Friday, July 25, 2008

Week Ending July 25, 2008 - Washington, DC

President Bush's new pro-life initiative / State Department offers calendar of mosques in America / Congressman's open letter to Pope / Pelosi's new "energy plan" - use up the military reserve oil / Court says nudity OK during Super Bowl / Religious freedom meetings in Washington / Jerusalem tomorrow / A brave bishop in a Muslim nation.

THE PRESIDENCY
STATE DEPT OFFERS MOSQUE CALENDARS- In celebration of this year's Islamic Ramadan, Global Publishing Solutions (GPS) offered a limited edition of the 2009 "Mosques in America" wall Calendar. The 12-month calendar, they said, was perfect for Muslim outreach efforts and to give out as gifts at State Department events. GPS is the publishing arm of the State Department which is part of President Bush's administration. Imagine the uproar if the State Department published a "Churches in America" calendar. Read more

NEW BUSH PRO-LIFE INITIATIVE - President Bush is pushing for Health and Human Services regulations that would allow health care workers to refuse to participate in the taking of a human life. A proposed HHS document that safeguards health care workers who refuse to perform "any of the various procedures - including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action - that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation." As of now nurses, pharmacists and other who receive federal funds must participate in practices despicable to them. Senator Hillary Clinton and other radicals are up in arms, insisting that even doctors should be forced to preform abortions regardless of their beliefs. Read more

THE CONGRESS
CONGRESSMAN'S LETTER TO POPE ON IRAQI CHRISTIANS - Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MD) sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI just prior to his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, asking the Pope to protest the vicious victimization of Iraqi Christians by Islamic extremists. In his letter McCotter pointed out the need for political autonomy of Christians in the Nineveh Plains. Read letter

PELOSI ENERGY PLAN - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leftist allies who control Congress do not want any domestic drilling for oil. They also refuse to approve nuclear power plants and coal shale mining. The have forbidden American companies to obtain oil from the vast reserves of the Arctic. No drilling in the Alberta sands either. This week Pelosi and her radical left buddies finally came up with a plan: Pump out the strategic oil reserves that are kept by the government for national emergencies and use it to bring down the price of gas four or five cents a gallon for a few days to "help consumers." This woman just hates America and any chance she has to put the nation in danger, she will do it.

CULTURE AND RELIGION
NUDITY DURING SUPER BOWL OK'D BY COURT - The United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that CBS will not be forced to pay the $550,000 fine imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The court threw out the fine for the "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show, which revealed Janet Jackson's breast on live television. The court ruled that the FCC "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in issuing the fine. The court action clears the way for nudity and sexual acts at all times of day, even in children's hours, on broadcast TV. Read more

NEW CHAIRMAN'S REPORT - The all new July 10, 2008 Chairman's Report is now available to read in PDF format. The Chairman's Report contains some material and photos that have not previously been displayed at our Internet site including new details about our Middle East mission. Click here to read the all new issue.

INTERNATIONAL
OUR MISSION TO JORDAN- Very good reports are coming in from Jordan as a result of our mission trip there this month. I received calls from both the food distribution center and from a health care clinic. As a result of the funds we delivered, the food delivery system is back up and operating. The free medical clinic told me that the drugs we delivered were a blessing and already in use.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM - In last week's update I did not mention that within 24 hours of returning from the Middle East I participated in two major events in Washington, DC. A meeting celebrating the 10th anniversary of the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 was held in the Library of Congress members' room. The Religious Freedom Coalition was a key player in the passage of the law. Read Congressman Trent Franks' opening remarks.

On that same day I spoke at a rally in the Senate park next to the Capitol Building protesting the persecution by China of religious minorities such as the Falun Gong. China is spending huge amounts of money and arresting dissidents in an effort to stop all protests during the Olympic games this summer.

BRAVERY OF BISHOP THOMAS - On Friday the 18th I met with Coptic Bishop Thomas, one of the most outspoken of the leaders of the Christian minority in Egypt. About 10% to 15% of the Egyptian population is Coptic. When the Muslims invaded Egypt in the 7th century, it was nearly all Christian. The Copts are the original Christian Egyptians who have not been arabized and forced into Islam. The Bishop's remarks were an education on the history of the Copts and I urge you to take a few minutes to listen to them. Use this link, then click on "media clips."

JERUSALEM TOMORROW- This week I met with Nir Barkat who is a member of the Jerusalem city council and a candidate for mayor of the the holy city. He shared with me his vision of making Jerusalem a center for religious freedom that would draw in as many as eight million visitors a year, or more than four times the current number. A conservative, Mr. Barkat believes there is a role for Christians in a new and vibrant Jerusalem.

I also met with Michael Weiss this week who is the founder of www.Jerusalem.com. I encourage you to visit the site which he hopes will bring together the world to pray for and to help build a newer and better Jerusalem.

SUPPORT THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM COALITION
CHRISTIAN THEMED GIFTS AND BOOKS - 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 birthday gifts. The store is located at www.rfcstore.com. Please help us with our various projects on Capitol Hill and overseas by shopping at our affiliate Christian Superstore . Contributions to the work of the Religious Freedom Coalition can be made at www.rfcnet.org.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Week Ending July 18, 2008 - Washington, DC

Obama's Rock Star Tour / State Dept. now concerned about persecution of Iraqi Christians / Dems want funds for abortion and forced sterilization / Our mission to Jordan / The mission to Israel / Hope School in the West Bank / Sderot, a city under seige

THE PRESIDENCY
OBAMA ROCK STAR TOUR - Shortly after winning the Republican nomination, Senator John McCain traveled to Iraq and other nations. CBS news gave his foreign tour 16 seconds of coverage during one full week. Now, Obama is going on his first trip ever to Iraq and the anchor of CBS News is traveling with him as are the news anchors of NBC and ABC. So far the big three, ABC, CBS and NBC have given Obama fully twice the coverage in number of minutes as they have McCain. The liberal media does not care what Obama's policies are or what he may do as president; they just want to be a part of electing the first black president. Read more

STATE DEPT. NOW CONCERNED ABOUT IRAQI CHRISTIANS - For years the Religious Freedom Coalition and others have been beating on the doors of the State Department and the White House to draw their attention to the persecution of Christians in Iraq. Most of the Iraqi Christians population has now fled their country. In October of last year the fact finding mission led by myself and Gov. David Beasley signaled a turn around in our government's attitude toward the crisis. At first State fought against the findings of our fact finding mission, but slowly the media began to investigate. Stories appeared in unlikely publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Then 60 Minutes did a segment on the persecution of Christians and even the Doonsbury comic strip ran a series about this topic. Suddenly the State Department stopped fighting us and admitted there was a problem. The change became clear when State actually sent a representative to the monthly meeting held by various NGO's, including the Religious Freedom Coalition, who assist Iraq's Christians and other non-Muslim minorities. The Bush Administration now admits that there could be a problem.

THE CONGRESS
DEMOCRATS WANT TO FUND ABORTION AND FORCED STERILIZATION - This week the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a Foreign Operations Bill that contained language to undermine the Mexico City Policy (which prohibits taxpayer funds for NGOs that "perform [or] actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations") and also undermines the Kemp-Kasten annual pro-life rider. Kemp-Kasten prohibits funds for "any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization"). If the new pro-abortion language is approved, it would likely face a veto from President Bush. The President stated in a letter to Majority Leader Reid, "I will veto any legislation that weakens current Federal policies and laws on abortion, or that encourages the destruction of human life at any stage."

CULTURE AND RELIGION
NEW CHAIRMAN'S REPORT - The all new July 10, 2008 Chairman's Report is now available to read in PDF format. The Chairman's Report contains some material and photos that have not previously been displayed at our Internet site including new details about our Middle East mission. Click here to read the all new issue.

INTERNATIONAL
Christian Camp in Jordan OUR MISSION TO JORDAN- My full report on the current mission to Jordan is not complete and will be posted in a few days. To briefly mention some of the highlights: I did deliver much needed medical supplies to two Christian operated clinics in Amman, Jordan. I also inspected two different food distribution projects. One of the projects had run short of funds in June and distribution had stopped. The Religious Freedom Coalition gave the project sufficient funds to restart and operate the program for the next two months. While in Jordan I also visited a Christian summer camp for children operated near the Israel border. It was a blessing to see boys and girls playing together and singing praises to the Lord. In many neighborhoods these children have no Christian friends to associate with. (NOTE: Photograph of children purposely blurred) Read more at my refugee blog.

MISSION TO ISRAEL - Upon my arrival in Israel, I drove directly to Ariel, Samaria where David and Leah Ortiz have a ministry to both Arabs and Jews. On March 20th their 16-year-old son Ami was severely wounded in a bombing of their apartment. My wife Nancy, my daughter Katie and I have all stayed at the Ortiz apartment at one time or another. On this trip I once again stayed with the Ortiz family. The dining room table where the bomb went off had been replaced. Also, all windows on both floors of their two story apartment were blown out by the blast and had been replaced. It is a miracle of God that Ami was not killed as he stood just inches from the bomb when it went off.

My second day in Israel I went with David and Leah to visit Ami who has been moved to the Children's Hospital for rehabilitation. He had been in intensive care for six weeks after the bombing. He looks much better than the pictures sent to me right after the bombing and is recovering well. The doctors had said he may never see again, but he can see. They said he might never walk again, yet he can walk. The Lord is restoring Ami day by day, although he still faces more operations and treatment.

HOPE SCHOOL IN THE "WEST BANK" - I really despise the name "West Bank" used for the area principally made up of Samaria and parts of Judea. It was called the "West Bank" when Jordan occupied it because it was situated on the west bank of the Jordan River. Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus, is considered a part of the "West Bank." On my third day in Israel I drove to Beit Jala which is adjacent to Bethlehem. This is the location of Hope School which the Religious Freedom Coalition has supported for many years. The Headmaster, Solomon Nour, showed me some improvements that had been made with the $5,000 grant given to the school in 2007. I presented him with additional funds for 2008.

FINAL DAY - While in Israel I drove to Sderot, which has been bombarded with over 3,000 missiles fired from the Gaza Strip in the last seven years. When Israel abandoned the Gaza strip two years ago, the number of rockets increased. SEE VIDEO. I talked to several residents in the city which has a population of 20,000. There has been a genuine economic downturn as those with the financial ability have moved to safer areas.

SUPPORT THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM COALITION
CHRISTIAN THEMED GIFTS AND BOOKS - 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 birthday gifts. The store is located at www.rfcstore.com. Please help us with our various projects on Capitol Hill and overseas by shopping at our affiliate Christian Superstore . Contributions to the work of the Religious Freedom Coalition can be made at www.rfcnet.org.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Week Ending July 11, 2008 - Washington, DC

Update editor in the Middle East / Read recent posts from Amman, Jordan / Medical supplies delivered to clinic in Amman / Food distribution site toured / Back in the USA a homosexual sues Bible publishers / Palestinians sue Canadian company as "war criminal" / Bush wins with new Intelligence Reform bill / Barack Obama does a flip and supports President Bush on Intelligence Reform bill

EDITOR IN THE MIDDLE EAST: I am currently in Amman, Jordan delivering medical supplies and financial assistance to Iraqi Christian refugees. As a result, the congressional sections of the update are not as thorough as usual. Also ... There is an all new Chairman's Report available. Read it here!

THE PRESIDENCY
BUSH SIGNS TERROR BILL - I received an invitation from the White House to be present at the signing of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act just a few hours before boarding a plane for Amman, Jordan. Oddly, the New York Times never mentioned the actual name of the bill when reporting the President's comments at the White House. The bill was a huge victory for the President who had demanded immunity from lawsuits for telecom companies who had assisted the government in finding terrorists. Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had demanded that their rich attorney friends be allowed to sue Verizon and ATT over "privacy" concerns. The ACLU immediately filed suit to stop the government from eaves dropping on terrorists. Read more

OBAMA VOTES FOR TERRORISM BILL - In a complete about face Senator Barack Obama voted for the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Bill backed by President George W. Bush. Just last October, an Obama campaign spokesman issued a statement declaring, "To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies." Obama received huge amounts of money from trial lawyer groups that expect a windfall from a Democrat controlled White House that will allow them to sue companies on everything from auto emissions to Palestinian land rights. Read more from Socialist Web site on Obama.

THE CONGRESS
NO POSTING THIS WEEK - Due to my current mission to the Middle East I am unable to be present on Capitol Hill and cannot really present an insider view as usual.

CULTURE AND RELIGION
HOMOSEXUAL SUES BIBLE PUBLISHER - Here we go! With the promise of a White House controlled by a pro-homosexual administration, the lawsuits have begun, trying to change the Bible to suit the gay agenda. Bradley LaShawn Fowler, a homosexual ex-con, filed the federal suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Monday against Zondervan and Thomas Nelson Publishers asking for $70 million in damages because certain translations of 1 Corinthians 6:9 use the term "homosexual." Read more

PALESTINIAN "WAR CRIMES LAWSUIT" - Palestinian villagers are suing two Canadian companies, accusing them of war crimes for construction work in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The complaint cites the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which states that "the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies," is a war crime. (This would mean that virtually all of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and most of South America are occupied territories by "war criminals.") This is yet one more reason that the United States should not be a party to any international treaties, such as the Law of the Sea Treaty, which would force American courts to abide by bizarre international standards promoted by dictatorial regimes such as Saudi Arabia. Read more

NEW CHAIRMAN'S REPORT - The all new July 10, 2008 Chairman's Report is now available to read in PDF format. The Chairman's Report contains some material and photos that have not previously been displayed at our Internet site including new details about our Middle East mission. Click here to read the all new issue.

INTERNATIONAL
RFC AID FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS- As mentioned above I am currently in Amman, Jordan. On Thursday the 10th I delivered more than $24,000 of medical supplies to be dispensed by a Christian medical mission in Jordan to Iraqi refugees. The 30 Kilos (66 pounds) of supplies included bulk bottles of antibiotics such as amoxicillin, norfloxacin, and ciprofloxacin. Other drugs for the treatment of intestinal and stomach disorders and other illnesses common to the Middle East were also delivered.

The overwhelming majority of Christians who have fled Iraq are in urban areas, mostly in Amman, living in cramped conditions. Often several middle class Christian families have been forced to take refuge in a single apartment. As they are "guests" in Jordan they are not allowed to work and have no income. Their presence here is tenuous and the Jordanian government can deport them back to Iraq at anytime. The Bush Administration has promised to take in 12,000 Iraqi refugees by September, but so far has only cleared just over 5,000. Because of the politically correct nature of our State Department many of those are Muslims who did not face nearly the level of persecution faced by Christians.

I met one of the two Christian families who were just accepted by the State Department as "refugees" and they can depart Jordan at any time. The two families were part of a group of 30; the other 28 families were Muslim, mostly Shiites with ties to Iran.

Today (Friday the 11th) I also toured the facility used for food distribution to Iraqi Christian refugees and visited a Christian children's summer camp. The camp was a wonderful experience that I don't feel comfortable sharing. Should its location be posted or pictures of the children shown on the Internet it could cause problems for their families in a predominantly Muslim nation despite the official positions of the King.

MIDDLE EAST MISSION BLOGS - While in the Middle East I will try to make daily entries with videos at our Christian Refugee site located at: http://christianrefugees.blogspot.com/ Please check the site as the mission progresses!

SUPPORT THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM COALITION
CHRISTIAN THEMED GIFTS AND BOOKS - 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 birthday gifts. The store is located at www.rfcstore.com. Please help us with our various projects on Capitol Hill and overseas by shopping at our affiliate Christian Superstore . Contributions to the work of the Religious Freedom Coalition can be made at www.rfcnet.org.
video

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Week Ending July, 2008 - Washington, DC

Obama announces support of gay marriage / McCain still opposes homosexual marriage / Bush wins big in Columbia with Uribe / Millions for a "gay" painting / London cops and their "unclean" puppy / The media discovers Iraqi Christian refugees

THE PRESIDENT
Barack Obama supports gay marriage OBAMA SAYS YES TO GAY MARRIAGE - Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama told a liberal California newspaper that he was against the proposition on that state's ballot to ban homosexual marriage. He then went further and said he is against all such amendments in all states and to the US Constitution. He said, ""And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states." Read more

BUSH WINS BIG IN COLUMBIA - President George W. Bush has solidly backed Columbia's President Uribe to the tune of over $6 billion in his fight against the FARC narco-terrorist army with Marxist roots. That backing paid off for Bush this week when Columbian forces rescued numerous hostages from FARC including a former presidential candidate who is also a French citizen. The raid came as Senator John McCain departed Columbia after a visit with President Uribe.Read more

THE CONGRESS
HOUSE AND SENATE IN RECESS - The House and Senate stand in recess until Tuesday, July 8th in honor of Independence Day.

CULTURE AND RELIGION
MILLIONS FOR A "GAY" PORTRAIT - A 1967 Francis Bacon (not the famous essayist by the same name) painting of his male lover George Dyer has sold at Sotheby's in London for $26.3 million. The two met in a bar and after a stormy and sometimes violent eight years together Dyer committed suicide in Paris in 1971. Why am I reporting this? I am simply amazed that someone would pay that kind of money for a blurry oil representing a failed homosexual relationship. Click here to view image and read "art" review.

LONDON COPS' "UNCLEAN" PUPPY - Soon it may be unlawful to have a dog in public in grand old England because Muslims believe them to be "unclean" animals. Not being too aware of Muslim "rules" the bobbies sent out a color postcard with a photo of a puppy on it and a Muslim furor was unleashed. If this story were not true it would be funny. Read more

INTERNATIONAL
THE MEDIA DISCOVERS CHRISTIANS- Suddenly the liberal press is full of stories about Iraqi Christian refugees. In the last month articles have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today and other major papers. Even CBS 60 Minutes recently got in the act of reporting on the persecution. Why now? The liberals don't care about the Christians, but they do want to bash Geroge Bush and this is a way to do it. Dan Rather has now done a video that points out the plight of the Christians, but it is actually an attack on the Patriot Act. Watch video at HDTV (You may have to look for High Price for Ransom video at this site.)

SUPPORT THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM COALITION
CHRISTIAN THEMED GIFTS AND BOOKS - 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 birthday gifts. The store is located at www.rfcstore.com. Please help us with our various projects on Capitol Hill and overseas by shopping at our affiliate Christian Superstore . Contributions to the work of the Religious Freedom Coalition can be made at www.rfcnet.org.