Column:Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 8, 1998

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / June 8, 1998

Gambling violates the Spirit of God’s law

Since Get High on Life was established in 1980, I’ve received many phone calls concerning social and personal problems. The vast majority of mycalls have been related to drug use and alcohol abuse. However, I’vecounseled people about child abuse, rape, crime, divorce, eating disorders, suicide, depression, etc. It wasn’t until more than four years ago that Ihad my first call concerning a gambling problem. Since then, I’ve receivedmany calls relating to this addiction.

A few weeks ago, someone asked me what I would do if I won the Louisiana Lottery. I said that was impossible, because I’ve never and don’tever intend to participate in the gamble.

Have I ever gambled? Yes, I loved going to the race track and everything about it – the atmosphere, the crowd, the beautiful horses and the excitement of betting. I would stay in the clubhouse section of the FairGrounds where the rich and middle classes were. You could eat, drink andgamble there.

A few times, I drifted over to the grandstand section. As a rule, and Irealize there are exceptions to every rule, the less fortunate assembled in this section. It would grieve my heart to see some of the people hoping tostrike it rich. I recall how sad this was. I never spent much time therebecause it was depressing. I always made my way back to the comfortableclubhouse and blocked out the misery and despair on the faces of these poor people.

It’s the same thing in a community or a country. We block out the miseryand needs of others.

I haven’t gambled since 1980 and have since become more aware of the many hurting people in our community.

The gambling craze in Louisiana has taken its toll – the greed, the addiction, but most of all, the robbing of food and necessities from our poor children.

Gambling violates the Spirit of God. It violates the Bible’s work ethic. Thepoor are hurt the most. It increases crime and addictive and illegalgambling. It is the wrong way to run a government and does not generatepromised revenue.

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