Gambling: We are from the Government and we are here to help you.
When I wrote to offer my objections to all of the positive PR for the recent lottery “jackpot” yesterday my offering seems to have really offended some, who offered the usual liberal bromides to justify their upset. (see: Gambling is Evil When 75% of $656 Million from Poor and/or Stupid People Goes to RICO Conspirators).
I called the lottery the equivalent of a “Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization” (RICO) operation that would make the Mafioso Dons of old jealous, because those who run these operations take far more money from those who cannot afford it than any of them ever dreamed.
I still smile with amusement when I hear the echoes of the howls of those who defend the behavior by attacking this critic.
These modern RICO conspirators do not have to fear the government catching them and locking them up for their “collection racket” and victimizing people, most of whom have no clue what is happening – for they are the government and the “profits” are theirs to use as government bureaucrats always use our money – for their “programs” which they always assure us, are “good for us”.
For those fixated on the 10th Amendment and its enumerated powers – whether they are anti-Romneyites or pro-Romneyites citing this – my objection to gambling appears to beg the question: why should I care about the 10th Amendment on the subject I wrote about?
In objecting to government profiting from victimizing poor and/or stupid people, whether or not it is enumerated or not, and which level of government is acting badly, gambling and lotteries are bad behavior. I wrote of virtue and its enemy, sin and offered no legislative proposal, no “action to take” except prayer and no message, except a warning, writing as a Christian to friends who may not have realized why there could possibly be any objection to such activity.
Gambling is not a virtue. Those who “win” are not heroes whose behavior is commendable and who we should admire and emulate.
It makes me feel pity for those who engage in gambling, which I explained yesterday, is avarice, a sin and not to be confused by those who wish to defend such behavior with the Cardinal Virtues.
Gambling is not behavior which improves our lives in the spiritual, physical or wealth areas that most of us think of when we consider self improvement activities and earning an improvement in life and/or in eternity.
The purchase of a lottery ticket is an act of delusion by math challenged people who are either stupid (foolish?), poor or both, and they are victimized by people who say “we are from the government and we are here to help you.”
The only thing more pitiful than those so victimized and those who use these tired old arguments to fleece people of their money in the most shameful way for supposedly good purposes, are those who defend this behavior by attacking those of us who say simply, “the emperor has no clothes.”
Incredibly, my suggestion that we should pity and pray for those being victimized by gambling and condemn those profiting from it, brought down a rain of criticism on me.
Such attack very much reminded me of the similarity I noticed many years ago between leftists and little children still not at the age of reason, and more recently, with the “occupy wall street” crowd.
That is, their chief argument on a host of issues is: I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me.”
That is why we Catholics refer, albeit arbitrarily (to pick a year) that the age of reason is 7. It is the age that we estimate a child can finally understand that actions have consequence, and that man’s sin nature does get us in trouble sometimes. We also share the good news at that age, of what we Christians call the forgiveness of sins (which we call the Sacrament of Reconciliation).
But, today there appear to be a lot of folks – principally liberals – who seemed to have skipped right past that age of reason.
These liberal-left critics have recruits right in the midst of our ranks who employ what they hilariously call “reason” to attempt to discredit Christian conservatives, and who use “arguments” that are right out of the pages of hate websites like of Media Matters, Huffington Post and Daily Kos and sound suspiciously like the rantings of Rachel “Madcow” Maddow.
They argue that “you can’t make me” the same as a 7 year old sometimes. For example, if you say anything critical about, or point out the obvious negative consequences, of using drugs, smoking cigarettes, excessive alcohol consumption, riding your motorcycle without your helmet, they get hysterical, employ that “reason” you can’t, and attack you.
Oh no, they object. the government should not tell me not to smoke, nor to not use marijuana, nor that I must wear I motorcycle helmet.
Never mind that these are all bad things to do. You cannot MAKE me, and to prove that I have the right to do this, so many of them go ahead and DO it. You don’t need to be a Doctor or Nurse to realize what happens to people who ride a motorcycle without a helmet. The DMV tests in states tell you that 75% of all accidents involving a motorcyle rider result in his death. So why not increase that to 95% by not riding a helmet, so you can “prove” that the government should not tell you to NOT wear a helmet?
I don’t know what the government has to do with it – regardless of what others would say, I would not wish for my kids to smoke, use drugs, overuse booze, or ride without a helmet. Why do liberals always seem ready to jump into action to defend bad behavior and insist that any criticism is somehow stealing their “rights”?
In fact, they always attack angrily, any suggestion that anyone should ever speak of positive virtues that build us as human beings, and their corollary, the vices which demean and hurt us.
All of us are sinners.
We are all susceptible to the possibility of making thoughtless mistakes and what we Catholics call “mortal” sins – the conscious act to do something we know is wrong, what your “informed conscience” clearly tells you is wrong behavior.
But for those who attack Christians it is the number one path and most predictable path of attack: to act as if they have discovered that Christians, being sinners, should not be allowed to speak on issues of public policy, in this case, gambling, since who are we to object to bad behavior, being sinners.
This is the “hypocrisy” argument and of course, the 7 year old child who grows up to be a liberal, uses it on his own parents as soon as he discovers it – they are hypocrites so I don’t have to listen to them. And he thereby justifies ignoring their advice and doing “what I wanna do.” And who besides liberals think this is rational or reasoned behavior?
It is of course, interesting on two especially notable fronts: the ones who object to us saying anything at all, act as if they haven’t the remotest clue that the single most important part of Christianity is the recognition that starting this Thursday, we especially commemorate in the most solemn three days of our Christian calendar, the last supper (Holy Thursday), Passion and death of Jesus Christ (Good Friday), and burial of Christ – specifically in atonement for our sins.
And we then celebrate the most joyous day of the year, the resurrection of our Lord followed by his command to his followers to go forth and make of all nations disciples of Christ.
The Old and New Testaments are chock full of ideas for good living and the sort of behavior that we who follow Him, ought to refrain from, even as it is acknowledged that we are sinners who are inclined to do those things which will cause us trouble in our lives and in eternity.
But little children and liberals use our sin nature as then Senator John F. Kennedy said in his speech that was criticized last month by Rick Santorum – to say that we are disqualified from ever speaking of our faith in the public square.
This doctrine of “separation of Church and state” is of course, not anywhere in the Constitution and is most especially not how we are called upon to act if we choose to be informed and animated as followers of Jesus Christ.
I believe this line of attack on Christian conservatives by the liberals, including the echo of the very same arguments they always use on us right here at Red State and in other “rooms” of the conservative and/or Tea Party cause, simply betray the ignorance of those who launch such personal, ad hominum attacks.
My recent article objecting to gambling is a most specific case in point. The first objection is to suggest that Christians, being sinners, should not speak of sin or wrongful behavior, and how dare we?
The second principle liberal line of attack, once again echoed in these pages of RED STATE and in other “rooms” of the conservative and Tea Party “room” is the strawman argument.
In this case, the most frequent strawman I have ever seen was employed to “counter” the argument against gambling: how dare we want to send to jail and to criminalize behavior which isn’t hurting us, but hurts the sinner and of course, those in the sinners’ life who are affected by his actions?
How dare we to interfere with other people’s “rights” to do as they please, they whine and scream, like irrational, complaining little children whose fourth lollipop or second bag of potato chips was taken away.
In the case of my gambling article yesterday, I spoke of the math deficiency on the part of people who partake of gambling for the purpose of making money.
It isn’t monopoly or Thursday night Bingo at your Church I’m talking about but those poor deluded souls who think this is their only hope of improving their lives, whose gambling simply contributes to the welfare state in this most pathetically regressive form of tax-punishment of those who can least afford it.
In an article of over 5000 words I was nothing if not thorough, using both the freedom argument, as well as the basic right and wrong argument, citing scripture along the way.
Amusingly, I was corrected by one friendly critic: it was 5,475 words he wished for me to know, not “over 5,000.”
I will add it was also my largest article so far of the over 62,439 words in 29 articles averaging 2,153 that I have done here in the past 6 weeks, not counting today’s offering.
Actually, the only valid sounding criticism – rather amusing but sadly logical – was one fellow who offered that it was only fair that so many people who are costing him money as a taxpayer, are giving some of it back when they buy lottery tickets, and therefore reducing HIS tax burden by their stupid behavior, so why should we object?
In my offering, I had attempted to be thorough, using both the freedom as well as the “right and wrong” (virtue vs. sin) arguments. But that friendly (tongue in cheek or real?) counter, may have reduced me to using only the “it is wrong” of government to do this and the behavior is wrong” arguments.
But the most fascinating responses were the ones which employed all of the “logic” of the not-yet-7-year-old, the rebellious teenager, the liberal who simply wants to do as he pleases and be left alone, and who really hates it when you point out that he is being irrational and acting like a kid.
To paraphrase two sayings you’ve no doubt heard: You can judge by the fruit what the age of the tree is, or liberal is as liberal argues.
Is that the best that modern day liberalism can offer to object to our profession of faith and our suggestion that such faith does in fact, belong in the public policy arena, and that we should always first and foremost, judge candidates and legislation on the question: is it right or wrong, does it help people or hurt people?
America was created by a country of good people, as our founders said, as deTocqueville wrote. Values voters should speak up more clearly about the candidates they favor and why, the policies they object to or favor.
We aren’t “forcing our morality on others.”
We are defending the very idea of civil government and civil discourse, and we are doing as we have been Commanded by He who suffered, died and was buried, as we will commemorate Thursday through Saturday and then celebrate on Sunday: go forth, speak out and try to live your life as a Christian.
And my friends who are Christian will be reviled and scorned for speaking out for what is good, and against that which is bad, by people who have the intelligence and rationality of an under 7 year old child at best or a hateful and even satanic force of nature, at worst. And this too, was foretold.
Readers here are not surprised by how the liberal-left attempts to demonize all of our spokesmen, especially black and women conservatives.
We hate the avarice, not the practitioner, and we decry how government takes advantage of people who can least afford it.
We pity gamblers and we pray for them, and for those who curse us for trying to light a candle, to banish the darkness.
Such attacks are nothing compared to what they did to our Lord as we remember, this Friday. And we know to whom belongs, the ultimate victory.
If you missed my original article you can scroll down to find it or click here: Gambling is Evil When 75% of $656 Million from Poor Sinners and/or Stupid People Goes to RICO Conspirators.
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