RALEIGH — Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s election, the Christian Action League expects to face a number of challenging issues come January, when the 2013 session of the General Assembly convenes — issues that will require assistance from believers in congregations across the state.
“We have worked countless days and nights to effectively represent your values, and now we need your help,” wrote the Rev. Mark Creech in a recent letter to many Tar Heel pastors. “We need your monetary assistance with our 500@100 campaign. We’re asking for 500 churches to give just a one-time gift of $100 before the General Assembly reconvenes on Jan. 9, 2013.”
Reminding the churches of a few of the many victories the CAL experienced recently — from helping garner the three-quarters majority votes needed to get the Marriage Amendment on the ballot to its historic 61-to-39 percent passage in May — he said there is still much more to be done.
“The upcoming battles involve both defense and offense,” Dr. Creech said, citing video sweepstakes, privatization of liquor sales and medicinal marijuana as three of the many issues that the League expects to have to fight against.
“Video sweepstakes is an insidious form of gambling that we have opposed repeatedly as the 2007 ban has been challenged, tightened and challenged again,” he said. “This month the N.C. Supreme Court heard arguments regarding what we believe are erroneous lower court rulings leaving the ban unenforceable, so we are hopefully awaiting the High Court’s ruling.”
But if the lower court rulings are upheld, the CAL will be back to square one pushing for a new ban that will meet constitutional muster.
“It would be even more difficult than before because both gubernatorial candidates say they would encourage legislation for taxing and regulating the industry rather than banning it,” Dr. Creech said.
Another nearly perennial issue is the idea of changing North Carolina from an alcohol “control state” to one in which liquor sales are turned over to private enterprise.
“The hope would be to create better prices for the public and take in more revenue for the state, but studies show neither objective would be reached, and the number of liquor stores would skyrocket from 400 to as many as 2,400,” Creech explained. “We must do everything we can to prevent this.”
Likewise, he said so-called “medicinal” marijuana is another wrong-headed idea that is gaining momentum in North Carolina, especially since the state Democratic Party has made it part of its platform.
“Medicinal marijuana is but a backdoor approach to getting recreational pot use legalized,” he said. “We need look no further than the states where it has been approved to see that it has created nightmares for law enforcement not to mention robbed many young minds of initiative to accomplish anything worthwhile.”
In addition to these defensive issues, the CAL expects to continue its important role in promoting bills that deal with Human Trafficking. The CAL partnered with victims’ services organizations last year to help get legislation passed to make the sale of a child a felony and to establish a Human Trafficking Commission that will delve deeper into the problem.
“Alarmingly, North Carolina ranks eighth in the nation in human trafficking,” Dr. Creech said. “I can’t think of a more important legislative objective than working to get our state out of the top ten.”
Nonetheless, the work can’t be done without key funding.
“If your church has the Christian Action League in its budget, we’re simply asking you to give $100 more than you are already giving,” Creech wrote in the letter. “If we’re not in your budget, we’re asking for a one-time gift of $100. Please be one of the 500 churches that helps us reach our financial objectives so we can provide the best possible representation of your biblical values in the legislature.”
“It’s a simple campaign,” he said. “500@100 — 500 churches giving $100 so that we won’t be fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.”
To find out more about the Christian Action League, log onto www.christianactionleague.org or phone the office at 919-787-0606.