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To the Editor:

    Gambling is gambling, pure and simple!  It is evidence of a lack of faith, a demonstration of careless activity that develops into a damaging habit for some and is morally degrading to all who are affected by it.

    Although the state of Iowa has long since let some "horses out of their barn," Washington County can fence the borders of this county, at least, by voting "No" on Aug. 31 to casino gambling in Riverside.  Thankfully, state-sanctioned casino gambling doesn't have to be accepted here in Washington County, but this will be an opportunity lost if residents opposed to gambling to not get registered by Aug. 21, and commit themselves to voting "No" on Aug. 31.  Time is short, friends.

    Washington County residents can act in the interests of others who can't or won't help themselves.  State politicians -- and some local individuals -- foster, promote, regulate and profit from something they jailed other citizens for in the not-to-distant past: the vice of gambling.  But we can vote "No" to having more of it.  It is shameful that the state and even some churches practice the sin of gambling as any easy way to make money.  This undermines the resolve of otherwise virtuous people and unfairly tempts the weak-minded.  (I noticed an area economic development group is pro-gambling.   If they aren't working, why should they be paid?)

    It is disgusting how they are conning mostly lower income and fixed income people, filling their treasuries at the expense of fellow Iowans, draining our state of many millions of dollars for a percentage of the take.  It even sounds criminal!  How long can this go on?  Already people commonly mention the lottery as their only ambition!

    There will always be those who, for a time, participate in a sinful activity and appear unharmed.  their day will come.  In the meanwhile the scriptures exhort believers to regulate their behavior for the sake of others.  Don't believe the misleading ads promoting gambling -- the price is too high!  Vote "No." Encourage your friends to vote "No," and send a message that there is a place where God-fearing people will rise up to protect that envied "quality of life."  Don't let the gamblers win.  Make your commitment now before it's too late.  Help everyone by voting "No" to casino gambling.

Tom Shepherd

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