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April 2002 Newsletter
Religious Freedom Coalition
April 3, 2002 4:45PM EST


SCHOOL PRAYER UPDATE

The office of the Religious Freedom Coalition is being flooded with school prayer petitions and letters to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert supporting school prayer. Every day our mail box at the post office is so full that we must go to the main window to pick up large envelopes of petitions. Some of the envelopes contain one hundred or more petitions to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert asking for a vote on the School Prayer Amendment.

Although the Religious Freedom Coalition has received thousands of school prayer petitions, many more are needed before they can be presented to Speaker Hastert. The goal is a minimum of 100,000 letters addressed to the Speaker before May 1, 2002 asking him to schedule a vote before the end of this year. Presenting 250,000 would really make an impression upon him and almost guarantee that a vote would be held before the end of the year.

SCHOOL PRAYER RADIO CAMPAIGN

The Religious Freedom Coalition has hired a radio booking agent for the sole purpose of arranging interviews on radio shows throughout the United States to promote the School Prayer Amendment and encourage people to sign school prayer petitions. In the month of March alone I appeared on more than thirty radio programs, some of them nationwide! During the week of March 16th I appeared on the Armstrong Williams Show which is carried on hundreds of stations throughout the United States. That same week I carried the school prayer message on many major radio stations including some in Los Angeles and Chicago!

The appearances on radio shows are arranged by a professional booking agent. It is agreed upon in advance that the Religious Freedom Coalition Internet site at www.rfcnet.org will be mentioned on the program several times. At the Internet site is a special school prayer page explaining the need for the petitions and letters to Speaker Hastert. Those listening to the radio show can print out the school prayer petitions right from the RFC Internet site, sign them and send them in!

Because of these radio shows the Religious Freedom Coalition has received thousands of school prayer petitions from people we have never heard from before! The only downside is that we do not have the available funds to send all of those who sign the petition a copy of the William J. Murray Report to keep them updated on the progress of the School Prayer Amendment.

DOES THE SUPREME COURT RULE AMERICA?

I received a letter the other day from a dear friend of the ministry who attempted to get some school prayer petitions signed at her church. Her pastor actually discouraged the congregation from signing the petitions because he said the laws are made by the Supreme Court, not by Congress. Like many pastors in America he was just ignorant of how our laws are passed. While courts have curtailed the rights of Christians in the United States, change can be made if we work at it. Unless we band together for change, the arbitrary decisions of a handful of un-elected Justices will continue to overrule the Congress and our President.

For about the first one hundred and fifty years of our nationís existence, the Supreme Court was a force for good, protecting the rights of citizens and the States from encroachment by the federal government while defending our Christian heritage. For most of the Courtís existence, until 1935, they operated out of a small courtroom in the Capitol Building, located between the two houses of Congress. The Justices would have had little use for the imposing Greek revival temple of today, with its hundreds of staff offices, because they only heard a few important cases each year. The Court did not presume to make judgments about all the minute details of American life, as it does today.

What did these earlier Supreme Court Justices have to say about Christianity in their official Court briefs? In 1824 Chief Justice Joseph Story wrote in a unanimous decision about public education, "Why may not laymen instruct in the general principles of Christianity as well as ecclesiastics.... we cannot overlook the blessings which such laymen by their conduct as well as their instructions, may, nay, must impart to their youthful pupils. Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation...Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?"

As late as 1931, the Supreme Court had this to say: "We are a Christian people...according to one another the equal right of religious freedom and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God."

But then in 1947, the Court took a disastrously wrong direction in a case called Everson v. Board of Education. Most Americans donít know the significance of that case, but it did two historic things: it introduced the phrase "separation of church and state" into law for the first time, and it used the Fourteenth Amendment to declare for the first time that federal courts were empowered to restrict not only the religious activities of the federal government but also those of States and individuals as well.

Since that watershed decision, the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts have wandered further into the absurd every year, declaring the most innocent statements and actions to be unconstitutional just because they happen to have a religious character.

The issue is not even coercion or having citizens forced to participate in religious expressions against their will. No, the doctrine which originated with the Supreme Court and is spreading through society like cancer, is that no one at any time should be "offended" by happening to hear or see anything religious with which he or she disagrees (unless of course you happen to be a Christian.) When my mother, Madalyn Murray OíHair, sued the Baltimore public schools on my behalf back in 1963, it was not because I was forced to pray or participate in any religious observance at school I wasnít even required to be in the same room where morning devotions were held. But the Supreme Court decided my rights as an atheist were being violated just because other people in the same building were praying or reading from the Bible.

A whole avalanche of bad decisions were to follow over the next thirty-some years. By 1965, the judicial reasoning was, "If a student prays over his lunch, it is unconstitutional for him to pray aloud." By 1981, they had progressed to, "It is unconstitutional for students to see the Ten Commandments since they might read, meditate upon, respect, or obey them." And by 1990, censorship was in full swing because "It is unconstitutional for a classroom library to contain books which deal with Christianity, or for a teacher to be seen with a personal copy of the Bible at school."

If you have ever wondered how the Supreme Court and other federal courts came to have such out-of-control power over our daily lives, David Bartonís book Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution and Religion will be fascinating reading. I found the open praise of Christianity by earlier Supreme Court justices to be just amazing. Then, through case after unbelievable case, this book traces the way in which the original intent of the Constitution has been twisted almost beyond recognition. Original Intent is offered by the William J. Murray Report as our special selection this month; for information on ordering your copy please see page 4 of this newsletter.

JOHN ASHCROFT FIGHTS CHILD PORN

During the eight long years of the Clinton Administration then Attorney General Janet Reno sate idly by as child porn took over a huge slice of the Internet. During her reign as Attorney General not a single child pornography arrest was made by the FBI which is the enforcement arm of the Department of Justice which she headed.

A new day has dawned! Attorney General John Ashcroft will not stand by as children are used to make and distribute pornographic images! On March 19th of this year Attorney General Ashcroft ordered the FBI to arrest more than 100 people who were involved in the distribution of child pornography. In one day alone eighty-nine people were arrested and the FBI was tracking down another fifty.

All of the arrests targeted individuals using three "discussion" groups located at the Internet site Yahoo. One of the sites was named "Candyman", apparently after a song in a 1971 childrenís movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. All three of the Internet discussion groups at Yahoo have now been shut down. More than 7,000 people worldwide were using the Candyman site with more than 1,400 users in the United States. Initially only those posting the child pornography were targeted for arrest.

"A new marketplace for child pornography has opened in the dark corners of cyberspace," said Attorney General Ashcroft.. "There will be no free rides on the Internet for those who traffic in child pornography."

The head of the FBIís child crime unit, Mike Heimback, described the images exchanged on the Candyman site as "very explicit" and "hard-core" porn.

Not all of the names of those arrested were released by the FBI; only those who were "significant perpetrators" or who held jobs where they could have significant contact with children. Among those arrested were eight members of the clergy including two priests. Others arrested included a preschool teacherís aid; a child photographer; a school buss driver; and at least one police officer.

The school bus driver, Timothy Macauly of Constable, New York was also charged with sodomizing five boys. The Catholic priests arrested served in St. Louis and Baltimore.

SEX OFFENDER PRIESTS

The arrest of the two Catholic priests in the sweep by Attorney General John Ashcroft and other revelations of sexual abuse by priests has brought about an uproar in the liberal media about the Catholic Church. There is only one thing missing in the outrage of the liberal media and that is honesty. USA Today, most other major newspapers and the national TV networks refer to the "sexual abuse" by a handful of Catholic priest, but never mention that these are almost all homosexual in nature.

In the last three decades as the number of priests declined, the Catholic Church stated its own "donít ask, donít tell" policy. As young men applied to Catholic seminaries they were not screened as they once had been. Even those who were homosexual were allowed to enter seminary as long as they took a vow of celibacy. But homosexual sex is not the same as that which is God given. Homosexuality is a compulsive disorder very much associated with promiscuity. Hiding the homosexual disorder does not make it go away.

The national news media have made various disparaging remarks about the Catholic Church regarding this situation without once using the words "sodomy" or "homosexual". Indeed, the very few case that actually involve women are often highlighted and blown out of proportion because they have often been consensual relationships with adult women, whereas most of the homosexual cases have been abuse against young boys. About ninety percent of all cases brought forth against Catholic priests involved boys who were underage when they were sodomized.

PROTECTING CHILDREN SAUDI ARABIA STYLE

In Saudi Arabia children are protected from sin by forcing them into a burning building.

In early March a school for girls in Saudi Arabia caught fire during the school day and the young girls inside ran into the street fleeing the flames for their lives. Unfortunately they ran right into the "Mutaween" who forced them back into the building because they were not dressed properly for public view.

The Mutaween are the Saudi police known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Their function is identical to that of the "virtue" police established by the Taliban in Afghanistan which were condemned by President Bush, every member of Congress and the entire American media. There is no criticism for the Virtue Police in Saudi Arabia because the Kingdom is our "ally" against terror.

One witness to the fire said he saw three of the Mutaween police "...beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya." The abaya is a long dress that covers the entire body.

When men tried to help the girls escape the fire they were stopped by the "virtue" police who warned the men that "...it is a sin to approach them."

To make matters worse the school was locked at the time of the fire as is the usual practice to make sure that there is full segregation of the sexes.

When the police chief of Mecca , Brigadier Mohammed al-Harthy, arrived on the scene he said he found members of the religious police "trying to interfere." He told an Associated Press reporter that the religious police were trying to stop regular police officers from entering the building to help the girls.

The situation was so bad that it was mentioned in the Saudi Gazette. Saudi Arabia has no freedom of speech or press. It is the most repressive dictatorship in the world, worse than that of either China or North Korea. It is a surprise that any critical words appeared in the Saudi Gazette at all. It is not known at this writing if those responsible for reporting the deaths of the girls have been imprisoned or worse.

SAUDI ARABIA IS NOT A VACATION PARADISE

Donít believe for a minute that the harsh treatment of women in Saudi Arabia is limited to its citizens. Western women expatriates living in Saudi Arabia are continually harassed by militant local youths and the religious police. The Guardian newspaper in London, England reports that the harassment has become worse since September 11th.

The newspaper reports that many British who work in Saudi Arabia, both men and women, are leaving. "Only the hard-core are staying," one returning Brit said, but most are leaving when their contracts expire.

One female British worker in Saudi, Ms. June Thomas, said, "Women can be picked up for anything. If they are outside a shop waiting for it to open when the owner comes back from prayers, they were mutaween bait. The mutaween accuse them of loitering to pick up a man, of being prostitutes. They are thrown straight in jail because they have no facilities in the police stations to question women." She said.

Ms. Thomas has worked for five years as a hospital security "female investigator". It is her job to educate western women about Islamic law and to represent them if they get in trouble with authorities. Now she is leaving. What was the last straw for her? Three young western women were arrested and thrown in jail for three days with no food or water after being strip searched in a corridor. They became dangerously dehydrated. What was their crime? At an empty Italian restaurant with three other nurses, two of the group had bared their arms while eating.

My advice: Scratch Saudi Arabia off your list of vacation destinations.

Keep in mind that Saudi Arabia is our "moderate" ally in the war against Islamic terror. The reality is that most of the funding for Islamic terror comes from Saudi and the antihuman treatment of women is the bench mark of the Saudi society which is based on Islam.

SOLDIER STILL

"The dumb sons of [expletive] told me not to evacuate," he said during a quick call to his best friend, Dan Hill, who had indeed been watching the disaster unfolding on TV. "They said it's just Building One. I told them I'm getting my people the [expletive] out of here."

Those were the tough last words to his best friend of a true American hero at Ground Zero on September 11th. Rick Rescorla, the security chief for brokerage firm Morgan Stanley, began the evacuation of its 2,700 employees from Tower Two of the World Trade Center. He did not take the advice of the building owners or of upper management. These were his people and he was going to see them to safety. Before the day was out he would be one of only six employees of Morgan Stanley who would be lost.

On that day not too many realized that this brave sixty-two year old man who sacrificed his life for others had a major motion picture being made about his life. This Rick Rescorla was Retired Army Colonel Cycil Richard Rescorla, the subject of the movie "We Were Soldiers" starring Mel Gibson. Unfortunately, Rescorla would never live to see the movie about his life.

Rick Rescorla was born British but chose to be an American. Always a hero, he first served as a British paratrooper, then as an intelligence officer in war torn Cyprus and as a commando for Her Majesty in Northern Rhodesia. Bored at age twenty-four serving as a detective at Scotland Yard, he joined the U.S. Army. By April of 1965 he was an officer in the 7th Cavalry, yes, that was General Custerís outfit at Little Big Horn, the first in and last out of virtually every Vietnam battle. At every battle Rescorla was a hero, even at his last.

John Olson, a Morgan Stanley director, saw Rescorla headed back up the stairs on September 11th to look for stragglers and help them out of the now burning building. Olson told Rescorla to get out, but Rescorla responded, "As soon as I make sure everyone else is out."

Rick Rescorla made one final phone call to his wife, Susan assuring her he was fine. His last words to her, "If something happens to me, I want you to know that you make my life." The phone went suddenly dead.



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