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Week Ending March 18, 2005
March 18, 2005 5:16PM EST


In Mr. Murray's absence Peggy Birchfield wrote this week's update from Capitol Hill




Many of you have been following with great interest the intense controversy over the removal of the feeding tube from Terry Schiavo, an innocent Florida woman whose husband has been given permission by a state court to let her die of starvation and dehydration. The deadline was today at 1:00pm, and despite Congress' attempt to intervene, Judge George Greer has ignored issued subpoenas and ordered that the feeding tube could be removed. Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo wasted no time in having the tube taken out. Terri suffered severe brain damage in 1960 when her heart stopped temporarily leaving her in a persistent vegetative state. Her husband has for many years battled with Terri's parents over his decision to remove her feeding tube. After numerous speeches on the House floor late Wednesday night, members unanimously passed the Protection of Incapacitated Persons Act of 2005 (HR 1332), known as "Terri's Law" by voice vote. House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Congressman Dave Weldon, M.D(R-FL), introduced HR 1332, which authorizes the removal of such cases from the state court to U.S. Federal court to protect the federal rights of incapacitated persons. These proceedings would be authorized after all the state's remedies have been exhausted, such as in Terri's case.

Naturally, with such a short suspense on the matter, problems arose in the Senate. The Senate Democrat Minority Leader, Harry Reid, (NV) and Senator Ron Wyden, (D-OR) refused to allow a vote on the bill passed by the House (HR 1332). Senator Frist stayed strong in the fight, even after rejection by the Democrats when he offered a unanimous consent on the private relief bill introduced by Senator Tom Martinez (R-FL). It too was rejected by Senate democrats. The pressure mounted as Democrats fought hard with objections. RFC has been participating in conference calls with Senator Santorum to help move this legislation through. President Bush has even offered a statement saying he would sign both bills if passed. Click here for his statement. Developments have been occurring by the hour and a final bill was passed. Unfortunately, that meant that the House needed a voice vote again on the Senate version, but many of the members had already left for the Easter recess. After failing to agree, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis issued a joint statement late Thursday describing the plan of action. Members of the U.S. House committee would issue subpoenas will require hospice administrators and attending physicians to preserve nutrition and hydration for Terri Schiavo. This would allow Congress to fully understand the procedures and practices that are currently keeping her alive. The subpoenas were issued, but Judge Greer was not swayed. He told attorneys in a conference call this afternoon that "I have had no cogent reason why [Congress] should intervene," adding that last minute action by Congress would not invalidate years of court rulings.

Attorney David Gibbs said that Terri is responsive. "She teases. She plays. She smiles. She tries to talk." That anyone would want to end her life is barbaric. Death by starvation is cruel and painful, and Terri should not have to suffer through that.

The tube may have been removed, but we can continue to fight for Terri before it's too late. RFC will battle this by encouraging members of Congress to come to some agreement that will save her before she starves to death. You can help ... Please contact your congressman and Senators and urge them to do whatever is necessary to resolve the differences between the Senate and the House and to show respect for a life that is no less valuable than another. To hear my statement at the press confrence for Terri please click here.



The Democrats want to block yet another of the President's nominee. Newly elected Undersecretary of State John Bolton was nominated ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton is blunt, which is an advantage in an institution where words are most often used to disguise meanings than to elucidate. Bolton, who is committed to advancing human rights, has been writing about the United Nations for years. He is one of few people in public life willing to draw distinction between what the United Nations actually is and what everyone would like it to be. I am continuing to work on the Religious Freedom Coalition's two year old application to become fully accredited as a NGO at the United Nations. Please assist us in our efforts, if you believe a conservative NGO such as the Religious Freedom Coalition should be present and heard at the UN events and hearings concerning life, family and religious issues.


The week of March 14th RFC hosted and participated in meetings on Capitol Hill with Jerry Corsi, the co-author of the book Unfit for Command. This book helped to sink John Kerry's bid for the presidency. Jerry has authored a new book using inside information from the Iranian resistance about the nuclear capacities of the Iranian Mullahs. The book, Atomic Iran, will be available in bookstores on March 22, 2005. One of the forwards of Atomic Iran was written by RFC Chairman William J. Murray. Jerry and I were able to personally speak with Senator Brownback, Senator Inhofe and many other leaders and legislators. Jerry's book has exposed how this core deficit of religious freedom in Iran has led to a tyranny with nuclear capacity it is willing to use to spread its intolerant brand of enforced religious beliefs. Corsi gives vivid details of the nuclear disaster that could result inside the borders of the United States. We cannot ship the book until March 22nd per the agreement with the publisher. You may have problems finding this book because there have been over 200,000 pre-sold already! Atomic Iran is currently in our warehouse and we can ship you one as of March 22nd if you order now! Order today and we will reserve one of the copies we have in stock. This book could change everything, including US policy.


We are needing to hit the $30,000 mark for our mission trip to the West Bank. We have not meet our goal and we are only a few weeks away from our deadline to deliver aid to these families. Please help us meet our goal. The RFC is not a charity; it is a religious organization and as such we can and do discriminate. In Israel and the West Bank we help only Christian families in need. Contributions to our West Bank (Samaria) projects can be made either by mail or online using a secure server. To contribute to this project by mail please send a check to:

Religious Freedom Coalition, PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013

Be sure to note on your check that the funds are for our April Holy Land Mission. Please give credit card donations online at:


As part of our ongoing support of Christian Palestinians we have been making available the handmade olive oil soap from Samaria for about $5.00 a bar for several years. Part of the cost was the shipment by air from Israel. We have now been able to arrange transportation of a large quantity by ship and this has allowed us to reduce the price and still send the same amount of money to Christian Palestinian families. The handmade olive oil soap is now just $3.95 per bar! To learn more about this handmade olive oil soap click here.


Every time you visit one of our online stores it helps us with our various projects. Our in-house store contains many Holy Land related and Patriotic items, videos and books is located at We also have an association with a larger online Christian bookstore that gives the RFC a commission for each item sold. When you shop at either store it helps us a great deal!


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 has been forwarded to you, please subscribe at .

William J. Murray, Chairman

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

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Religious Freedom Coalition * Copyright - 2005

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