WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention has frequently stated its opposition to the gambling industry and the devastating effects of gambling upon the moral and economic life of our nation; and
WHEREAS, No national commission has studied the effects of gambling upon society since 1976; and
WHEREAS, Participation in gambling has grown at an alarming rate since 1976, when Americans legally wagered 17 billion, in 1994, when Americans legally wagered 480 billion; and
WHEREAS, Legislation has been passed in the United States House of Representatives of the 104th Congress which would establish a commission to study the impact of gambling upon society and to make such recommendations as may be necessary to correct those problems which the study may reveal; and
WHEREAS, There is pending in the United State Senate of the Congress, legislation similar to that already passed in the House; and
WHEREAS, If Congress passes such legislation it will then be forwarded to the President of the United States for consideration; and
WHEREAS, As it is currently proposed, this legislation provides that the commission would be made up of individuals appointed by the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the Majority Leader of the United States Senate; and
WHEREAS, The gambling industry is unashamed in its relentless pursuit of political advantage by monetary means; Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, That we support legislation which seeks to evaluate the effect of public policy with regard to gambling, and the impact of gambling upon society; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we commend those members of the United States House of Representatives who voted in favor of H.R. 497, known as the National Gambling Impact and Policy Commission Act, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we urge the United States Senate to pass legislation to the same effect; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we urge the President of the United States to sign any such legislation which is substantially similar to that already approved by the United States House of Representatives; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we urge those responsible for appointing members to the Commission to exercise their judgment with caution and to avoid appointing individuals whose primary interest in the outcome of the Commission may be motivated by protection of the pecuniary interests of the gambling industry; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we urge members of Congress to be undeterred in their efforts by representatives of the lucrative gambling industry who unashamedly seek to exert their influence in the political process with the proceeds of their nefarious profits.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we pledge our prayerful support to Southern Baptists in Louisiana, Arkansas and other states in their every effort to defeat or repeal laws that legalize gambling in this fall’s elections; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we pray for and encourage our fellow Southern Baptists who are opposing the pernicious evil of gambling in their local communities and states.