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Week Ending July 28, 2006 - From Washington, DC
Religious Freedom Coalition
July 28, 2006 12:54PM EST





In the midst of worldwide upheaval and the war in the Middle East, President George W. Bush did not forget the 50th Anniversary of "In God We Trust" as the national motto of the United States. Although "In God We Trust" did not become the official national motto of the United States by law until July 30, 1956, the motto had been on the coins of the United States since the Civil War. (Click here for history of motto.) In his remarks President Bush said:From its earliest days, the United States has been a Nation of faith. During the War of 1812, as the morning light revealed that the battle torn American flag still flew above Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key penned, "And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust!'" His poem became our National Anthem, reminding generations of Americans to "Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation." Click here for the President's full proclamation.



Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) has introduced a Senate version of the Public Expression of Religion Act in the Senate and has put it on a fast track because of his membership on the Judiciary Committee. This is the companion bill to the one authored by Congressman John Hostettler and introduced in the House in the last several sessions. To emphasize what it will do, Senator Brownback has titled his version, the Veterans' Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals and OtherSen. Brownback / W Murray and cake - Click for larger view and expalnation Public Expressions of Religion Act of 2006 (S-3696). Senator Brownback has already managed to schedule hearings in the Subcommittee on the Constitution for Wednesday, August 2. The hearing is titled, "Paying Your Own Way: Creating a Fair Standard for Attorney's fees awarded in Establishment Clause Cases" Like the House version, the bill would amend the Civil Rights Attorney Fees Act of 1976 which allows the ACLU and other anti-Christian groups to get paid by school districts and local governments for filing "Establishment Clause" lawsuits such as those brought against the memorial cross on a hill in San Diego. Click here to tell your Senator how you feel about the passage of S-3696.


On July 19th the House passed Congressman Todd Akin's Pledge Protection Act by a wide margin. The final vote was 260 to 167. In all, 39 Democrats voted with 221 Republicans to pass the Pledge Protection Act. The PPA passed the House by 14 votes more than it did two years ago. However, two years ago there was no action in the Senate. We are working to change that. Although the Senate is in session for just one more week before the August recess, our office is not standing idly by. During this past week our Executive Director, Peggy Birchfield has been in contact with several Senate offices including key staff in the office of Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) who is the chief sponsor in the Senate. She is also collaborating with other social conservative organizations in Washington to bring about a vote in the Senate. Next week Peggy will deliver signed petitions to Senators who have not as yet signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. To finally protect "under God" in the Pledge we must pass the Pledge Protection Act in the Senate this year. Have you signed the Senate petition as yet? Click here to sign petitions to your Senator today.


Fourteen Democrats voted along with 51 Republicans to pass the Child Custody Protection Act (S-403) by a margin of 65-34. Even Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) voted for the act which would prohibit unrelated adults from taking underage girls across state lines to have an abortion. Just minutes after the passage (S-403), the Democrat leadership, which is bought and paid for by the abortion industry, moved to kill the bill by refusing to appoint conferees. This step is required because the Senate bill differs from the version passed by the House by even a greater margin of victory. The Senate and House conferees would have worked out the differences and the bill would have gone to the President to sign. Because the Democrat Senate leadership bows to every demand made by the abortion industry, they have effectively killed the bill. This bill probably would have stopped less than one percent of abortions in the United States, but the abortion industry wants to make every buck it can killing babies and thus ordered the Democrat Senators they own to shut down the bill. Many two faced liberal Democrat Senators up for election this year voted for the bill because 80 percent of the public favor it. These Senators knew full well that a deal had been made with the abortion industry to block the bill from ever going to conference. Senator John Ensign (R-NV), who sponsored the bill, is outraged by the actions of his fellow Nevada Senator who is leading the blockage of CCP. Click here to read Senator Ensign's statement. Click here to contact Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid about his duplicity on the Child Custody Protection Act.



On Tuesday key conservative leaders including myself and our Executive Director, Peggy Birchfield, had lunch with Congressmen Todd Akin (R-MO). At the lunch we discussed, among other things, how to move forward with the Pledge Protection Act in the Senate. Congressman Akin made it clear to us that his commitment to the Pledge Protection Act has not ended because of the big win in the House and that he would personally call Senators asking them to support the bill in the Senate. For Congressman Akin this effort is about a lot more than passing legislation with his name on it. He is committed to protecting the heritage of the nation and stopping out of control courts from legislating that heritage away.


Congressman John Hostettler (R-IN) is the chief sponsor of PERA which went to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday of this week. With somewhat controversial markups and several amendments offered by Democrats in opposition to the bill, the markup hearings lasted most of the day. The struggle to keep members in the committee fell short after several breaks to vote on the floor on other matters. Chairman Sensenbrenner (R-WI) adjourned the mark-up committee at 6:00 PM Wednesday because of the lack of members present. The Public _Expression of Religion Act (PERA) strikes against judicial activism by taking away the ability of leftist legal groups like the ACLU to collect taxpayers' dollars to fund their liberal lawsuits against religious _expression. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced the companion bill (S-3696) in the Senate last Friday.


Click image for more informationDuring a Tuesday meeting with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) our office supplied red, white and blue cakes to celebrate the passage in the Senate of his commemorative resolution of the 50th anniversary of "In God We Trust" becoming the official motto of the United States. The actual anniversary is July 30th. There was no cake for the House where the commemorative resolution introduced by Congressman John Duncan (R-TN) just sort of vanished. All this week we have been in contact with House leadership about the resolution, explaining that September is just too late to vote on a commemorative resolution for July 30th. I personally spoke to Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) about the "In God We Trust" resolution on Wednesday, but apparently that was just too late to get it moved from Chairman Sensenbrenner's Judiciary Committee to the floor of the House for a vote. The official RFC store still has some patriotic ties on hand to ship out. Click here or on the image to view the "under God" ties!


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