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NC Faith Voters to Convene on Guns, Voting Rights, Healthcare


Monday, April 19, 2021   

House Bill 134 does not apply to religious entities that hold their services at a public school. It only applies to religious places of worship with schools on their property.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina Council of Churches will host a series of virtual workshops next week, focused on major legislative issues in the state.

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Copeland, executive director of the North Carolina Council of Churches, said voters of faith can learn what's at stake for North Carolinians, and how to take meaningful action on the policy matters they care about.

"And when we empower people of faith of to talk to their elected representatives from their place in the faith community, it's a different conversation than if you're just talking about the economics of a decision, or the political party that governs that decision," Copeland explained. "It's less partisan, quite frankly."

Copeland noted the Council will also present it's "Faith Active in Public Life Award" to native North Carolinian and newly confirmed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan.

Steve Ford, staff volunteer at the North Carolina Council of Churches, said a slew of bills in the legislative pipeline could directly affect many residents of the state.

He pointed to House Bill 134, which has passed the House and is now in the Senate.

"It involves an attempt to guarantee that people can carry a concealed handgun into a church service that is being held in a school," Ford outlined. "Normally, you wouldn't be able to take a concealed weapon onto school property, but if it happens to be a school where they're holding a church service, this would allow you to do that."

Ford noted the bill, if passed into law, would also allow emergency medical technicians to carry concealed weapons.

Bishop Valerie Melvin, North Carolina regional minister for the Christian Church, who will lead a worship service to kick off the event, said her Christian faith informs her understanding of how to be a citizen.

"I'm very excited about this Legislative Day," Melvin remarked. "And the great step forward we're taking to make all of our state aware of the need, in each of our 100 counties, to make sure that creation is cared for, because it is a reciprocal responsibly of a creation covenant that we have."

Seminar experts will dive into a variety of topics, including immigration policy, drug policy, voting rights, healthcare, public education, raising wages, and tax and budget reform.

CORRECTION: House Bill 134 does not apply to religious entities that hold their services at a public school. It only applies to religious places of worship with schools on their property. (10:37 a.m. EST, April 20, 2020)

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