Accuracy in Media

Senator Barack Obama struggles to keep the public in the dark about the nature
of his pro-U.N. Global Poverty Act, a recent “Bay Area Interfaith Leaders’
Luncheon” was held to lobby for Senate passage of the bill, whose cost has been
estimated at $845 billion. An actual witch who spoke at a “Pagan Pride”
festival in San Francisco
was one of the listed participants.

witch, known as the “Elder Donald Frew” of the “Wiccan Community,” was
interviewed by the Reverend Don Lewis
of “Witch School International” for a “reality” show called “Magick TV” and is shown talking about his involvement in the United Nations-backed
United Religions Initiative. Magick TV features a “daily spell.”

of the United Religions Initiative and the World Parliament of Religions were
also among those included in the controversial Bay Area conference, which was
held at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit
Catholic institution
with a “global perspective,” under the auspices of the Lane Center
for Catholic Studies and Social Thought.

local paper described the event as an “unprecedented lobbying effort” that was
“paired with a call to the Bay Area’s myriad faith communities to join in what
the religious leaders see as the defining issue facing the globe today.”

a concerned parent alerted us to the fact that a Christian preschool in Long Island, New
York was handing out a coloring page for children
which included a plea for Congress to pass Obama’s Global Poverty Act. “Dear
Parents,” said the letter that was sent home. “We would like to join efforts
with the congregation of St. David’s to stop world hunger. You and your child
can help by coloring and signing the enclosed sheet. This sheet will be sent
along with many others to our representatives in Washington, D.C…Thanks for supporting such a
great cause. Sincerely, St. David’s Christian Preschool.”

sheet said “Dear Senator: At Preschool, I learned to thank God for the food I
eat. I also collect coins to help those who don’t have enough. Today, I ask you
to help, too, with more and better aid for the world’s poorest countries. We
want Congress to pass the Global Poverty Act. Please cosponsor S. 2433. Thank
you.” The child’s name and age were supposed to be filled in.

pictures to be colored included what appeared to be an angel holding a bowl of
food (with a Valentine heart on the robe and the bowl) and a basket with

The Real Agenda 

plea for “more and better” foreign aid money conflicts with the claims of those
who insist the Obama bill doesn’t authorize the expenditure of more federal
funds. As AIM has documented, the bill amounts to a mandate on the federal
government to force compliance with the Millennium Development Goals of the
United Nations.

the importance the left-wing religious activists attach to Obama’s Global
Poverty Act, the senator failed to even mention the bill in a patriotic TV ad
that is supposed to highlight his legislative activities. As AIM revealed, media “watchdogs” and
“fact-checkers” at the Washington Post and the Annenberg Political Fact-Check
project failed to note the omission. The cover-up undoubtedly reflects
awareness of the unpopularity of spending massive amounts of new foreign aid
money on U.N. causes and the fact that Obama’s sponsorship of this bill could
badly backfire on the candidate.    

lobbying for passage of the legislation continues behind-the-scenes. The bill
has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee and awaits action by the full Senate.

Frew’s reported participation was significant. A
featured speaker at a “Pagan
Pride” festival
in San Franciso, he is described as an Elder in both the New Reformed Orthodox Order of
the Golden Dawn and Gardnerian traditions of modern Wicca and a
High Priest of Coven Trismegiston in Berkeley, California. Other attractions at
the “Pagan Pride” festival included a firewalking instructor, a magician, and a
belly dancer.

popular Internet site features an entry about Donald Frew’s
Coven Trismegiston and a video about the “laws of Wicca.” It begins with the
words, “Hear now the words of the witches.”

According to his bio, Frew “has been very active
in interfaith work on behalf of the Craft for over 17 years and is the National
Interfaith Representative for the Covenant of the Goddess (the largest Wiccan
religious organization on Earth).” He has represented Covenant of the Goddess at
both Parliaments of the World’s Religions and serves on the Global Council of
the U.N.-affiliated United Religions Initiative. Frew claims pagan religions
make up one-fourth of the world’s population and are increasing their influence
in the U.S. 

Muslim representative to the Bay Area conference was identified as Iftekhar Hai
of the United Muslims of America (UMA). The UMA is a
member of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), an
umbrella organization that includes controversial groups such as the Council on
American-Islamic Relations. The AMT’s “political advisory” urges
support for a candidate promising constitutional rights for suspected
terrorists, an immigration policy that is “fair” to “undocumented workers,” and
an end to the U.S. “occupation” of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Real

though Obama’s backers in the media and elsewhere are trying to insist that his
Global Poverty Act costs nothing in additional foreign aid and simply
reorganizes federal agencies, one of the main themes of the conference was
passing the bill and committing the U.S. to 
“Point 7 Now and the Millennium Development Goals” of the United

official conference brochure explained, “The phrase ‘Point 7 Now’ refers to the
commitment made by developed countries through the 2002 Monterey Consensus to
increase foreign aid to poor countries to 0.7% of a developed country’s
national income.” It added, “The United States is currently at 0.2%.” The
difference, according to Jeffrey Sachs of the United Nations, is $65 billion a
year. As we have repeatedly pointed out, from 2002 to the target date of
reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, this adds up to $845
billion more in foreign aid spending for the U.S.    

are asking our federal legislators for real and effective support for
increasing the amount of aid that the United States provides so that the
MDGs can be implemented and the goal of eliminating the worst of the world’s
poverty can be accomplished by 2015,” stated the official conference
literature. “Specifically, we are lobbying the Senate to pass the Global
Poverty Act of 2007 making support of the MDGs official US policy. We
invite you to be part of this effort.” 

organizers distributed a letter signed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.) declaring
her support for increasing the foreign aid budget.

One of the key presentations of the “Point Seven Now” concept at the event was given by George Wesolke, Director of the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco. A “legislative analysis” was provided by David Gist, legislative advocate for the Bread for the World organization. The Master of Ceremonies was Dr. Mike Duffy, the director of the Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought at the University of San Francisco.

Platform for Obama?

turns out that this event, held in February, was just the forerunner to a
larger conference of liberal and left-wing religious movements that are shaping
up to be among Barack Obama’s major supporters.

Lane Center is one of several co-sponsors of
the upcoming July 11-13 Convention for the Common Good, which will feature a
presidential candidates forum, as well as a speech by AFL-CIO President John
Sweeney. Sweeney is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, a group
of longtime backers of Barack Obama. The AFL-CIO is expected to announce on
Thursday that it is officially endorsing Obama for president.

“common good” convention is being convened by Catholics in Alliance for the
Common Good and NETWORK, a “National Catholic Social Justice Lobby” that claims
to have 100,000 members. The complete list of sponsoring organizations includes
Pax Christi USA; Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; Center of Concern;
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; NETWORK, A National Social Justice
Lobby; Sisters of Mercy; National Catholic Rural Life Conference; Association
of Jesuit Colleges and Universities; Ignatian Solidarity Network; US Catholic
Mission Association; Conference of Major Superiors of Men; Oblates of St.
Francis De Sales; AFL-CIO; Franciscan Mission Service; Franciscan Action
Network; Catholics United; Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice; University of
San Francisco, Lane Center for Catholic Social Thought.

says a “Platform for the Common Good” will be ratified at the convention and then “sent to presidential candidates
and both national political parties as a way to influence the debate over the
defining moral and political issues of our time.”

official list of RSVPs for the February 20 Bay Area Interfaith Leader’s
Luncheon were:

Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California  
Mr. Kique Bazan, Associate Director, University Ministry, University of San
Rev. Paul Chaffee, Executive Director, Interfaith Center at the Presidio  
Ms. Sally Coates, Executive Director, Episcopal Charities  
Rev. Jerry Coleman, SS Vice President, Corporate Ethics, Daughters of Charity
Reverend James DeLange, SFIC Chair  
Ms. Julia Dowd, Associate Director, Lane Center    
Dr. Mike Duffy Director, Lane Center, University of San Francisco  
Dean Roderick Dugliss, The Episcopal School for Deacons  
Elder Donald Frew, Wiccan Community  
Rev. Canon Charles Gibb, Executive Director, United Religions Initiative  
Mr. Iftekhar Hai, United Muslims of America  
Fr. Bill Justice, Archdiocese of San Francisco  
Reverend Masato Kawahatsu, Senior Minister Japanese-Am. Rel. Fed. and San Francisco Konko
Mrs. Alice Kawahatsu, San
Francisco Konko Church  
Ms. Terry Kraus, Director of Membership Services, Congregation Emanu-El  
Dr.  William Lesher, President, World
Parliament of Religions  
Professor Lois Lorentzen, Professor and Chair, Department of Theology and
Religious Studies, University of San Francisco  
Msgr. Robert McElroy, Pastor, St. Gregory’s Church  
Most Rev. George Niederaurer, Archbishop, Archdiocese of San Francisco  
Mr. Michael Pappas, Executive Director, Interfaith Center at the Presidio
Fr. Mario Prietto, SJ Rector, USF Jesuit Community  
Mr. Sam Ruben, United Religions Initiative  
Ms. Rita Semel, S.F. Interfaith Council  
Reverend Edwin Sohn- Lutheran, Mo. Synod CNH Dist.  
Mr. Joseph R. Symkowick, Partnerships Office, CRS  
Rev. Sumner Walters, Episcopal Diocese of California  
Mr. George Wesolek, Director, Public Policy & Social Concerns, Archdiocese
of San Francisco  
Provost James Wiser, Provost University of San Francisco  
Rev. Shari Young, Associate Pastor, St. James Church

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