Less than a month into the legislative process and matters of great concern are on the radar of the North Carolina Christian Action League. “Those who support strong Christian values for our state must start acting now by contacting their lawmakers and letting them know how they feel about certain issues,” said executive director, Rev. Mark Creech.
One needn’t be an accomplished social activist to make a difference in the legislative process. Typically, an email to a legislator, followed by a phone call can often result in the desired effect. Kindness, graciousness and civility should temper the contact. Because lawmakers are usually busy, they might not be available to take phone calls. But speaking instead with the lawmaker’s legislative assistant is a sure way to get your message through. When neither is available to answer, be sure to leave a voicemail. Don’t be cynical; legislators do pay attention when their constituents voice their concerns.
Its unfortunate, but the Christian Action League doesn’t have the funds to purchase an automated system where citizen Christians can simply “click on” and immediately have access to the names and contact information of their legislators. But the process for getting that information is not very hard and once it’s discovered it should be saved for future reference.
Here are five easy steps to discover who represents you in the North Carolina General Assembly and their contact information:
- Go to the North Carolina General Assembly’s web site at http://www.ncga.state.nc.us
- At the top of the NCGA web site click on “Representation“
- At the top of the Representation page under the first category of “Representation” are listed four means of securing the name and contact information of the person/persons representing your district. It can either be accessed by Voter Registration, District, County, or ZIP Code
- Simply clicking on the Zip Code category can be the easiest and fastest way of securing the needed information. Type in the zip code + 4 code as registered on your driver’s license and a page with your lawmaker’s names (NC House, NC Senate) and links to their contact information will appear.
- Once you’ve retrieved the information, make sure you’ve saved it for easy future access. You’re going to need it.
This might take a moment, but once it’s done you shouldn’t have to do it again. And it’s a very small sacrifice of time when there are such incredible issues at stake.
Now here are some important legislative matters to contact your lawmaker about right away:
Tell your lawmaker to support the following:
Legislation to Protect Traditional Marriage – North Carolina currently remains the only state in all of the southeastern United States that has not defined marriage in its Constitution as “one man and one woman.” North Carolina deserves the best possible protection for traditional marriage. We must not leave our state vulnerable to any legal wrangling by the courts to overturn as unconstitutional our state’s current statues prohibiting same-sex marriage. The question is not whether our current statutes are strong enough to protect traditional marriage, the question is does North Carolina deserve the best protection possible? The answer to that question is a no-brainer and no protection is better than a Constitutional amendment, which North Carolina does not have. (No bills on this issue have been filed at this time, but are expected to be introduced as early as the first of next week.)
HB 168 – “Choose Life” Special Plate – authorizes a specialty North Carolina license plate with a pro-life message. More than 120 other causes have been authorized on specialty plates by the North Carolina General Assembly. But this plate has been denied despite five legislative attempts. A percentage of money raised from the sale of the tags ($15 of the extra $25 charged to buyers who choose the specialty plate) would go to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (CPCF) to be distributed to nongovernmental, not-for-profit agencies that offer free pregnancy services and do not provide or promote abortion.
HB 2 – Prohibit Smoking in Public & Work Places – would prohibit smoking in public places such as restaurants and places of employment. Its objective is to protect the public from the harmful, even life threatening toxins in second-hand smoke. The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke confirmed that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that establishing completely smoke-free environments is the only proven way to prevent exposure. Dr. Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention recently stated that this legislation “does not prevent people from smoking if they choose to do so, but it helps to protect others from the effects of their harmful choices. Many people will live longer, healthier lives as a result.”
Tell your lawmaker to oppose the following:
HB 88 – ‘Healthy Youth Act’ and its companion in the Senate SB 221 – would remove Abstinence Until Marriage Sex Education as the standard for the state and create a two-track system whereby, unless their parents intervened, seventh-through ninth-graders would be instructed on how to use more than a dozen contraceptives ranging from condoms to morning-after pills. The change would move North Carolina policy from Abstinence Until Marriage, which focuses on ‘risk elimination’ through abstinence to Comprehensive Sex Ed, which instead only focuses on ‘risk reduction.’ According to the North Carolina Family Policy Council, since Abstinence Until Marriage Sex Ed was implemented in 1995, teen pregnancies are down by a third; abortions reduced by half; and STD rates have fallen considerably.
HB 100 – Conform State Law to Lawrence v. Texas – would adjust North Carolina’s statutes to the U.S. Supreme Court’s outrageous 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which ruled in favor of a constitutionally protected right for sodomy. The ruling by the High Court is now the law of the land and remains so whether the Tar Heel state conform its statutes or not. Nevertheless, changing the statutes to reflect the ruling could negatively render the state with pro-sodomy statutes when the Court might reverse itself or limit the scope of its decision. A reversal by the Supreme Court on this decision is not beyond the realm of possibility since the ruling could be revisited at some point and the court is more conservative than it was when Lawrence v. Texas was decided.
SB 7 – Allow Hunting on Sunday – would repeal the state’s 139-year-old ban on Sunday hunting. Beyond the religious argument to keep the Sabbath holy, lie the concerns of families who enjoy picnicking, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, climbing, biking and any number of outdoor pursuits which would no longer be Sunday options without fear of being hit by an errant hunter’s bullet when mistaken for prey. A poll commissioned by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in 2006 revealed the majority of North Carolina residents – 65 percent – oppose the legalization of hunting on Sunday with most “strongly opposed.” In fact only 25 percent of those surveyed supported hunting on Sunday.
The words of Edmund Burke are certainly appropriate: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.”