- IN THE SENATE: HATE CRIME; ENDA; IMMIGRATION
- SENATE COMMITTEE PASSES NATIVE AMERICAN APOLOGY BILL
- IN THE HOUSE: IRAQ FUNDING; GLOBAL WARMING
- HOUSE COMMITTEE TO VOTE ON "GAG ORDER BILL"
1. IN THE SENATE: HATE CRIME; ENDA; IMMIGRATION
a. VOTE ON DANGEROUS HATE CRIME BILL IS IMMINENT
Congress passed the proposed Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 on May 3rd, and action is due on the same bill in the Senate as early as this week.This Act (S. 1105) gives special protection to a class of individuals based on their sexual orientation, namely homosexuals and transvestites. The extent of this protection now would reach into our pulpits because biblical teaching that disagrees with this lifestyle can be construed as inciting "hate" against this class. It has been part of the gay agenda to force acceptance of their lifestyle on our society even if it means silencing our freedom of speech and religious expression.
Clearly, this poses a serious threat to free speech and religious liberty. Wherever enacted, such laws have been used to scrutinize, silence and/or punish those who plainly speak or write that homosexuality is a sin. In Canada, Sweden, Australia and the U.S., pastors and evangelists have been jailed, fined and in one case, subjected to "reeducation," for publicly declaring what the Bible says about the practices of those in "protected classes." (Intercessory Prayer Initiative; Family Research Council)
· Pray that this bill will be fully aired; that Democrats and Republicans will see the inequity; that it will fail in the Senate; or that the President will boldly veto it and explain why to the American people. May the Church awaken to see that the homosexual agenda, government endorsed and enforced, cannot coexist with religious liberty. May pastors across the land sound the alarm!
· "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." (Lev. 20:13) "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered!" (Psalm 68:1)
b. SENATE TO RECONSIDER "ENDA"
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) - Reintroduced two weeks ago, will require employers to hire homosexuals and "transgendered" persons. Federal enforcement, fines and penalties will follow. Religious organizations are specifically exempted, but private Christian businesses are not and would be targeted by activists. Homosexual activists have been aggressive to use every opportunity to demand acceptance, approval and special status for their behavior. This will be used to pommel Christian employers, and to require them to accept and accommodate homosexuals, transvestites, transgendered persons, etc. Furthermore, it lends Federal approval to such behaviors and thereby encourages local and state acceptance of the activist homosexual legal agenda. This is likely to pass the Democrat-led Congress. President Bush has not spoken in opposition to this bill.
Pray that Bible-believing Christians, who understand the Biblical implications of the law, will arise to pray and act to stop it. Pray that the American people, who increasingly tolerate everything except Biblical Truth, will understand and reject this effort to impose homosexual practice upon the nation. May President Bush, too, understand and be prepared to veto the bill, if passed by Congress. (Family Research Council Prayer Alert)
· Pray for an END to ENDA. · "This far you may come and no further, and here shall your proud waves stop!" (Job 38:11)
c. SENATE VOTE ON ORIGINAL IMMIGRATION BILL DUE THIS WEEK
Senate negotiators racing against the clock to complete a bipartisan immigration bill will have one more day to work, as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nev.) announced on the floor Friday that he would wait to file cloture on last year's immigration measure.
While senators on both sides of the aisle have made good on promises of flexibility during their marathon meetings on the issue, chances were slim for a complete deal by Reid's previously set deadline of Tuesday. Reid is now likely to move for cloture Monday on last year's immigration bill, which won 23 Republican votes but is likely to draw a GOP filibuster this time around. A Monday filing would allow the handful of senators and Bush administration officials slightly more room to finish a bill that most describe as a broad outline that is far from legislative language.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hailed Reid's decision from the floor: "That gives us the maximum opportunity to piece back together the bipartisan agreement that we thought we almost had a week or so ago on this most important legislation." (The Hill; 5/11/07)
· We thank You Lord for the bipartisan work being accomplished in the Senate on the immigration bill, but we ask that You would cause these members to "go slowly" on this massive effort. The issues involved are many and complex and only You, Omniscient One, know the way we should go. We ask that our leaders would humble themselves, seek Your face and find Your will for the illegal aliens in our nation, and pass only a just and righteous law for our land.
· "The blessing of The Lord, it maketh rich and He addeth no sorrow with it." (Proverbs 10:22)
2. SENATE COMMITTEE PASSES NATIVE AMERICAN APOLOGY RESOLUTION
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today applauded Indian Affairs Committee passage of S.J. Res. 4, the Native American Apology Resolution, legislation to offer an apology from the United States government to American Indians. "The Native American apology resolution recognizes and honors the importance of Native Americans and their contributions to our nation," said Brownback. "This is a resolution of apology and reconciliation. It offers an official apology to the Native peoples for the poor choices our government made in the past."
The resolution, first introduced in the 108th Congress, apologizes on behalf of the United States to all Native peoples for the instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on them by the United States. It also commits to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future. Brownback continued, "It is past time for us to heal our land of division, and come together as one people. We cannot erase the past. We can, however, acknowledge our past failures, express our sincere regrets, and work toward establishing a brighter future for all Americans."
The resolution of apology does not authorize or serve as a settlement of any claim against the United States and does not resolve many challenges still facing Native peoples.
· Last week on the National Day of Prayer, National Chairman Shirley Dobson asked all participants to bow in prayer before our Lord, offering words of REPENTANCE for our sins. Does God not say that, if we do so, He WILL "heal our land?" And does God not keep His promises?? . . . In this hour of national repentance and reconciliation, NOW IS THE TIME for the PASSAGE of the Native American Apology Resolution. May it be so, Lord. Amen.
· ". . . if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14) · "Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place."(2 Chronicles 7:15)
3. IN THE HOUSE: IRAQ FUNDING; GLOBAL WARMING
a. THE IRAQ FUNDING BILL -- HERE WE GO AGAIN
The House of Representatives voted yesterday on two bills related to the war in Iraq. The first measure, sponsored by Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) would have cut off funding for the war and ended U.S. military involvement in Iraq in nine months. It failed on a vote of 171-to-255. The second bill, passed on a vote of 221-to-205, approved a partial installment of $43 billion for the war, but it also requires the president to submit three reports in July, followed by another round of two votes: one to cut off funding and a second vote to provide an additional installment of $50 billion.
According to press reports, Senate Democrats are not happy with this approach and the White House is threatening to veto the measure should it reach the president's desk. Exactly why House Democrats took more than a week to devise a plan that they A) knew will be vetoed and B) doesn't even pass muster with their Senate counterparts is further evidence of their deep divisions and even borders on negligence. The continued delay in funding is forcing the Pentagon to confront a number of hard deadlines, which will begin to hit by the end of the May.
While Congress and the White House remain deadlocked over Iraq, recent polls suggest that neither side is winning any points with the public. Congress' approval rating is just as bad and dropping! That defies"conventional wisdom" since the majority believes it was elected to end the war, yet its efforts to do so are not being rewarded in the polling data. (Gary Bauer)
· Pray for more serious understanding by the American public about the war in Iraq. That war protects Israel, is bringing the gospel inside the Middle East, and is teaching a nation how to establish a democratic republic. US troops stayed in Japan for 10 years after WW2 and some are still in Europe. Pray for less deception and more truth about the war in media reports. Continue to pray for your representatives in the US Congress, no matter which party they represent. Pray for wisdom, justice, and righteousness for our government. · "Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established." (Proverbs 24:3)
b. GLOBAL WARMING STUDY ADDED TO HOUSE INTELLIGENCE BILL
On Friday, House Republicans, accusing Democrats of caring more about "bugs and bunnies" than hunting for al Qaeda, failed to strip a global warming study from an intelligence policy bill as lawmakers tacked a similar climate change provision onto a separate defense bill. The Democratic-controlled House voted 230-185 to defeat Republican efforts to block a major study of how global warming might affect national security, with majority party leaders saying that melting ice caps and droughts must be taken into account. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), backed by all but 12 of the chamber's Republicans, had tried to strip the global- warming provision from the bill. Last month, the Senate passed a similar measure. It is unclear whether the two versions can be reconciled and sent to the President, who is opposed to the climate change study. (Washington Times)
· Putting our own opinions aside as to whether global warming/climate change is the real danger that some believe it is, let's offer praise that President Bush is opposed to this study. Ask the Lord to strengthen his hand as he prepares to reach for his veto pen, should this legislation reach his desk unchanged. · "In that day the LORD of hosts will be . . . for a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate."(Is. 28:5a,6)
4. HOUSE COMMITTEE TO VOTE ON "GRASSROOTS GAG ORDER BILL"
Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will vote on legislation (S. 1: The Lobby Reform Bill) that would restrict the ability of groups including Focus on the Family Action, Concerned Women for America, the Family Rsearch Council and the Christian Coalition of America, to urge you to contact your elected Representatives in Congress about pending bills. This legislation introduced by Reps. Marty Meehan, D- MA, and Christopher Shays, R-CT, is the parallel bill to the one that was finally blocked in the Senate in January: S.1. The vote is now scheduled in committee on May 15th.
Please urge your representative to oppose the Meehan-Shays amendment and any other legislation that would restrict efforts to motivate citizens to contact their elected Representatives or executive branch officials about pending legislation. If Congress does not hear from you on this legislation, it will be more difficult for you to hear from us in the future.
You may contact your representative by clicking on this link. Look for the item titled "Oppose the 'Grassroots Gag Order' Bill." (Paid for by Focus on the Family Action )