Chairman’s Report — April 25, 2014
Christian history being erased – The monastery of St Sergius is dedicated to a Roman officer (Sergius) who was martyred in the fourth century, for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. Its construction likely predates the Council of Nicea (325 AD) as it has a round altar, which was prohibited at the Council. The very size of the monastery indicates the size and power of Christianity inside of Syria before the country fell to invading Islamic armies in the seventh century.
For a major part of the past year, it was occupied by Syrian rebels who took advantage of its commanding position over Maaloula to help keep their grip on this Christian village. During the occupation of the village by the Obama supported rebels, strict Sharia law was enforced. Those Christians who were not able to flee were treated as slaves. Several Christian men were beheaded, and many of the women were forced into slave marriages by the Islamic fighters.
The village is a key location on the main road from Damascus to Homs, and rebel forces used it as a transfer point to move arms supplied by Saudi Arabia and the United States deeper into Syria. For many months the Syrian army attempted to take back Maaloula but they were unsuccessful until April.
The monastery, built of stone during the fourth century, was damaged in battles but still stands. Unfortunately the inside of the buildings were looted and defiled by the Islamic fighters supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia. The church had contained many hand written Bibles and other church documents dating back more than 1,500 years. The Islamic fighters looted religious objects of gold and silver and burned tons of ancient documents.
One UK newspaper reported that one of the soldiers retaking the village was a young man by the name of Samir who said he had been born in Maaloula, and joined the army to defend his village, the ancient religious center. He said it “will not change hands again because most of the young men in the village have joined the military.”
More and more Christians who had tried to stay out of the war from the beginning are joining the Syrian Army in hopes of saving the secular society where they have been allowed to practice their faith. The three years of war crimes against Christians have convinced them that the Obama supported rebels will afford them no freedom to practice their faith if they come to power.
Our tax dollars at work killing Christians
Tax dollars to Pakistan to kill Christians–Asia Bibi has been imprisoned and tortured for five years. Now her death sentence for blasphemy has been upheld by an appeals court in Pakistan. Her crime was allegedly drinking a glass of water from a “Muslim only” well. The accuser was another woman who was a personal enemy of hers.
Don’t bother to look for any current news stories on Asia Bibi in the New York Times, ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC. Sentencing a Christian to death for drinking a glass of water out of a “Muslim only” well is not really persecution, in the minds of the American mainstream media. No outrage has come from the White House, either. What does the mainstream media view as persecution? A Russian law that forbids giving literature promoting homosexuality to anyone under the age of eighteen. On the issue of Christian Russia “persecuting” homosexuals, dozens of stories can be found – most of them either false or exaggerated.
But Asia Bibi is not the only Christian facing death for blasphemy in the nation of Pakistan, which receives $1.5 billion a year in aid from the United States.
A Pakistani court sentenced an impoverished Christian couple to death for “blasphemy against Islam” on Friday, April 4, just days after another Christian, Sawan Masih, was told he would be executed on similar charges. Masih was sentenced to death by Lahore Additional District Court. The Christian couple will join a growing list of innocent victims of the courts.
Shafaqat Emmanuel, a crippled 38-year-old Christian man, and his wife Shagufta Kausar, 42, were crying after being told they would be executed by hanging. (A video of the couple’s children pleading for their release is located at ReligiousFreedomCoalition.org)
The devoted Christian couple were accused by Muslims of sending blasphemous text messages with a mobile phone, charges they strongly deny. Neither of them has a formal education, and they can’t send text messages in English.
The death sentence came despite evidence that the couple’s mobile phone was not used for the alleged blasphemous remarks about Islam, according to the defense team. “We discovered that the messages were sent from another number.”
One congressman I have talked to has said, “Pakistan is like a black hole for American aid. Our tax dollars go in. Our diplomats go in. Our aid professionals go in. Our hopes go in. Our prayers go in. Nothing good ever comes out.”
Our tax dollars, as well as money we borrow from the Chinese, is sent to Pakistan. There the money is used to build a nuclear arsenal to threaten democratic India, fund terror in Afghanistan and support a government that persecutes the few Christians who live there. Pakistan is a Muslim pit of despair that should not receive a dime from the taxpayers of this nation.
The Inside the Beltway time warp
This is not 1968 – There is absolutely no way anyone resembling Richard Nixon could win the White House today. In 1968, Nixon was the first Republican elected in twelve years, and he won by promising to end the Vietnam War and lower taxes. The war did end – with our virtual surrender – but Nixon did not lower taxes. In fact he installed a Marxist style of wage and price controls to stop runaway inflation. He ended the gold standard, thus allowing the Fed to print money and cause even more inflation. Despite this history, the GOP establishment is currently looking for a man like Richard Nixon to run for the presidency in 2016.
Karl Rove, formerly a very influential advisor to George W. Bush, is at the head of the search pack. The establishment wants a candidate who places no emphasis on social issues and will run for election to “lower the tax burden” on the American people. In other words, to make the same promises Richard Nixon made and could not keep because of the reality facing the nation at the time — a huge war debt from a ten year long war that could not be paid off. (Oh, that sounds rather familiar.)
Some numbers as to why this will not work –The latest Treasury Department figures indicate that the top 20% of wage earners pay 93% of all income taxes. To repeat, it is 20% of wage earners who pay that much, not 20% of the American population. Only 64% of Americans are adults between the ages of 18 and 65, and just 62% of adult Americans are wage earners. Many of these wage earners are part time workers, as just 47% of adults have full time jobs.
All these statistics and more lead to one very troubling conclusion:
About 25 million adult Americans – less than 10% of the population – pay 93% of all income tax, but 275 million adults over the age of 18 can vote!
Because 80% of wage earners pay very little or no income tax at all, it simply is not possible to win an election on the tax issue alone. Without social issues to attract voters, the Republican Party has no real base, no issues that personally affect any more than 10% of the voting population. There are add-on issues such as 2nd Amendment Rights and illegal immigration, but none of those produce winning numbers for the GOP without social conservative voters.
Oddly the liberal run Democrat Party understands the importance of social issues. Democrats run for office promoting same-sex marriage and abortion rights. The “war on women” is always present as well. Meanwhile the GOP establishment does its best to stop any Republican candidates who are pro-life, pro-traditional marriage or stand for public profession of faith from using those issues to activate their base.
I am not promoting the Republican cause … but I am advising social conservatives to let both Democratic and Republican candidates know that social issues are important to them regardless of how much or how little income tax they pay. We must also inform those candidates who tell us privately they are pro-life or pro-marriage but who will not promote those issues at their Internet sites or in their campaign literature, that we can’t support them either. If a man fears being public about following the Lord, he does not deserve your support or mine.
The politics of numbers
No inflation? – I am receiving several calls and letters per week from supporters asking me how the government can say there is no inflation, when eggs cost almost 9% more now than just one year ago. I receive notes from people who tell me they have to reduce their donations to the Religious Freedom Coalition because of higher food and energy costs. Yet the government says there is no inflation. Why is this?
One reason is that food cost is not calculated into the inflation index now the way it was twenty-five years ago. If the government provided statistics on inflation using the official model from the 1990 formulation, the annual inflation rate today would be reported at about 6%. If an older model in effect pre-1980 were used, the inflation rate would be over 9%. Does this mean the government is lying about inflation, and if so, why?
The main reason for faking a low inflation rate is Social Security.
Each year Social Security payments are adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If real inflation were to be disclosed, Social Security payments would be rising by 4% to 9% a year. Various welfare and food stamp programs, as well as the pay rates of government employees, are also tied to the CPI, or inflation index.
In the chart above, the top line is the annual inflation rate from 1980 to present using the 1980 model, while the bottom line shows inflation using the current model which does not take into account the cost of food and energy.
If the federal government had to raise Social Security and other payments based on real CPI, the increase in debt would be so enormous as to be unsustainable. The Federal Reserve would have to print even more money to cover the tab which would increase inflation even more.
This is not my field of expertise, but I often in meetings on Capitol Hill for another purpose when these issues are discussed. In these meetings I am often given packages of information prepared by various groups. The economic conservatives in the GOP do not want to deal with this issue. They want to pretend there is no inflation right along with the liberals, because they understand that being honest about the CPI would move the nation very quickly toward bankruptcy. The righteous, godly course would be for the CPI to be reported honestly and for commitments to those on Social Security to be honored. I seriously doubt that will happen.
William J. Murray, Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #900, Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990
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