Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


My maternal grandmother shouted at me from the steps up to her bedroom, "You'll never amount to anything!"

While I've tried to live down to her expectations through much of my life and ministry, I was in 8th grade and had it coming.

I had poured water into a flower vase where she hid her Chesterfields because her daughter forbid her to smoke in the house because she had a habit of falling asleep with a butt in her mouth.

Lex talionis.

Despite being a Yankees fan, maybe that's why I also relate to Cubs fans.



Speaking of losers, lotteries are very popular.

After I totaled up my plastic bill about a year ago, prompting recollection of grandma's prediction, I started buying one ticket whenever I feed the cage or mule.

I figure I've spent about $82.

I won $2 last week; and bought two more tickets that yielded the same result when scanned after drawings: "Sorry! Not a Winner!"

Whenever I read that, grandma and Calvin come to mind.


My parents have been buying 'em for a long time.

From what I hear/read/see, lots of people buy 'em.

Ever since New Hampshire started a state lottery in 1964 to complement Nevada's first casino in 1931 to complement all of the horse and dog racetracks to complement all of those off-track betting parlors to complement bookies to complement all of those office football pools to complement all of those one-armed bandits parked in local bastions of service organizational morality, and so on, it's been estimated that over 80% of America is into some kinda gambling.

For example, I don't wear a helmet except when I'm biking through Chicago or those states limiting my freedom of choice to keep me safe while freeing others/me to choose to end the lives of the unborn because their safety isn't that important to most Americans anymore or something else betraying intellectual inconsistencies.

Be that as long as it will be for cultures with no moral absolutes, I used to scoff at my parents for buying 'em until they explained why they take, uh, a chance: "If we win, we're gonna take care of you and your sister and your children and even your spouses for the rest of your lives."

Uh, O.K.

When I told my dad that the odds of winning are like 1 in 175,711,536, he asked, "Do you know what the odds are if you don't play?"

How does one argue with logic like that?



Have you ever read Acts 1:15-26?

It's about how the original apostles selected Judas' successor.

They cast, uh, lots.

While proof-texting, twisting texts, or other eisegetical exercises to fit your favorite ideology have limits no matter what the far left or right pretend, Acts 1:15-26 does confound fundies who say anyone who, uh, plays is going to hell quicker than the Packers without Favre.


The government says they use taxes on gambling to fund good things like public schools and other essential services like lining the pockets of...

They figure legalizing gambling makes sure they get a cut rather than other criminals getting all of it.

They figure legalizing gambling will cut down on organized crime so there's no competition for them.

It's the same logic that will enable the legalization of recreational drugs within the decade.

While there's not a lot in the Bible about gambling per se - noting there's not a lot in the Bible about God being a Democrat or Republican or even PBHO - there are lots of texts about working and saving, labor and reward, sloth and industry, and the like.

So, pour moi, it boils down to a comment from Dr. Mohler who is President of Louisville, Kentucky's The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is the seminary in town that still takes Jesus and the Bible very seriously, and an irritating non-conclusion from KD.

Mohler: "The enormous jackpots awarded by lotteries are made possible only because millions of losers fund a very small group of winners."


Grandma, Calvin, and the lottery scanner come to mind again.

KD: "I'm not as comfortable as some people who know/pontificate what's on God's mind for everything related to faith, morality, and the only "right" times to schedule worship with or without drums/organs/guitars; meaning I'm not about to demonize, condemn, commend, or enable people who, uh, play while assuming it's another opportunity to think critically/constructively/Christianly about the, uh, choices we can still make before our freedoms are completely stripped by..."


In the meantime, I'll buy a ticket whenever I'm fillin' up.

If I don't win, that'll give my enemies, uh, a chance to say bad things about me without makin' 'em up.

If I win, Leslie gets a new van, Kathie and Pat go to Hawaii, I pay for our church's expansion instead of beggin' people to give more of what God gave to them because some folks left the church with pseudo-rationale as a smokescreen for simply being too cheap to fork over, lots of friends/even/foes are graced, and I do the wave for Visa.

It's kinda like the difference between Yankees and Cubs fans.



Blessings and Love!

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