Week Ending February 27, 2004
Religious Freedom Coalition
February 27, 2004 6:02PM EST
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING FEBRUARY 27, 2004
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING FEBRUARY 27, 2004
CONGRESS IN SESSION
This weekend I will leave for Morocco on a fact finding mission with other conservative leaders. Morocco is supposed to be a "secular" Muslim nation. In May, 2003 more than 40 people were killed in suicide bombings at Western hotels in Casablanca, Morocco. The al Qaeda attack was intended to derail the King's efforts to allow women equal rights and to enforce secular law. The government now wants to prove to the world that it is indeed secularizing and moderating. Several conservative leaders including myself and Joseph Grieboski of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy will serve on the fact finding team to determine if the society is indeed secularizing or if Christians and Jews face persecution in a nation which is 99% Muslim. Our report will reach those in high levels of government in the United States .
ISRAEL AND WEST BANK
From Morocco I will travel directly to Tel Aviv, Israel to inspect Christian ministries and schools supported by the Religious Freedom Coalition. While there I will investigate the prospect of an Israeli Christian ministry opening the first- ever Christian school in Tel Aviv. Next weeks update on domestic issues will be written by RFC executive director Peggy Birchfield and will include an international update filed by me from the Middle East.
Yesterday evening I had dinner with four Arab Ambassadors in the Capitol Building. The dinner included the Ambassadors, myself and four other evangelical leaders. The meeting was extremely complex and at some points intense. The Ambassadors want Americans to accept the premise that there is such a thing as moderate Islam and that Christians, Jews and Muslims can live in Arab nations in peace. Americans want Christians in Arab nations to have the same religious rights Muslims have in this nation. While the conversations opened some doors, the group is a long way off from all holding hands and singing " It's a Small World After All ."
GEORGE W. BUSH ON MARRIAGE
Tuesday the President acted firmly and with resolve on the issue of same sex marriage. Speaking from the Roosevelt Room in the White House, President Bush announced his support for an Amendment to the Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The President stated that: "The union of man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious or natural roots without weakening the good influence of society today." (See text)
Immediately the Religious Freedom Coalition and nearly 70 other social conservative groups sent a letter of thanks to the President. The combined groups, representing tens of millions of Americans stated, "We pledge to you we will do everything in our power to inform and educate our constituents about the importance and urgency of this issue both for the preservation of the family in America as well as the right ordering of our government." (See pdf of letter)
The vast majority of Americans are against same sex marriage and the number opposed is growing every day as they realize its full impact. Homosexual marriage will change all adoption rules, forcing children into homosexual homes they themselves do not want to be a part of. Religious organizations will be forced to accept "married" homosexuals and even provide their "spouses" with medical and other benefits. Every school will be forced to teach "how to" classes on anal and oral sex because it will be a part of "normal" married life.
There was no need to do any polling, the American people are with President George W. Bush on the marriage issue. I honestly believe this single issue will put the President back in the White House for four more years.
In today's edition of USA Today, more than 70 family groups bought a full page advertisement promoting the Federal Marriage Amendment. Over the next few weeks the advertisement will appear in dozens of newspapers. (See Ad) HAVE YOU SIGNED OUR MARRIAGE PETITION?
SENATOR JOHN KERRY ON MARRIAGE
Meanwhile both leading Democrat contenders for the presidency are in grave trouble over the same sex marriage issue. Both Senators John Edwards (D-NC) and John Kerry (D-MA) have a base of "gay" supporters they cannot ignore. Homosexuals are the single biggest donor group to the Democrat party in terms of dollars even though they represent less than 1% of the population. Polls show 73% of voters believe same sex marriage should be outlawed. Kerry's answer is sort of the same one he gives for abortion. Kerry says he is for "gay rights" but against "gay marriage." (See Washington Times)
LOST AT SEA
I was shocked to learn this week that the Senate is considering ratification of a Bill Clinton era treaty that would hand over total control of the high seas to a super agency run by the United Nations. The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) would give the new body power to levy taxes; power to impose mining and oil production quotas; power to regulate research and exploration; power to create a court to force nations to obey. The treaty would also force us to share our ocean mining and exploration technology. LOST would also void many of our security treaties with other nations. Under LOST the United States could not board boats of drug dealers or terrorists on the high seas.
The treaty is supported by narrow interest groups who would benefit and has received the support of Vice President Cheney for that reason. It is being pushed through the Senate by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) who is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Lugar has refused to allow critics of the treaty to testify before his committee. Further information is available from the Center for Security Policy.
LOST SOMEPLACE ELSE
The Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Republican congressman James Sensenbrenner, does not believe in "altering" the Constitution nor does he believe in limiting the power of the courts of this nation which are clearly out of control. As a result he has vowed to block virtually all Constitutional Amendments and legislation to defend the traditional family. He will make every effort to block any version of the Federal Marriage Amendment and any judicial jurisdiction acts to stop the courts from stripping "under God" from the pledge. If you have an opinion on the congressman's position with this regard please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Laci and Connor's Law) HR 1997 has passed the House yet again! This is the third session of Congress that the U V V A has passed by a wide margin. Each time the House has responded to the will of the people on this issue, the Senate has ignored the bill. This week the U V V A passed 254 to 163, with a 91 vote margin. In the previous session of Congress the bill passed with an 80 vote margin. This is a simple law which makes it a crime to kill or injure an unborn child while committing a crime against the mother. Pro-abortionists hate this bill because it elevates the legal status of a "fetus." There will be a no-holds-barred attempt to derail the bill by Democrat leaders once again when it reaches the Senate.
SUPPORT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Last week we introduced several new Ten Commandments products. The sale of books, tapes and items such as the Ten Commandment plaques provides the RFC with the funds to continue publishing these updates. Unfortunately our ISP had failed to install our new security certificate and we received many e-mail's from people saying they were "afraid" to order because of the certificate warning. The new certificate is installed and no "warnings" should now appear. Below I have repeated the information about the new Ten Commandments products from last week.
Last year the Religious Freedom Coalition offered plaques of the Ten Commandments on Jerusalem stone. The Jerusalem stone is mined in Israel and the Ten Commandments are actually etched into the stone. The plaques are still available in the original size of 9 by 4.75 inches and also a larger format of 11 by 9 inches. The larger plaque is suitable for an office reception area or a church foyer. Both sizes of Jerusalem stone plaques are in a gold tint frame ready to hang. A small paper weight version is also available at a reduced cost. In addition, our Internet store has added a Ten Commandments lapel pin. For the time being, free expression is still allowed in the United States on private property. All of the items can be seen at the Holy Land section of our Internet store.
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William J. Murray, Chairman - Religious Freedom Coalition
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