During the 2014 annual session of the Georgia Baptist Convention messengers went on record again as they have done 20 times since 1963 opposing gambling in our state (See 2014 Resolution). But once again, there are those (Rep. Harry Geisinger and Sen. Brandon Beech) in the Georgia General Assembly who want to try to legalize horse racing and pari-mutuel gambling!
The last thing Georgia needs is the legalizing of another vice in our society, especially when it is justified as a way to raise funds for children and education. This is especially egregious when it is a proven fact that gambling has such a negative effect on children and families.
Creating jobs and raising funds for education is the rationale legislators use to attempt to legalize immoral behavior in our state. What are we going to end up calling these causes…”Horses for Hope”? Will it one day be: “Money from Marijuana” or even “Pennies from Prostitutes”? It is as if we have become convinced that we can put money over morality and some how morality will win out.
We have become totally sold on the idea that the end justifies the means. When are we going to realize that using this kind of logic could justify any sin if it is perceived as a means for creating jobs and raising funds for education? Money just simply cannot always be the bottom-line in legalizing vices in society.
Think about the cost on our society by putting up with strip clubs and the proliferation of pornography. In our state we are seeking measures as fast as we can to raise money (i.e. “Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund” being proposed in the 2015 Ga. General Assembly) to rescue girls and boys from sex trafficking. (Certainly, we should be doing this!) However, at the same time we are failing to root out the causes of these social problems. But here we go again, doing the same thing by looking to gambling through horseracing as a “silver bullet” to provide jobs and education funding.
Horse racing for Georgia is a bad bet!
It has been proven in other states that horse racing is a gateway to other forms of gambling – from slot machines to Indian reservations wanting to become casino empires. Therefore, horse racing in Georgia is not so much about horses as it is about camels … the camel’s nose will be under the tent when class III gambling becomes legal here. Consequently, it will be hard to not justify all gambling. The state run lottery is being used to justify the call for horse racing.
Now is the time for the Georgia legislature to say “NO”
to the further decline and destruction of our families and children in this state by voting against Senate Resolution 135 and House Resolution 1 on horse racing! Enough is enough! Contact your state legislator, Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and Speaker David Ralston and ask them to help stop any further expansion of gambling in our state!
Governor Nathan Deal (404) 656-1776
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle (404) 656-5030
David Ralston, Speaker of the House (404) 656-5020