Tears and Laughter: Legislature still gambling with morals and money

Even with a religious upbringing, I was 26 before I fully accepted and started trusting that where I am and who I am, both in soul and personality, has a God-given purpose. I believe this to be not just for me, but for each of us. I also believe it is possible that beyond this world, we may still have purpose. I think God’s plan may far expand what we as humans can yet fully understand. I don’t hurry it along, but I trust it.

And when I pray, which is hardly enough, I pray mostly prayers of gratitude because God has been good to me. What troubles I have are often due to my own decisions, not a trial God sent or a stumbling block set by Satan or a temptation the Alabama legislature failed to protect me from. I also admit that I sin sins that I don’t even recognize as sin. I ask forgiveness for them too.

I am not a model Christian. I don’t always walk the conservative Christian line. That being said, the Alabama Legislature seems to be reenacting Footloose. Remember how the preacher and several of the daddies of the local teenage girl’s thought a school dance was a “straight ticket” to hell. Dancing was considered a sin, Christ wasn’t in it, no blessing could come of it, and it could be a springboard to more sins. In the end there was dance, the world did not quit spinning, and the Bible snappers came across as being closed-minded, not unlike the legislators when they are quoted as saying things in public hearings like, “Christ is nowhere in the lottery” and “God’s not going to bless our state” and “Only poor people play the lottery.”

Is Christ currently in the Alabama Public School System? For that matter is his presence felt that strong in the State House? I was under the impression God had about been taken out of both. Alabama is almost at the top of the list of everything bad and I don’t think this is due to God blessing us for being afraid to have a lottery.

In Georgia they tear down better schools than some of the ones Alabama operates so that they can build new ones paid for by their lottery. In Florida, community college is paid for by fans of their Fantasy 5 nightly drawing.

The lottery is a game of numbers. It’s not evil. It funds aspects of education and government when there are good stewards of money in office. As for who plays, that would be the decision of grown taxpayers. Most people have some amount of disposable income and how it is spent is not up to legislators. Some people spend money waiting for a fish to maybe bite. Some people pay to see if somebody else can catch a ball. Some people play numbers hoping they will hit.

If you enjoy overeating, getting drunk, chasing women, or being judgmental…there are no limits on these sins. If gambling is your thing you can already go to Atmore, invest in stocks, or start farming.

Our representatives don’t get to pick our poisons. They should be researching the money and jobs a lottery would create. There would necessarily be a headquarters, a claims processing division, advertising, a customer service office, a highly active website to maintain, countless authorized retailers across the state, plus district offices – because while people do lose, people also win several games and scratch off tickets daily, and checks have to be issued. It is business, and legislators need to treat it as such and stop trying to be preachers and daddies to voters.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Alabama Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era. For more information, visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.