Today’s entry: I’m curious to know as a Christian, how can you feel so strongly about gambling in Florida, when you know the gambling will bring chaos to home and family?
Bottom Line: I appreciate questions like these that help me clarify my own positions while providing the opportunity to illustrate broader points about the intended role of government. This question follows my story earlier in the week regarding the record sports betting observed by the American Gaming Association for this weekend’s Super Bowl. The record betting, a 15% increase to $6.8 billion, is being driven by an increase in states that have enabled sports betting after the 2018 Supreme Court ruling opened up the opportunity. I pointed out the irony that 20 other states will profit in a bigger way than Florida, where the game is being played. The purpose of that story wasn’t to specifically advocate for the legalization of sports gaming but to provide context and analysis to a debate that’s underway in our state session.
As for where I come from on this and related issues, as it pertains to my faith, I’ll by saying that I don't gamble and wouldn't regardless of Florida's laws. I also don't personally advocate gambling, aside from any religious considerations. I’m an avid investor and would much rather use my resources for those purposes. As it does pertain to my faith, whether it’s this or any other issue, I draw clear lines regarding governance. We’re free to believe what we believe and share those beliefs with others without fear of retribution from the government due to the premise of our Constitution. I believe in maximum freedom up to the point where it harms others. That’s the way our country was structured at the time of our founding, life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. The only intended curbing of those rights was to keep us from denying others’ their rights.
I feel it’s more important to legislate freedom, than legislate specific morality. It's my belief that it’s incumbent on us to live moral lives, due to our own beliefs and convictions, rather than mandated morality which would likely lead to unintended consequences, as it has for every government which has applied a specific religious standard for governance.
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