Still live critical legislation; please contact your lawmaker in the NC House
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
June 20, 2013
RALEIGH — Knowing when to “hold’em” and when to “fold’em” is supposedly a gambler’s trademark skill. But the terms can also apply to Christians’ response to proposed gambling legislation, according to the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina.
“This is certainly not the time to fold, but instead it’s time to hold our lawmakers accountable,” Dr. Creech said. “We’ve got to keep up the pressure via phone calls and e-mails so that representatives make no mistake about House Bill 809-Game Nights/Non-profit fundraisers. It’s simply a gamble North Carolina should not take.”
Scheduled to come before the House Judiciary Committee this past week, that hearing was postponed when bill sponsor Jamie Boles (R-Moore), a funeral director, had to be away to handle arrangements for the family of former Gov. Jim Holshouser, who died Monday. It’s uncertain when the measure will be back before lawmakers, but Dr. Creech said Christians who haven’t already contacted their representative should do so.
“Some folks will insist that this legislation is harmless and will help non-profits, but the truth is, it’s the proverbial ‘camel’s nose under the tent,'” he said. “If it passes, it could not only bring Las Vegas-style gambling to communities across the state, it would also set the stage for the legalization of casinos.”
In its early form, which won approval from the House Commerce Committee last month, the bill would allow any nonprofit organization to partner with an ABC permit holder to host gambling events — complete with roulette, blackjack, poker, craps, keno and wheel of fortune games — as long as they used non-cash prizes and made sure not to spend more than half the profits headed to the charity. Individual nonprofits would be able to hold four such five-hour events per year, and facilities could host up to two gaming nights per month.
The Christian Action League and the North Carolina Family Policy Council have worked side by side opposing the bill, pointing out its potential to invite expanded for-profit gambling interests to the state and encourage lawsuits attempting to legalize poker and other such games statewide.
“Gambling interests have stepped up their efforts in North Carolina, and if God’s people don’t speak up against this kind of thing, it could very well pass,” Dr. Creech warned. He said the House Judiciary Committee is expected to take up a proposed committee substitute bill, which hasn’t yet been released.
“While we know that the phone calls and e-mails are helping encourage lawmakers to oppose this measure, we also know better than to take anything for granted,” he said. “Also, we don’t know what changes the PCS might contain that would win some lawmakers over to support the measure.”
He said that’s why it’s so important to be vigilant and thorough in contacting legislators.
Take Christian Action Today
To do your part, simply take these quick and easy steps:
- Go to the NC General Assembly’s web site at http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/ At the top of the web site on the right, click on “Who Represents Me?”
- Enter your address in the text box at the top of the North Carolina House of Representatives District Map.
- Hit “Enter”. This will zoom the map to the location of your address within the district that you live.
- Click on the number of your district in the map and your Representative’s web page will appear with his/her contact information.
- Send an email expressing your objections to H 809. Afterward, it’s always good to follow-up with a phone call, asking if your legislator got your email message. (Sample email at the bottom of story)
- Forward this information to your friends and ask them to take the same easy steps.
Also, keep an eye on the CAL Web site for further information as to when the bill will be heard.
Warning: Your email and phone call can make a difference. Don’t fall for cynicism. Your engagement for Christ’s sake is indispensable to the defeat of this measure.
“We’ll keep you informed as also on this and other legislation that can drastically affect the future of our state,” Dr. Creech said.
Subject Line: VOTE NO ON HB 809-GAME NIGNTS/NON-PROFT FUNDRAISERS
It has come to my attention that HB 809-Game Nights/Non-profit Fundraisers is a measure that may be considered by the House in the near future.
I hope that you will not make the mistake of thinking that this bill is innocuous or less dangerous because it is limited to non-profits. I believe it sets a dangerous precedent that will inevitably lead to legalized permanent full-fledged Casinos and other forms of legalized gambling. I don’t believe this is the vision that most North Carolinians have for our state.
Gambling in any form is predicated upon the losses and pain of others. It typically preys on the most vulnerable among us. The principle of gambling undermines our commitment to hard work and diligence. It capitalizes on the basest of human nature – our greed and a spirit of covetousness. It is always progressive in nature.
This bill runs against the grain of our hope for a truly better North Carolina. Please, no more gambling for our state.
I urge you to vote NO on any possible consideration of HB 809-Game Nights/Nonprofit Fundraisers.
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