Often, people will ask me, “What can I do to make a difference in my community, in our state and in our nation?”
The following is an edited version of my response to someone asking that very question. Of course, there are a number of other actions that an individual can take, but these are given as a way of triggering other ideas in your own mind. While I don’t mention it in the list below, prayer should certainly head the list! As Christians, we are called by the Apostle Paul in Romans 13 to pray for our government leaders.
Stand up and let your voice be heard concerning the moral issues confronting our nation! Make contact with your United States Senators (Shelby and Sessions) and with your U.S. Representatives (depends on where you live). Let them (or someone in their local or Washington offices) know where you stand on specific issues and encourage them to vote accordingly. On the state level, make contact with your State Senator and Representative (depends on where you live). The fact that you have gone to the trouble of looking them up and made an effort to contact them will make your concerns VERY serious to them.
[Click here to find your senators and representatives and their contact information. To find your U.S. Representative, click here; to find contact information for each of our two U.S. Senators, click here.]
What other specific actions might an individual take in order to make a difference?
- Allow your name to be put on the “ALCAP Alert!” list. When the Alabama Legislature is in session, ALCAP sends out alerts so that the people of Alabama can be aware of specific bills that are being introduced in the House and Senate in Montgomery and, when appropriate, I ask people to contact their state legislators. ALCAP occasionally sends out alerts when the Legislature is not in session, but those are very rare (we try not to fill up your in-box with unnecessary information). Call or email the ALCAP office and give us your e-mail address and we will add it to our list. [NOTE: Anything you receive from me or other organizations (see #3 below), please forward to everyone in your e-mail address book and/or data base.]
- Be sure and check out all of the resources and links available on our ALCAP website. These resources can provide you with information that will help you when you are talking to others about the moral issues facing our state and nation.
- If you would like to receive information from theAlabama Policy Institute(headed by Gary Palmer) you can stay informed on both state and national issues that are of concern to believers. Also, you can find resources on the “Eagle Forum of Alabama” website. Eagle Forum is headed by Eunie Smith, a member at FBC of Birmingham. Both of these organizations have e-mail alerts and newsletters that you can sign up to receive and both are excellent organizations. ALCAP, while we do deal with a few broader issues, tries to focus mostly on alcohol and gambling issues. API and the Eagle Forum often discuss broader issues such as environmental and economic issues. ALCAP stays focused on state-level issues, but API and Eagle Forum will give much more attention to national issues.
- Reach students in your community withAmerican Character Builders. By ordering and presenting American Character Builders programs in your local schools and/or church, you can make a difference in the lives of students their families and the entire community.
- I would also encourage you to stay involved by writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper on issues that may come up throughout the year. This is a great tool for influencing our culture as the “salt and light” God has called us to be—a tool that is often overlooked by Christians.
NOTE: The following article is an introduction to a longer article that gives 12 questions and answers concerning predatory gambling (please click on the link at the end of the article to read the entire article). The article focuses on the evil nature of predatory gambling. ALCAP opposes all forms of gambling (social as well as predatory). However, the electronic bingo machines that some are attempting to foist on the people of Alabama are an especially hideous and dangerous form of gambling. It is because of our concern with predatory gambling that this article from the national organization, Stop Predatory Gambling (formerly the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling), is being published on our ALCAP website: