Friday, May 15, 2015

Robert Wilkerson: An outrageous proposal

  It is outrageous that gambling is being considered for legalization in this state. Have our political leaders sunk so low they are willing to use the methods associated with and dominated by criminals and organized crime to bring in money? Gambling should be against the law and looked upon as a crime. It has been shown that legalizing gambling does not limit it. On the contrary, organized crime and criminal activity thrive where gambling is legalized.

  Gambling corrupts government—the large sums of money generated by gambling are often used to bribe state and local officials, and to put people into office who favor it. A New York Times editorial noted, “Gambling is a business so rich, so fast, so powerful, and perhaps inevitably so unsavory, that it cannot help but undermine government.”

  In addition to the corruption, gambling hurts a state’s economy. It takes money that could be invested, loaned, used to start businesses, etc., and puts it in the pockets of multimillionaire owners of gambling establishments.

  Not only does it hurt the economy, it hurts the people. It is a reverse Robin Hood, taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich. One New York gambling agent said, “Seventy percent of those who gamble with me are poor, Black or Hispanic.”  Two businesses that thrive in gambling areas are pawn shops and quick loan operations.

  Gambling can be addictive like drugs and alcohol. There are over 12 million compulsive gamblers in America today, and 96% started before they were fourteen years old. Even now, it is growing in popularity among young people. Youth aren’t the only ones affected by gambling. It has a destructive effect the family. It often produces bankruptcy, strife and divorce.

  Gambling is directly opposed to the Judeo-Christian ethic and is contrary to biblical principles. Gambling promotes materialism—the Bible opposes it. Gambling encourages people to risk what they have in the hope of getting lucky. On the other hand, the Bible teaches honest work, integrity, savings, and benevolence.

  Gambling should be vigorously opposed by all people of the Judeo-Christian faith, if for no other reason than the effect it will have on the weaker brother and the community.

  If you truly love your state, you will do all you can to keep gambling out and to unseat those who are advocating its spread.

  About the author: Robert Wilkerson, DMin, is a writer, minister, and public speaker. He is president of People for the Christian Way and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. drbobwilkerson[at]

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