By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
GREENVILLE — Most people arriving in Pirateland on Labor Day weekend came to see East Carolina battle the Appalachian Mountaineers. But those at the Republican Party’s 3rd Congressional District meeting rallied Saturday for a different kind of warfare — that which will determine the future of our nation.
“We are indeed engaged in a great struggle testing whether this nation, or any nation that believes men were created by God and in the image of God and thus endowed with certain inalienable rights, can long endure,” the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, told the gathering of GOP leaders from some 17 counties, as he drew parallels with Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. “The question before our nation today is not whether men are created equal, it is whether they are created at all … whether, indeed, this is a nation under God, or whether we are a people who have become a law unto ourselves.”
Crafting parts of his message from the writings of Dr. D. James Kennedy and from Terry Johnson’s sermon “The Kind of Government We Need,” the Rev. Creech said the Christian ideal for civil government is one that ensures justice, is limited in its functions, shares power and encourages religion and morals. He said University of Virginia Professor James Davidson Hunter is right to frame our nation’s current status as a war between the “orthodox,” those who hold to “an external, definable, and transcendent authority,” and “progressives,” who tend to reinterpret historic faiths “according to the prevailing assumptions of contemporary life.”
He challenged his audience to examine their worldview. “Does our political understanding of the role of government square with some absolute, even eternal concept? Or is it more fluent, ever changing, secular or humanistic in origin? Something that might be defined as more politically correct?”
Rejecting the “progressive” idea that justice is the same as equality, the Rev. Creech said, instead, justice is “the God-given right of every person to life, liberty and their property.” He said we need a sufficient military to protect us from those who would rob us of these through foreign intervention, police to fight criminal activity at home and a fair legal system that “ensures the innocent are protected, including the innocent unborn!”
“If life is not protected, nothing else is safe — liberty and property are not safe either,” he said, reminding the crowd of Mother Teresa’s 1994 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. “She said that the country that accepts abortion is teaching its people to use any violence to get what they want. Abortion, she said, is the greatest destroyer of peace.”
In addressing the need for limited government, the Rev. Creech said the Scriptures authorize the government to tax in order “to bear the sword and protect the innocent,” but not for “public charity.”
“To put it bluntly, just because someone is hungry or sick that doesn’t give me the right to go to my neighbor and force by gun or other means that he give to relieve that hunger or illness. The state has no such right either. In fact, it’s been charged to do exactly the opposite — to protect the private property of the citizenry,” he said. “Just because a thing is good and needs to be done, that doesn’t give the state the right to use its coercive power to see that it gets done.”
“Whenever you hear politicians speaking messianically on how ‘we need to provide more public assistance,’ — when you hear talk of government ‘investing,’ and by doing so ‘stimulating’ the economy, watch out!” he warned. “… Could there be a ‘worse case scenario’ than that of taking money out of the hands of private citizens who know how to invest it wisely and giving it instead to the government to pour down a bureaucratic rat hole?”
Former N.C. Rep. Louis Pate (R-Duplin) said Creech’s speech “struck some nerves” in the audience and led to “six or eight standing ovations.”
“He has a sense of what is going on in our country and did a great job of tying it all together,” Pate said. “People stood up and applauded him several times.”
A candidate for Senate District 5 and a member of the N.C. House from 2003 to 2007, Pate said he thought he knew the leader of the Christian Action League fairly well from seeing him nearly every day at the Legislature, but he “never heard him get up and make a speech like that.”
“I was quite surprised and blown away like everyone else was,” Pate said. “Certainly the Christian Action League is not a ‘shrinking violet’ by any stretch of the imagination; but at this event, the Rev. Creech had an opportunity to tell people what he thought about some things that any citizen, especially a Christian citizen, should be aware of, and he did.”
Ginny Cooper, third vice chair of the GOP’s 3rd Congressional District, and an organizer of Saturday’s meeting, said she had asked the Rev. Creech to speak on “the connection between the people of God and politics” and that she felt everyone who heard the speech was “awed and inspired.”
The Rev. Creech told his audience that in overstepping its bounds, the government had become the “opiate of the people.” He addressed the problem of judicial activists “bent on making law — imposing their own agendas on the law — rather than interpreting the law,” as an example of why our nation needs to return to the concept of truly separating power into executive, legislative and judicial branches.
Finally, he took on the myth of the “wall of separation” between church and state.
“The Constitution says nothing about a ‘wall,’ it never mentions ‘separation,’ it never mentions the “Church,” and it never even mentions the “State.” What it says is that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or forbidding the free exercise thereof,'” the Rev. Creech said. “Our Founding Fathers wrote our Constitution at a time when 10 of 13 colonies has state-supported churches, … when daily sessions of the Supreme Court and Senate began with prayer, when a church actually met for worship services in the Supreme Court building, when the Bible was actually printed with public funds ….”
“I tell you our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they knew to what degree fanatics had tried to remove religion from the public square,” he said. “… God forbid that we who were born into the blessings of a nation based on Christian principles should let that legacy sift through our fingers, and leave our children the rotten bones of a politically correct, but godless society.”
Rep. George Cleveland (R-Onslow) said the Rev. Creech’s speech was well received and generated discussion after the meeting. Cooper said she wanted the Rev. Creech to come back to Pitt County in the future to address the local Republican Party, which she chairs.
The executive director will speak again soon in the Greeneville area at an event scheduled at the Pitt County Fairgrounds. Check back on the Christian Action League Web site — www.christianactionleague.org — for details on that event.