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Summary: A christian perspective on gambling

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15Then he said, “Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own.” New Living Translation

This morning’s subject is about what Charlie McDowell called the interesting moral notion that if people are inclined to waste their money, the government should make it fun for them. And take a profit.(1)

Today I am asking you to “smell the coffee”. The reality of a state-run gambling lottery is on the horizon – and closing fast!

If you have a doubt that this is so, I want you to hear a couple of excerpts from recent issues out of the governor’s mansion:

First – a newspaper quote from February, 2001

With South Carolina voting yes and a budget crisis looming, N.C. legislators will likely consider a lottery when they return to Raleigh early next year.

Gov.-elect Mike Easley has pitched a lottery as a key to reducing class size in public schools. (2)

Second – from the State of the State address by our governor 4 weeks ago:

Now, there’s no free lunch. It takes revenue. And in this tight fiscal environment, it is going to take some creative solutions to continue funding real progress in education.

The truth is, North Carolina is already funding smaller classes and education improvements. Unfortunately, we’re funding them in other states...in Virginia, in Georgia, and soon in South Carolina and Tennessee. We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars - North Carolina’s dollars - to build new schools in other states, while we’re packing our kids in trailers at home. We are the only state that plays the lottery and gives away the proceeds.

I want to keep North Carolina’s money in North Carolina’s schools for North Carolina’s children. Those resources could, and should, stay home.

Now I am not saying a lottery for education is the only solution, it’s just one solution. If anyone has a better idea...if anyone has another way to find the $400 - $500 million for education, I am open to it.

But you can’t just say "no" we’re against a lottery - finish the sentence - tell me what you’re for, because next year 100,000 five-year olds will show up at the schoolhouse door, and they deserve more than an overcrowded classroom and an overworked teacher. (3)

I am glad today to answer the governor’s question – finish his sentence: I’m for raising children without teaching them that gambling is the high ethical road! We don’t need a lottery educating our children – we need responsible fiscal management and ethical leaders to set the example.

When those 100,000 five-year olds show up at the schoolhouse door they deserve the best – they don’t deserve a society filled with gambling and the crime, more prisons and gambling addictions it will bring.

They don’t deserve to grow up and pay for the “therapy” 3% of their neighbors will need to get off their gambling addiction!

If more money is needed for education, Mike, North Carolinians will pay the taxes – an honorable way of funding the needed salaries and supplies for educating our children. We don’t need another Las Vegas in Raleigh!


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