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To the Editor:

    I am writing, as many others have, concerning the proposal for a casino in Washington County.  I was completely shocked when I first heard of the proposition, or should I say scheme, to place a gambling boat in the peaceful community of Washington County.  I want to express my opinion against this idea.  

    I guess we could spend a long time arguing over new jobs, increased revenue, and other socio-economic ideas.  I would rather not do that.  I will say, however, I don't feel that there are social benefits, nor are there economical benefits that come close to outweighing the disadvantages that will be created.  (To gain 2.6 million we as a county must lose 70 million.) 

    to me, the biggest issue at stake is the moral issue.  Where are the morals of America?  In Iowa, the heartland of America, one would think that they would be found.  when have greed, economics, and personal advantage been more important than character, work ethic, and common decency?  Gambling is wrong and people shouldn't be afraid to say so.  The issue at hand is not whether is will create jobs or take away jobs.  The issue is not whether our county will have more money or less money.  The issue is whether or not it is right or wrong.  I believe that a majority of people in this country believe it is wrong (and it is) and our vote should express that.  Someone may say, "No one has a right to tell me how to spend my money." then should we vote to legalize drugs?  Should we legalize slavery again?  NO! The reason these things are illegal is because they are harmful to others and morally wrong.  The same is true of gambling.  As Americans, we have a responsibility to uphold moral integrity.  There certainly has been a shift and decline in morals, but this does not mean that right and wrong have changed.

    It seems that too often the right is silent and the wrong is vocal.  it seems that the right is oftentimes timid and in fear of "offending" the wrong.  I believe that gambling and the vices that are associated with it are wrong.  I also believe that the right should say so regardless of the offense it may bring.  This issue is one of great importance because it supersedes economic and social implications.  It is a matter of right versus wrong.  This is the heart of the issue.

A citizen of Washington County,

Michael Jones

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