Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The FRC on Internet Gambling

The hits just keep on coming. Here's the latest from the FRC:

Putting the Bite on Internet Gambling

In an important victory for families, the House of
Representatives yesterday passed the Internet Gambling
Prohibition and Enforcement Act (H.R. 4411). The vote was
a lopsided 317-93.

The first thing I thought of when I saw this, was a quote from the Christian author, C.S. Lewis:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. "

I truly believe that this legislation is yet another brick in the wall, stealing what precious liberty we have left. It shouldn't be a matter of allowing or disallowing someone from gambling. It should be about empowering individuals and local municipalities to make that decision for themselves. Places like Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada have decided that gambling is ok for them and have arranged their society around it in an organized fashion. Don't like it? Then get away. Go somewhere else. Trust me, there are a lot of people that think like you do and they'd be more than happy to get together and create "gambling free" zones.

Let's put it another way, Jesus saves souls through a willing heart. Legislating morality does not lead to a willing heart anymore than the Inquisition or the crusades lead to widespread furtherance of Christianity. If anything, those events set back the spread of Christianity, and continue to do so to this day. A good Christian speaks the word and leads by example. The FRC, and groups like them, think they can short circuit the process by leveraging legislation rather than trying to leverage The Word.

One of those who voted against it was liberal Rep. Barney
Frank (D-MA) who said: "If you don't like internet gambling,
don't do it." Fortunately, Frank's callous attitude was not
shared by the majority of his own party.

Callous attitude? It's more like the "liberal" Rep. Barney Frank should be praised for attempting to keep the rights with the people where they belong. I'm not arguing whether gambling is right or wrong. Personally, I think you're an idiot if you want to spend more than about $20 a year at a Casino, but it's your right if you want to do it. Why? Because you cannot stop people from being self destructive. If you stop one vice, they'll find another. If the FRC really cared about people destroying their lives with gambling they'd be in the Casinos and anywhere else that vice can be found trying to reach the people with The Word.

When I was learning to be a new father, my own Dad put it this way, "Kids are like balloons. Everytime you squeeze one end, the air just shoots into the other end. Pay attention to your Son and don't let the pressure build up because you cannot simply expect that by suppressing one behavior that it won't come out in some other way."

There's broader recognition of the harms of
gambling to families and communities. I was happy to see
Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the
National Basketball Association, the National Hockey
League, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association
all backing this bill. Forty-eight of 50 state attorneys
general back the bill. I especially want to thank
Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Jim Leach (R-IA) for
their tireless efforts in behalf of honesty in government
and security for families.

Call me cynical, but I believe that this much agreement, especially among politicians, is unnatural. If everyone agrees, very few people are thinking, and that's dangerous. I'll bet that if you interview each and every one of them, you'd be surprised at the amount of reservation you'd find.

This measure will help block the $12 billion off-shore
gambling industry.

No it won't, and if you believe it will, you show a profound ignorance of how the Internet works.

It should be noted that Jack Abramoff is no longer at
large to stalk the halls of Congress lobbying for the
gambling interests. That surely made a difference.

Oh and don't forget Republican Tom Delay is gone too, one of Jack Abramoff's good buddies.

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