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Week Ending January 21, 2005
Religious Freedom Coalition
January 21, 2005 4:36PM EST





Several staff members of the Religious Freedom Coalition were present at the second inauguration of President George W. Bush on Thursday. Even though the weather was bitterly cold, many thousands of people gathered to watch the signing in of the President for his second term. Within the first minute of his inaugural address, he referred to God, saying that "...every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of heaven and earth." Again referring to God and the God given right to liberty the President quoted Abraham Lincoln: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it." Later during his speech he paraphrased Isaiah 61:1 saying America needs to "...proclaim liberty to the captives." Toward the end of his address he again referred to God saying, "History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty." Overall, he mentioned the Deity more often and more directly than he did in his 2001 Inaugural address. (To read entire text of the President's remarks click here) 05 Inaug Small.jpgTens of thousands more gathered along the Inaugural parade route between the Capitol Building and the White House. I attended a short luncheon meeting at the Capitol Hill Club and then my wife Nancy and I made our way to our assigned seats at the Presidential reviewing stand in front of the White House. The last two blocks of the parade the President and First Lady got out of their limo and walked past our seats waving to the crowds there to greet them. These seats were highly restricted and many who were invited were unable to get past security because of a violent protest by anarchists at one of the security check points. There was a confrontation in which police were shoved by protesters and retaliated in defense with pepper spray. Some of those in our party were accidentally hit by the pepper spray and were forced to return to our headquarters hotel for eye wash. While we waiting in line to pass security we were approached by a man shouting profanity over a bull horn. Most of the demonstrators talked about body functions and used four letter words with no apparent goal in mind other than to call attention to themselves. On Thursday night my wife and I attended the Texas Ball at which President Bush spoke, and then he and First lady Laura danced. (I was at the Texas Ball because I could not get tickets for the Virginia Ball. Most at the guests at the Texas Ball were not from Texas. Others in our staff were given tickets to the Inaugural Balls of some northern states. The Inaugural Committee headed by Senator Trent Lott just could not get tickets to people according to the states they were from-- I don't know why. At the Texas Ball when the President said he was glad to be among Texans, there was a small cheer from the few Texans that were there. The tickets were basically given out randomly. I have never seen this kind of disorganization in an Inaugural committee before.)


On Wednesday evening I participated in an event for over 200 Pennsylvania and Ohio pastors at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Alexandria, Virginia just across the Potomac from Washington, DC. This was a remarkable event principally sponsored by Let Freedom Ring, an organization dedicated to involving pastors in social issues. The organization's work in Ohio probably had a great deal to do with the number of evangelical Christians who voted in that state. There was also a Christian Inaugural Eve Gala for the first time ever that same evening which I was unable to attend, but I understand that close Bush friend and advisor Karl Rove attended.


Earlier in the week in a Washington Post interview President George W. Bush had stated that he did not feel that a Constitutional Amendment could be passed this year to protect marriage between one man and one woman. Many social conservative leaders immediately criticized the President. Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council said the President should show "resolve" to protect the institution of marriage. In reading the interview carefully, however, the President was making the point that Senators had told him that no victory could be won in the Senate until DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) was struck down by the Supreme Court. Many Republican Senators are refusing to move forward with a constitutional amendment for marriage as long as DOMA is the law of the land. The President was not giving a discouraging answer, nor was he showing lack of leadership. President Bush was simply stating the reality of the Senate. I, like the President, foresee no real action to move a marriage amendment to the Constitution forward until DOMA is struck down by the Supreme Court.



Confirmation hearings for Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State began this week in the Senate. As I expected, the fiercest attacks came from liberals who claim to be the biggest allies of black Americans. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and other Senate groupies of Ted Kennedy don't want conservative blacks and Hispanics in leadership roles where they will become role models. Boxer led the charge against Rice at the hearings which were held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Biden (D-DE) continued the ridiculous assertion that America's relations with its allies were "scraping the bottom." Liberals like Biden believe the United States is in a popularity contest and that if European leaders applaud us then we must be doing things right. He and other liberals forget that they were elected to carry out the will of the American people, not the wistful desires of President Jacques Chirac of France.



On Monday I will attend a fund raising dinner in Florida for the Jewish settlement of Ariel in Samaria. Ariel is the largest Jewish city in the West Bank; it is also the only Jewish settlement with a resident Christian evangelist. The Religious Freedom Coalition supports the evangelistic ministry to Palestinians of David Ortiz. During his many years of ministry he has won hundreds of Palestinians to Christ. I have stayed at David's home in Ariel and I have met with the mayor of Ariel, Ron Nachman, who is supportive of his efforts. Many Jews in Israel now realize that Christian Palestinians are not a threat to Jews or to the Jewish state of Israel, and the traditional suspicion of Christians in Israel has greatly diminished. The Religious Freedom Coalition, a Christian organization, is an official sponsor of the fund raising dinner for Ariel. As part of that sponsorship we will have a full page ad in the dinner menu. Our ad makes it clear that the Religious Freedom Coalition supports evangelism in the West Bank and that we support those operations out of Ariel. Please keep in mind that most Jews in the United States still believe the lie that Christians and conservatives are anti-Semitic. Most Jews voted for John Kerry as a result of those mistaken beliefs. Our participation in the Ariel fund raising dinner not only helps our base of operation in the West Bank, it makes clear to American Jews that evangelical Christians in the United States are for the most part supportive of Israel and are not anti-Semitic. For complete details on RFC's participation in the event in Florida click here to read the current Chairman's Report. Contributions to support RFC's participation in this event and our work in Ariel may be made at:

PALESTINIAN CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY more than a year the Religious Freedom Coalition has sold handmade olive oil soap made by Christian families who live near Ariel in Samaria. Although all Christians are having a difficult time in the West Bank, those who have converted from Islam to Christianity are reviled and persecuted. The soap is made by a group of families who are converts from Islam. The men in these families accepted Christ as their Savior and then led their wives and children to Him. For this the men have been called Israeli "collaborators" and are now under death warrants from the Palestinian Authority. The men now live in Israel and the families in the West Bank. The families make the soap and send it by taxi to the men to sell. The soap is then sent to us in Washington, DC. The proceeds of our sales of the soap go to the families. Because of the terrorism and Israeli security we can go for weeks without a shipment. Last week we received several hundred bars that are now available at our Internet store. For information on the soap click here or on the image.


You are invited to forward copies of this Legislative Update to your friends. Please tell them it is issued weekly free of charge and that we do not share our e-mail lists with any other organizations. In 2005 we are praying to top the 100,000 subscribers mark and you can help. If this e-mail was forwarded to you please subscribe at .


Although our 2004 deficit has for the most part been paid down, additional funds are still needed for our domestic and international operations. Please consider a gift for 2005. To help please go to You can also help by patronizing our Internet store at or our Spread the Word store which has thousands of Christian books and tapes. You can even rent Christians DVDs!

William J. Murray, Chairman

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

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