Week Ending May 21, 2004
May 21, 2004 5:18PM EST
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING May 21, 2004
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING May 21, 2004
CONGRESS ADJOURNED UNTIL JUNE 1ST
As soon as the state of Massachusetts began to "marry" homosexuals on Monday May, 17th, President George W. Bush called for movement on the Federal Marriage Amendment. (FMA) The FMA would declare that marriage is reserved as an institution for one man and one woman. The President said, "The sacred institution of marriage should not be redefined by a few activist judges. All Americans have a right to be heard in this debate. I call on the Congress to pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. The need for that amendment is still urgent, and I repeat that call today. " Polls continue to indicate that the vast majority of Americans believe marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman. In fact, the majority of those identifying themselves as Democrats do not believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.
THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE
Virtually all polls indicate the approval ratings for both President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry continue to go down. According to the latest Fox News poll, if the election were held today both men would receive 42% of the vote. When Ralph Nader is added into the mix, both men drop to 40% each. So much for the public polls .... I have seen the private polls that the Democrats do not want anyone to see! A fairly large percentage of people who disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as President still plan to vote for him in the upcoming election. It appears that regardless of what they don't like about George W. Bush and his domestic policy this group just does not believe that Senator John Kerry is Commander-in-Chief material. Further, Kerry support is not "deep" as only 59% of his backers say they "strongly" support him. On the other hand 78% of Bush backers say they "strongly" support him. A final note: I don't know if this is good news for Kerry or for Bush, but the largest association of strip club owners in the United States has announced their support of Senator John Kerry. Don't believe it? - See newspaper story !
It is clear that unborn babies feel pain. This has been known for some time and recent studies indicate that an unborn baby feels the pain inflicted upon him during an abortion as early as 20 weeks . Should a woman not be told of the pain her child is going to feel should she choose abortion? Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) believes so and has proposed the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (S-2466). The new law proposed by Senator Brownback would require those who perform abortions on unborn babies 20 weeks or more after fertilization to inform the woman seeking the abortion of the medical evidence of fetal pain. The act would require the abortion provider to advise the woman verbally and to provide a brochure produced by the Department of Health and Human Services detailing the medical evidence of pain experienced by unborn babies at 20 weeks or more. Further, abortionists would be required to give the woman the option of providing anesthesia to the child prior to death. The overwhelming majority of the public agrees with this approach. In a Zogby poll in April of this year, by a margin of 77 to 16, the public supported, "...laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before an abortion." Already Sen. Brownback has numerous cosponsors in the Senate for the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act including Senators Alexander, Bunning, Burns, Chambliss, Coleman, Crapo, DeWine, Ensign, Enzi, Fitzgerald, L. Graham, Grassley, Hatch, Inhofe, Kyl, McConnell, Miller, Nickles, Roberts, Santorum, Sessions, Shelby, and Talent. Contact your Senator if he is not listed above. (Official RFC support letter )
A new working group headed by Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has been formed in the Senate. Similar to the Senate's Values Action Team, the group consists of Members of the Senate and leaders of outside groups (coalitions, church leaders and NGOs) who have a common social cause. In this case the cause is religious freedom. Peggy Birchfield attended the first meeting on behalf of the Religious Freedom Coalition, and about fifty other groups were represented. Very quickly the Religious Freedom Coalition pointed to the situation of ethnic cleansing of Christians from Kosovo as an issue the group should address. Since NATO and the United Nations took over the administration of the Serbian province, more than 150 churches have been destroyed and 250,000 Christians have been forced from their homes. Most of the nations mentioned as abusing religious liberties were Islamic; however, there were those present who believed that nations such as Canada and France must be dealt with because of their refusal to allow free religious speech.
FRIST BREAKS TRADITION
In a surprising move Senator Bill Frist is breaking all Senate traditions and will actively campaign in South Dakota for John Thune who is running against Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. While Senators have financially assisted members of their party in Senate races against incumbents, it is unprecedented for the Majority Leader to actually travel to the home state of the Minority Leader and campaign against him. Senator Daschle has been extremely hostile to Majority Leader Frist and has blocked legislation and judicial appointees in the Senate for the last four years and this has motivated Dr. Frist to work against him directly. See GOPUSA story . Senator Frist's political base of operation is VOLPAC.
ABORTIONCongressman Chris Smith has introduced the House version of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act mentioned above. The bill number is HR 4420 and since it is brand new it has only 27 cosponsors. Please contact your congressman about this legislation.
DISMANTLE THE 9TH CIRCUIT COURTCongressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) and Congressman Jon Porter (R-NV) have introduced legislation that will remove Arizona from the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. H.R. 4247, titled the Ninth Circuit Judgeship and Reorganization Act of 2004, will transform the current Ninth Circuit, the largest in the country, into three smaller circuits. One of those, the new Twelfth Circuit Court, will include Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and Montana. Senator John Ensign of Nevada has introduced similar legislation. The Ninth District Court has been responsible for outlandish decisions including removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. Upon announcing his HR 4247 bill, Congressman Renzi said, "For too long, Arizonans have been held hostage by activist judges out of San Francisco, who have consistently ruled against ranchers, farmers, miners and our timber industry. The Ninth Circuit Court is out of touch with the traditional western values that still hold true in our communities, and the scales of justice must be balanced." Contact your congressman and find out if he has co-sponsored the Ninth Circuit Judgeship and Reorganization Act of 2004.
RFC AND KOSOVO
The Religious Freedom Coalition in conjunction with the Institute on Religion and Public Policy is arranging a fact finding trip to Pristinia, Kosovo in August of this year. A number of evangelical leaders from the United States will personally view many of the churches destroyed by Islamist fanatics since 1999 and visit with families that have been forced from their homes. Please pray for the organization and eventual success of the mission. To assist with the cost of this work please contribute online or mail your gift for this specific project to RFC, PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013.
RFC CONGRESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS
The RFC is arranging a presentation to be made to the House and Senate about atrocities against Christian Palestinians by the Islamic majority in the West Bank under the governance of Yassar Arafat. We are currently negotiating for a large hearing room on the Senate side of the Capitol. We will show the legislators a short video and a power point presentation. Please pray for the successful planning of the event to be held in July.
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 pray you will be equally as proud to wear it. To view the ties please click here .
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The RFC newsletter - The Religious Freedom Quarterly - is now available online in pdf format. Click here to view.
William J. Murray, Chairman - Religious Freedom Coalition , P.O. Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013 Phone: (202) 543-0300
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