Volume XV, Number 13a
* * * DOMESTIC ISSUES * * *
May 19 - 23, 2008
"You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. " (Psalm 60:4,5 NKJV)
|On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XV, No. 13a|
1. SENATOR KENNEDY HOSPITALIZED ON SATURDAY; SUFFERED THREE SEIZURES
Sen. Edward Kennedy is undergoing further evaluation at a Boston hospital, two days after the 76- year-old Democrat suffered a seizure. Kennedy's spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter says it is unclear when doctors will release information on Kennedy's condition or on the cause of his seizure Saturday. Cutter said Monday the senator had a restful night at Massachusetts General Hospital. He spent Sunday watching sports and movies and visiting with family.
President Bush had been notified of Kennedy's health just before he went to a Saturday night dinner meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. A White House spokesman says Bush expressed concern for Kennedy and said he would keep him in his prayers. Bush has not spoken to the senator since he became ill.
Sen. Ted Kennedy's hospitalization Saturday drew immediate reaction and concern from his Senate colleagues running for president. All three candidates described the Democratic Massachusetts legislator as a legend of the Senate and wished for his swift recovery. In his remarks, for example, John McCain stated, "Senator Kennedy's role in the U.S. Senate cannot be overstated. He is a legendary lawmaker, and I have the highest respect for him. When we have worked together, he has been a skillful, fair and generous partner. I consider it a great privilege to call him my friend." (AP)
· Pray for swift, clear test results to determine Sen. Kennedy's condition. Also pray that this attack on his health will lead the senator to study and to follow God's Word, very carefully. May he come to understand that to vote for abortion and same-sex marriage is to violate God's will. Pray that many family members will also be led to find salvation in Jesus Christ because of this illness. Pray that Sen. Kennedy can have the same stature with the Lord as he now has with man.
· "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquites and healeth all thy diseases." (Psalm 103:2,3)
2. CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
California Marriage Law: 4,618,673 to Four
After a brief period of judicial restraint, California voters watched in horror this afternoon as judicial activism returned with a vengeance in one of the most egregious rulings in American jurisprudence. It took just four activist judges to overturn the historical definition of marriage, not to mention the vote of more than four and a half million Californians, as the state supreme court issued a much-anticipated ruling on the question of same-sex "marriage." By a 4-3 margin, the justices struck down a law, adopted by 61 percent of voters in 2000, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. By imposing same- sex "marriage" on voters, the California Supreme Court knowingly usurped the right of the people to effect change in public policy.
This outcome is even more troubling than Massachusetts', in that California voters had already won the right to put a marriage protection amendment on the ballot in November. If the court cared at all about the democratic process, it would have stayed its decision until the people's voice was heard on the November amendment. Instead, these justices trampled on the legislature and created same-sex marriage by judicial fiat. This is nothing more than a judicial shotgun wedding that forces a redefinition of marriage on the people of California and potentially the rest of the nation. We trust that the voters of California will act in November to correct this exercise in judicial activism and to permanently enshrine the traditional definition of marriage in the state constitution. Clearly, this decision highlights the need for a federal amendment defining marriage in the U.S. Constitution. Only then will this campaign to shatter the family's foundation be ended once and for all. (Family Research Council)
· Lord, we pray for Your intervention on behalf of the people of California who overwhelmingly voted against same-sex marriages. We ask that today's ruling by state judges okaying same-sex marriages is reversed and that the matter is kept within the confines of the state, prevented by Your divine power from spreading to other states. May the people of California and the whole USA repent for this dreadful decision that violates Your divine purposes. We pray that these misguided and deceived judges either be removed from office or renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
· "Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to man that all men everywhere should repent." (Acts 17:30)
SPECIAL NOTE: We stand in agreement with the statement released by Cindy Jacobs on the critical need to pray over this issue, in repentance. As Cindy has said, "Enough is enough!" To read all of her statement, go here.
3. WHITE HOUSE REACTS TO CALIFORNIA DECISION
Yesterday, the White House issued this statement: "President Bush has always believed marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. It's unfortunate when activist judges continue to seek to redefine marriage by court order - without regard for the will of the people. Today's decision by the California Supreme Court illustrates that a federal constitutional amendment is the best way for the people to decide what marriage means. President Bush remains firmly committed to protecting the sanctity of marriage."
It is outrageous that a small majority on the California Supreme Court just could not wait until November when the citizens of California will undoubtedly vote to approve the ban of homosexual "marriages" in the state of California. Instead these 4 judicial tyrants substituted their perverse opinion for the will of the citizens of California. Indeed, the voters in California overwhelmingly voted for traditional marriage - that between one man and one woman - with a huge majority of 62% several years ago.
The overwhelming majority of Americans (some 70%) disapprove of homosexual "marriages." Yet, these judicial tyrants in California and Massachusetts have substituted their dictates for the will of the citizens of their states. Thus far, 27 states have passed constitutional amendments banning homosexual "marriage" with an average approval rate of 70%. The voters in Florida, Arizona, and California will likely approve similar bans on homosexual "marriages" this November, thereby nullifying this terrible decision yesterday in California. (Christian Coalition of America)
· The Christian Coalition of America will do everything in its power to pass a Federal Marriage Amendment in the United States Congress-- and state constitutional amendments in each of the 23 states which do not yet have them -- thereby banning homosexual "marriages" all over America. Please see what you can do in your state by praying for your federal judges and for the common sense of the voters in your state. The power of prayer is God's Word entering into every situation.
· "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." (Genesis 1:27)
4. H.R. 5910: OUTLAWING HUMAN-ANIMAL HYBRIDS
A Guardian newspaper commissioned poll indicates that more than 2/3 of the Members of Parliament intend to support the government's controversial Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which would legalize creation of chimeras (human-animal hybrids), allow the creation of babies for harvesting of genetic material to help cure family members ("savior siblings"), and remove the "need for a father" with in vitro fertilization treatment laws (allowing lesbians to bear children via IVF). Next week proposed amendments will be debated. One pro-life amendment, opposed by the government, would lower the limit for legal abortion (from now 24 weeks to between 12 and 22 weeks). Modern technology makes pre-born viability possible at increasingly lower ages. As many as 12 ministers - including three of Cabinet rank - have indicated that they may have to quit if ordered to back this pro-death package. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pushed the bill with its radical provisions, prompting rebellion by MPs with pro-life convictions. The British House of Commons is expected to vote on the bill next week.
Meanwhile, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) has introduced The Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act (H.R. 5910) in the U.S. House, the companion to Senator Sam Brownback's (R-KS) bill, introduced in the U.S. Senate last fall. Pro-lifers in the U.S. and Great Britain find themselves up against a wall of opposition surmountable only with the help of the Lord. (Family Research Council; Prayer Targets)
· May God give pro-life Members of Parliament an unbelievable victory! May He intervene to protect babies in the embryonic stage of life in Great Britain, where, strangely, abortion laws are more restrictive than in the U.S.! May Rep. Chris Smith and Sam Brownback's bills to outlaw Chimeras gain passage in both houses!
· "And now we call the proud happy: yea, they that work wickedness are set up: yea they that tempt God are even delivered." (Malachi 3:15)
"He delivereth and rescueth, and He worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions." (Daniel 6:27)
5. UPDATE: THE PLEDGE PROTECTION ACT
Christian Coalition of America and other groups have signed a letter to be sent to Members of the United States House of Representatives requesting that they co-sponsor Congressman Todd Akin's "Pledge Protection Act." Congressman Akin's bill will protect and secure our official and legal acknowledgement of our national relationship with God.
The Akin bill will serve as a much needed "check and balance" against a judiciary that continually attempts to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. Passage of the "Pledge Protection Act" will serve as a tremendous encouragement to an overwhelming majority of Americans who want to preserve our American values from left-wing judges legislating from the bench. The decision by the 4 judicial dictators in California yesterday legalizing homosexual "marriage" in California is just one of many examples of judicial tyranny which cannot be allowed to stand. The American people will not stand for a judicial dictatorship in America. (Christian Coalition of America)
· Pray that support builds quickly on Capitol Hill towards the passage of the Pledge Protection Act. Amen!
· "Thy people shall volunteer freely in the day of Thy power." (Ps. 110:3 NAS)
6. CONGRESS, SUPREME COURT ADDRESS FCC RULES ON INDECENT PROGRAMMING
Congressman Charles "Chip" Pickering is seeking co- sponsors for his "Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act," H.R. 3559. U.S. Supreme Court is to rule on whether foul-mouthed celebrities can use the "F-word" on live television without the television networks/stations being fined. So far Rep. Pickering has gained 22 sponsors. Congressman Pickering's bill will: "(R)equire the FCC, in enforcing its regulations concerning the broadcast of indecent programming, to maintain a policy that a single word or image may be considered indecent."
Sometime this summer, the United States Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision on whether or not it is indecent when foul-mouthed celebrities such as Cher and Nicole Richie, and such as Jane Fonda and Diane Keaton - both of whom used foul-mouthed profanities this year - use the F-word, etc. on live television. The United States Congress overwhelmingly, and unanimously in the case of the Senate, passed the "Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act" in 2006 which increased the penalties for the broadcast networks and television stations from $35,000 per violation to $350,000 per violation. (Christian Coalition of America)
· Pray that more co-sponsors join Rep. Pickering in this endeavor. Certainly, our air waves need protection, and who are these celebrities that they should sully the ears of everyone? Praise the Lord for the alertness of Congressman Pickering. Please cover him with the protection of the Lord, for he may come under attack.
· "Call unto Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify Me." (Psalm 50:15)
7. HOUSE GOP STRIPS WAR FUNDS FROM BILL
The Democrat-led House yesterday passed a war- funding bill that failed to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The unusual outcome occurred when Republicans used a parliamentary maneuver to sabotage Democrats' plans to tie the proposed $162.5 billion for the wars to a veto-provoking 18- month pullout timetable, domestic programs and a tax increase.
In the aftermath of the vote, accusations of political gamesmanship were traded across the aisle. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH) said the Democratic leaders designed the bill to draw a veto from President Bush and delay the war funds. Republicans said they were protesting the Democrats' move to ram the bill through the chamber without giving the minority party an opportunity to offer amendments or a vote to send the bill back to committee. Rep. David R. Obey (D-WI), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said the Republicans "voted for a cutesy-pie gimmick" to try to disrupt the process. Mr. Obey, voting against the war funds, bristled at the suggestion that Democrats face criticism for passing a meaningless appropriations bill.
The eviscerated House bill heads to an uncertain fate in the Senate, where the add-ons had promised to bog down the bill even before yesterday's maneuvering made those measures the totality of the legislation. The Senate, which passed out of committee yesterday a war bill similar to the House version but without the surtax, is scheduled to take up the issue next week. A final bill is not expected until next month, when the Pentagon says it will be running out of money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democrats expected to use Republican votes to pass the war funds, but Republicans refused to follow the script, highlighting divisions among House Democrats between members who are willing to fund U.S. forces and members who want the U.S. to withdraw immediately and don't want to fund anything other than withdrawal. (Washington Times)
· Please pray that wisdom prevails in this matter; we cannot pull out now when so much has been gained. Ask the Lord to give strategies to our leaders to deal with the matter of the wars in the Middle East. Bind the spirit of divisiveness; loose unity, peace and wisdom.
· "Through Thee will we push down our enemies: through Thy Name will we tread them under that rise up against us." (Psalm 44:5)
8. REPORT: SENATE TIES IRAQ WAR SPENDING BILL TO AMNESTY PROVISIONS
A supplemental appropriations bill intended to provide funding for the war effort in Iraq is being used to promote amnesty for illegal aliens and more low- wage guest workers for powerful business interests. The addition of two amendments to the Iraq War Supplemental Appropriations bill will mean that in order to provide emergency funding for our troops in Iraq, senators will be forced to approve an illegal alien amnesty and expand guest worker programs that harm American workers.
The Senate Appropriations Committee last included an amendment offered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D- Calif.) that would grant a five-year amnesty to 1.35 million illegal aliens working in agriculture, plus their spouses and children, and allow agribusiness to freeze wages for new guest workers at 2007 levels for the next three years. The five-year amnesty would likely be a prelude to permanent legalization for these illegal aliens.
A second amendment adopted by the committee, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), would vastly increase the number of unskilled H-2B guest workers permitted to work in this country. The Mikulski amendment would reinstate the exemption for returning H-2B workers from numerical caps on the program.
Charged Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "Tying amnesty for illegal aliens and still more cheap labor for powerful business interests to support for our troops in Iraq is an unconscionable abuse of the appropriations process." The American public has repeatedly rejected the idea of granting amnesty to illegal aliens and has adamantly opposed increases in guest worker programs that undermine American workers - especially in difficult economic times. Stein added, "But to choose this particular bill - the one that pays to maintain our military personnel who are fighting overseas - demonstrates the lengths that this Congress will go to satisfy the demands of big money interests."
FAIR is calling upon the full Senate to strip these two amendments from the bill before putting it to a vote. "The U.S. economy has been shedding jobs at an alarming rate over the past several months. There is no justification whatsoever for this sort of massive amnesty and increase in foreign guest workers," concluded Stein. (www.prnewswire.com)
· The Senate is just as capable as the House at adding amendments to the military funds for the the Middle East wars. Seriously consider contacting your senators and representatives if you want a bill free from any amendments to fund our military endeavors. Praise the Lord for those senators and congressmen who are alert to the meaning of unwaranted amendments. Pray! Pray!
· "Shall the throne of inquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by law?" (Psalm 94:20)
9. CONGRESS TO SAUDIS: GIVE US OIL OR NO GUNS
A group of Democratic senators wants to make a massive arms sale to Saudi Arabia contingent on getting cheaper oil, reports AFP. "We are saying to the Saudis that, if you don't help us, why should we be helping you?" says Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "We are saying that we need real relief, and we need it quickly. You need our arms, but we need you to cooperate and not strangle American consumers."
At issue is an arms package worth some $20 billion. The group has introduced a resolution in the Senate to block the pending sale. When the controversial deal was announced last July, Noah wrote that he was "utterly, completely flummoxed by the Bush Administration's decision to sell $20 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf potentates." (blog.wired.com/defense)
· The USA has been more than generous to Saudi Arabia because of oil ever since 1941, when the US began to help that country drill for its oil and sell it on the world market. This move by the senators may be a very good idea, pressuring a country bloated with oil money to consider its long time friend. Of course, the Saudis will be angry, because they are used to having their way. Pray over this matter, for there does come a time when "enough is enough." The Lord knows what we need - HIM!
· "Righteous art Thou, O Lord, when I plead with Thee; yet let me talk with Thee of Thy judgemnts ; 'Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?" (Jeremiah 12:1)
10. SAUDIS INCREASE OIL PRODUCTION
Saudi Arabia granted President Bush's request for an increase in oil production early Saturday, while the Bush administration heeded calls from Congress to temporarily stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Mr. Bush's latest round of "oil diplomacy" proved more fruitful than a trip in January, during which Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest producer and a U.S. ally, flatly rejected his pleas for increased output. Yesterday, the Saudis used the occasion of his visit to announce a 300,000 barrel-per-day increase in production, mostly for U.S. customers. "The president has asked the Saudis to produce oil to meet demand," Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, told reporters in Riyadh. "He was reassured by the king that they have increased production as the market demands." But the move to suspend shipments of premium crude oil to the strategic reserve was a reversal of longstanding administration policy and a bow to Congress, where Republicans overwhelmingly sided with Democrats against adding to the reserve while oil prices are soaring to unprecedented levels. (Washington Times)
· On Friday evening, when we published that edition of the Daily Brief, the news out of Saudi Arabia was that the Saudis had refused to make any change in the price of oil. Well . . . something must have changed overnight, because today we have this good news to report. We wonder what happened? Could it be that, once again, God's people cried out for mercy, and He answered? Praise Him!
· "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
This alert will not be published next weekend, in honor of the Memorial Day holiday. Congress will also go into recess on Friday evening, resuming its business on Monday evening, June 2.
The next edition of "On Capitol Hill This Week" will be published on Monday, June 2.
|This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .|
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
TRUE GOD (Eh-lo-heem Eh-met)
"But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King. (Jer. 10:10)
Thank You that You revealed Yourself to me -- the True God. I desire no other gods, but You, the True God. As all men search for truth, how thankful I am to know You.
(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)