Pastors Position On Gambling Is Wrong
“Citizens For Justice” is calling on Bahamians to reject the proponents for legalizing the numbers racket.
We are asking that these illegal criminal enterprises be shut down before any Referendum or discussion on legalizing the web shops proceeds. There are more people who do not gamble and who will vote “No” than those who support this activity. The cars, houses and money that are being used as bait are nothing less than an inducement to bribe voters to vote in favour of legalized number houses. In spite of the millions spent by number operators, their efforts will be defeated by the “No” voters. Bishop Walter S. Hanchell, chairman of CFJ, is outraged at the stance some Christian leaders have taken on this issue.
The Christian community listened in shock and disgust yesterday as four pastors shamelessly declared their support for legalized gambling in the Bahamas. Advocating and lobbying for the acceptance of destructive vices in particular illegal criminal enterprises, is not the assignment of any minister of God. Any pastor who speaks in support of legalized gambling or any other criminal or immoral activity, is not speaking for God nor the Christian community. These misdirected men are misleading many weak Bahamians and should not be promoting the agenda of gambling bosses, special interest groups and the government of the Bahamas.
We are truly living in the last and evil days. People today including some church leaders will do almost anything for money. Rather than supporting illegal and immoral gambling, pastors throughout the country should be warning the Bahamian public of the dangers of gambling addiction and the negative effects gambling has had on our nation. They should be alerting people of the negative effects gambling have already had on families and the business community and how much worse it will get in the years ahead. A survey of other nations including the United States and a number of European nations, clearly shows that gambling, whether legal or illegal, has caused a growing number of persons to turn to criminal activities in order to support their habits. Additionally, it has been documented that among gambling addicts, many family relationships have been severed, jobs have been lost and many losers have attempted suicide. One needs to only google “Gambling Addiction” to see for themselves what the government of the Bahamas and the gambling operators have hidden from the people. Studies also reveal that gamblers are becoming addicts from as early as 15 years old. What will we do to prevent gambling by minors, which allegedly is now a serious problem?
The negative effects of legalized gambling will far outweigh any revenue earned by the government of the Bahamas. Political and spiritual leaders have a responsibility to protect and preserve family life. The question is asked, “Why should the government of the Bahamas set as a priority legalizing the illegal numbers racket, knowing that this will lead to an increase in the presently unacceptable level of crime we now have. Why not focus on constitutional reforms that will abolish the Privy Council so that capital punishment may be resumed? Why have we as a nation, allowed mothers and children to be slaughtered at the hands of vicious criminals, who get bail and recommit the same offences? Why not focus attention on job creation to put thousands of unemployed suffering Bahamians back to work? What about the thousands of Bahamians losing their homes and being evicted from their apartments each day and the many small businesses that are closing their doors each day? Why has the government not intervene in the City Market fiasco, that is a grave injustice against hundreds of displaced workers? Will they receive the same treatment as CLICO policyholders?
“Citizens For Justice” is demanding that before any Referendum on gambling be put before the people, an independent research be done on the effects of gambling and given to voters and that attention be given to more pressing social issues such as murder, violent crime, illegal immigration and joblessness.gambling