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Week Ending July 14, 2006 - From Washington, DC
July 14, 2006 2:24PM EST





Today President George W. Bush arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia to attend the G-8 Summit, where he faces a possible confrontation with President Putin over the conflict raging in the Middle East. In the absence of President Bush, a security briefing was held this week at the White House by Vice President Cheney. Peggy Birchfield, Executive Director of the Religious Freedom Coalition, was present to hear the Vice President's remarks, but unfortunately this was an off the record briefing and those in attendance were asked not to publicly discuss the contents at this time. We did, however gain information that will be useful as we plan projects to help persecuted Christians in such volatile areas as the West Bank and Kosovo.



The "In God We Trust" 50th Anniversary resolution (S.Con.Res.96) was passed by the Senate unanimously on Wednesday, July 12th. The resolution, authored by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) commemorates, celebrates, and reaffirms our national motto! "In God We Trust" was formally adopted as the U.S. national motto on July 30, 1956, but the idea it embodies has been integral to our nation since its birth. This is a great victory and proclaims an important message, particularly in light of court challenges to religious symbols and phrases in our national life. Now the House of Representatives must take up and pass the commemoration resolution (H. Con Res. 411) sponsored by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA). Please contact your congressman and ask him to co-sponsor the "In God We Trust" commemoration resolution.


Two months ago the Senate voted to give to more than 10 million illegal aliens both amnesty for crimes committed, and special rights not held by US citizens. At the same time Majority Leader Frist (R-TN) and his Democrat allies vowed to get "tough" on more illegal immigration by building 370 miles of new fence on the Mexican border. Yesterday the Senate voted 71-29 against the funding for that fence. Nothing remains of the Senate immigration bill other than the amnesty provisions that allow illegals to continue to violate local, state and federal laws. (Click here for Washington Times story)



The Pledge Protection Act (PPA) remains number one in the House GOP "Values Agenda" released by Majority Leader Boehner (R-OH). It remains number one because the GOP can't seem to present it to the House because of procedural errors in the House Judiciary Committee. It appears that the only way for the PPA to come onto the floor for a vote before the August recess is for the GOP Leadership to place it there directly.


Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) has introduced the Withhold US Funding from the UN Human Rights Council Act (HR 5476). The bill would reduce money given to the United Nations each year in the amount that would be allotted to the Commission on Human Rights because its member nations are some of the worst abusers of human rights. Members include Cuba, China, Libya and Zimbabwe. The commission refuses to speak out against terrorist attacks and spends most of its time condemning Israel and the United States. While innocent people are tortured and murdered by the dictators of Cuba and Zimbabwe, their UN representatives are examining the "atrocities" of the United States. This is an outrage we as taxpayers should not have to pay for. Click here to contact your congressman about HR 5476.


Finally a battle we can win after the embarrassing defeat of the Marriage Protection Amendment in the Senate where we could not even muster 50% of the vote, while needing a 2/3 vote. There will still be a vote in the House on the Amendment, and it will suffer a defeat there as well, because a 2/3 vote is required. Yet there is a proposed bill that will work to protect traditional marriage, and one that can actually pass both houses. For three years the Religious Freedom Coalition has promoted Congressman John Hostettler's Marriage Protection Act (HR 1100). This is NOT a Constitutional Amendment, but rather an Article III bill similar in nature to the Pledge Protection Act. The Marriage Protection Act limits the jurisdiction of federal courts, in that it forbids courts to rule on the marriage issue. Please contact your congressman about the Marriage Protection Amendment.



Our Vacation Bible School in Bethlehem had closed and the volunteers headed back to the United States just before the current violence erupted. Now, the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah have kidnapped Israeli soldiers and taken them to the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, with the full awareness that these actions along with missile strikes deep into Israel would bring reprisals. (Since January more than 1,000 missiles have hit Israel.) The newest missiles supplied by Iran to the Islamists in Lebanon have hit deep into Israel striking Haifa, the nation's third largest city. The result is real war; the Israelis have no choice but to act and act harshly in retaliation. The territory Israel gave away to "secure peace" must now be won back by young men and women with armed force, at the cost of their lives. Appeasement never works.

THE REAL MIDEAST PROBLEM: The real problem is the lack of a victor. For thousands of years wars have ended with one side defeated and the other a clear winner. It is only when there is a clear victor that peace can be restored. Unfortunately no one has been allowed to win a war since the defeat of Japan in 1945. The creation of the United Nations has allowed an intervening "world forum" that does not allow victory. Around the world there are more than a dozen UN "buffer zones" that separate undefeated armies that are continually at war. Sometimes the forces obey the worthless UN troops who are "observers" in those buffer zones and sometimes they fight. In Kosovo the observers watched as hundreds of churches where destroyed by Muslim mobs. There is only one way Israel can stop attacks by an enemy dedicated to its destruction.  That is by a clear military victory in which Israel creates its own secure border and refuses to change its border to appease the anti-democratic forces that control the UN. The chaos will not end until there is a victor.


Today (Friday the 14th) I introduced the Orthodox Bishop of Kosovo at the Staunton Group in Washington, DC. The Staunton Group is made up of non-government group leaders concerned with International and defense issues. The group is chaired by Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy. Bishop Artemije is leading a delegation in Washington to meet with American leaders and policy makers to discuss one of the most difficult issues facing the United States and its allies in Europe: the future of Kosovo. Since 1999, Kosovo has been under United Nations administration and NATO military control.  On Thursday, July 20th the Religious Freedom Coalition will host a reception for the Bishop in Washington, DC. Those interested in attending should call our office at 202-543-0300.


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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