The Destruction of Gambling—the Fastest-Growing Addiction in the U.S.
As SCOTUS Ruling Permits State Sports Betting, Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land Says Decision Lowers the Moral Bar
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—When the Supreme Court issued its decision last week in Murphy v. NCAA, it lowered the moral bar in America, said Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land.
According to The Hill, the case was brought by the State of New Jersey to overturn the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. New Jersey had lost four times in its quest to legalize sports gambling—until now. SCOTUS accepted the state’s appeal and heard the case in December, ultimately ruling that the federal government cannot forbid various states from legalizing sports gambling within their borders.
Land shared his thoughts on the gambling decision in his radio feature called “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs daily on nearly 800 stations nationwide. He also connects the Christian worldview perspective to what the Bible says about this growing addiction.
“This may have been a constitutionally correct decision based on the Tenth Amendment’s reserving all un-enumerated rights to the states, but it was a really bad and destructive public policy decision on many grounds, the most important one being moral,” Land said. “These state governments want to do this because they want to generate more revenues through gambling proceeds without having to raise taxes. But gambling is bad public policy for the many reasons. No. 1 is corruption. This much money always leads to corruption in the government, and we have the many scandals to prove it. Second, perhaps more importantly, it subverts the reason that God gave us government in the first place. The Bible tells us in Romans 13 that God gave the civil magistrate to punish those who do evil and to reward those who do that which is right. Gambling is not rewarding that which is good. The government, in essence, perverts the God-given purposes for government by turning the government into a bookie, promoting socially and economically destructive behavior to individuals, addictive behavior in many cases, in order to get its cut of the take, and gambling is a zero-sum game. For someone to win at gambling, other people have to lose.
“Gambling generates no wealth; gambling generates no new product,” Land continued. “So when people gamble, they are hoping to get someone else’s money and make it their own without having to work for it. It is a violation of ‘thou shalt not steal,’ it is a violation of ‘thou shalt not covet,’ and it perverts the reason God gave us government in the first place.”
Additionally, sports gambling will corrupt sports competition in the United States, which is why the NCAA so vehemently opposed the decision, Land said. With the amount of money involved, the NCAA knows there will be tremendous temptation to bribe players and for players to take the bribes, throw games and shave points. Therefore, he added, college sports will no longer be fair, open and honest competition.
“Gambling is the fastest-growing addiction in the United States, and when something is legal, more people will do it than when it is not legal,” Land continued. “More people will gamble, which means more people will become addicted, and the result will be financial ruin for their families. Gambling is also a terribly regressive tax. Lotteries, for example, are an inverse relationship. The poorer the community, the more lottery outlets. The wealthier the community, the fewer the lottery outlets. The people who can least afford to gamble are the ones who gamble the most.”
In its coursework for undergraduate, graduate and online students, Southern Evangelical Seminary delves into cultural issues and how they relate to morality, business, governance, public policy and the American family—as this issue of gambling does.
SES has announced the 2018 National Conference on Christian Apologetics, which will focus on the theme of “The God Who Is.” On Oct. 12-13, the seminary will welcome top thinkers, scholars, authors, apologists and scientific minds, including Ravi Zacharias, to its 25th annual conference, which will be held at Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Read more about Southern Evangelical Seminary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive” and SES President Dr. Richard Land here. For more information on SES, visit its website at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH.