Saturday, November 02, 2013
11/2/2013, #28, 4th Quarter 2013
But you, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in you. (Psalm 55:23)
A word received: Don't be afraid; I AM watching over you.
Saturday: 55 * 138,139:1-17(18-23); Neh. 4:1-23; Rev. 7:(4-8 )9-17; Matt. 13:31-35
Sunday: 24, 29 * 8, 84; Neh. 5:1-19; Acts 20:7-12; Luke 12:22-31
Proper 26 Closest to November 2: 32 or 32:1-8; Isaiah 1:10-20; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5(6-10)11-12; Luke 19:1-10
Notes from the Front Line
Daily: For our Bishop and for the Lord to raise up apostolic priests
November 2 For All the Faithful Departed, especially in families and parishes
***** Bishop's Message
November 1, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This coming Tuesday, November 5th, voters throughout New York will be asked to vote on whether to amend the State Constitution, allowing the State Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State. As stated on the ballot, the legislated purpose of the amendment is for "promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated."
Like many societal issues, legalized casino gambling is not without controversy. There is great debate by well-meaning people on both sides of the issue, not only as to whether the above-mentioned legislated purposes would be achieved, but more importantly whether any potential societal benefit from casino gambling outweighs the negative costs to society often associated with gambling. Depending on which study or survey you read, you can find evidence to support both positions.
In looking at the stated legislated purposes of the proposed amendment, the first objective is "promoting job growth." While casinos do create jobs, there is much debate as to the quality of the jobs and whether they provide a living wage. With that said, we must also ask ourselves whether jobs related to the gambling industry are jobs society and Christians in particular should be trying to create or promote. Do we want to be encouraging people to gamble their livelihood and that of their family on the outside chance that they might "strike it rich?" Casinos are NOT a charity. They are in business to make as much money as they can regardless of the costs to individuals, families and society. Untold numbers of people have lost their jobs, life savings, homes, marriages, families and very souls while trying to fulfill their dream of making it big, thinking that "just" one more hand of cards, one more throw of the dice, one more bet, one more pull of the lever would turn everything around and solve all their problems, making their dreams come true. Far too often their dreams turn into a living nightmare.
According to the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC 1999), it is estimated that 1.2% of U.S. adults are lifetime pathological gamblers and 1.5% are lifetime problem gamblers. "The likelihood of being a pathological or problem gambler is double for a person living within 50 miles of a casino," according to The Social Impact of Casinos: Literature Review and Cost Estimates (Jan. 21, 2010) published by The Community Research Partners. In New York State alone, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of these "problem gamblers," all of whom have families and loved ones and are fellow members of society - our neighbors, friends and co-workers, as well as the stranger on the street. Whether we like it or not, their problem becomes our problem.
In addition to the above concerns, we also have to consider the other potential negative impact on society often found in communities such as Los Vegas and Atlantic City which have casinos. Increased prostitution along with the diseases and broken homes which often accompany it, increased drug abuse, and the involvement of organized crime have to be taken into account. Will the new jobs created by casinos coming to our communities outweigh the potential costs of the social ills that often accompany them?
The second objective of the stated legislated purposes of the proposed amendment is "increasing aid to schools." If my memory serves me right, that was one of the chief arguments used in support of legalizing the state lotto in New York. While I don't know how much of the revenue from the state lotto actually still goes to support the schools, I do know that most of our schools are in a financial crisis. Like the lotto, a question we need to ask is how much of the new revenue from casino gambling will actually be used to support our schools? But more importantly, is this really the best way to deal with the growing financial needs of our schools, or are there more appropriate and effective means of addressing the financial concerns? Throwing more money at a problem is not always the best solution. The State education system is broken and money alone will not fix it.
The third and final stated objective of the legislative purposes of the amendment is "permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated." Well-disciplined local governments might do that, but there is no guarantee that this will be the case and past history would suggest otherwise. Rather than lowering taxes, communities may very well end up having to raise them to deal with the unintended consequences of bringing casino gambling into our communities, such as the increased cost of law enforcement, increased health costs, and increased social services needed to assist the victims of out of control gambling.
I cannot nor would I tell anyone else how to vote on Tuesday, but as for me, I will be voting "NO" on Proposal Number One, An Amendment Authorizing Casino Gaming.
Your Brother in Christ,
***** From: Jeanne Gizara
Sent: Friday, November 1, 2013
Subject: Mudge Scripture Prayer
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
You have multiplied , O Lord my God,
Your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
None can compare with You!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told. (Psalm 40: 3 and 5)
Father God, we thank You for the blessed time that Father Shaw spent in Belize. Thank You that his travel was safe and on time. Thank You for the way that You orchestrated all meetings, talks and events.
Thank You for all the new responsibilities that Father Shaw has now picked up. Be with him Lord, in all that He does for You. Help him with travel arrangements in for the Advent retreat in Belize and for the January 2014 trip as well as one after Ash Wednesday and another after Ascension Day. Lord, please provide the necessary energy and the needed financial provision to make all these journeys!
Please bless the Skype meetings between Father Shaw and those on the ordination track. Lord, we pray that Father Shaw’s role may be according to your strategic plan for the Diocese of Belize.
Lord, You have put a new song into Father Shaw’s mouth, a song of praise that we, the intercessors, sing along with. We know that because of his expanding role in Belize, many more people will see and fear and put their trust in You. You have multiplied the possibilities, Lord, and have blessed Fr. Shaw and his family abundantly. May Fr. Shaw and his students proclaim and tell of your wondrous deeds. Amen.