Christian Action League
A bill (SB 7 – Allow Hunting on Sunday) that would have repealed North Carolina’s 140 year old prohibition on Sunday hunting was hounded and dropped on Tuesday. The bill was vigorously opposed by the North Carolina Sporting Dog Association and all the major hunting dog clubs, the North Carolina Family Policy Council and the Christian Action League.
Despite the fact that the bill’s sponsor, Senator Julia Boseman (D-New Hanover), referred to the current statute as “archaic,” her arguments failed to garner support from members of the Senate Judiciary II Committee.
During the committee meeting, T. A. Manning, a proponent of Sunday hunting voiced support for the measure, arguing he didn’t’ understand how the issue got mixed with the Church and Christianity. “It can’t be a Christian activity six days a week and Un-Christian on Sunday,” he said. Manning also argued that golfing was as dangerous an activity on Sunday as hunting. People picnicking could be hit by a stray golf ball, he argued. “You can pay for the golf course and play golf on Sunday. I can’t hunt on Sunday,” he said. Manning spoke to a list of other arguments against Sunday hunting and concluded by saying he felt most of the expressed concerns against Sunday hunting would be of no consequence if it were allowed.
Following Manning, Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League testified before the committee and passed out a picture of a bullet hole in the sanctuary wall of a church. Rev. Creech argued the picture was taken in a small rural church in Johnston County – a church where bullet holes exist in various parts of the building because of the aim of bad hunters. “This particular picture is a bullet hole in the wall of the church sanctuary that pierced the door of the church’s left wing, crossed a path of pews at head level and lodged into the wall. One can only imagine the tragic scenario if this had happened during any period, worship or other meetings, on Sunday when parishioners would have been present,” said Rev. Creech.
Rev. Creech noted that there wasn’t much public support for Sunday hunting in North Carolina. He pointed out that a 2006 study commissioned by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission had found 65% of North Carolinians oppose the legalization of Sunday hunting with most “strongly opposed” and only 25% supported it. The study also revealed even most hunters were opposed – 53% opposed and 38% in favor.
Rev. Creech also noted the spiritual aspects of the debate on Sunday hunting. He argued that though there is not complete uniformity on how the Lord’s Day or the Sabbath should be observed by Christians, the vast majority of believers contend both man and beast must have at least one day in seven for rest. This principle of life not only helps mankind, but allows nature a reprieve from mankind’s use of the earth. “Interestingly, the Fourth Commandment of the big ten, states this principle in requiring a Sabbath rest for livestock as well” he said. He added the current prohibition against Sunday hunting was in the best interest of the people and the State’s natural resources.
After Rev. Creech testified, the chairman of the Committee, Senator Fletcher Hartsell (R-Cabarrus) pulled the bill. “I’m sure it wasn’t just because of my remarks the bill was pulled right after,” said Rev. Creech. “I’m confident it was largely because there wasn’t any support for the measure. Significant lobbying in opposition to the bill had taken place before the meeting and lawmakers had also gotten a boat-load of emails against it.”
Joe McClees, a lobbyist for the Sporting Dog Association and a devout born-again Christian, later told the Christian Action League the most important reason for opposing Sunday hunting and defeating the bill was because there was a battle in North Carolina for the soul of the State. “The Lord won this battle,” said McClees. “In the end the Lord is going to judge the districts, the counties, and the State on how they do. People need to understand this is not simply about politics, but it’s a spiritual battle.”