Week Ending December 5, 2003
Religious Freedom Coalition
December 5, 2003 5:09PM EST
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 5, 2003
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 5, 2003
CONGRESS IN RECESS
The Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, December the 9th
The media often portrays members of Congress as conniving, untrustworthy characters making deals in smoke filled back rooms where whisky flows like water. While that may be the case with Senator Ted Kennedy, it is surely not the case with most of the Senators and Congressmen I work with in Washington, DC. Since there is no Senate or House action this week, I am profiling just one godly Senator I have the privilege to work with.Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) is Catholic but by his own admission never mentioned the word abortion on the floor of the House while he was a Congressman. He began his service in the Senate in 1995 and for that first year was not active on any social conservative issues and once again by his own admission never mentioned the word abortion on the floor of the Senate. In 1996 something happened to Rick Santorum.
He was on the floor of the Senate when then Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) brought out a chart and described the partial birth abortion procedure. Rick Santorum was horrified by the knowledge that something like this could be happening regularly in the United States. He turned to God and asked for direction. By the end of the year he was the floor manager of the bill and the most outspoken member of the Senate against partial birth abortion. God had touched his heart.
Rick and his wife Karen have seven healthy children but during the eight-year battle to eliminate partial birth abortion, tragedy struck their family. During one of Karen's pregnancies they were given the bad news that their child, a boy, had aposterior urethral valve and would not survive. They did not seek an abortion, but rather had extreme "in womb" surgery performed to save the boy's life. The surgery was successful but Karen's womb became inflamed and the boy, Gabriel, was born prematurely. Their son lived just two hours as they took turns holding him.
In the middle of the fight to save children from the abortionist's knife Rick and Karen Santorum tried to save the life of a son many would have simply aborted. Rather than treating him like so much tissue, they gave him a name. This tragedy did not dent the faith of Rick Santorum and his wife Karen. And more than that, it led to peace for others. While pregnant with each of her children, Karen Santorum had written letters to the baby she was carrying. There was no exception with little Gabriel. When Garbiel died, Karen showed the letters to her mother who had once lost a child to SIDS. Her mother was so touched by the letters that they gave her comfort in a loss she had felt for nearly fifty years, and she insisted that Karen publish the letters to help others. The letters appeared in a book titled Letters to Gabriel and helped many who had lost a child.
Rick Santorum went on to fight the battle for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban and stood behind the President on stage as the ban was signed into law on November 5, 2003. I was there, I saw the tears in his eyes. He was wearing a small angel pin on his lapel that day, the same one he always wears. He will tell you, if you ask, that the pin reminds him of his angel Gabriel in Heaven.
At a meeting this past Tuesday night Senator Santorum made a comment I want to share. He said that no one even remembers who the Senators were from Pennsylvania 30 years ago, because a Senate seat, no matter how prestigious, is only a job that will someday be passed along to someone else. Thirty years from now someone else will surely have taken his place and few will remember Rick Santorum. Then he said, "Someone else can take my job as a Senator, but no one else can take my place as a husband and father. Thirty years from now my children will still remember the job I did as their dad."
Why is Senator Santorum so passionate about his pro-life stance? During the battle against partial birth abortion he grew closer to God. At some point he asked God to direct him. He recalls talking for nearly 90 minutes at the end of one debate, much to the dismay of so many Senators who wanted to go home late at night. He felt called by God to talk just a little longer against abortion. The next day his speech had not changed the vote at all, but he did receive an e-mail from a college girl in his home state who had watched his speech on television and as a result had decided not to keep her appointment with an abortionist the next day.
Senator Santorum's advice for those in the pro-life movement: "Be faithful to God."
SENATOR GEORGE ALLEN
The Religious Freedom Coalition is a sponsor of the annual Virginia Family Foundation dinner. This year two Senators showed up at the event, Senator Santorum (R-PA) who was born in Virginia and whom I have profiled above andSenator George Allen (R-VA). Senator Allen is a conservative Presbyterian. In my capacity as chairman of a political action committee I worked hard to help elect Senator Allen who had previously served in the Congress and as governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Currently Senator Allen is the chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committee . In that capacity it is his job to increase the Republican margin in the Senate in the next election. Senator Allen has always stood firmly on the side of social conservatives and is not a new face at events such as the Virginia Family Foundation dinner. At the event Senator Allen walked up to me and said, "Gee Bill, I haven't seen you in almost a week." An alumni of the University of Virginia, he was kind enough to write a letter of reference for my daughter to that school. Senator Allen is a brilliant man with a near photographic memory. In 2008 you will be seeing his name a lot. He is an odds on favorite to run for President at the end of George Bush's second term.
SAME SEX MARRIAGE
As mentioned last weekSenator Wayne Allard (R-CO) filed a Marriage Protection Amendment to the Constitution just before the Thanksgiving recess. In the December issue of the William J. Murray Report I go into great detail about the same-sex marriage issue. I have grave concerns about Republican support of "civil unions," and when you read the newsletter I am sure you will understand the reasons why.
On Thursday President George W. Bush delivered a short address just prior to lighting the National Christmas Tree. During his remarks he recounted the story of the birth of Jesus. He also quoted these words from the great American poet Longfellow, "Then pealed the bells more loud and deep, 'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.'"
The President's remarks and his recounting of the birth of Jesus were broadcast on Fox News but on few other outlets. Let's face the facts, the mass media is not interested in reporting on anyone who talks of the Prince of Peace or of his birth. To read the President's complete remarks go towhitehouse.gov.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Last week's update centered on the Ten Commandments issue and mentioned that the Religious Freedom Coalition online store offered a plaque made of Jerusalem Stone with the Ten Commandments etched on it. The response was huge! Almost 100 of the Ten Commandments plaques were immediately ordered, far more than we had on hand and there were some shipping delays, but all were shipped by Wednesday. Orders continue to come in.
There was, however, criticism of the Ten Commandments offer. Many of those who receive this update are Catholic and were upset that the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments was not available. I did not mean to offend anyone and have made arrangements for the Catholic version which is now also available at our Internet store.
The Ten Commandments plaque is 9" by 4.75" and weighs almost two pounds. It is framed in antique gold and has a hook on the back for hanging.
We are not merely selling these; we are helping Christians who live and work in the Holy Land as well. The funds from the sale of these Ten Commandments Plaques are used to fund Religious Freedom Coalition activities in the West Bank including financial aid to Christian schools.
The plaque comes with a certificate of authenticity that it is indeed genuine Jerusalem stone. This Ten Commandments plaque is well worth $40.00 and there is no tax and no shipping fee! A wonderfulChristmas gift. Click here to order yours today !
William J. Murray, Chairman -Religious Freedom Coalition
Visit ourChristmas Store at www.rfcstore.com
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