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Week Ending February 3, 2006
Religious Freedom Coalition
February 3, 2006 1:14PM EST





On Tuesday evening President George W. Bush delivered his State of the Union address to Congress. Not a whole lot of new ground was covered by the President other than to call for massive new programs to move the United States away from the use of oil as a primary source of energy. The President is a pro-life social conservative and spoke artfully against cloning, but broke no new ground on social issues. He did not mention the value of traditional marriage which many had hoped for in light of numerous votes at the state level to protect that institution coming this year. The President did mention the need for a secure border but did not address the massive illegal immigration problem we now have. I am not critical of the President for not breaking much new ground in his speech. The fact is that the President has accomplished much of the agenda that he brought with him to the White House six years ago. He reduced taxes and started to restore the military as he promised. He also grew the involvement of the federal government in local education and brought forth the prescription drug plan for those on Social Security as he had promised. With much of his agenda accomplished there was not that much new to say. The President artfully defended his terrorist surveillance program which is under attack from extreme left wing elements in Congress. The far left just does not understand the need to protect American civilians from terrorist operations.


William Murray, Justice Alito and Peggy BirchfieldIn the Senate section the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito is covered. Toward the bottom of the article it is mentioned that he was sworn in on Tuesday, but that a formal event was held at the White House with President Bush on Wednesday. I was present a the formal event for Justice Alito in the East Room of the White House as was our Executive Director Peggy Birchfield. For more information on our participation in the swearing inn ceremony and reception at the White House please visit our sister organization's Internet site at At that site you will find links to a photo gallery of our interaction with the Justices and other officials.



The outrageous filibuster called by the Massachusetts boys, Kennedy and Kerry failed on the evening of Monday, January 31st. The filibuster was led by the literal screams of Kennedy from the bench saying that Judge Alito had to be stopped from putting on a Supreme Court robe because he is "biased toward women." This was an odd statement from a man who has belonged to a private men's club for over fifty years, one that still does not allow women.

Senators Kennedy and Kerry embarrassed most other Democrat Senators but further endeared themselves to the extreme left. Senator Diane Feinstein made it clear, as did other Democrats, that the issue was ideology and not judicial competence. Democrats supporting the filibuster pointedly said that the only issue of concern for them was the right for women to murder unborn babies right up the moment of birth. They feared that on the Supreme Court, Judge Alito might side with the human child. Click here for a PDF of the closure vote record. How did your senator vote on continuing the filibuster against Judge Alito's confirmation?

On Tuesday morning the voting process began to confirm Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Associate Justice. It was Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) who cast the 51 vote for his confirmation. The final vote tally was 58 to 42. Judge Alito immediately went to the Supreme Court and was sworn in so that he would be able to attend the President's State of the Union Address that evening. A formal ceremony was held at the White House on Wednesday. The only Republican voting against Judge Alito's confirmation was Senator Chafee (RI-R). Senator Chafee is too liberal to be elected as a Democrat in Virginia. His is facing a primary challenge in November. Click here for final confirmation vote record.



On Thursday, February 2nd a huge celebration was held at the headquarters of Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform as "their man" Congressman Boehner (R-OH) defeated social conservative Roy Blunt (R-MO) for the position of Majority Leader to replace Tom DeLay (R-TX) who stepped down late last year. While Blunt had 110 of the 117 votes needed on the first round, in an orchestrated second round of voting Congressman Shadegg (R-AZ) withdrew handing off votes to Boehner causing the defeat of Blunt. When the Republicans took over the House in 1994 the entire leadership was solidly social conservative. Over the years, the Richard Nixon Republicans have managed to chip away at the Leadership positions. They honestly believe social conservatives are not needed in the party and that the old "Nixon Coalition" of fiscal conservatives and defense hawks can win elections. With their inroads into leadership I do not see any vigorous support of the Republicans in November coming from social conservatives, and I expect to see the Republicans lose some seats.


William J. Murray and Congressman AkinOn Thursday morning just before the House leadership vote I spent more than an hour in the office of Congressman Todd Akin discussing strategy for the Pledge Protection Act of 2005. In each new session of Congress a bill has to be reintroduced and go through the same process as the year before. In the 108th Congress, Judiciary Committee Chairman Sensenbrenner backed the bill and it was passed out of committee. In the 109th we must go though this process once again. More than half of the 109th has expired and we still have not cleared the Judiciary Committee this year. We also discussed the need to add co-sponsors and I assured the congressman that our petition program would get the tally over the 200 mark. Later that day I talked to a congressman who co-sponsored the Pledge Protection Act in the 108th and who has not signed on as yet in the 109th, and he agreed to come on board. We will continue to move forward using the petitions as a wedge. Please help by mailing a completed petition today to support the Pledge Protection Act of 2005. To view or print out copies of our petition click here. To order bumper stickers click here.


RFC's Executive Director Peggy Birchfield participated in a news conference on Wednesday, urging Congress to move forward withHolly's Law (HR 1079) which would suspend FDA's fast-track approval of the human pesticide drug RU-486. Along with Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD),Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists Dr. Donna Harrison and Dr. Margaret Congressmen Barllett and othere announcing Holly's Law Gary and more than a dozen pro-life organizations called attention tonew research and evidence exposing the unacceptable threat the drug RU-486 poses to women's lives and health. A drug which is given to induce abortion is nothing but poison, which naturally has potentially serious side effects, causing some women to die. Holly Patterson was a California teenager who became pregnant at the age of 17 and had barely turned 18 years old when she died in a hospital from toxic shock, just seven days after being given RU-486. Her parents did not even know she was pregnant until she was dying. The photo to the left pictures Congressman Bartlett, Dr. Gary, Dr. Harrison, Marjorie Dannefelser, Congressman Chris Smith, Peggy Birchfield, Wendy Wright, Janet Morana, Deirdre McQuade, and Kristen Day in support of the passage of Holly's Law. Many women who have been given the drug do not even know the potentially fatal side effects, so how many deaths does it take for FDA to suspend the drug?Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has sponsored a companion bill in the Senate.



Can the Europeans stand up to Islamic bullies and preserve their freedom of the press, or will they cower in fear of Muslim threats and let the fanatics dictate what they will or will not print? As the row over the Mohammed cartoons spreads to more and more countries, it's not looking very good for the side of freedom. (Click here for story.)

It all started last September when the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Postens, published some cartoon drawings, or caricatures, of the Prophet Mohammed. Danish imams rose up in outrage, claiming that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemy, and soon the newspaper office was receiving bomb threats and the outrage spread to other Islamic countries, where boycotts were called against Danish products. Palestinians rioted in the streets (can anyone imagine that?) and burned the Danish flag. Saudi Arabia and Libya withdrew their ambassadors from Denmark.

In a show of solidarity and support for freedom of the press, newspapers from other countries began to republish the cartoons, first in Norway and then in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Hungary. The Islamic protests continued to grow, with a mob in Gaza briefly taking over the offices of the European Union there, and more world leaders, like the President of Pakistan and the President of Syria, condemning the drawings.

Predictably, the French were the first to cave, with the editor of France Soir being fired outright. Then the Danish editor started to waffle and then to apologize. Danish diplomats and then the Prime Minister apologized to offended Muslims, but just as the Danes were apologizing all over the place, newspapers in Spain and Bulgaria joined the fray by publishing the cartoons. The Brits, still shaky from last summer's subway bombing, haven't worked up the courage to join in the controversy, and it remains to be seen if Europeans have the will to defend their freedom of the press.


Christians in the Bethlehem area have tried to work with the Muslim Palestinians politically. Some have even supported HAMAS in the belief that a unified government would protect their minority rights. During my past two visits it has become apparent that most Christians now realize they cannot work with or trust HAMAS, although there are some that still think HAMAS will be better than the PLO. But the draft Constitution for a proposed Palestinian state declares that Sharia, or Islamic law, will be a "major source for legislation." (Click here for Washington Times story.) While Christians in the Bethlehem area still have their own schools (which this organization supports) Christians living in Muslim villages already face persecution. Several men who are converts from Islam and have been accused of being "collaborators" with Israel have death warrants against them and cannot return to their villages. Their families support themselves by producing olive oil soap which we sell for them in the United States. Please order a few bars to help these persecuted Christians. 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! To learn more about this handmade olive oil soap click here .



Every time you use GOODSEARCH.COM powered by Yahoo your favorite charity or non-profit organization receives a contribution. The more searches you use GOODSEARCH for the more funds your favorite organization gets. The Religious Freedom Coalition is listed at GOODSEARCH. If you choose the RFC as your favorite and search from GOODSEARCH we will receive a check from them monthly. You can change the designation at any time to any number of organizations you may wish to support. So far we have earned almost $20.00!  (Please try it.) 

William J. Murray, Chairman

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

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