By Barrett Duke
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
Congress is in recess this month. They don’t return until September 13. We can all be grateful for a respite from the attacks on biblical values, the spending, and the relentless efforts to regulate every area of our lives. I wish the recess could be made permanent, but unfortunately, the liberals in Congress will be back at it too soon.
Until then, however, your congressman and senators are back home with you. That means this is your chance to meet with them and talk about the things that matter most to you. Most of these men and women will be holding townhall meetings around their districts and states. They will want to tell you what they have accomplished for you during their time in Washington.
Rather than simply listening to them talk, you should see this as an opportunity to do some talking of your own. After all, unless you plan to come to D.C., this may be your last chance this year to have a face-to-face meeting with the person who represents you and spends your money in the nation’s capital.
No doubt, you have a few things you would like to talk to your elected representatives about, but in case you are looking for some items, here are a couple that the ERLC is focused on right now that your congressman and senators may be voting on very soon.
THE RETURN OF INTERNET GAMBLING
In 2006, Congress passed a bill that ended most gambling on the Internet in the United States. It did this by preventing banks from processing money that was involved in illegal gambling on the Internet. Since nearly all gambling on the Internet is illegal in the U.S., the bill put a stop to most Internet gambling. Now, however, some in Congress want to end this ban by legalizing and regulating nearly every form of Internet gambling. The House Financial Services Committee recently passed a bill, by a vote of 41-22, to do just that. It is H.R. 2267, The Internet Gambling, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. The House could vote on this bill before the end of the year. The Senate version of the bill is S. 1597. There is already plenty of gambling available to people in this country. Some Internet gambling still takes place in states that have made certain forms of gambling legal. The last thing families need is to have more of it streaming into their homes 24 hours a day. Gambling addiction is destroying millions of people and their families every year. No amount of regulation can make a bad thing good.
Tell your congressman and senators that you oppose legalizing any more gambling on the Internet. You can read the letter (136 KB PDF) we sent to Congress to learn more about this.
EFFORTS TO INTERFERE WITH PREGNANCY CARE CENTERS
As the nation becomes more pro-life, abortion clinics are having a more difficult time convincing women that they should abort their unborn babies. These abortion clinics are looking at the success of pregnancy care centers and are seeking ways to push them aside. The most recent effort is a bill shamelessly entitled the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act, H.R. 5652. The Senate version is S.3554. This bill would require pregnancy care centers to state in their advertising that they do not provide abortions. Why should these centers spend money telling people what they don’t do? What other business is required to tell people what services they do not provide? Pregnancy care centers provide women with the information and support they need to help them keep their babies alive. If Congress is worried about whether or not women have all the information they need when they are seeking help with a difficult pregnancy, let them require those who provide and counsel women to get abortions to disclose that in their advertising. Why put the burden on those who seek to save lives? Put it on those who seek to end lives.
Tell your congressman and senators that you oppose efforts to force pregnancy care centers to advertise services they don’t provide, especially abortion. You can read the letter (136 KB PDF) we sent to Congress to learn more about this.
These are just a couple of bills that your elected representatives need to hear about from you. You can talk about many other issues as well. What is most important is that you make sure you are heard. Even if your elected representatives do not share your values or are not from your political party, you should still talk to them. After all, they are still representing you in Washington and passing laws in your name.
Just look up your congressman and senators and call any of their offices to find out when they will be in your area. Then show up and speak out, and you will make a difference.
Let me thank you now for your efforts to restore biblical values in our nation. May the Lord do a great work through you.
This article was used by permission of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.