To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 235 DAYS TO THE 2012 ELECTIONS
Bishops Battle On
The nation’s Catholic bishops have been under tremendous pressure to compromise with the Obama Administration on its mandate requiring religious institutions to pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives in their health insurance plans. There have been mixed signals in recent days about whether a compromise is in the works.
Wednesday the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a five-page statement clarifying its position entitled “United for Religious Freedom.” In short, the Catholic Church is not backing down and will fight on, united in its opposition to the mandate. Consider these excerpts:
“We wish to clarify what this debate is — and is not — about. This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive This is not about the religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block.
This is not about the Bishops’ somehow ‘banning contraception,’ when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the Church to act against Church teachings. This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing.
“So what is it about? An unwarranted government definition of religion. Government has no place defining religion and religious ministry. And if this definition is allowed to stand, it will spread throughout federal law, weakening its healthy tradition of generous respect for religious freedom and diversity.
“We will continue our vigorous efforts at education and public advocacy on the principles of religious liberty and their application in this case (and others). We will continue to pursue legislation to restore the same level of religious freedom we have enjoyed until just recently. And we will continue to explore our options for relief from the courts
“Most importantly of all, we call upon the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer for the complete protection of our First Freedom Prayer is the ultimate source of our strength — for without God, we can do nothing; but with God, all things are possible.”
Radical Islam: The Focus Of Evil In The Modern World
Twenty-nine years ago this month, Ronald Reagan delivered a speech before the National Association of Evangelicals in which he described the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” and “the focus of evil in the modern world.” Today, thanks to Ronald Reagan’s belief in America and commitment to freedom, the Soviet Union no longer threatens us. But evil remains in the world. The focus of evil in the world 29 years later is radical Islam. Let me give you a few recent examples.
In a speech several days ago, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again lashed out at Israel and the United States, saying, “You [the West] have made investments and are losing face for the sake of a bunch of criminals and are not aware that the Zionist regime is like a rotten tree that you have invested in, but you will lose face. the Zionist regime is a dead entity which cannot be brought back to life.”
Referring to the recent sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration, Ahmadinejad said, “They sat and plotted for several months, made coordination and conspiracies, schemed the way that from that side, the head of the Big Satan [President Barack Obama] could say that they imposed sanctions on Iran ”
The mullahs in Iran may see Israel as a “rotten tree,” but they see America as the “Great Satan.” They know America is the greatest force for freedom and liberty in the world. Their desire to destroy Israel is surpassed only by their wish to demolish America.
Underscoring that reality are the comments of Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of Iran’s Basij paramilitary force. In a speech two weeks ago, Gen. Naqdi said that Iran’s “independence and unhindered advance toward perfection is subject to removing the despotic powers [America] and the Zionists. As long as America exists, we will not rest. In revealing the truth about America and the Zionists, we must raise public hate against the despotic powers and create the environment for the destruction of America.”
The Basij is best known as the regime’s “morality police.” It was the Basij that brutally attacked pro-democracy protestors in 2009. Tens of thousands of Basij sought martyrdom during the Iran-Iraq War by clearing minefields in advance of the Iranian Army. They are loyal to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, and no less fanatical than Hitler’s SS.
Part and parcel of radical Islam’s hatred of the West is its intolerance toward other faiths. Recently Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, was asked about the proposal of a Kuwaiti politician who wanted to prevent the construction of new churches in Kuwait. Sheikh Abdullah went further than a mere ban on new construction. According to various news reports, he “stressed that Kuwait was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore it is necessary to destroy all churches in it.”
As Raymond Ibrahim notes, the Grand Mufti is not some unknown, fringe cleric, but the highest authority on Islam in Saudi Arabia. He writes, “Imagine what would happen if a Christian counterpart to the Grand Mufti, say the Pope, were to declare that all mosques in Italy must be destroyed; imagine the nonstop Western media frenzy that would erupt.”
Many liberal politicians and commentators have been talking an awful lot lately about a so-called “war on women.” They are trivializing the government’s latest assault on religious liberty. Yet when it comes to radical Islam’s very real war on women, these liberals are often silent.
This week a Moroccan teenager committed suicide by ingesting rat poison in order to avoid being forced to marry her rapist. Some on the left vocally opposed the war in Afghanistan after 9/11. But they have little to say about honor killings in the Muslim world or the Taliban throwing acid in the faces of young girls going to school.
This is the reality of radical Islam. It is an ideology of hate. It is the focus of evil in the modern world, and Western Civilization must find the will to combat it and defeat it.