By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
November 6, 2015
KINGS MOUNTAIN – “When good Christian people take their civic responsibilities seriously, when they bring their Christian faith to bear upon the politics of the day, that’s part of what it means to be ‘salt’ as Jesus commanded. As ‘salt’ believers have a preserving effect on culture – saving it from becoming completely rotten,” said Dr. Mark Creech executive director of the Christian Action League.
Dr. Creech was referring to the results of a recent election in Kings Mountain that moves the town council closer to a repeal of its endorsement for a proposed Catawba Indian Casino. The current council had endorsed the proposal.
Adam Forcade, who helped spearhead a grassroots movement organization against the casino, The King’s Mountain Awareness Group (KMAG), said he and his colleagues “are now riding high on a wave of optimism and accomplishment.”
Early in the group’s history, Forecade was assisted by the Christian Action League with advice on how to recruit, develop, and maintain members who would educate the community about predatory gambling and fight against its harms.
Long before the election, which was held Tuesday of this week, Forcade approached KMAG’s steering committee and urged them to make the proposed casino a defining and central issue in the forthcoming mayoral and councilmember races.
“Working tirelessly to encourage Christian voters to look beyond the personalities of the candidates, KMAG implored Christians to vote their biblical values,” said Forecade. “All but one of the incumbents was in favor of the casino.”
“The group’s influence was instrumental in replacing Mayor Rick Murphrey, who held the seat for 15 years. Candidate Scott Neisler, who has a more moderate position on the casino, was elected instead. Murphrey had been a staunch supporter of the casino, arguing it would bring thousands of jobs and provide an economic panacea for Kings Mountain,” said Forecade.
The group’s efforts also contributed to the unseating of 12 year council veteran, Rick Moore, another vehement supporter of bringing a casino to Kings Mountain. Jay Rhodes, a deacon at First Baptist Church, Kings Mountain, who adamantly opposed the casino, made his opposition to the casino a significant plank in his run for city council and bested Moore by a 68% to 32% margin.
Forcade said the election was a perfect example of the way grassroots organizations are supposed to work. “We identified a serious issue that would, no doubt, change the character of our community in a negative way. We felt our elected officials were misrepresenting the issue. We made every attempt to educate them and change their minds. We provided critical information we felt they had not examined carefully or considered. When it was clear they weren’t moveable on the matter, there was nothing to do except to make certain the community understood the way they were failing us. The end result is a change in the council after the election,” said Forcade.
Forecade tells the Christian Action League he believes it’s possible the town council could repeal its support for the proposed casino as early as February of 2016.
He also said he wanted to encourage Christians across North Carolina to get involved in local political issues and demand accountability by those elected to protect and serve their communities.
He advised that anyone interested in impacting their communities with a positive Christian direction should contact the Christian Action League in Raleigh.
“If I can personally help, you can contact me through the website, www.stopcatawbacasino.com or my Facebook page,” he said.