In an extended discussion on a matter of practical Christian ethics, it is my contention that the Christian ethic provides the best defense of the poor and needy in society.  While separating from the abusive approach of today’s semi-Marxists, the Christian is able to work for the best value in society.  And, as a dispensationalist, I can speak to and even promote legislation that proves beneficial to society — all the while avoiding the church-state entanglements.  With that as a framework, I can promote these values, even to the theocracy-paranoid, supported by this principle:


 


The equality of Christianity is ontological. The equality of secularism and liberalism is nothing more than a functional egalitarianism. It proved itself inadequate against the injustice of slavery. I would submit, with history as evidence, that liberalism, though capable of justice, is not sufficient to establish permanent justice.

 



If Christianity promotes ontological equality among all people, then a Christian view of “social justice” is significantly different from the current secular iterations that we face today.  Among these wrongs are the death movement (abortion, infanticide, euthanasia), the welfare movement (creating near-permanent economic class distinctions), and the gambling movement.

Progressives currently give broad-based support to the system.  Though not all dems and libs support gambling, by and large the movement has party support.  In Ohio, for instance, Governor Stickland gained support from dems and reps in the legislature to bypass the state constitution and implement slots.  The N. Y. Times reports on the situation in the south, this going back to 1998:

 


A red-bearded Bubba, outfitted in a baseball cap and a Georgia Bulldogs T-shirt, grins devilishly from behind the counter of his convenience store and explains to South Carolina voters why it is that ”here in Georgia, we looooove David Beasley.”
”The Georgia lottery tickets y’all buy pay for computers in every one of our classrooms,” the man explains in a new television advertisement produced by the South Carolina Democratic Party. ”Thank goodness your Governor, David Beasley, won’t let y’all have a lottery.”
Across Georgia’s western border, meanwhile, Democratic campaign advertisements in Alabama are also extolling Georgia’s lottery. ”Since 1993, Georgia’s lottery has sent 300,000 high school graduates to college,” says the narrator in an advertisement for Don Siegelman, Alabama’s Democratic nominee for governor. ”Don Siegelman is fighting for a lottery right here in Alabama.”

 



The lottery provides tools for political advantage.  But it also creates social problems, and milks the very poor that it pretends to help.  In England, for instance ...

 


Basically, in line with lotteries in other countries, in Britain the poorest social groups spend much higher relative amounts, making it highly regressive, which is significant when we come to look at the services that the lottery is starting to pay for.

 



It is the same in the US

 


‘‘All you need is a dollar and a dream’’ is a catchy advertisement for the New York State Lottery that is typical of how lotteries are marketed. In the current paper, we ask why that dream seems to be particularly attractive to people with low incomes. Research on state lotteries finds that low-income individuals spend a higher percentage of their income on lottery tickets than do wealthier individuals (Brinner & Clotfelter, 1975; Clotfelter & Cook, 1987, 1989; Livernois, 1987; Spiro, 1974; Suits, 1977), a pattern highlighted by the statistic that households with an income of less than $10 000 spend, on average, approximately 3% of their income on the lottery (Clotfelter, Cook, Edell, & Moore, 1999). Some studies even find higher absolute demand for lottery tickets among low-income populations (Clotfelter et al., 1999; Hansen, Miyazaki, & Sprott, 2000; Hansen, 1995).

 



Even without attacking the issue of gambling addiction and household fiscal damage as a result of spending hard-earned money on such a wasteful venture, the simple fact that today’s support for lotteries.  It is not a simple Dem v Rep issue, but more often a Con v Lib issue, with more liberals giving support to the lottery, and so its results.

This is a social injustice to which we should speak.  It is a wrong against the poor.  It is corporate welfare to the gambling industry.  It is a political tool to maintain unnecessarily expanded state governments.  It damages the lives of those who think they might win.  Someday, somehow.

Articles by Collin Brendemuehl

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