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Week Ending April 15, 2005
Religious Freedom Coalition
April 15, 2005 3:55PM EST


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING April 15, 2005

William J. Murray travels to the West Bank;  in his absence Peggy Birchfield wrote this week's update from Capitol Hill

HOUSE AND SENATE IN SESSION

CONGRESS

SENATE

The RFC participated in a celebration for the people of central and Southern Sudan to recognize their right to religious freedom under the North/South peace accord, signed by the Administration in January 2005. Africa's largest country has been embroiled in civil wars for 37 of its 47 years as an independent state. It achieved independence in 1956 after nearly 80 years of British rule. A convoluted mix of historical, religious, ethnic, and cultural tensions has made peace elusive, while competition for economic resources has fueled the conflict. Senator Brownback has been working to stop the mass murder in the Sudan for many years and was the chief sponsor of the Sudan Peace Act in July 2004. Amendments in the Senate are waiting debate as the Senate continues work on the Supplemental Appropriations Bill. The first amendment would provide assistance to African Union forces monitoring the region and financial aid for the International Disaster Assistance to provide critical humanitarian aid to Darfur. The second amendment encapsulates the Darfur Accountability Act (S. 495), which provides tools and policies necessary to confront this urgent crisis, to reconfirm that genocide is occurring in Darfur.

HOUSE

Congressman Ernest Istook will re-introduce the Pledge and Prayer Amendment this year. This amendment gives collective protection to what America cherishes, the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, School prayer and our National Motto. High School speeches at graduations have been censored, high school athletes have been forbidden to pray before games, and the Ten Commandments removed from public property. Recently the ACLU recommended that officials at a public school in New Orleans, LA be fined or even jailed for failing to stop prayer at a high school baseball game. These are examples of the constant attacks on our public displays of the Ten Commandments, the pledge of allegiance and students wishing to pray and other expressions of our religious heritage or personal beliefs on public property. Congressman Istook with the support of RFC has fought for religious freedom for many years. The Religious Freedom Coalition whole heartedly endorses and supports the Pledge and Prayer Amendment. (See Ten Commandment plaques and ties at our RFC book store)

Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) also reintroduced the Constitution Restoration Act, The bill would require federal courts to operate within the jurisdiction of the Constitution with regard to public acknowledgment of God. This is a jurisdiction act under Article III of the Constitution. Article III gives the Congress the power to set the jurisdiction of federal courts. In plain English the Congress has the right to tell federal courts what cases or issues they can and cannot decide. Congressman Aderholt's bill would restrict federal court jurisdiction in matters of the public display of the Ten Commandments, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, "In God We Trust" on our currency, etc. RFC continues to offer our ten commandment ties and wall plaques as our stand on the issue. (See Ten Commandment plaques and ties at RFC store)

INTERNATIONAL

WEST BANK

Our chairman, William J Murray, has been in the West Bank (Samaria) for nearly a week. During that time he has been working from the Jewish "settlement" of Ariel which has a fairly large Christian community. On the day Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited President George W. Bush's ranch in Texas, the BCC did an interview with Mr. Murray on the issue of the Israeli withdrawal and the evacuation of "settlements." Mr. Murray was in Ariel at the time of the interview. He has also visited with many Christian families and groups in Beit Jala and Bethlehem. His full report on the situation of Christians in Palestinian controlled areas can be read at our Internet site. To read his very graphic report on the plight of West Bank Christians please click here.

IRAN

Jerry Corsi, the co-author of the book Unfit for Command has continued to make his presence known on Capitol Hill. 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, is currently available at our bookstore. Mr. Corsi has met with many of the congressmen, Senators and many other leaders and legislators to explain how his book has exposed how the core deficit of religious freedom in Iran has led to a tyranny with nuclear capacity. Jerry's book gives vivid details of the nuclear disaster that could result inside the borders of the United States. This book could change everything including US policy. One of the forwards of Atomic Iran was written by RFC Chairman William J. Murray.

OLIVE OIL SOAP WILL BE HAND DELIVERED!

Mr. Murray is currently visiting parts of Samaria and will be visiting with the families who make the olive oil soap to support themselves. The olive oil soap has been made available for $5.00 a bar for several years to support Christian Palestinians. Part of the cost was the shipment by air from Israel. Mr. Murray will be returning from Samaria with several cases of soap which will allowed us to keep this reduced 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.

OUR STORES SPRING CLEANING!!

We are clearing our shelves to make room for other products. Please check out our online bookstore for reduced priced products in the Close-out section. 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 as well as Patriotic items, videos and books. The bookstore is located at http://www.rfcstore.com/. 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!

PLEASE TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THESE UPDATES

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 http://www.rfcnet.org/subscribe.asp .

Peggy Birchfield, Executive Director

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

Please address all comments and questions to support

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This publication is a service of the Religious Freedom Coalition (RFC). Links to political and other sites are for informational purposes and do not constitute endorsement. No statement is intended to assist or defeat any candidate running for public office.

Religious Freedom Coalition * Copyright - 2005



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