By Eleora A. Grace
Christian Action League
November 3, 2023
For over 70 years, the Christian Action League has been committed to the belief that every Christian is obligated to be his “brother’s keeper.” This commitment drives them to peacefully influence and shape a government that works to secure the highest possible good for all of its citizens. The Only Lasting Cure for Evil and Injustice is Christian Action fuels their involvement in public policy matters like marriage/family, life, and religious liberty at the General Assembly.
CAL’s lobbying activity in the 2023 North Carolina General Assembly was notable and as always, one in which they played an essential role. This year they lobbied NC lawmakers concerning historic protections for the unborn, restrictions on abortion, and the prohibition of transition surgeries for minors. They also advocated for parental rights in education, opposed casino expansion, and engaged in debates on medical marijuana, alcohol control, lowering BAC limits, and displaying “In God We Trust.”
Abortion Restrictions and Maternal Help
This year, the North Carolina legislature overrode the governor’s veto to pass historic protections for the unborn and their mothers, which includes prohibiting abortion after 12 weeks and allocating millions of dollars in assistance for pregnant women and mothers in need. Since this legislation was enacted, abortions in the state have decreased by 31%.
Fairness in Women’s Sports
State lawmakers overrode Governor Roy Cooper’s veto to pass The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. This new law prohibits biological males from participating in women’s sports in middle and high schools, as well as in colleges and universities, ensuring that teams retain their designations based on biological sex.
Protecting Minors – Transition Surgery Ban
In 2023, North Carolina banned transition surgeries for minors, overriding Governor Cooper’s veto. Rev. Creech argued that minors are restricted from activities like tobacco, alcohol, drugs, gambling, and adult sexual relationships, making it illogical to allow them to make a momentous and unalterable decision such as changing their gender.
The Parent’s Bill of Rights
Lawmakers overrode Governor Cooper’s veto on the Parents Bill of Rights legislation, affirming that “parental involvement and empowerment is fundamental to the successful education of all students.” This legislation prohibits instruction on “gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality” in the curriculum for grades kindergarten through fourth grade and prevents school officials from changing a student’s name or pronoun in school records or by school personnel without notifying the parents.
No actual bill was filed, only draft legislation circulated among lawmakers
The CAL achieved a significant political victory this year when State House and Senate leadership decided not to vote on casino expansion, either in the budget or in a stand-alone bill. The plan would have added casinos in Anson, Nash, and Rockingham Counties, with a fourth new casino operated by the Lumbee Tribe. The defeat of this initiative was a remarkable David and Goliath-like story.
There never was a bill filed on this proposal, only draft legislation that was circulated among lawmakers. The initiative was intended to be inserted into the budget by the leadership of the House and Senate, making it more difficult for lawmakers who opposed it to vote against it.
Efforts to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes went up in smoke this year. Although the Senate passed so-called medical marijuana legislation, the bill was never taken up by the House. Rev. Creech said, “Smoked marijuana isn’t medicine. It has never been approved by any major medical organization to treat illness. We don’t approve medicine by legislative fiat. This should be left to the medical community, not lawmakers.”
Alcoholic Beverage Control
An alcohol initiative was introduced this year, aiming to open Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores on Sundays and holidays, repeal the ban on happy hours at bars, and allow for the sale of to-go mixed beverages. This proposal included various provisions that would have significantly loosened the state’s alcohol control laws, but it did not pass before the end of the session.
Lowering BAC Limits
Drunk driving legislation was introduced this year that sought to lower the legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) for drunk driving from .08 to .05. Unfortunately, the bill was not given a hearing, despite its potential to save lives. Rev. Creech remains committed to advocating for this change.
In God We Trust Display
The N.C. House passed legislation this year to display the words “In God We Trust” behind the dais of the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. This statement emphasizes the importance of trust in God as a fundamental force for the survival of the nation, but the bill stalled in the Senate.
Lawmakers overrode Governor Cooper’s veto of a church protections bill that the Christian Action League had advocated for over three years. Before this legislation, if a private Christian school was located on the same campus as a church, concealed carry was prohibited and these churches couldn’t develop security teams. “These parishioners were as vulnerable as fish in a barrel to some depraved or disturbed soul,” argued Rev. Creech.
In a national address, former President Ronald Reagan once stated, “Regardless of nationality, region, or race, we are united by our faith in God, making the barriers between us seem less significant. As we observe the world around us today, we continue to witness human pain and suffering, but we also see it met with individual courage and unwavering spirit, fortified by faith. If we lead our lives and devote our country to truth, love, and God, we become part of something far more formidable and enduring than any negative force.” Year after year, at every session, the Christian Action League exemplifies this same courage and spirit, remaining steadfast in their commitment to these values.