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Congress Approves Religious Monitoring Using HR 2431

Christians Support Draconian Measure--Return to Dark Ages

    In a move that was generally unrecognized by the American public for its profound implications, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that will establish a religious monitoring office in the White House. On May 14th HR 2431, named "The Freedom from Religious Persecution Act of 1998", was passed by an overwhelming majority of 375 to 41. It was co-sponsored by Republicans and Democrats alike, and the list of groups supporting the measure included an odd assortment of bedfellows from across the religious and political spectrum. The primary supporters of the bill were Christian conservatives and members of the Republican party. The bill is now in the Senate where it is sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) as S-772.

    Last year Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) introduced House bill HR 2431 "to establish an Office of Religious Persecution Monitoring, to provide for the imposition of sanctions against countries engaged in a pattern of religious persecution, and for other purposes," the bill reads at the top [emphasis supplied]. The Act will establish an Office of Religious Persecution Monitoring (ORPM), the director of which will be appointed by the president within sixty days after enactment. The director will be empowered with sweeping authority to monitor religious groups around the world to decide if they are suffering persecution and to apply economic sanctions against the offending nation, entity or individual. This unprecedented power has led some to refer to the ORPM Director as "the Czar of Religious Monitoring."

    The ORPM will be unprecedented in both its scope and power. The director will have the authority to levy sanctions at will -- a prerogative once possessed only by Congress because it is an act of war, but now heartily bestowed on the ORPM by Congress. HR 2431 is in effect a "super fast-track" sanction making authority, a carte blanche, granted to an office that will not receive congressional oversight. The ORPM's edicts will not even require the approval of the president, as HR 2431 gives the ORPM authority to declare sanctions and then coordinate their implementation with the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and the Attorney General. The president may waive sanctions for national security reasons, but his oversight and approval are not required. In effect, the ORPM will be quasi-independent, required only to submit a report to Congress once a year.

    The extent of the ORPM's sanctioning power may be seen in proposed sanctions against the North African nation of Sudan and specifically mandated by HR 2431. The ORPM Director "shall identify and list the persecution facilitating products, goods, and services." This can be anything the director deems "persecution facilitating", including food, medicine and other essentials.

    Sudanese products may not be exported to the U.S. All financial transactions between the U.S. and Sudanese persons and entities are prohibited. Aircraft owned by U.S. persons and entities cannot land in Sudan and air service agreements are canceled. Investment in Sudan is prohibited and so is the export of computers and related technology. Sudan's assets in the United States will remain frozen. The State Department is directed to pressure other countries to honor U.S. embargoes. All persons violating these sanctions are subject to the penalties set forth in the Trading with the Enemy Act.

    In essence, the ORPM Director will have unrestricted authority to shut down all trade, air traffic, loans and financial transactions beginning with selectively targeted individuals to a complete embargo of designated countries. While these dictatorial powers appear to be directed at persecuting governments, they equally affect U.S. persons who wish to send money and food to relatives and businessmen who have investments in targeted countries. These sanctions are imposed arbitrarily. Buyers are deprived of necessary goods and sellers are deprived of their livelihood, all without due process of law. While benevolent on its face, this Act is both draconian and unconstitutional.

    HR 2431 defines two categories of religious persecution. "Category 1 persecution" is committed with the support of government officials or their agents. "Category 2 persecution" is committed without the involvement of government officials or their agents, "but which the government fails to undertake serious and sustained efforts to eliminate."

    HR 2431 does not define "religion" and its description of "persecution" is somewhat definitive ending with the phrase, "or other forms of torture". While eliminating religious persecution seems to be a good thing, it is wrong for one government to dictate how all others must handle their domestic policies. "Category 2 persecution" reveals the true character of HR 2431. Foreign governments are forced, under the threat of starvation and economic ruin, to become active "change agents" for the United States ORPM -- forced to implement a radical social agenda that will eliminate the various forms of "persecution" occurring within their respective cultures. While China and Vietnam are cited in the Act, special reference is made to "militant Islamic" countries that "persecute" religious minorities -- further evidence that fundamentalist, monotheistic religions and cultures are in the cross hairs of this new bureaucracy.

    HR 2431 does not make reference to the U.S. Constitution for its authority, but, instead, cites Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also makes reference to the United Nations Charter.

Section 2, paragraph (2), subparagraph (A) of HR 2431 reads:

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that 'Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance'.

    What HR 2431 does not mention is that later in this U.N. declaration is the statement that "no one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice." Freedom on the Altar, William Norman Grigg, emphasis supplied). While appearing to guarantee the freedom of religion, this document subtly injects the words "have a religion", suggesting that religious expression in the form of evangelism, proselytizing and condemnation of immorality could be suppressed. It also introduces the premise that the U.N. may define what religious freedom "shall include." This concept is diametrically opposed to the U.S. Constitution which simply recognizes the fact that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.

How Did This Bill Get Passed?

    It is almost ludicrous to even discuss a bill that proposes to establish a religious monitoring agency in the federal government and cites U.N. documents as its authority. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," -- in other words, "hands off religion"-- yet, this is precisely what Congress has done.

    It is a wonder that a bill which so blatantly violates the First Amendment could receive such enthusiastic support from Christian and conservative groups. The inclusion of specific sanctions against Sudan in the bill were one factor that helped pull in Christian support. Reports of the religious persecution of Christians in Sudan's civil war have been circulating among American churches--stories of torture, enslavement and murder. These reports have been fanned by a book entitled In the Lion's Den. This book was published by Freedom House, a Washington-based organization established in 1943 by Wendell Willkie, a proponent of world government and Eleanor Roosevelt. Freedom House is reportedly a front for the Council on Foreign Relations. This is evidenced by the numerous CFR members on its board including Zbigniew Brzezinski, the first Rockefeller appointed Tri-Lateral Commission Chairman and National Security Adviser under President Carter. Freedom House has been among the primary promoters of HR 2431. ("Will Americans Accept Federal Religious Monitoring?" C.E. Carlson, We Hold These Truths, an educational organization).

    In the Lion's Den reportedly infers that the 1.3 million Sudanese civil war casualties are mostly Christian victims of religious persecution at the hands of an extremist Islamic government. Official demographic data does not support that figure, according to a report by We Hold These Truths. Mr. C.E. Carlson writes, "Freedom House seems to have buried more Christians than ever existed in Southern Sudan ... where most of the killing is said to have occurred." (ibid.) In short, few facts and a case built on emotion is how In the Lion's Den has reportedly helped channel Christian support in favor of HR 2431. It should be noted that President Clinton issued an executive order applying economic sanctions against Sudan last November, and recent news reports have indicated hundreds of thousands of Sudanese people in the South are now on the brink of starvation, and many of them are Christians.

Who is Behind this BIll?

    The person primarily responsible for facilitating the passage of HR 2431 is Mr. Michael J. Horowitz, a Jewish attorney who is a senior fellow at the globalist Hudson Institute in Washington. In an October 16, 1997 memo he sent to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), he reveals that he (Horowitz) is the true author of HR 2431. He also reveals that the purpose of the Sudan provisions in HR 2431 is to destroy the Sudanese government and that "covert military aid" was already being used for that purpose. To top everything, he noted that he organized the much hyped November 16th International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church for the purpose of getting HR 2431 passed. (HTML reproduction of Wolf-Horowitz memo obtained from We Hold These Truths). Calling a prayer event to help establish an unconstitutional religious monitoring agency and overthrow an unfriendly government should make one wonder what this whole thing is all about.

    Christians haven't wondered, however, and they have roundly applauded Horowitz for his endeavors. He is the only non-Christian to be awarded Prison Fellowship's Wilberforce Award (1997). He's been called "a new Jewish prophet." He makes his rounds in Christian circles saying things like, "I am doing this because I am a Jew--because I ... see eerie parallels between what is happening to Christians today and what happened to my people during much of Europe's history." ("The Suffering Servants: Michael Horowitz Sounds the Alarm", 4-14-97, Prison Fellowship ministry). Christians lapped it up and have fought to get on Horowitz's HR 2431 bandwagon.

    ...And pile on they have. Lutherans, Southern Baptists, Catholics and Seventh-day Adventists, the Salvation Army, just to name a few. Christian organizations supporting HR 2431 include the Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson's 700 Club, Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family, and the Family Research Council. These have united with the Baha'i Faith, Jewish organizations, Arab organizations, Buddhists, and many others in joining hands with the Freedom Foundation and the Hudson Institute -- a globalist's dream come true. (List of supporting groups obtained from Rep. Wolf's website).

    To add to the subterfuge being employed the Clinton administration mumbled to the press its opposition to the bill because it might "interfere with diplomacy" or something. ("White House Mixed on Religious Bill", Washington Post, 5-12-98). Cabinet officers lobbied against it, if somewhat tepidly. Clinton's opposition was enough to clinch Christian support. The bill had to be good because Clinton was against it. It was the old reverse psychology trick, employed by a president that would just love the power of policing religion along with everything else.

lightning

It is an Ominous Sign When Christians Mindlessly Employ Government Force

    May 1st was the National Day of Prayer, and Christian leaders descended on Washington to throw their political weight around. Dr. James Dobson who heads the Focus on the Family ministry threatened to lead a Christian exodus out of the Republican party unless their priorities were addressed -- the foremost of which was the passage of HR 2431. In the March 1998 issue of his magazine Focus on the Family, Dr. Dobson urged his readers to "pray for U.S. Congress as it considers The Freedom from Religious Persecution Act (H.R. 2431)" and remember that "it is crucial that the body of Christ respond to the call expressed in Heb 13:3" which reads, "remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them...."

    Dr. Dobson's wife Shirley, speaking at a rally in Washington May 1st ironically intoned, "At a time when so many people rely on symbols of power, the National Day of Prayer reminds us to refocus our attention on God." The scripture that formed the theme for this event was Psalm 20:7: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Statements such as these from the Christian leadership, even as they threaten and plead for the coercive power of federal government sanctions to work on their behalf, could cause one to wonder if Dobson and associates are all brain dead.

    After HR 2431 passed, Randy Tate, Christian Coalition executive director, said in a statement: "We now call on the Senate to pass this bill and for the President to sign it into law ... religious persecution will not be tolerated, and those recalcitrant regimes which stubbornly continue to oppress and victimize people of faith will be dealt with." (Christian Coalition Press Release). Threatening rhetoric such as this is more reminiscent of a 13th century papal crusade than a plea to spare those persecuted for their faith. This must be what it looks like to "reset our moral compass" as the president of the Christian Coalition has been urging us to do.

    Attorney Michael Horowitz and Christian leaders alike have downplayed concerns that the ORPM might conduct religious enforcement in the United States. Horowitz claims that the bill "establishes no enforcement mechanism" based on the U.N. documents cited above, and that the bill makes no provision for application in the United States. These assurances are small comfort in light of the "and for other purposes" clause at the top of the bill, and the fact that the U.S. is not specifically excluded from the ORPM's jurisdiction. The bill simply says that the ORPM may apply sanctions wherever persecution is occurring.

    Religious surveillance is already being conducted in the United States by the United Nations Special Rapporteur of Religious Intolerance. This office was established by the United Nations Commissioner on Human Rights in 1986. On January 28, 1998, the Atlanta Journal Constitution printed a story entitled, EMORY DRAWS U.N. RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS. The U.N. was attending a forum at Emory University concerning religious freedom for Indians living in the southwestern United States. The standard that these officials use while "examining religions" is the UN's 1981 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religious Belief." (March 7th letter by Craig T. Miller, published by We Hold These Truths).

    Whether conducted by the ORPM in the White House of the U.N.'s Special Rapporteur of Religious Intolerance, the enforcement of acceptable religious standards is coming to the United States, regardless of Mr. Horowitz's denials and objections. The absence of domestic "enforcement mechanisms" and other technicalities are irrelevant in light of the already flagrant violation of the First Amendment. Oppressive laws always appear benign on their face. When enacted, it will be up to the unscrupulous tyrant in the White House to interpret it, and a scheming anti-Christian bureaucracy to implement it.

    The federal government's slaughter of the Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas should have convinced anyone that this government is unfit for the job of monitoring and "protecting" religious minorities. Such an act of religious persecution is unprecedented in the United States this century, but the officials responsible have yet to be "sanctioned" and held accountable. While the embers at Mt. Carmel were still smoldering, President Clinton scoffed at the suggestion that Attorney General Janet Reno should resign, "just because some religious fanatics murdered themselves." This is the president that will appoint the "Czar of Religious Monitoring."

Malignant Designs

    Most Christians today are devoid of true spiritual power and understanding. This is why they have succumbed to the common human failing of using force as a means to further their cause. If they truly believed in God, they would ask Him to deliver their persecuted brethren. Instead, they turn to a cruel and despotic regime to enforce their agenda. This is what the church did during the Dark Ages. They ended up killing millions of people and bringing shame on the Christian religion. History now repeats itself.

    Modern Christians today have succumbed to another human failing -- the misconception that the U.S. government is capable of defending truth and righteousness. It is not. Every bill, every law and regulation, every treaty, every official act is subverted and molded into the internationalist agenda. These internationalists hate Christianity. They are, in effect, anti-Christ. They are bent on the total destruction of the Christian religion. Since Christians have eagerly signed on to HR 2431, they have effectively signed their own death warrant. The Act of oppression meant for "extremist Islamic" countries will come back to haunt them.

    On April 29th Col. John R. Niemela (USAF- Ret.) faxed a scathing letter to House majority leader Dick Armey that addressed the true motives behind the Clinton administration's phony opposition to HR 2431. He wrote, "Those people who dominate his staff, Talmudic in principle and severely anti-Christian, well understand who designed this bill, who has massaged it over several years, what their principle purpose was in promoting it, and, who they are! And so do you!"

    Col. Niemela then exposed the true objectives behind HR 2431. "The blueprints that guide this law have been available for years, but most 'blinded' Christians ignore them. Protocol No. 14 of the Elders of Zion demand that no other religion should exist other than theirs, and, the Communist Manifesto No. 19 directs its members to infiltrate churches and replace revealed religion with other forms, discredit the Bible and inject Humanism." Wisconsin Report, 5-7-98).

    Col. Niemela's assertions are well documented in many sources, including Humanist Erich Fromm's The Sane Society  (l955) which predicted that "the theistic concepts are bound to disappear in the future development of humanity....A new religion will develop...the most important feature of such a religion would be its universalistic character...it would embrace the humanistic teachings common to all great religions of the East and of the West...." (Road to Socialism and the New World Order  by D.L. Cuddy, Ph.D.).

    Of course, there will be no room in this new world for true Christianity with its faith in Christ, its fundamental beliefs, and the Protestant principles that put a man's conscience above the authority of the State. Those who rebuke and condemn certain "lifestyle choices" will be regarded as "religious persecutors", as "intolerant" and disruptive of society.

    Leading occultist Alice Bailey wrote in The Externalisation of the Hierarchy that the builders of the new world order "will develop the new world religion... (and) the new civilization.... They can, however, be delayed by the reactionary types of people, by the ultra-conservative and closed minds [fundamentalists] ....These must all be brought under the power of death." (ibid.) The coming ORPM is a well orchestrated step in that direction.

    Christians who supported HR 2431 flatter themselves that they have increased their posture and security in the world. They have, instead, cast their lot with the emerging global order and forfeited divine protection. Since they disobeyed the command, "Trust not in oppression", in their day of trouble they will find themselves unable to trust in the One they profess to worship.

 

Written 4/24/98

 

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