By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
December 29, 2023
The executive director of the Christian Action League is urging North Carolina churches in a new letter to join the political battle in 2024 against two major bills, one that would legalize medicinal marijuana and another that would dramatically expand gambling in the state.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, says in the letter to churches within the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina that biblically minded citizens in 2023 found themselves opposing bills that were supported by “Republicans who are generally friends of our Christian values.”
“We desperately need your help in anticipation of two measures, both of which behoove us to build a treasury to fight, and a stronger coalition of citizen Christians ready to encourage their representatives to do right,” Creech writes.
The first bill is one that would legalize medicinal marijuana.
“The passing of legislation that approves smoked marijuana as a medicine is actually just the first step by the cannabis industry in getting recreational marijuana legalized,” Creech writes. “One might correctly say that if the industry gets its way, it will become the new Big Tobacco. God forbid.”
In 2023, Creech writes, the cannabis industry “had dozens of lobbyists walking the halls of the NCGA pushing for the passage of the marijuana bill, and the industry provided tens of thousands of dollars to the coffers of legislators.”
“Lawmakers were getting phone calls regularly urging them to pass the legislation,” he writes. “Furthermore, the champion of this bill is the powerful Republican Senate Rules Committee Chairman. The legislation passed the Senate, but House members listened to our concerns and there were enough members who didn’t want to take it up. So, the House didn’t hear the bill. Beating back this initiative has truly been a David vs. Goliath story.”
The second bill that will come up again in 2024 would add casinos in Anson, Nash and Rockingham counties, with a fourth new casino operated by the Lumbee Tribe. In 2023, the Christian Action League helped defeat such a bill.
“They were amazed that we beat it back,” Creech writes. “Still, they’re all predicting we can’t keep it up. They say it will be back next year and they will eventually win the day. I don’t believe it’s inevitable that they will win. Gambling proposals can be stopped, most assuredly when God’s people are serious about engaging in the process, giving, and praying.
“Gambling pays homage to chance and luck, it does not trust in a benevolent God who promises to meet our needs when we put him first, nor does it honor honest effort and work,” he writes. “It stems from a desire for quick and easy wealth, driven by the spirit of covetousness. The negative social consequences of gambling are addiction, financial irresponsibility, crime, and family breakdowns. In the generations that follow, the normalizing of gambling will work to undermine the necessary virtues of patience, saving, planning, and hard work.”
Creech is encouraging Christians and churches throughout North Carolina to help raise a total of $100,000 to defeat the bills — a “battle treasury” that would provide money for digital advertisements. Such ads, he says, are “very effective in connecting with Christians of the same mind and drumming up sufficient opposition.”
Creech also urges individuals to sign up for the Christian Action League Insider at ChristianActionLeague.org, to like the Facebook pages of Creech and the Christian Action League, to pray for the ministry, and to consider inviting Creech to speak in their churches.
“As we face significant challenges in public policy such as marijuana and gambling proposals, please consider coming alongside us in the manner this letter suggests,” Creech writes. “The two issues named will unquestionably lead to tragedy for so many, and loving our neighbor means doing something about it in Christ’s name.”