CAL Staff Member Helping Tennesseans with Constitutional Amendment on Abortion
By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
October 23, 2014
“I believe what America needs, what Tennessee needs, is the ‘bright shining light of a city set upon a hill for all to see,'” said Garland Honeycutt, director of development for the Christian Action League.
Honeycutt was addressing the annual “Gathering” of the Holston Baptist Association, the state’s oldest Baptist group of churches, which met earlier this week in Jonesborough, Tennessee – the state’s oldest city. Honeycutt was challenging his audience to “vote yes on amendment 1” in November – an amendment to Tennessee’s constitution on abortion and women’s health.
“Because of a radical decision by the Tennessee State Supreme Court in 2000, Tennessee now boasts of a broader right to abortion in their state constitution than is recognized by the U.S. Constitution. Because of this ruling, basic common sense protections such as a 48 hour waiting period before having an abortion, or the simple requirement that late-term abortions only be performed in a hospital, were struck down by the state’s Supreme Court,” said Honeycutt. “Abortion clinics in Tennessee go without inspection and without regulation by the state’s Department of Health, meaning the nail salon next door provides a safer environment than any abortion clinic between Mountain City and Memphis,” he argued.
Honeycutt went on to explain that endeavoring to provide better protections for the unborn and women in the Volunteer State; the Tennessee General Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 127. The Resolution placed the proposed amendment on the ballot for this year’s General Election. “By passing Amendment 1, the people of Tennessee and their elected representatives will once again be able to provide some protection for women and the unborn,” he said. “The amendment won’t end abortion, but it will amend the state’s constitution to make it at least ‘neutral’ on the issue, which is a critical step for life,” he added.
The pro-life referendum committee in support of the amendment is known as “Yes on 1.” The committee includes pro-life organizations like the Family Action Council of Tennessee, a Christian public policy organization much like the Christian Action League of North Carolina.
Honeycutt became involved with the “Yes on 1” campaign in early August. “Living close to the state-line and having so many connections in east Tennessee, I find myself in the state frequently,” he said. “When I heard about a pro-life, state-wide ballot referendum, I immediately felt a similar burden to the one I experienced back in the spring of 2012. During that time, I helped organize the faith community in western North Carolina to support North Carolina’s marriage protection amendment. I felt a similar burden that evangelical churches in east Tennessee needed help in mobilizing on Tennessee’s Amendment One. According to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, I believe this is part of our calling as Christians to be ‘salt’ and ‘light,’ he contended.
Honeycutt has been to several churches of various denominations in four different counties of east Tennessee in the past few months, speaking about the church’s call to engage the culture on moral issues, namely amendment 1.
“We are very proud of Garland Honeycutt,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina. “He understands the church has far too long separated theology from civil government – that far too long the church has segregated holy writ from the body politic – that far too long we have treated as isolates our responsibility to proclaim Christ as Savior for the soul from our responsibility to also proclaim that those little babies subject to the abortionist’s knife belong to God. It brings me a great deal of satisfaction knowing a member of our staff, a North Carolinian, is helping Tennesseans with such an important cause.”
“Christ-followers in Tennessee must rise to the occasion and take a stand for life, this November,” Honeycutt said. “By God’s grace, His church can have a mighty impact upon the election, ushering in justice and righteousness. I pray that God’s people would shine the light of the gospel and be that bright shining city set upon a hill for all to see.”