United Methodists in the Western and Eastern regions of the state have already endorsed this effort, and representatives from the central, or Susquehanna, region are due to consider the issue when they meet in September.
“We are in a war over gambling in Pennsylvania. We’re David against Goliath. We, United Methodists, are in a war over what is right,” United Methodist Advocacy PA executive director Stephen Drachler told members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference during their annual meeting.
Pennsylvania United Methodists are among the leading opponents of the expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania. We work with a coalition of other faith and advocacy groups who believe using gambling to fund government services is wrong.
The UM Advocacy-written resolution specifically calls for the repeal of all gambling laws in Pennsylvania, including pari-mutuel wagering, the lottery, and casinos.
The board cited scripture and the denomination’s Social Principles in calling for this dramatic action by state government.
“Gambling encourages the belief that work is unimportant, that money can solve all problems, and that greed is the norm for achievement,” states the resolution.
Pennsylvania’s policy makers, including the General Assembly and Gov. Edward G. Rendell, have “fallen prey to the lure of seeing gambling as a solution to the Commonwealth’s fiscal problems while ignoring the moral and social implications of its proliferation,” the resolution states.
The resolution acknowledges the difficulty of repealing gambling laws, but notes, “Jesus Christ teaches us that with God, all things are possible.”
Copies of the resolution will be presented to Gov. Rendell and to every member of the Pennsylvania House and Senate.