Gambling with God in Nevada

With the cynical lawsuit to stop casino workers from caucusing on the Strip tomorrow having been rightly dismissed, the LA Times has an interesting article entitled “Clinton plays gaming card against Obama“, pointing out her latest attempt to muddy the waters in what is looking more and more like a campaign against Barack Obama instead of the campaign for Hillary Clinton she was running most of last year when she was still the “presumptive nominee”:

The issue has come into focus primarily due to the Clinton campaign, which has distributed a document to local reporters, headlined, “Obama Blasted Gambling as Socially Destructive and Economically Irresponsible,” listing several of his past quotes.

Among them are a 2003 comment in the Chicago Defender, a black newspaper, in which Obama argued that the “moral and social cost of gambling, particularly in low-income communities, could be devastating.”

In 2001, the Clinton memo states, Obama described himself as “generally skeptical” of gambling as an economic development tool and likened the expansion of slot machines to the state lottery, in which, he said, “you’ll have a whole bunch of people who can’t afford gambling their money away, yet they’re going to do it.”

As part of its efforts to publicize those statements, the Clinton campaign has secured the help of top industry players — several of whom participated in a campaign-sponsored conference call with the media last week designed to chastise Obama.

Southern California-based zeroes in on an interesting point that’s buried towards the end of the article:

The other ironic thing about this issue is that Hillary Clinton is a follower of the Social Principles of the Methodist Church, which calls on Christians to obstain [sic] from gambling. How does she reconcile her church’s beliefs with her heavy ties to the gambling industry? I would expect this sort of dilemma from Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani, but not Hillary Clinton. Why did she even need to go there with the religion?

While I’m no fan of organized religion, falling somewhere between being an agnostic and atheist myself (much to my mother’s chagrin), I firmly believe in the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion and don’t have any problem with any particular religion as long as they’re not too fanatical about it.

Religion is a touchy subject for Democrats, though, with some extreme left-wingers so turned off by Obama’s “We worship an awesome God in the blue states…” line in his star-making speech at the Democratic National Convention back in 2004, they swear they’ll never vote for him. They’re the flip-side of Mike Huckabee saying he’d like to “amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards,” except a lot more hypocritical since the left is supposed to be the tolerant side of the political divide.

Clinton’s stance on gambling in light of her religious beliefs certainly seems to trigger the hypocrite alarm, especially in this specific instance, even more than Dick Cheney’s much-derided anti-gay stance in spite of having a lesbian daughter. In my opinion, and speaking from personal experience, family should always trump religious dogma, but Clinton’s clearly letting money and political ambition override her self-professed value system which is a pretty glaring character flaw for someone running for President.

Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, and destructive of good government. As an act of faith and concern, Christians should abstain from gambling and should strive to minister to those victimized by the practice.

Where gambling has become addictive, the Church will encourage such individuals to receive therapeutic assistance so that the individual’s energies may be redirected into positive and constructive ends.

The Church should promote standards and personal lifestyles that would make unnecessary and undesirable the resort to commercial gambling—including public lotteries—as a recreation, as an escape, or as a means of producing public revenue or funds for support of charities or government.

From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church – 2004.

Considering the unequivocal explicitness of that position, it makes you wonder which of her other Social Principles are for sale?

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One thought on “Gambling with God in Nevada

  1. Thanks for catching my typo. 🙂

    She’s running for the center, so she has to appear religious. When she cites religion, she looks more “human.” I’m surprised that there aren’t many arm chair or professional pundits calling her out on this.

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