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Week Ending August 12, 2005
RFC
August 12, 2005 8:32PM EST


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK ENDING AUGUST 12, 2005

HOUSE IN RECESS / SENATE IN RECESS

PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS

IT'S AUGUST

President George W. Bush is running the country from Crawford, Texas, and the Congress of the United States is scattered all over the face of the globe on various fact finding missions. The Supreme Court is also in recess, and this gives me pause to understand why people are out demonstrating in front of the Court Building virtually every day. Down in Crawford the President has signed a new Energy Act as well as the Transportation Act he had previously vowed to veto. So far the President has held control of the Congress well enough to have never had a need to veto anything. That could change soon if a bill authorizing tax funds for embryonic stem cells gets to his desk. NOTE: The fight is not over the research on human life. There is no law in the United States against embryonic research; rather, the battle is over who pays for the research -- private biotech companies or the taxpayers. The Congress has decided that we taxpayers should foot the bill to fund the experimentation on and destruction of human embryos. Huge concerns that want tax dollars for the research are making inroads even with conservatives and there is the chance that a presidential veto will be overridden on this issue.

THE COURT

THE ROBERTS NOMINATION

Our executive Director, Peggy Birchfield has attended perhaps a dozen meetings concerning the nomination process of Judge John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court. Peggy is a member of the coordination team uniting dozens of social conservative organizations to help in the confirmation; however, no conservative group is onboard with Roberts. While the left is unanimously against this man because he is a pro-life Catholic who attends church weekly, the right seems to have some problems with him. Rabbi Lapin of the very conservative Toward Tradition says he cannot support Roberts because he may have worked on a "pro-gay" lawsuit. This is the same Rabbi Lapin who conducted the marriage ceremony of conservative secularist Grover Norquist (the anti-tax guy) to a Muslim woman. OK, I'm really confused now. MEANWHILE: The left, being unable to find any real problem to block Roberts' confirmation, is making things up. NARAL began running TV ads this week claiming that Roberts supports the bombing of abortion clinics. The nonpartisan media watchdog group, FactCheck.org said that, "The ad is false." The organization went on to say that the "images used in the ad are especially misleading." Even pro-abortion Senator Specter (R-PA) wrote NARAL a letter asking them to stop lying. Although the ad had been proven false from the get go, liberal media outlets such as CNN agreed to run it. After two days of air time the roar was so great that NARAL was forced to pull the ad off the air, but promised more attacks on Roberts.

CHURCH UNDER ATTACK

New York City has a Republican mayor. How can I tell? The city is trying to evict the Christ Tabernacle Church from the school auditorium it meets in each week. The mostly black church grew out of its strip mall home and has been renting a public school auditorium as do hundreds of other churches in the United States. If the Borough of the Bronx in New York City wins the case in Federal District Court, it could lead to the eviction of all churches from New York schools. The city says the use of the schools on Sunday mornings is a violation of "separation of church and state;" however; they would rent the building to an atheist organization. Of the more than 2,000 use permits for school facilities each Sunday in New York City, only 50 are for religious purposes. A Muslim group meets in the same building as the Christian church but they have not been threatened with eviction. An unfavorable ruling would probably leave the church with no place to meet, with the sky high real estate prices in that city preventing them from finding a home. New York City Republicans are overwhelmingly Richard Nixon Republicans. The whiskey and women abound at every event. While I was at the GOP convention in New York last year I was actually embarrassed on several occasions by the conduct of Northeastern and California Republicans whose only reason for being in the party seems to be lowering taxes. While there are a few social conservatives among Northeastern Republicans, for the most part they support abortion, cloning and "gay" marriage and that puts them socially right in the middle of the Democrat camp.

INTERNATIONAL

BETHLEHEM IS NOT IN ISRAEL!

Just a few days ago I returned from the Middle East after several days in Bethlehem and Samaria. I was amazed to learn that many of the tourists who are visiting Bethlehem actually think they are in Israel. When I returned to the USA I did an informal survey just asking people at airports if they knew what nation Bethlehem was in, and every one of them responded by saying Israel. Perhaps that is why Christians just don't help their brothers and sisters in Christ in Bethlehem; maybe they think the Israelis will do it for them. THE FACTS: under the Oslo Accord forced down the throat of Israel by then President Bill Clinton, the first city to be handed over to Yassar Arafat was Bethlehem. Christians immediately began to flee and now they number less than 20%. During my time in Bethlehem I never saw a Christian woman on the street. Every woman wears a Muslim veil or scarf and it is now unsafe for a Christian woman to be on the street without a male escort. Last week I briefly wrote about my most recent experiences in Bethlehem including information on the distribution of funds to Christian children. My full report is now completed in the form of a Chairman's Report and is available online (Click here to read) There are several photos in the report showing some of the children who were helped. School does not start for two weeks and we can still get more funds to Christian children for school supplies, books, uniforms etc. YOU CAN STILL HELP THESE KIDS. Please help with a gift at this secure link or mail a gift to RFC Bethlehem Project, PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013. If your church or corporation would consider a grant please call Scott Parker at 202.543.0300. 

CHURCH DESECRATION VIDEO

CNSNEWS has obtained a video of a church being desecrated by a Muslim militia in Kosovo that is being used as a recruitment tool not only in Arab nations, but in Europe as well. Although President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and the rest of the Western leaders do not see the terror war against us as a religious war, apparently the enemy does. To see the video click here or for the full story go to this CNS link.

KOSOVO PRESS CONFERENCE

On Thursday, Ambassador Thomas Melady, hosted by our friends at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, presented his observations and recommendations for the ongoing status debate about Kosovo, based upon his recent travels to the Balkans. Besides the RFC represented by Scott Parker, others present included Dutch Television, CNS News, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Serbian Unity Congress, as well as Congressional staffers. Serbian Orthodox Christianity a "living faith" and Serbian identity both began in Kosovo nearly a millennium ago. Melady visited monasteries where Italian soldiers had to escort monks and nuns just to go fill their water containers lest they be killed by snipers. As RFC subscribers will recall from last year's fact-finding mission, ethnic Albanian Muslims have destroyed over 150 ancient churches and monasteries in Kosovo since 1999 (34 deliberately targeted and destroyed by mobs on 17 March 2004). Over 200,000 Serbs have fled their homeland. At the same time, more than 200 mosques have been built funded by extremist Wahhabi Islam-influenced Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and even Iran. Balkan Muslims are traditionally highly secular, but Islamist financing brings with it a new infrastructure and enormous influence. Amb. Melady noted that the U.S. Administration (Secretary Burns) will release a position report by November. He recommended that the KFOR mandate must be expanded and, since no attempts have been made to reconcile the majority Albanian Muslims with the Serb minority, no final status (especially independence) should be granted for at least five years.

IRAQ

Monday is the supposed deadline for the completion of the new Iraqi constitution. Many groups such as this one have been pressuring President George W. Bush to intervene and protect the religious minorities in that nation, particularly the Christian community. The ugly head of Shari'a law is making itself present in the negotiations. Should Shari'a become a part of that nation's constitution, women will forfeit rights they had even under the repressive regime of Saddam Hussein. If Shari'a is the base law of Iraq, our brave men and women will have died in vain to bring freedom to that far away land. I made this very clear in my letter to the President this week. (PDF version)

DO I REALLY WANT TO STOP THIS PROJECT?

Nothing would make me happier that to stop selling this soap. That would mean that the last Christian Palestinian who had fled to Israel now had a new home somewhere. These are men who converted to Christianity and have a far worse fate than those who were "born" Christians in Bethlehem. Many are accused of being "collaborators" with Israel and as a result they have death warrants against them and cannot return to their villages. Please order a few bars of soap to help these persecuted Christian. Your church can also offer the soap for sale and send the proceeds to the Religious Freedom Coalition. The soap is available to individuals for just $3.95 per bar plus shipping! To learn more about this handmade olive oil soap click here .

AND FINALLY ... We have reduced the price of some of our custom made Ten Commandment ties for men. These 100% silk ties were made exclusively for distribution by the Religious Freedom Coalition. The red and blue ties are now just $17.95 and the tan tie has been further reduced to just $12.95. Order yours today at our Internet store .

 PLEASE TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THESE UPDATES

Recommend the RFC update to someone! 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

William J. Murray, Chairman

Religious Freedom Coalition, PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013 - (202) 543-0300

Please address all comments and questions to support@rfcnet.org

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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