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Week Ending January 26, 2005
Religious Freedom Coalition
January 28, 2005 4:19PM EST





On Wednesday, January 26th, RFC staff participated in a press conference at which Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduced the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (S-51). This legislation would require that every woman be told prior to an abortion that her unborn child will feel pain during the abortion procedure. Abortions are not fast. During a D&E procedure in which parts of the baby are torn off, it can take up to 30 minutes for the child to actually die. In third trimester abortions, a salt solution is injected into the womb and inhaled by the child. The burning sensations can last up to one hour before the baby dies. In contrast, Section 2 of the Humane Slaughter Act, 7 USC 1902 requires that "...all animals are rendered insensible to pain by a single blow or gunshot or an electrical, chemical, or other means that is rapid and effective, before shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast or cut." There are laws to make sure animals being led to slaughter feel no pain, yet social liberals see no problem with the torture of unborn babies. Because the nervous system of an unborn baby is fully developed at 20 weeks, the bill requires that mothers be informed at that point or later in pregnancy. Newly elected Senators Dr. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim Talent (R-MO) joined Senator Brownback at the news conference. In the House the bill was introduced by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ). The house bill number is HR 356. I expect some Democrats who have been pro-abortion in the past to move over and support this bill as a result of the last election and polls which show the public continuing to move to a pro-life position. Full list of Senate and House Sponsors: . Bill summary: RFC press release:


Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) released a top ten list of bills Republicans want to pass in the Senate this year and was immediately attacked by some social conservatives because the Marriage Amendment was not on the list. Ignorance of how legislation is passed in Washington continues to be the bane of social conservatives. The Federal Marriage Amendment is not a bill; it is a Constitutional Amendment. All Constitutional Amendments are entered as Joint Resolutions, not as bills. Senator Frist believed the Marriage Amendment was so important that he presented it as SJ Res -1 ( Senate Joint Resolution number one)! This reminded me of the attacks by social conservatives on the President last week when he stated that he did not think the Marriage Amendment would move in the Senate until DOMA was struck down. The President was not speaking out against the Marriage Amendment, he was merely answering a technical question on its proposed progress. What was he supposed to do-- lie? There are areas in which conservatives are going to have genuine disagreements with the President and we should reserve our criticism for when it is deserved. To have social conservative attacking the President and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist over petty details is counter productive and only helps the liberals. If the Marriage Amendment has any chance at all in the Senate it will be because of the leadership of Senator Bill Frist.


Condoleezza Rice was confirmed as Secretary of State by a Senate vote of 85 to 13. As expected, the core liberals of the Democrat Party voted against her confirmation. The fight against Condoleezza Rice was led by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Boxer is vying to take the mantel of head wacky liberal from Ted Kennedy. At the hearings Boxer made accusations against Rice that made Kennedy blush. For Barbara Boxer and many other liberals in the Senate the issue is really ownership of the black vote. High profile black Republicans can lead to the erosion of the black voter base in the Democrat party. Condoleezza Rice is simply a danger to the Democrat ownership of the black vote.


Unable to stop the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice, liberals in the Senate have set their sites on yet another minority appointment, this time Alberto Gonzales. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is making the blatantly false charge that Alberto Gonzales is responsible for the isolated acts of violence toward prisoners by National Guardsmen at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. As mentioned above, this is really an ownership of minorities issue with the Democrats. The Democrats who control the Congressional Hispanic Caucus urged Senators to vote against Gonzales, yet both the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Council of La Raza have endorsed him. This shows a split between Hispanics in Congress following the cards dealt to them by liberal leaders and the rank and file Hispanics. The vote for Gonzales in the Judiciary Committee was a straight party line vote with 10 Republicans voting for him and 8 Democrats voting against him. Senator Schumer (D-NY) went out of his way to show how lost the Democrats are in the past, by saying that Robert F. Kennedy was a more independent Attorney General than Alberto Gonzales would be. Robert Kennedy has been dead for decades. The confirmation goes to the Senate floor next week.


RFC Executive Director Peggy Birchfield participated in a meeting with pro-life leaders from emerging democracies who came to the United States for the pro-life march on Monday the 24th at which President George W. Bush delivered a pro-life message by phone. (See President's remarks) At various meetings on the Hill these pro-life leaders talked about their successes at promoting a pro-life culture in former communist nations. Croatia has virtually eliminated abortion and the number of abortions in Poland has been drastically cut. The number of international issues continues to grow for RFC as Peggy works to obtain full NGO accreditation for us at the United Nations. (Side note: Peggy's husband Michael is a noted music evangelist and his latest CD is available at our Internet store. Click here for information.)



The Religious Freedom Coalition and other social conservative groups wrote a joint letter to President George W. Bush this week expressing our concerns that Christians in Iraq who comprise 5% to 10% of the population are not receiving their proportional share of reconstruction funding. Click here for PDF of letter.


In case you have never noticed, the Bush White House functions on weekly themes. The theme this week was Social Security. I do not believe the Bush Administration is getting the traction on Social Security reform that was anticipated. Why? It is hard to sell an urgent fix to Social Security, which will not officially go into the red until 2042-- when at the same time Medicare is already deep in red ink. Medical care promised to the elderly by government programs is just not sustainable. Immigration reform pushed by the President is also under attack. Congressmen are demanding that the President fill all 2,000 new Border Patrol agent jobs which have been authorized, and Congressman Sensenbrenner has introduced legislation with 114 co-sponsors, requiring that drivers' licenses be issued only to those who can prove they are in the United States legally. Sensenbrenner said, "Americans have the right to know who is in their country, that people are who they say they are, and that the name on the driver's license is the holder's real name, not some alias." All of the 911 terrorists had valid drivers' licenses, most issued by Virginia. The Bush Administration has not yet been able to excite the social conservative wing of the Republican Party with the Social Security and Immigration Reform issues even though they are vital to our future.



On Monday, January 24th I attended a fund raising dinner in Florida for the Jewish settlement of Ariel in Samaria. As previously mentioned RFC participation and sponsorship had two goals; first to support our base of operations in Ariel and second to illustrate to American Jews that Evangelical Christians are not anti-Semitic. In Ariel we support an evangelistic team that takes the Gospel to Palestinians in the West Bank. Christian participation in the dinner went beyond that of the Religious Freedom Coalition. Evangelist Billy Graham and his daughter attended, as did representatives of several large churches. The Christian presence at the fund raising dinner was evident. As a sponsor of the event, the RFC had a full page advertisement in the dinner program. For complete details of RFC's participation in the event in Florida click here to read the current Chairman's Report. Projects such as this that promote the cause of Christ are costly and contributions are needed to cover costs. The RFC has not received a single Internet donation in two weeks. Contributions to support RFC's participation in this event and our work in Ariel may be made at:

HAND MADE SOAP STILL AVAILABLE 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 especially 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. Recently we received several hundred bars that are now available at our Internet store. For information on the soap click here or on the image.


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William J. Murray, Chairman

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

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