“You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction;…You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.” (Psalm 52.2 -3)
Deceit is the “practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.” (Oxford Languages) On our TV screens, social media, and billboards, Alabamians are being bombarded with the “greatness” of voting in favor of the expansion of gambling. At one time, the conversation was just about the lottery. Now, it is a full-blown move to lottery, casino gambling, sports gambling, etc… Drive to Wind Creek casinos, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, or the northern Mississippi River area, and you can’t help but see the many opportunities to gamble. We are tempted to buy a lottery ticket, or bet online, or go to a nice restaurant in a casino. However, to get to the nice restaurant, you have to go through the casino where you might be tempted to drop a coin into a slot machine.
Our legislators tell us that these monies will benefit the state education budget which ran a surplus last year and will do the same in 2024. Now, our legislators almost all Republican and some Christian say, “Let the people decide.” Well, early polling has already shown that around 70% are in favor of expanding gambling. Thank you, our legislators! Your deceit will probably be rewarded. Do we not understand that “the sad and tragic results of gambling frequently adversely affect the poor and wreck the lives of families and individuals who participate, notably those who live below the poverty level. Gambling can intensify addiction, leading to financial ruin, relationship strain, and psychological distress.” (ALSBOM Leadership statement)
When it passes, are you going to pick up the pieces in your communities and cities from those whose addictions are out of control? Or will you be celebrating because your purses will swell with revenue that is gained through falsehood? This type of deceit has happened on many other issues from alcohol revenues, CBD stores, and medical marijuana to the sad state of our educational system in Alabama which has not benefitted from quick fixes in the past.
I applaud the Alabama State Attorney General, the Alabama Baptist Convention State leadership, and ALCAP for speaking against the expansion of gambling. However, this is not enough. We, the people, are responsible for standing up and voting against this move by our elected leaders. Is there anything else we can do? Here are a few thoughts:
- PRAY! Pray for our local representatives and state representatives. May their eyes be open to the harm that expanded gambling will bring to Alabama!
- VOTE! If (and I believe it will happen) a bill is sent for a vote later this year, VOTE. As Christians, we’re blessed to live in a country where we can help decide what our county, state, and nation looks like. Take the time to vote. If you’re not registered, register. If you are, it only takes about 5 minutes.
- PAY ATTENTION and BE ALERT! Our enemy, Satan, is sly. However, on the issue of gambling, he is not subtle. It’s right in our face. As Jesus’ body on earth, our voice can make a difference if we will but use it. Until Next Month,