Saturday, April 12, 2008

Week Ending April 11, 2008 - Washington, DC

Obama says rural people are "bitter" and "cling to religion" / Bush and the Pope / Pope wants Iraqi Christians helped / New House caucus on Iraqi Christian issue / Why does Nancy Pelosi help narco-terrorists? / Abortion clinic regulation? / Did Huckabee actually win? / Our Hill office closes / A gay time at McDonald's?

NEW END OF MARCH CHAIRMAN'S REPORTS AVAILABLE - The March 29, 2008 Chairman's Report from William J. Murray is now available online in PDF version. The Chairman's Report contains some material not seen in these updates. Click to view!

THE PRESIDENT
OBAMA SAYS POOR CLING TO RELIGION Of those who live in rural areas and small towns Barack Obama said: "... it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Keep in mind that this man grew up in an Indonesian village in a Muslim school, and now with his Harvard education looks down his nose at those who work for a living, something he has never had to do. This comes after his comments last week that he did not want his daughters "punished with a baby." A CNN clip on Youtube.com has his comments as well as a response from Clinton and McCain.

BUSH AND THE POPE - President George W. Bush will meet with Pope Benedict XVI this week. The Pope will once again ask the President to help the hundreds of thousands of persecuted Christians who have been displaced in Iraq. Before the US invasion, Iraq was a secular nation in which Christians were relatively safe and held important government positions. Most have now lost their jobs and homes. The situation is so bad that even economic and defense conservatives in the Republican Party have joined social conservatives in asking the President to do something. Read Cliff Kincaid's latest article at Accuracy in Media.

THE HOUSE
NEW HOUSE CAUCUS - Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) will chair the newly formed Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East. An inaugural reception will be held from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-338 on April 15th. The Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East is a bipartisan Congressional Member Organization dedicated to serving as a central location for information on religious minorities in the Middle East. This reception will focus on the persecution of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, and will include a screening of a recent 60 Minutes segment that highlights the persecution of Christians in Iraq.

THE HOUSE SUPPORTS TERROR - Nancy Pelosi changed the House rules this week to block a free trade agreement with Columbia which has been fighting communist narco-terrorists for decades. While Pelosi supports free trade agreements with communist nations, she apparently does not want to do anything to assist a nation fighting communism or the drug trade. Most of the narcotics coming into her California congressional district come from Columbia, but perhaps that kind of free trade is OK with her. Bloomberg.com summarized Pelosi's move as pro-Chavez.

WHAT DOES NANCY DO? - This week Nancy Pelosi managed to derail a free trade agreement with our best ally in Latin America and to call votes on the naming of some post offices. So far under the "leadership" of this San Francisco radical leftist, 40% of the bills passed by the House have named federal buildings.

THE SENATE
ABORTION CLINIC REGULATION - Published reports of abuses in abortion clinics illustrate the need for health and safety regulation: From the LA Times 2/8/2008: "By the time paramedics arrived, the patient was lying in a pool of her own blood, her pulse racing and her blood pressure dangerously low. The woman, identified only as Angela P. in records of the Medical Board of California, had gone to the Clinica Medica Para la Mujer de Hoy in Santa Ana in the summer of 2004 for an abortion. Dr. Phillip Rand, then in his early 80s, performed a vaginal suction procedure, despite having determined that Angela was about 20 weeks pregnant, well into her second trimester. She was given no anesthesia or painkillers. Angela P.'s experience was cited in a 2004 medical board accusation against Rand as "barbaric" and a "severe departure" from a reasonable standard of care."

Unlike plastic surgery clinics, such as those that do liposuction, abortion clinics are virtually unregulated. Senator Brownback (R-KS) is currently working on legislation that would regulate the barbarous industry.

RELIGION AND SOCIETY
DID HUCKABEE ACTUALLY WIN? - Writing for the American Prospect, Sarah Posner made the bold comment that Gov. Mike Huckabee had won the "civil war" in the Religious Right. Grassroots evangelical organizations are fleeing the "old guard" leadership who backed Giuliani and Romney in the presidential primaries. In the chaos of the evangelical movement, Mike Huckabee is forming a new political entity that will probably emerge in the next week or so to replace older groups that have so discredited themselves through marriage to the Republican Party, which also seems to have lost its core values.

MCDONALD'S JOINS GAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - Richard Ellis, a vice president of McDonald's, announced last week that the restaurant chain is "thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team." This move has angered the American Family Association and many other conservatives because of the belief that the NGLCC will be a powerful advocate for the homosexual social agenda, including gay "marriage." Randy Sharp of the AFA maintains that McDonald's should remain neutral and does not have to join a homosexual group in order to be fair to gay customers and employees. For more on the story, see the report at CNS News.

OUR OFFICE CLOSES - After more than twelve years, the Religious Freedom Coalition has moved out of its office at 717 2nd Street NE. We subleased space from Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation for more than a decade, but unfortunately they have sold the building to a developer and it is coming down. The Free Congress Foundation is moving to Virginia, and we have found a temporary space at 601 Pennsylvania Avenue which is six blocks west of the Capitol, toward the White House.

NEW MARCH CHAIRMAN'S REPORTS AVAILABLE - The March 29, 2008 Chairman's Report from William J. Murray is now available online in PDF version. The Chairman's Report contains some material not seen in these updates. Click to view!

INTERNATIONAL
ANOTHER IRAQI PRIEST MURDERED- Another Iraqi priest was murdered in a drive-by attack in central Baghdad on Saturday of last week, in yet another attack on Iraqi Christians. The priest, Adel Yousif was a part of the Syrian Orthodox Church which has a large presence in Iraqi. This comes just a few weeks after the murder of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho.

IRAQI CHRISTIANS NEED HELP - The work of the Religious Freedom Coalition on behalf of Iraq has a need for additional funding. Please consider a gift to the Religious Freedom Coalition this month.

SUPPORT THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM COALITION
CHRISTIAN INTERNET STORE - There are literally tens of thousands of Christian theme items available at our affiliate store including jewelry from the Holy Land. It is a great place to shop for gifts. The store is located at www.rfcstore.com. Please help us with our various projects on Capitol Hill and in the Holy Land by shopping at our affiliate Christian Superstore . Contributions to the work of the Religious Freedom Coalition can be made at www.rfcnet.org.
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