WEEK ENDING APRIL 23, 2004
Religious Freedom Coalition
April 23, 2004 4:39PM EST
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING APRIL 23, 2004
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING APRIL 23, 2004
CONGRESS IN SESSION
CONGRESS AND SOCIAL ISSUES
Do homosexuals really want same-sex marriage in the United States, or is the issue just being used to build a case to restrict freedom of speech? In the April 19th edition of US News and World Report, John Leo's column highlighted the deterioration of free speech in Canada as well as in Western European nations. He led off his column with a quote from Alan Borovoy, general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (close kin to the ACLU) that "Canada is a pleasantly authoritarian country."
Democracy and freedom are not the same thing. It would be possible for a dictator to issue a decree granting all the rights we enjoy under the Bill of Rights. It is not the Bill of Rights that gives Americans a democratic Republic nor the right to vote and choose our leaders. On the other hand, a democratic nation can vote to restrict the civil liberties of citizens, and that is precisely what has happened in Western Europe and Canada. As Leo points out, "anti-bias" laws in Canada trump free speech. In Saskatchewan, for example, there was a ruling that a newspaper ad linking homosexuality to Biblical sin was a "human-rights offense." The newspaper and the man placing the ad were fined. A teacher in British Columbia was suspended for 30 days without pay for writing a letter to the editor of a local newspaper expressing his thoughts on homosexuality.
A new law introduced by liberals in Canada (C-250) will codify sexual-orientation in the existing hate crimes laws. The chief proponent of the bill, homosexual member of Parliament Svend Robinson, was recently arrested for shop lifting an expensive piece of jewelry. Perhaps his next move will be to introduce legislation to jail anyone who calls him a thief.
All the Canadian anti-free speech measures center around the logic that people have the "right" not be offended or criticized because of their personal behavior. That is the same principle behind these kinds of laws in Europe. Leo points out that in Sweden, sermons are "... explicitly covered by an anti-hate-speech law passed to protect homosexuals. The Swedish chancellor of justice said any reference to the Bible's stating that homosexuality is sinful might be a criminal offense." Homosexual leaders have made it clear that this is their goal for America as well, and same-sex marriage is their tool. Should same-sex marriage become lawful in the United States, homosexuals will demand that anyone saying their "legal" relationships are sinful should be jailed. Any books or publications disagreeing with the homosexual agenda will likely be banned. Oddly the ACLU, like its counterpart in Canada, sees no problem whatsoever with elimination of freedom of speech to protect the feelings of homosexuals. The ACLU is quick to defend the "rights" of people who are burning the American flag, or calling for the death of members of the Administration, or advocating the violent overthrow of the government. That in their view is protected free speech. The real agenda of the ACLU is dictatorship by the few who are politically correct, against the many who are godly.
In the Senate the chief proponents of these kinds of "hate crimes" laws that restrict free speech are big name liberals such as Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. They believe it is right and proper to jail people not for what they say, or even for what they do, but rather for what they think. Thought crime is the basis of all the hate crime laws, even those related to race. These laws give added time in jail to people based on what they were "thinking" at the time of a crime. Thus if a black man robs a white man and says "give me your money or die," he may get five years in jail. But, if he says "give me your money white boy or you die," it could be a racial hate crime and he could get, say, ten years in jail. If the man says nothing and just points the gun, then a judge or jury must determine what his thoughts were based on his "previous opinions and actions." This of course is just plain nuts. People should go to jail for the crimes they commit, not for the reasons they commit the crimes. Liberals strongly disagree. Don't believe me? Ask Ted Kennedy.
You Can't Say That by law professor David E. Bernstein details how anti-discrimination laws are a growing threat to civil liberties in the United States. The loss of our freedoms, particularly our freedom of speech, is not something that is going to happen; it is something that is happening today.
The Liberty Counsel headed by a good friend of mine, Mathew Staver, is fighting back against political correctness and the ACLU and he is winning. When the ACLU tries to stop graduation prayers because they "offend," Mat Staver's Liberty Counsel is there to fight back. As graduation time approaches, Mat Staver reminds us that the schools must "remain" neutral and cannot silence graduation speakers simply because they desire to mention God or to say a prayer. Over the last decade the Liberty Counsel has grown rapidly and now has hundreds of affiliate attorneys in all 50 states. If you know of a graduating senior who may have his or her free speech rights curtailed because of a school administrator or an ACLU threat, I urge you to contact the Liberty Counsel and give them details. Mat Staver in a recent news release stated, "We want to be a friend of schools that protect the rights of students, but we will be a foe of those schools that strip student speeches of their religious content." The Liberty Counsel is a national organization head quartered in Orlando, Florida. Their phone number is 1-(800) 671-1776. For more information click here.
ADOPTION INFORMATION ACTCongresswoman Jo Ann Davis wants to place accurate alternative information in the hands of women before they have an abortion. The Adoption Information Act (HR 1229) would require all "family planning clinics" that accept Title X funds to provide a detailed pamphlet of adoption information to anyone seeking family planning services. Most of the "family planning clinics" are actually abortion operations of which most are run by Planned Parenthood. Since they sell abortions at these locations they have no vested interest in a woman reading accurate information about an alternative to abortion. If a woman decides to carry the child to term and give it up for adoption the "clinic" is out the money for the abortion. Currently HR 1229 has only 52 co-sponsors and more are needed if the bill is going to reach the floor for a vote. Click here to contact your congressman and ask him to co-sponsor The Adoption Information Act (HR 1229).
CONTINUITY IN GOVERNMENT
The House struggled with then passed by a wide margin this week the Continuity in Government Act which deals with replacing Congressmen in the event of a terror attack that would kill 100 or more congressmen. Replacing large numbers of dead Senators is not much of a problem because replacements are currently appointed by state governors. The Constitution, however, states that House members must be elected. Conservatives in the House wanted the law to force states to hold elections within 45 days of such a catastrophic event. Many Democrats actually wanted Members in such a circumstance to be immediately appointed by governors. Appointing House members for any reason is a grave error. Should a massive terrorist attack kill large numbers of Americans including more than 100 congressmen, it is vitally important that we immediately restore the democratic process. We should not cross the Rubicon to appoint congressmen regardless of the circumstance. The Congress represents the people, not the governors ... also, what if a great number of those governors die as well? Congressmen should be replaced as we do normally, with free and open elections. The majority of the House agreed. Let us now pray that once this new law is passed by the Senate and signed by the President that it will never be used.
The Senate has passed a transportation authorization for $318 billion in spending, all paid for by user fees such as the federal gas tax. Three weeks ago the House passed a similar measure for $275 billion in spending, again all paid for by user fees. Neither bill would require any tax levees, bond sales or borrowing. Every time we pump a gallon of gas, some of the money is supposed to go to fix our roads. More than half the interstate bridges in the United States are in need of repair or replacement; some are dangerous. The funds need to be spent to repair our crumbling infrastructure and to create real jobs just before the election. President George W. Bush has notified Congress he will veto the bill if it is over $256 billion. Why? A small band of "economic conservatives" has led the charge that the bill is "bloated spending" that must be stopped. The Washington Times in an editorial called the bill "pork" and a "boondoggle" but still calls for its passage. Yet, I have heard economic conservatives state that the President would gain "political capitol" if he vetoes the bill. OK ... So I must be stupid. I believe that if the President vetoes the transportation bill he will anger every county supervisor and commissioner in the nation. Every mayor of every town will be hitting the President because their roads need improvement and their bridges need repairs. I also envision editorials in virtually every newspaper just before the election citing President George W. Bush for causing the freeways to crumble and the trains to run late. I believe the president should stick with the majority of the American people on this one and forget the ranting of the few who are on the fringes of this issue. Building and maintaining the infrastructure of the nation is a valid federal responsibility. Want to cut spending? Let's do away with the National Endowment for the Arts. The "arts" are not a constitutionally mandated responsibility.
TRANSPORTATION AND SENATOR KERRY
Senator John Kerry celebrated "Earth Day" on Thursday criticizing President George W. Bush for not doing enough to help the environment ... Hmmm ... Senator Kerry and his wife Teresa own a gas-guzzling private jet plus a huge yacht and five mansions. (Note that I said mansions not homes.) NewsMax reports that his $35 million jet called the 'Flying Squirrel' has two bathrooms, burlwood paneling and gold fixtures. The five mansions run full power even when the Kerry's are not there. On any given day John Kerry uses more fuel oil and natural gas for his personal consumption than some small towns in the United States. Sounds like a case of "do what I say, not what I do."
THE TEACHERS' UNION AND ABORTION
This Saturday and Sunday the abortion industry is sponsoring a massive pro-abortion rally in Washington, DC. Thousands of left-wingers who want to protect whales and kill babies will descend upon Washington, DC. The National Education Association (NEA) will open up their offices just a few blocks from the Capitol Building as a "hospitality suite." Keep in mind that MOST teachers in the United States are pro-life, yet are forced to pay dues to the NEA for political activities such as these. Some teachers are speaking out. Many of the participants in the pro-abortion rally are not coming to Washington, DC for that event, but for other liberal causes. The abortion industry has cut a deal with the anarchists and socialists who will be here to protest the anniversary of the World Bank. They will march with the pro-abortionists while carrying their anti-American and anti-globalization banners -- which I bet no TV network will show. The last time the abortion industry ran a protest rally in Washington, DC was during the 1992 election cycle to mobilize their base to elect Bill Clinton. This year their hero is Senator John Kerry. Pro-life President George W. Bush will not address this group of rabble.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
A brand new Ten Commandments silk tie is now available for men! The tie, in your choice of red, blue or tan is custom made of 100% silk for the Religious Freedom Coalition. These ties cannot be bought at any other Internet site or retail store. The ties were made in South Korea and arrived in our Virginia office just a few days ago. Over the years we have offered several different inspirational and patriotic ties for men. This is the first tie made specifically for the RFC, and all of us at the Religious Freedom Coalition are very proud of it. I hope you will be equally as proud to wear it. To view the ties please click here or on the image.
We have just received a shipment of fresh handmade soap made in the Holy Land from olive oil. The soap is made by Christian Palestinians in the West Bank. This is the ONLY income of the Christian families involved. Two of the fathers are under death warrants issued by the PLO and are in hiding in Israel. The soap is made by the families. For more information click here.
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William J. Murray, Chairman - Religious Freedom Coalition
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