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One News Now

NCGA Passes Bill to Restart The Death Penalty

By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
July 29, 2015

Death PenaltyRALEIGH – The North Carolina General Assembly approved a measure this week aimed at restarting executions in the state.

North Carolina has essentially experienced a defacto moratorium on the death penalty for nine years. There have been various legal challenges to the state’s lethal injection protocol. Although the 2009 Racial Justice Act was repealed in 2013, the legislation allowed death row inmates to appeal their convictions if racial bias may have played a role in their sentencing. Moreover, in 2007, the North Carolina Medical Board declared that physician participation in death penalty sentences violates their professional ethics – a decision that blocked doctors from participating in executions. These many complications effectively ended the exercise of capital punishment in the state.

HB 774 – Restoring Proper Justice Act seeks to remove current obstacles to North Carolina carrying out the death penalty. Read the rest of this entry »

Boy Scouts of America Cave and Drop Their Ban on Homosexual Adult Leaders

CAL warns churches that remain with the BSA are at risk of spiritual compromise and legal complications
By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
July 29, 2015

Gay Rights“No one likes to say, ‘I told you so,’” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “But here we are only two years later and the Boy Scouts of America have removed their prohibition against adult gay scout leaders. Sorry, be we told you so.”

In May of 2013 the BSA voted to accept openly homosexual members, a decision Dr. Creech and other Christian leaders warned would negate the BSA’s ability to legally defend its position regarding no homosexual leadership. The first sign of this inevitable change was given in May of this year when former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who now leads the BSA, announced the ban on gay leaders was no longer sustainable. He said that it would likely result in a number of lawsuits.

Last week, the BSA’s National Executive Board approved a new policy by a 45-12 vote that drops the ban on homosexual leaders. Read the rest of this entry »

N.C. Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest, Holding an Annual Men’s Retreat, ‘The Black Mountain Weekend’

Forest is inviting men to register for the event now – check out information below
Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
July 28, 2015

Black Mountain WeekendRALEIGH – North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest, is a devout Christian and is deeply concerned about the cultural decline of our nation, our state, and our communities. To combat this decline, he holds an annual weekend retreat, the Black Mountain Weekend, which is an invitation-only men’s retreat held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center just outside of scenic Black Mountain, North Carolina.

This weekend for men is a great time for Christian men to join together for faith, fellowship, and fun.  It features special speakers who share their real-world experiences and lead the group in discussions on many of the critical issues of our day. The context is laid back and casual. Participants are encouraged to wear jeans, etc. The objective is to be comfortable for the excellent seminars and networking that takes place among attendees. Read the rest of this entry »

State Supreme Court Rules ‘Opportunity Scholarships Program’ is Constitutional

Rep. Paul Stam says ruling is the final decision in this case
By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
July 23, 2015

ScholarshipsRALEIGH – The Opportunity Scholarship program approved by the Tar Heel Legislature in 2013 will be able to live up to its name, offering more opportunities for low-income students to attend the schools of their choice, thanks to Thursday’s ruling by the North Carolina Supreme Court.

“We rejoice over this decision, not only because many of the schools involved are faith-based institutions, but primarily because families whose children are struggling will now have more options, more ways to help them succeed,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina.

The state’s High Court reversed Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood’s 2014 ruling against the vouchers, which was based on the fact that private schools do not have to admit all students and are not required to use the same curriculum and teacher certification standards as public schools. Opponents of the scholarships had claimed they would drain funding from the public schools even after drafters of the legislation pointed out that the $10 million to fund the grants was never appropriated to the public schools in the first place, but to the State Education Assistance Authority, a separate entity which administers college loans and grants. Read the rest of this entry »

N.C. Senate Passes Bill Modifying Religious Property Tax Exemption, adds Section for Persons with a Revoked Driver’s License to Drive to Church Worship Services

By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
July 23, 2015

TaxesRALEIGH – In March of this year, the Christian Action League reported on the way some county tax assessors were using a loophole in current state statutes to stick it to some churches.

Neal Jackson, pastor of Beulah Baptist Church, in Bennet, North Carolina, and his congregation were shocked when they learned the Randolph County Tax Department was taxing their church for the new sanctuary it was building. Despite the fact that North Carolina law exempts churches from property taxes if their building and property are being used “wholly and exclusively for religious purposes,”  the county tax department determined since the edifice was still under construction and unoccupied, it was not covered under the law and should be taxed. Read the rest of this entry »

Anti-Gaming Advocate Speaks Out Against Proposed Catawba Indian Casino

By Dave Blanton
Kings Mountain Herald
July 23, 2015

CasinoKINGS MOUNTAIN – By the time Melynda Litchfield hit her early forties, she was at the height of her profession. A longtime registered nurse with a good salary and the respect of her peers, she was working in the intensive care unit of one of Chicago’s largest hospitals.

But to hear her tell her story, all that began to change when a riverboat casino was established in the bedroom community of St. Charles she lived in with her attorney husband and three children.

Litchfield, who up until that point considered herself a casual gambler who played the slots or blackjack only when on vacation occasionally, found herself playing the machines more and more at the casino that was “10 minutes down the road.” As much as she realized she was becoming addicted to the machines that sat at the stationary Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill., she was also realizing how powerless she was over her habit. Read the rest of this entry »

Liberty Counsel Lawsuit Results in Change of Wake County Library Policy, No Discrimination on the Basis of Religious Content

By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
July 23, 2015

LibraryRALEIGH – In April of this year, the Christian law organization, Liberty Counsel, sued Wake County over its public library’s unconstitutional policy of denying access to civic and educational programs that include religious content. Libraries are supposed to offer meeting rooms free of charge, but the Cameron Village Regional Library policy discriminated on the basis of religious content and viewpoint. The policy specifically stated that “religious instruction, services or ceremonies are not permitted.”

Liberty Counsel applied twice to use the meeting rooms in Cameron Village Regional Library, once in 2013 and again in 2014, but was denied both times. The library’s director specified the request was being denied because the proposed program contained a religious component.

According to the Raleigh News and Observer (N&O), Harry Mihet, vice president of legal affairs for Liberty Counsel, said that “[e]vent leaders hoped to open the hour-long program with a prayer, quote extensively from the Bible and talk about the founding fathers’ religious views.” Read the rest of this entry »

‘In God We Trust’ Signs Placed on Alamance County Buildings

Anna Johnson
Burlington Times-News
July 20, 2015

In God We Trust

Picture courtesy of Sam Roberts/Times News

GRAHAM — Signs proclaiming “In God We Trust” were erected Thursday on two Alamance County buildings and within the Alamance County Board of Commissioners’ chambers.

County leaders voted in favor of the signs after the US Motto Action Committee appeared before the board in April. The signs, located outside the county’s administration building and courthouse, were paid for by Lowe Memorial Baptist Church.

“Because we believe it,” Lowe Memorial Pastor Bill Gindlesperger said. “In God We Trust. We believe that, and the way the nation is going now, we believe that even more. We are told to trust in the Lord and to have no confidence in man.”

“In God We Trust” has been the country’s national motto since 1956, and the US Motto Action Committee was formed after the Davidson County Board of Commissioners was sued for placing the motto on government buildings. That case went all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2005, when it was decided in favor of the county. Read the rest of this entry »

URGENT CHRISTIAN ACTION ALERT: CAL Urges North Carolinians to Contact their U.S. Representatives in Support of the ‘First Amendment Defense Act’

Christian Action League, American Family Association
July 16, 2015

Bill RightsWASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that legalized same-sex marriage, Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID) has introduced legislation entitled, the H.R. 2802 – First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). The bill is major religious freedom legislation that would ban the federal government from punishing churches, charities or private schools for the practice of their religious objections to gay marriage.

The legislation would prohibit the government from revoking the tax exempt status of churches that refuse to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies because of their religious beliefs. It would also prevent federal grants or contracts from being denied to any individual or institution (such as food banks or adoption agencies) that believe gay nuptials are immoral.

The measure would also protect Christian radio and television stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use the public airwaves. According to American Family Radio, some are already urging the FCC to revoke their licenses and shut these stations down. Read the rest of this entry »

State Board of Elections Report Shows Wide Expanse of Sweepstakes Gambling Influence

By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
July 16, 2015

SweepstakesRALEIGH – Wednesday, the State Board of Elections announced that after a two-year probe, it had found no violations of the law concerning campaign contributions made to lawmakers from Oklahoma Sweepstakes magnate, Chase Burns.

The report, however, does show the sneaky way contributions can get around campaign finance laws to influence public policy. Moreover, it shows the wide expanse of sweepstakes gambling influence on the state.

In 2013, Burns pleaded guilty to two counts of assisting in the operation of an illegal lottery in Florida, a scandal that resulted in the arrests of 57 people and lead to the Lieutenant Governor’s resignation. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Burns’ operation falsely claimed to be a charitable veterans’ organization, but instead deceived both the public and the government while lining the pockets of its operators. Read the rest of this entry »