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Week Ending July 7, 2006
Religious Freedom Coalition
July 7, 2006 2:13PM EST


HOUSE IN RECESS / SENATE IN RECESS (To return July 10, 2006)



The Pledge Protection Act (PPA) is listed as number one in the House GOP "Values Agenda" released by Majority Leader Boehner (R-OH). Yet, as reported last week, the Republican controlled Judiciary Committee failed to pass it out to the House floor for a vote before July 4th. This was a major blow to Majority Leader Boehner who had personally championed the Pledge Protection Act. The Leadership is now working with Chairman Sensenbrenner to make sure that the PPA is brought up again as soon as possible, preferably before the Public _Expression of Religion Act (HR 2679) which was listed as number three on the Majority Leader's "American Values Agenda." The liberal San Francisco Chronicle ran a "news" article about the Pledge Protection Act and the rest of the Values Agenda that basically calls them political stunts. The article is interesting for its left-wing view of what we are trying to accomplish for the American people in Washington, DC. Click here for the Chronicle story.


The House Leadership has promised a vote on Congressman John Hostettler's (R-IN) Public _Expression of Religion Act or PERA. This bill actually amends 42 U.S.C. which currently allows parties to sue state and local governments claiming their individual rights were violated and demand attorneys' fees in the case if they win. The ACLU and other liberal groups use this clause to threaten lawsuits claiming cities and towns violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution by allowing, for example, city council members to pray before meetings. It is the basis for the suit to remove the memorial cross in San Diego. (Click here for current story on San Diego Cross) As the law is written the ACLU is in a win-win situation. They often get results with threats of an expensive lawsuit - and if they actually do file a lawsuit and win, the local government may have to pay them exaggerated legal fees. PERA amends 42 U.S.C. to make it clear that plaintiffs in Establishment Clause cases brought against State and local government can only obtain "injunctive relief." That means if they win, they can force a town to stop a city council prayer, but they do not receive any court costs or legal fees. This will return the status as it was before the law was originally passed in 1983. Click here for PDF of PERA talking points and details of the legislation.


Majority Leader Boehner (R-OH) recently launched an "American Values Agenda" listing legislation he plans on pushing before the mid-term election in November. As mentioned above, the number one issue is the Pledge Protection Act (HR-2389; Akin). One of our favorites, The Public _Expression of Religion Act (HR 2679; Hostettler) was number three. As mentioned above PERA would stop public funding of ACLU lawyers who file anti-religious heritage cases on the grounds of civil liberties violation. Other bills Boehner hopes to push are the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (HR 356; C. Smith) and the Human Cloning Prohibition Act (HR 1357; D. Weldon). To read Majority Leader Boehner's statement and a short explanation of each of the nine bills click here.



As mentioned last week July 30th is the 50th anniversary of "In God We Trust" becoming the official motto of the United States of America. Although it was used for nearly two centuries on coin and currency, it was not until 1956 that the motto was made official. At a time when atheist Michael Newdow has filed lawsuits to remove our national motto from our currency, it is appropriate that both the House and the Senate pass resolutions of support for the motto on its 50th anniversary. The commemoration resolution (H. Con Res. 411) in the House is sponsored by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and (S. Con. Res. 96) in the Senate by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). In the House there are 47 co-sponsors and in the Senate just 11. Please contact your congressman and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the "In God We Trust" commemoration resolutions.


In 2003 New York City opened a "gay only" high school in flagrant violation of the civil rights of most New Yorkers. (Click here for our 2003 Update) One of the chief opponents of the "gay only" school was my close friend, New York State Senator Ruben Diaz (D-NY). A lawsuit was filed against the New York City School system by Mat Staver, the chief counsel of Liberty Counsel to stop this intolerant injustice against the normal heterosexual community. The lawsuit has been settled, with New York City admitting it was wrong and opening the school to normal heterosexual children. Click here for Liberty Counsel news release.


Courts in New York and Georgia have handed the far left and their homosexual money partners big blows. High Courts in both states have ruled against homosexual marriage. The New York Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in New York, has ruled that the law is clear in defining marriage as being between one man and one woman and any change to that law must be made by the legislature, not the courts. This decision angered far left wingers like Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, who wants activist courts to forcibly change American morals and traditions. Dean said the court decision was based on "bigoted and outdated notions." In contrast, Judge Robert Smith, writing for the majority, made the case for judicial restraint and against judicial imperialism. (Click here for Fox story) In Georgia the high court ruled that a constitutional amendment passed by 74% of the people in 2004 was indeed the will of the people and that the court could not intervene. Homosexual activists had filed lawsuits claiming that the amendment was confusing and that voters did not know what they were doing. The Court said that the amendment had a single aim, to ban homosexual marriage, and that that purpose was clear to the voters. (Click here for Georgia story)

ILLEGALS: Read the illegal immigration story that mentions RFC at Worldnetdaily !


As we move into summer and Congress goes into longer recesses before the mid-term election, the number of contributions to the Religious Freedom Coalition falls. Our budget is $375 per business day. Total Internet gifts for the month of June were less than $1,000. Working on real issues out of a real office on Capitol Hill costs money. Please help. Please make your donation today! Click here to give a gift or send your tax deductible donation to the address below.

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William J Murray, Chairman

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

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