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Week Ending June 11, 2004
Religious Freedom Coalition
June 11, 2004 5:21PM EST


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING June 11, 2004

CONGRESS ADJOURNED TODAY IN HONOR OF PRESIDENT REAGAN

THE PRESIDENCY

PRESIDENT RONALD WILSON REAGAN

I first met Ronald Reagan in Dallas, Texas in the summer of 1980 at a major meeting of Evangelical Christians. Just about every major Evangelical leader was there including a much younger Jerry Falwell, Adrian Rogers, Dr. James Kennedy and others too numerous to name. I was fortunate enough to attend a private reception for then Governor Reagan the evening before what was to become a historic rally of evangelicals. The thing I remember most from that day some 24 years ago is his handshake. I was taken by his sheer strength in gripping my hand. He had the hands of a rancher, not of a politician.

The next day Ronald Reagan pronounced to the mass gathering of evangelical Christian leaders from across the United States, "You cannot endorse me, but I can endorse you." With those words he won the hearts of evangelical Christians for the next eight years.

After his election I was invited for the first time in my life to the White House. At a Rose Garden event he announced that his Administration would try to pass an Amendment to the Constitution to allow school prayer. The effort was doomed from the start by a Congress controlled by liberal Democrats out of touch with the people of this nation.

Ronald Reagan was the first true pro-life President. He was bashed by the mainstream media for his "anti-women" stance against abortion. He even wrote an anti-abortion book, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation. Had not Ronald Reagan taken this public stand we might not have a pro-life President today.

It was Ronald Reagan who sat down with then Vice President George H. W. Bush, showed him a video of the destruction of an unborn baby, and convinced him that abortion was wrong.

Had not Ronald Reagan convinced George H. W. Bush to join the pro-life movement, would his son George W. Bush be a pro-life President today? Perhaps not. Before leaving office in 1988 President Ronald Reagan let it be known to the world his depth of concern for the unborn with this official proclamation:

The pro-life movement, which is the core of social conservatism today, would not have proliferated as it has without Ronald Reagan.

President Ronald Reagan also brought about the collapse of communism. Many will say he just happened to be President when communism was in its death rattle, but this is far from the truth. His policies and his leadership hastened the collapse by many years. Communism was bankrupt and Reagan knew it the day he gave his famous "evil empire" speech. Reagan doubled the defense budget, and bought 3,000 combat aircraft, 3,700 strategic missiles and 10,000 tanks. Then he began to finance revolutions against the Soviet occupiers of the world. I know, I was there in Nicaragua and in the Soviet Union.

President Ronald Reagan supported the Contras who were trying to overthrow the communist government of Nicaragua. The Democrats held hearing after hearing in Congress and even tried to jail Colonel Oliver North because the liberals simply did not want to confront the enemy anywhere at anytime. The liberals wanted to hide from the communist threat then, just as they want to hide from the Islamic threat today.

I was the president of Freedom's Friends (Amigos de Libertad) during the Contra war, and we supplied food and medicine to the families of the fighters and trained their chaplains to teach the Word of God to their troops.

I could not have done any of the work I did for the cause of Christ in Nicaragua had it not been for the Presidency of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

As for the Soviet Union, the Reagan military buildup was forcing the impoverished, totalitarian nation into bankruptcy. Unable to keep up with our arms race, Gorbachev turned to the free market place for money. While the country was still communist, I established the first commercial tour company in the Soviet Union to escort evangelicals there and to help them hold events and pass out Bibles as the Evil Empire collapsed. The nation was so broke I actually paid a printing plant owned by the Communist Party in Minsk to print Bibles ... they gladly took the cash!

In every Soviet city I carried with me photos to hand out of President Ronald Reagan and myself. Those photos opened more doors than I can tell you about. None of what I and others did in the Soviet Union in the late 80's and early 90's could have been done had it not been for President Reagan taking on the communists nose to nose.

The famed Solidarity Movement in Poland was fueled by a secret $50 million fund to help spread freedom behind the Iron Curtain. How far would that first anti-Communist rebellion have gone in Eastern Europe without the direct support of President Ronald Reagan?

The day the Soviet Empire collapsed I was in Moscow. President George H.W. Bush was in office, but I knew in my heart that the fate of the Evil Empire had been sealed by President Ronald Reagan.

President Ronald Wilson Reagan changed the course of the great ship of state we call the United States and in doing so he changed the course of world history. It is up to us to keep the course and not revert to a time when democracy hid from totalitarianism.

GEORGE W. BUSH

For the last week President George W. Bush has been meeting with world leaders, first at the Normandy invasion anniversary ceremonies and then at the G8 Conference in Georgia. The President then gave his respects to Ronald Wilson Reagan in a manner befitting the former President. The new Iraqi government is taking hold and it was announced that more than 100,000 armed militiamen in Iraq were laying down their weapons. On the domestic front the economy has improved, but still the poll numbers for President George W. Bush remain low. Although the President's poll numbers have not increased, those of Senator John Kerry continue to go down. While many people seem not to like the job President George W. Bush has done over the past 3 and years, they also just don't seem to trust John Kerry with the job. People just like George W. Bush better as a person than they do John Kerry.

THE SENATE

DISMANTLE THE 9TH CIRCUIT COURT

Senator John Ensign of Nevada spoke to conservative leaders this week about dividing the 9th Circuit Court. The Ninth District Court has been responsible for outlandish decisions including removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. Under his bill to split up the court (S-2278) only California, Hawaii and Guam would remain in the 9th Circuit. A new 12th Circuit would be comprised of Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and Montana and a new 13th would be comprised of Oregon, Washington and Alaska. I discussed the similar legislation in the House introduced by Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) and Congressman Jon Porter (R-NV) H.R. 4247 in previous updates. If you have interest in this legislation please contact your Senator.

IMMIGRATION

Senator Ted Kennedy (AGAIN), along with yet another Republican, this time Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), is trying to get amnesty for illegal aliens. Their bill is the Agriculture Job Opportunity Act (S-1645) , also known as AgJOBS. It is my understanding of the bill that about 1.2 million illegal aliens currently working in agriculture in the United States would receive amnesty under AgJOBS. The bill also grants amnesty and legal status to the families of the workers as well, bringing the total to over three million. See additional information on this bill at NumbersUSA. Please contact your Senators and give them your opinion of AgJOBS.

THE HOUSE

SAFE HARBOR FOR CHURCHES

Congressman Bill Thomas (R-CA) surprised us all when he announced the Safe Harbor for Churches Amendment to the American Jobs Creation Act (HR-4520). This amendment to the bill would provide very limited protection from the IRS for churches who are under attack from organizations such as the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. For the past few months organizations such as these have filed complaints against churches for even mentioning abortion, claiming it is a political issue. In the view of these groups if a church states it is anti-abortion, then it is telling its parishioners to vote Republican. Under the proposed Amendment at line 378 of HR 4520, a church would be allowed three "mistakes" each year without fear of losing its tax exemption, but would still have to pay a fine . Pay a fine for free speech? Congressman Walter Jones who has proposed removing the IRS gag order imposed on pastors by Senator Lyndon Johnson does not support the current language. He has been a strong proponent of freedom of speech from the pulpit with no reservations whatsoever. (More information) As hearing move forward I will report on the final language of the proposal which Congressman Jones hopes to change.

JULY FOURTH IS ALMOST HERE  

Do  you need a men's patriotic tie or a women's patriotic scarfs to wear around Independence Day? The Religious Freedom Coalition Internet store has a variety of patriotic ties and scarfs you may be interested in. Our Independence Day tie displays the Declaration of Independence and features some of its signers. The 'One Nation Under God' tie is still a favorite and available again this year. Other patriotic items are available. Click here to visit the RFC store .

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The RFC newsletter - The Religious Freedom Quarterly - is now available online in pdf format. Click here to view. Click here for last edition of the Chairman's Action Report.

William J. Murray, Chairman - Religious Freedom Coalition , P.O. Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013 Phone: (202) 543-0300

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