the Iranian government a member of the axis of evil. It is this type of behavior that justifies that label. But President Bush also recognizes the value and the vision of the Iranian people to make a better life for their country. Recently, President Bush said, 'In Iran, the desire for freedom is stirring. In the face of harsh repression, Iranians are courageously speaking out for democracy and the rule of law and human rights. And the United States strongly supports their aspirations for freedom."

Senator Brownback needs co-sponsors for the Iran Democracy Act. Please contact your Senator and ask him to become a co-sponsor of this important legislation


This week Congressman Dave Weldon (R-FL) formally told me that he would run for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Bob Graham (D-FL) who is leaving the Senate to run for President. Senator Graham is one of the most liberal members of Senate. He is a strong advocate of the homosexual agenda and one of those responsible for blocking the judicial nominees of President George W. Bush. Senator Graham has consistently had the backing of abortion groups in Florida.

Congressman Weldon on the other hand, is a medical doctor who is opposed to abortion. Over the past several years I have worked with him on several occasions on the issue of cloning. He has been one of the leading members of Congress to fight against human cloning. Congressman Weldon recently returned from a trip to Uganda where he reviewed the AIDS situation from his vantage point of being a medical doctor. For information on his Uganda trip click here.



The Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Laci and Conner Peterson Act) has been placed on hold again. The legislation which was first slated for a vote in the House before the Memorial Day vote and then moved to "before" July 4th, has been moved again. We have been informed by Majority Whip Roy Blunt's office that a vote can be expected before the August recess.


The delay in the vote on UVVA has been caused by the Senate sending to the House a tax break bill for those who don't pay any taxes. The new "child credit" tax break the Democrats demanded and that Senate Republicans agreed to was sent to the House. This bill would give those who pay no income tax a $1,000 "tax credit". Thus they would receive a check for $1,000 from the government as a refund for taxes they never paid. Only in the United States! The irritated House responded to the more liberal Senate body by completely killing the "death tax." The death tax of course is the double taxation we have to pay when we die. First we pay income tax and then when we die, taxes have to be paid again on the money we saved all of our lives before our families can have what is left. While partially eliminated in the last session of Congress, this tax would have been completely reinstated to the full tax in the year 2010. President Bush praised the House for its action on the Death Tax. Read the President's comments here.

The term death tax was coined by Jim Martin, the president of senior citizen advocacy group 60 Plus. Unlike AARP, 60 Plus is a conservative organization. I meet with Jim nearly every week and on Tuesday, June, 24th I will be giving the invocation at a major fund raising event for 60 Plus in Washingon, DC. Secretary Tommy Thompson of HHS will be the key note speaker. More than forty congressmen and Senators will attend. For more information on 60 Plus and the event please click here.


There is a continuing problem in Chairman Sensenbrenner's House Judiciary Committee with the Pledge Protection Act of 2003. Despite thousands of e-mail's to the Chairman, the staff refuse to even admit the bill offered by Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) exists. Please take the time to call the staff of the Judiciary Committee at (202) 225-3951 and tell them how you feel about protecting "under God" in the Pledge. I urge you to call, since phone calls and letters have more effect than e-mail's; however, please continue to send your e-mail comments on HR- 2028, the Pledge Protection Act, to Chairman Sensenbrenner. Click here to send your comments. The Charitable Giving Act of 2003 (HR-7) authored by Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) has moved to the House Ways and Means Committee for hearings. Although not well publicized, this is an important bill. It would allow individuals to receive a tax deduction for contributions from their IRAs to non-profit organizations and churches. As the tax code stands now withdrawals from IRAs are treated as income. "Our country's charities face a crunch," said Blunt. "Our bill will help expand their base of resources, so they can continue to do the good work of helping the hungry, the sick, the addicted, and the elderly. The Charitable Giving Act will encourage Americans to tap into their resources to help those less fortunate." Majority Whip Blunt has informed our office that he expects his bill out of the Committee and onto the floor for a vote after the July 4th recess but before the August recess.


On June 18, 2003 several social conservative groups in Washington, DC wrote a letter to President George W. Bush urging him to hold a large event for the signing of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. Typically, large events are held on the South Lawn of the White House. Such an event would call attention to this great pro-life victory and help make others aware of the tremendous support the pro-life movement has in America. See text of letter here.

The President continues to fight for social conservative nominees to the Federal courts despite filibusters in the Senate. Unlike Presidents before him, George W. Bush has not backed down from what the news media calls "controversial" nominees. The liberal news media such as CNN use this term for men such as Alabama Attorney General Pryor simply because he stands by his pro-life and conservative convictions. As attorney general of Alabama he won a major case that has caused the liberal legal establishment to hate him. Jim Boulet of English First describes one such victory attributed to Attorney General Pryor in the National Review Online. English First has set up a special e-mail link to contact Senators asking them to support Bill Pryor's nomination to a Federal judgeship.


On Wednesday of this week I met with the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie. Mr. Gillespie replaces Governor Marc Racicot whom I have criticized numerous times in these legislative updates. Marc Racicot held secret meetings with homosexual activists while chairman of the RNC and made remarks that were disparaging of social-conservatives. I believe Ed Gillespie is more conservative than Racicot and his office will be more open to social conservative leaders than was that of Marc Racicot. That is the good news!

The bad news is that Governor Racicot has officially moved to head the Bush/Cheney reelection committee. We can only hope that he does not take some of his social-liberal ideas with him to that job.


Our new video documentary, Holy Land Settlements, about the Jewish settlements in Samaria and Judea, which was mentioned in several previous updates will be shipped soon. Click here for more information. Check our Internet site at for last minute updates! Please feel free to forward this weekly update to friends. See below for subscribe/unsubscribe instructions. God richly bless you, that is my prayer.

William J. Murray, Chairman - Religious Freedom Coalition

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