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Gambling is stealing from the poor

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Letter to the editor

By The Staff

After 43 years of experience in printing and marketing I have no problems spotting a marketing scare tactic when it appears. On May 29, I received a mailer from the Kentucky Equine Education Project stating that the horse industry was struggling and therefore is leaving the state of Kentucky. I ask you, fellow Kentuckians: Who isn’t struggling in these artificially created hard times? This slick promotional piece concluded that the remedy to this problem was to allow slot gambling at the race tracks.

A May 30 article in the Herald-Leader proclaimed Gov. Steve Beshear wanted to call a special session of the Kentucky legislature to deal with a $996 million shortfall in the state’s General Fund. This special session would cost taxpayers $60,000 a day. Gov. Beshear’s solution, in part, would allow slot gambling at the race tracks in Kentucky, but this supposed boost to the economy would open the door to the hungry wolves of organized crime who would slice off their piece of the pie, with a result of increased crime, drugs and prostitution. I would suggest a simpler solution might be for the different departments of the commonwealth to draw on their revenues and savings in their investments.

The real issue here is the law. This question of gambling must be answered not in the legislature but from the pulpits of Kentucky, for gambling is against God’s commandments. Two commandments that bear directly on the question of gambling are: “Thou shalt not steal,” and “Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:15, 17). Gambling is stealing, especially from the poor. State lotteries, which strategically place their outlets in poor communities, take a disproportionately high amount of their revenue from the people who live there. Although gambling is voluntary, the Bible is not silent when it comes to taking advantage of and exploiting the poor.

Covetousness is written all over the gambling enterprise. Coveting what belongs to another is wrong and the desire to win money is that we did not work for is covetousness pure and simple.

It’s time for the churches of Kentucky to shake off their corporate cloak of control and preach the Word of God from the Bible. Our country’s early preachers were bringing forth the Kingdom of Christ on the earth by their involvement in politics. Politics is nothing more than the moral beliefs of a people being put into law. As Jesus said, “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13).

Thomas A. Strassell